@font-face { font-family: "Times New Roman"; }@font-face { font-family: "JoannaMT-Italic"; }@font-face { font-family: "JoannaMT"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Market intelligence is the backbone of any advertising program. Cultivating accurate analytics and data allows marketers to develop strategies that produce results. Without this information campaigns become shortsighted and fragmented. But what if the data you have does not accurately reflect what is actually taking place? This is the case with marketing attribution models that only focus on the almighty “last click”.

What does an “attribution model” look like?

Think about attribution modeling like a soccer game - reservations or conversions representing goals. It is easy to give all of the credit to the player who scores the goal, but what about the other players who moved the ball up field and the teammates who set up the goal? They should be awarded an assist and deserve a portion of the credit. The question is how much.

Applied to a digital marketing example, should 100 percent of the credit be attributed to a paid search ad that led to a reservation? What amount of credit should be given to the display ad that introduced a promotion or special rate to consumers who eventually click on the paid search ad? Re-evaluating marketing attribution models refines the allocation of credit to each medium, which creates a clearer picture of how channels integrate together.

Consider the following path to a reservation: 1) a paid search ad builds awareness; 2) a display ad spurs further research; and 3) finally a branded paid search ad brings a user into a reservation funnel. If we were to follow a “last click” attribution model the branded paid search advertisement would earn the credit. This essentially eliminates the importance of the preceding conversion steps that led to the reservation. Other options are to divide the credit among the three steps so each would earn 33 percent of the conversion credit. Still other options would include developing a custom weighting system that accurately reflects unique paths to conversion. If multiple channels impact conversions their attribution percentages should echo this trend.

Why do I need to change my attribution model?

Changing an attribution model allows marketers the chance to view their marketing programs from a holistic perspective. The last click is not the only action that contributes to a conversion, so why should it get all of the credit? Splitting attributed revenue between supporting tactics will help marketers make better choices moving forward. For example, it might be easy to discount the importance of one tactic if it only directly generates 5 percent of reservations. However, after adjusting attribution models it becomes apparent that this tactic supports 75 percent of total conversions. Influential engagements like social media might not spur immediate purchases, but they might dramatically boost engagements and awareness that drive conversions. If left to a last click model only the last stage is optimized, which means potential guests and visitors might be neglected because the earlier touch points are not given the credit they deserve. 

Having an accurately weighted attribution model will also ensure that budgets are allocated efficiently across multiple platforms in ways that support a casino hotel’s bottom line. After altering attribution models, user intention and behavior patterns should become clearer. If a reservation funnel typically includes several impressions and engagements, hotel and casino marketers could investigate their conversion funnel to identify areas where it can be shortened. This will also enhance a property’s ROI and ROAS.

How do I know if my attribution model works?

A good attribution model should reflect what is actually going on in a reservation process and give weight to the various influencers in a conversion process. When compared with Web analytics data from on-site behavior, marketers should be confident that they are viewing their entire marketing ecosystem. Another sign that a model works is that optimization opportunities present themselves. Marketers should gain additional insights about how guests progress through their reservation funnels - insights that could not be gained by using a last click model.

The core concept behind refining an attribution model is expanding marketers’ points of view about how the components of a marketing program work together. A successful campaign or presence should put forth an integrated message that adapts to the platform on which it is distributed. It needs to engage users effectively and align with their preferences and affinities. By expanding their purview with a more encompassing model, marketers can make wiser decisions from a macro perspective. Making decisions from this view helps elevate entire programs and does not limit a POV to one execution or marketing tactic. Marketers recognize that various components affect each other. But by expanding attribution models they can define and track exactly how the pieces fit together.