A customer can have hundreds of interactions with a brand before ever making a purchase.

Sure, you might know what landing page a customer converted on, but what about all the social posts, ads, and other site pages that also influenced their decision to buy? All these interactions should change how you allocate resources so that you can maximize ROI.

But understanding the customer journey can be hard, and it means you need a more sophisticated way to measure what channels and assets are creating sales opportunities. That’s why marketers are relying on attribution modeling. 

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Q: What is attribution modeling?

A: Attribution modeling is a set of rules for assigning credit to the various touch-points in the conversion path.

It helps marketers understand trends and the journey that someone takes from the first time they set foot on your website to the time they become a customer. After all, for marketers to be successful, they need to understand all the influences that drive conversions.

Q: Where can you do this in HubSpot?

A: Attribution reports can be created with the HubSpot report builder!

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The value in this type of report is marketers can now pinpoint the exact marketing efforts that led to a conversion. By using this information, they can make better-informed decisions about where to invest their time and resources.

Q: This sounds great! Where do I start?

A: When building an attribution report, the best way to begin is to think about the problem you want to solve.

This could be through asking yourself questions like:

  • Do you want to see how many leads you have generated from the blog?
  • Do you want to see what source is driving the most conversions?
  • Do you want to see what content someone viewed before they became a customer?

An attribution report will be able to answer almost any question you have about what drives conversions on your website. However, like all other reports, it’s important that you choose the correct visualization to ensure that you’re communicating your data effectively.

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Q: What types of attribution models are available in HubSpot?

A: Currently, there are five different attribution models available in HubSpot.

First touch AttributionFirst-touch attribution is where 100% of the credit is assigned to the page that originally drove a visitor to your site. This model does overemphasize high-level, awareness stage marketing efforts, but it’s an easy way to know what exactly is attracting people to your brand.

Last Touch AttributionLast-touch attribution singles out the first touchpoint of the most recent visit. So if a visitor views a blog post, clicks a CTA, and converts on a landing page, the blog post will receive the credit.
Last Interaction AttributionThe last interaction model, however, gives credit to the touchpoint where a conversion directly occurred. Use this to determine the effectiveness of your landing pages.

First and Last Attribution
The first and last touch model gives equal credit to the first and last touch-points.
Simple Decay Attribution
A simple decay attribution model assigns a weighted percentage of the credit to the most recent touch-points. Use this if your buying cycle is short as it assumes that the assets a prospect interacted with closer to the time of sale are most important in the purchase decision.

Q: Which attribution model works best for me?

A: There is no right or wrong answer to what type of report to run — it just depends what you hope to distill from the data.

If you want to understand how all the pages or channels viewed before a conversion affect conversion rates, you’ll run one report. If you want to understand what happened at the exact point of conversion, you’ll run a different report. You could even run a combination of reports to understand what happens in certain parts of your flywheel.

Q: I haven't seen some of these metrics before. Can you explain each a little bit more?

A: Sure can! The primary metrics you'll see in a HubSpot attribution report are contacts assisted, % of contacts, and Score / 100. 

Contacts assisted shows the number of contacts who became leads in the defined time period.

Here's an example of contacts assisted broken down by website page URL. 

Contacts assisted

% of contacts shows the percent of contacts in the report that came from that particular channel, within the designated timeframe.

Keep in mind, when using attribution models like simple decay, contacts can be assisted by multiple touch points. As a result, adding together the values in the % of Contacts column may exceed 100%.

Here's an example of an attribution report showing % of contacts, down by website page URL. 

% of contacts

Score / 100 is the weighted importance of each channel in the report. If a contact's influenced by more than one object, their score gets divided among these objects. With the simple decay attribution model, more recent objects get a higher percentage of this score.

The highest scores are your best channels.

Score100Q: What types of questions can I answer with attribution reports?

A: Attribution reports can give high level insight on questions such as the following: 

  • Which channels or pages are converting the most leads within a given timeframe?
  • Where should I be investing my marketing resources?
  • Which landing pages or content offers are being viewed the most before someone becomes a customers?
  • Are there types of content offers that generate more leads over others?

...and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

One of the biggest values of creating attribution reports in the HubSpot report builder is you can connect the report back to specific contacts in your HubSpot CRM.

This means you can apply attribution trends to specific personas, contact groups, lifecycle stages, or other categories that are relevant to your business. 

Doing so helps you get granular insight on how your segments of contact are interacting with and consuming your content. This can lead you to identifying the most effective offers so that you can further optimize the ones that may not be performing as well.  

What new insight will you learn? 

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Originally published Jun 19, 2019 10:00:00 AM, updated July 15 2019