What Types of Questions Can Marketing Attribution Answer?

Published On: 17 Jun 2023


Discover how marketing attribution unravels key insights into your marketing strategy. Learn what types of questions it can answer in our latest blog.

The digital landscape has experienced exponential growth, with online retail sales predicted to reach $6.54 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. However, this rampant growth also comes with increased competition and complexity. For businesses to navigate these digital waters successfully, the implementation of advanced tools like marketing attribution becomes not just advantageous, but necessary.

Marketing attribution, as defined by the industry expert Neil Patel, is "the science of determining what marketing tactics are contributing to the success or failure of your business.'

It illuminates the otherwise darkened path that customers take from their first contact with your brand to the eventual purchase. This pathway is not a straight line—it's a convoluted journey through various touchpoints that all contribute to the final sale.

Why is this important?

According to a study by Google, about 90% of shopping enthusiasts (those who shop at least once a week) say they discover new products or brands through YouTube. This suggests the influence of various channels and the power of a multi-touch customer journey. So, understanding the intricate web of customer touchpoints is more than just informational—it's the key to unlocking ecommerce success.

In this post, we'll explore the various questions that marketing attribution can answer, ultimately showcasing its integral role in driving forward an effective and efficient ecommerce strategy. Let's delve into the complex world of marketing attribution, unravel the threads that bind customer journeys, and harness the power of insightful data to shape a brighter future for your ecommerce business.

Key Questions Answered by Marketing Attribution

1) Which Marketing Channels are Most Effective?

One of the most crucial questions that marketing attribution can answer is the identification of the most effective marketing channels. With the diverse array of platforms available today, from social media channels like Facebook and Instagram to search engines like Google and Bing, it can be overwhelming for marketers to determine where to focus their efforts. Marketing attribution helps cut through this confusion by clearly indicating which channels lead to the most conversions.

Understanding channel effectiveness is not just about looking at the final touchpoint before purchase. Instead, it's about recognizing the value of each channel in the customer's journey. For example, a customer might discover a product through a Facebook ad (first touch), read about it in an email newsletter (middle touch), and finally, make a purchase after clicking on a Google Ad (last touch). In this case, all three channels play a crucial role in guiding the customer's decision-making process.

Marketing attribution models can help determine the effectiveness of these channels. For instance, a last-touch attribution model would assign all credit to the Google Ad. However, a multi-touch attribution model, like linear or time-decay, would distribute the credit among all touchpoints, providing a holistic understanding of the customer journey.

Analyzing this data enables ecommerce businesses to determine which channels drive the most value and thus, deserve more investment. If Instagram ads are constantly the first touchpoint for most customers, increasing spending on this platform might be worthwhile to reach a larger audience. Similarly, if email newsletters consistently facilitate conversions, it could be beneficial to invest in improving email marketing strategies.

By understanding the effectiveness of different marketing channels, businesses can strategically allocate resources and optimize campaigns to enhance their overall marketing performance. This strategy can ultimately lead to a higher return on investment (ROI) and better customer engagement. Marketing attribution, therefore, not only answers the question of which channels are most effective but also provides a roadmap for improving overall marketing strategies.

2) How Does Each Marketing Touchpoint Contribute to Sales?

Marketing attribution helps ecommerce businesses understand the specific contributions of each touchpoint within the customer's journey. A 'touchpoint' can be defined as any interaction a potential customer has with a brand, product, or service. This could include seeing a social media post, clicking on a PPC ad, reading an email newsletter, or visiting a product page on a website.

In today's digital landscape, a customer's journey to purchase is rarely linear. It often includes multiple touchpoints across various channels. For instance, a customer might first become aware of a product through a social media post, then read a blog post about it on the company's website, receive an email offering a discount, and finally make a purchase after clicking on a retargeting ad.

By using marketing attribution models, businesses can assign value to each of these touchpoints, giving them insight into how each one contributes to the final sale. For example, in a first-touch attribution model, all the credit for a sale would go to the first touchpoint - in this case, the social media post. On the other hand, a linear attribution model would distribute the credit equally among all touchpoints.

The goal is to identify which touchpoints are most influential in driving conversions. This knowledge can guide a company's marketing strategy, helping them focus on the channels and tactics that have the most significant impact. For example, if a business finds that itsemail marketing campaigns are a consistent touchpoint before a purchase, it might decide to invest more in developing engaging email content.

It's also essential to note that the contribution of touchpoints can change over time as consumer behaviors and market dynamics shift. Therefore, it's crucial to regularly review and adjust attribution models to ensure they continue to accurately reflect the customer journey.

3) What is the Customer Journey Like?

By utilizing marketing attribution, businesses can map out and understand the unique journey that customers take before making a purchase. The customer journey refers to the process that a customer goes through, from first becoming aware of a brand or product, to the final act of making a purchase, and even beyond to post-purchase interactions.

In the context of ecommerce, a customer journey can span multiple channels and touchpoints. It might start with a social media ad, followed by a visit to the brand's website, an email newsletter subscription, a product review read, a click on a retargeted ad, and finally, a purchase. Some journeys may be simpler, while others can be more complex involving numerous touchpoints over extended periods.

With the aid of marketing attribution, ecommerce businesses can trace this journey, attributing value to each touchpoint that eventually leads to a sale. This comprehensive view not only reveals what the average customer journey looks like but also uncovers variations among different customer segments.

For instance, a business might discover that younger customers typically discover their products through social media and rely heavily on customer reviews before making a purchase. In contrast, older customers might first encounter the brand through organic search, and email newsletters play a significant role in their decision-making process.

Understanding these nuances helps ecommerce businesses tailor their marketing efforts to meet the specific needs and preferences of different customer segments. It also aids in identifying potential bottlenecks or gaps in the customer journey where customers might be dropping off or losing interest.

4) How to Optimize Marketing Spend?

Marketing attribution provides invaluable insights that can guide businesses in optimizing their marketing budget for maximum return on investment (ROI). In an era where marketing channels are abundant and customer journeys are complex, understanding where to invest your marketing dollars can be a daunting task.

Optimization of marketing spend involves allocating budget across different channels in a manner that maximizes the effectiveness of each dollar spent. The goal is to invest more in channels and tactics that drive conversions and less in those that don't.

This is where marketing attribution comes into play. By attributing value to each touchpoint along the customer journey, businesses can identify which marketing activities are contributing most to revenue generation. For example, if an ecommerce business finds that its Google Ads campaigns consistently drive the most conversions, it would make sense to allocate more budget towards this channel.

However, it's important to note that the highest-performing channel in terms of conversions might not always be the most cost-effective. If, for instance, Instagram Ads generate fewer conversions but at a lower cost per acquisition, it might be more cost-effective to increase spending on this channel.

Moreover, it's essential to understand that customer journeys often involve multiple touchpoints across several channels. Therefore, while a particular channel might appear less effective when viewed in isolation, it could play a crucial role when considered as part of a broader, multi-touch journey. For example, social media posts might rarely be the final touchpoint leading to a purchase, but they could be vital in raising brand awareness and driving potential customers to the website.

5) How to Personalize Marketing Efforts?

Marketing attribution answers the question of how to personalize marketing efforts to align better with individual customer behaviors. In the era of ecommerce, personalization is more than just a buzzword — it's a necessity. A study from Epsilon revealed that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

Marketing attribution helps in understanding the unique journeys of different customer segments, providing valuable insights into their behaviors, preferences, and needs. It can identify patterns like the most common paths to purchase, the touchpoints that hold the most influence, and the channels that are most effective for different groups.

For instance, if an ecommerce business finds through attribution data that younger customers often interact with their brand through Instagram and that these interactions frequently lead to sales, they could tailor their marketing strategy to better cater to this demographic. This could involve personalizing Instagram ads to feature products popular among younger customers or offering exclusive promotions via this platform.

Similarly, if the data reveals that email marketing significantly influences a particular customer segment, the business could personalize its email campaigns for this group. This could involve customizing the content, timing, or frequency of emails to better align with the preferences of these customers.

Additionally, understanding the customer journey can also aid in personalizing the shopping experience on the ecommerce website itself. For example, if attribution data shows that customers often view multiple related products before making a purchase, the business could incorporate personalized product recommendations to facilitate this exploratory behavior.

In essence, marketing attribution provides a roadmap to personalization. Offering deep insights into customer behavior and preferences, it equips businesses with the knowledge to tailor their marketing efforts for different customer segments. This not only enhances the customer experience but also drives engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, sales.


As we've explored throughout this blog post, marketing attribution holds the keys to a trove of critical insights that can significantly enhance ecommerce strategies and operations. From identifying the most effective marketing channels to understanding the unique customer journey to optimizing marketing spend, and personalizing marketing efforts, attribution is the compass that guides businesses through the complex landscape of modern ecommerce.

However, to leverage the full power of marketing attribution, it's important to have a tool that can accurately track and analyze your data across all touchpoints and channels. This is where Lifesight comes in. Designed with cutting-edge technology and an intuitive interface, Lifesight offers you a comprehensive, user-friendly solution for your marketing attribution needs.

Lifesight enables you to visualize and understand your customer journeys in unparalleled detail, shedding light on the touchpoints and channels that drive conversions. It allows you to assess the performance of your marketing initiatives with precision, so you can allocate your resources in the most effective way possible. Moreover, Lifesight provides valuable insights that can help you personalize your marketing efforts to better resonate with your different customer segments.

By signing up for Lifesight, you're not just investing in a marketing attribution tool. You're investing in a future of data-driven decisions, a future of increased ROI, and a future where you truly understand your customer's journey. You're investing in the growth and success of your ecommerce business.

So why wait? Dive into the world of marketing attribution with Lifesight, and start transforming your customer insights into tangible growth today. The path to ecommerce success is just a click away. Let Lifesight be your guide.

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