5 reasons to move to a multi-touch attribution model

June 1, 2018


Since the very beginning, success of online channels has always been judged on a last-click model. In our discovery of demonstrating the value of affiliate traffic on a non-last click basis, some of our clients have since moved to a Multi-touch Attribution model.

This article is about how we built our own data-driven SaaS platform, which is supported by a team of Business Intelligence analysts, servicing the likes of Harveys, HMV, Best Western, Thorntons and Auto Trader.


The Story of How We Got Here

More than ever budgets are scrutinised and transparency has become king. Clients want to explicitly see how each media deal, every promotion, and commission increase has bought on an incremental benefit to the business. And rightfully so, anyone would.

We’re no longer talking about recording this in silos (i.e. what has that done in ad networks) – no. We’re talking about the overall benefit this made across the whole marketing mix.

As an affiliate agency wishing to evolve beyond offering just affiliate services, R.O.EYE needed to move away from just looking at a ‘last-click’ attribution model. Being called R.O.EYE meant it was our duty to find new ways to demonstrate the value that we bring as an agency across all parts of the customer journey – not just last. Essentially, we wanted to know what was driving customers at the top of the sales funnel, and what was keeping them engaged on the full journey path across to sale.

As a result of the lethargy in the affiliate sector to undertake such an initiative, R.O.EYE decided to build its own technology to begin tracking and understanding the true value of affiliates. The journey began in Jan 2016, and before long, after a number of development cycles, our unique platform has the ability to track the value of virtually any form of digital (and offline) marketing, and report back the ROI and ROAS. This is across every metric, drilling down into new levels, such keywords, creative, and so forth.

Whilst the platform was initially built as an in-house media planning, buying and tracking solution, clients quickly realised that they could use it to measure the performance of all of their digital marketing activity using a central dashboard. The tool has now evolved to the point whereby it can track all activity on an AI-driven attribution engine to inform advertisers how they should be deploying their advertising budgets. This is across all channels and is entirely GDPR compliant.

Why this is important

In the time that we’ve been looking at a MTA model, it’s changing the way that R.O.EYE are managing and growing campaigns.

Our view is that if you’re only looking at last click, you’re only looking at the end of the story. Imagine watching the last 15 minutes of your favourite film or reading the last two chapters of your favourite book…

The multi-touch attribution model has enabled us to see campaigns with fresh eyes, with the following advantages:

  • 1. Collate more data:
    • More data-points = a fuller picture of what online channels are doing.
  • 2. Greater insight:
    • More touch-points acknowledged and attributed = more insight. Having our own data platform ensures there’s Last touch bias or reliant on only Google’s ‘version of the truth’ 
  • 3. Better use of budgets:
    • A fuller picture of how marketing tactics are performing informs the budget and answers with a bit more pomp: “Where should I spend my next £/$/€?”
  • 4. Greater automation:
    • The model constantly evolves and recommends where money should be raised or decreased across multiple marketing channels. E.g. Marrying PPC campaigns with analytics data
  • 5. Reward accordingly:
    • Instead of having a default commission for affiliates individuarates can be given based on their net contribution to the sale


The future is here

2018 will see Google, Facebook and Amazon all launch their own attribution platforms and there will be continual nudges to start recommending new ways of attributing spend to marketing channels. These companies will likely demonstrate bias in the fact that it’ll be highly unlikely a data-driven Google attribution tool will suggest that adspend should be redirected towards Facebook.

We see our agnostic system as a huge opportunity – corporate advertisers who are actively investing in 3+ media channels who require an independent solution to audit what their other platforms are telling them.

Many digital figureheads, publications and websites are calling 2018 the year of attribution, and I must say that I agree with them.
Chris Blower – Head of Business Development

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