“Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Most people know this phrase from John Wanamaker, the department magnate from the early 1900’s. What many don’t know is that, for the most part, we can eliminate that problem now in the 21st century. We do this through marketing attribution and making even offline marketing – digital.

What is marketing attribution?

According to wikipedia: Attribution is the process of identifying actions or touchpoints that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning a value to each of these events.

Why is marketing attribution important?

This seems like a simple enough answer, right? You can attribute your advertising dollars to what brought in sales. Actually, it goes deeper than that. In a Google AdWords study they showed that a car buyer took 90 touches online to purchase a car.

Sales people attribute their effort in the dealership as the reason the person closed. Whereas a marketer will wonder if it was the signage, TV ads, Facebook, or print specials that brought them into the dealership for the sales person to close them.

The truth is all and none of that are true at the same time. It’s true because all those things were necessary to influence and inform the buyer. But, they’re untrue because you had no control over what information would do it. Because of the internet, the power is in the buyer’s hands.

What we can do as marketers is create as much of the content that we want our potential buyers to find. Then make as many touchpoints as we can and track those touchpoints from beginning to end.

How can marketing attribution be achieved?

We track attribution through a number of channels including Google Adwords and using campaigns in SharpSpring. This gives us the ability to see where every lead is coming from using UTM codes.

If you’re not familiar with UTM codes, here’s a quick breakdown. A UTM code is a simple code that you put at the end of your URL to track which source a campaign came from. In Google analytics you can track it from referrers, in SharpSpring you can have a visual breakdown of each of your campaigns.

For more information on why we use SharpSpring visit our Inbound Marketing PageSharpSpring Campaigns

Even if the campaign is offline, using unique URLs will help you measure the ROI of any marketing campaign who’s goal is to increase leads.

Every marketer wants to know where their time and money is being spent. Every sales person wants to increase the number of leads they get. Of course, every executive or business owner wants to know how to grow the fastest for the least cost. If you’re any of these people and you want to learn how you can start marketing smarter, look at using attribution as a means to that. If you don’t know how you can implement it in your business, contact us and we’d be happy to help.

Published 08/22/16 by Eric Lynch