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Playbook: Single-Touch Attribution

Single Touch Attribution

What is a Single-Touch Attribution Model?

A Single-Touch attribution model gives 100% of revenue credit to a single touch point along the customer journey (typically referred to as either the first or last touch). A First-Touch model assigns 100% of the credit to touchpoints that initiate conversion paths, whereas a Last-Touch model assigns 100% of the credit to the last touchpoint that occurred immediately before conversion.

Single-Touch Attribution


Importance of Using Single-Touch Attribution

Single-Touch attribution models are used to understand the most effective sources of new leads or income, as well as to discover which touchpoints are important for sales qualifying a lead. They are easy to grasp, communicate with others in the organization, and report on. These models are often used by demand-generation teams looking to evaluate their top-of-funnel performance, highest-performing sources, and where to focus their budget and efforts.

One caveat: due to the simplicity of these models, we typically recommend you use them in tandem with other, more sophisticated models to see the full picture. Single-Touch Attribution is also useful for quick directional decisions around stand-alone, short customer journeys (B2C, B2C2B, etc.) or when attributing in-product behavior (such as activating a feature via pay-gate).

Who Single-Touch Attribution Models Are Valuable For

Depending on the size of your organization, you may have different stakeholders. If you’re a small business or midsize enterprise, this data will be valuable for:

Head of Digital Marketing

Improve campaign planning by understanding the true impact of each touchpoint has to create more targeted and effective campaigns.

Marketing Program Manager

Gain clear insight for performance tracking with visibility into specific marketing channels and/or campaigns.

VP of Product

Prioritize product features more effectively by learning what product features are most valuable to customers.

VP of Sales

Improve lead prioritization by identifying which touchpoints are most influential in driving conversions and focusing sales teams on these accounts.

If you’re an Enterprise organization, you can expect this data to be valuable for all of the above roles, aside from VPs of Product and VPs of Sales.

What Is Single-Touch Attribution Models

Data You Need

Data Sources Required

The more [clean] “event” data sets you can add, the more robust the resulting model will be. For example, a log of website visits + email clicks + form submissions, and sales activity is better than only having one of those sources. This includes any marketing or sales activity involving an interaction with the customer.

Which Marketing Attribution Model Should Your Business Use?

Choosing the right marketing attribution models to use for your business is crucial. Companies considering improving their marketing attribution models need to understand that they will need more than one model as different models answer different questions. For example, which campaign performs best at a specific point so you can optimize for that inflection point? Or do you want to show how much pipeline or bookings marketing adds to the business compared to other departments?

Learn more about choosing the right attribution model here.

How to Build a Single-Touch Attribution Report

Single-Touch Attribution models can be fairly straightforward to build, so we’ve included a few key things to consider as you begin creating one for your business.

1. Understand What You’re Trying to Learn

There are two ways to report on single-touch attribution: first-touch lead source or last-touch opp source. Both are valuable but give different insights into the data.

  • First Touch Lead Source
    This can give a marketing team insight into which activities generate the most leads at the beginning of a customer journey, helping them to understand which efforts to focus on if their goal is to generate a higher number of quality leads at the top of the funnel.
  • Last Touch Opp Source
    This can provide a look into which activities have the highest conversion rate immediately before conversion into an opportunity. This can help a marketing team understand what efforts to focus on if their goal is to generate/influence a higher number of opportunities.

Knowing what your organization wants to understand will allow you to report on the appropriate data points to get the intended results.

2. Standardize Your Data

Before you can get started, ensure your data is properly labeled and standardized within your systems. A good mental trick is to try to imagine a basic pie chart of all your marketing activities. If the pie slices are too granular, it would be difficult to make decisions.

Start by identifying the big “groups” of marketing tactics you’re looking to report to the organization on. For example, you may want to group by “lead sources” or “campaign types” as the highest-level grouping.

3. Remember, Broad is Better

Avoid getting too specific with your groupings. For example, grouping all paid social campaigns into “Paid Social” is better than listing out “Paid Social – LinkedIn”, “Paid Social – Facebook”, etc.

When it comes to your website, group sections and content types so you have a large enough sample size to conclude. “Subscribed to Blog” is better than listing all the blogs you have. Or, classifying by “Content (gated)” or “Content (un-gated)” also works.

For events, you may have groups of campaigns such as “Tradeshows”, “Live Webinars” and “Hosted Events”. It’s not scalable to list out every event you’ll ever attend, so stay broad.

For the actual names of the events or campaigns, stay consistent with your naming convention, and keep alphabetization in mind:

FY2019-01-2020: Live Webinar – Attribution 101
FY2019-02-2020: Live Webinar – Attribution 201

— (is better than) —

Webinar (01/2020) / Attribution Webinar (live)
Live Webinar (02/2020) / Attribution Webinar 202

Here’s an example of a Single-Touch Attribution dashboard in CaliberMind:

single-touch attribution