Marketing attribution is one of those topics that provoke many discussions. We have experts on completely opposite sides of the fence.
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Some say it’s almost never worth the resources to try and solve it properly and that you should trust your gut instead. Others are convinced that proper attribution can be almost always reasonably achieved.
One thing is for sure. Attributing conversions to marketing channels is inherently flawed regardless of the attribution model used. Heuristic models like the last non-direct click will just be much more flawed than the new DDA.
Customer journeys and touchpoints are often much more complex than analytics software makes them look.
Here’s a great example of a specific buyer’s journey of a SparkToro customer. (SparkToro is the SaaS company of Rand Fishkin, who is one of those experts on the “better trust your gut” side of things.)
Let’s take a look:
Write-up on a SparkToro customer's complex buyer journey; on its right, explanation of why it is hard to track and attribute the journey
Taken from Rand’s article about attribution.
As mentioned earlier, organic search traffic is a marketing channel that can span the whole customer journey from awareness to retention. Attribution is especially tricky here, so let’s discuss the implications further.
DDA is a solid solution for this that will likely shift many people closer to the “proper attribution is possible” camp. But it still doesn’t solve many other problems. It’s a black box that gets more accurate with increasing traffic and conversions.
Unless you have “higher” hundreds (or ideally thousands of conversions) a month, I’d still take those numbers with a huge grain of salt. And ultimately, no matter the attribution model, you still don’t see data from sessions where the tracking code wasn’t fired (e.g., ad blockers and quick bounces).