Are you familiar with the process of tracking the origins of your customers, particularly when you lack clear information from referrals or sources?
During our discussion today, we’ll explore the concept of self-reported attribution, its importance, the gradual integration of this approach into marketing strategies, and ways to use self-reported attribution data to drive business results, increase customer engagement, and drive growth.
Table of Contents
What is attribution
Attribution, within the realm of marketing and analytics, refers to the process of attributing credit or determining the contribution of different marketing channels, touchpoints, or campaigns towards achieving a desired outcome or conversion. It involves identifying and comprehending the factors that influenced a customer’s decision to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a service, or engaging with a brand.
The primary objective of attribution is to accurately measure and assign value to various marketing efforts based on their impact on customer behavior and conversion rates. It assists businesses in:
- understanding the effectiveness of their marketing strategies;
- optimizing budget allocation;
- making informed decisions to enhance overall marketing performance.
There exist several attribution models, including:
- first-touch attribution;
- last-touch attribution;
- linear attribution;
- multitouch attribution.
Each model has its own approach to assigning credit to different touchpoints throughout the customer journey. But today we are focusing on self-reported attribution.
What is self-reported attribution
Self-reported attribution involves collecting information directly from customers regarding the sources or channels through which they became aware of and engaged with a particular company or brand. This approach involves collecting information through surveys that inquire about the customer’s source of information, as well as gathering data directly during the registration, enrollment, or purchase process. This method usually entails asking customers questions like:
“Where did you first hear about us?”
“What influenced your decision to make a purchase?”
By relying on self-reported attribution, one can potentially identify the most impactful marketing activity, as it represents the point of contact that the customer deems most memorable or significant, irrespective of which stage of the sales funnel it occurred in.
Why you need self-reported attribution
As security and privacy concerns arise, along with the proliferation of multiple devices, and complicated purchasing processes involving various decision makers, accurately assessing and quantifying the impact of marketing endeavors at digital touchpoints is becoming an arduous task.
Therefore, self-reported attribution in marketing is important for several reasons:
- Channel optimization. Self-reported attribution helps marketers identify the most effective marketing channels to reach their target audience. By understanding which channels customers believe have the greatest impact on their buying decisions, marketers can allocate their resources and budget more effectively.
- Campaign evaluation. This approach allows marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. By asking customers to report how various marketing activities influenced their buying decisions, marketers can assess which elements of their campaigns are driving conversions and which need improvement.
- Personalization and targeting. Self-reported attribution data can be used to create more personalized and targeted marketing activities. By understanding the specific factors that influence individual buyers, marketers can tailor their messages and offers so that they resonate with the target audience.
- Customer satisfaction and loyalty. Asking customers about their attribution can make them feel valued and heard. This can improve their overall impression of the brand and increase their satisfaction and loyalty. Customers appreciate when marketers show interest in their preferences, and this can lead to long-term relationships and repeat business.
How to create a “How did you hear about us?” survey
Conducting a survey that asks respondents how they heard about your business is an effective way to gather information about the various channels or sources through which customers became aware of your company. The following steps outline how to create such surveys:
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1. Determine the survey method. Decide how you will administer the survey, whether through online platforms like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or Typeform, or through in-person or phone interviews. Select a method that suits your target audience and business requirements.
2. Select a question format. You can utilize open-ended questions or multiple-choice questions, or a combination of both.
3. Design the survey question. The main question of the survey should be, “How did you hear about us?” This gives respondents the opportunity to specify or explain the exact source or channel that led them to your business. Here are some examples:
— What prompted you to find out about our company? (Open-ended question)
— Please choose the option that best describes how you discovered us:
a) Internet search
b) Social media
c) Family and friends
d) Print advertising
e) Other (multiple-choice question)
4. Include follow-up questions (optional). Depending on the context, you may want to gather additional information through follow-up questions to gain more insights about specific channels. For instance:
— If they selected “Internet search,” you can ask, “What search engine did you use?”
— If they chose “Social media,” you can inquire, “On which platform(s) did you find us?”
5. Keep the survey concise. Limit the number of questions to encourage participation and maintain respondent interest. Generally, a “How did you hear about us?” survey requires just one main question.
6. Test and refine. Prior to officially launching the survey, test it with a small group to ensure it functions properly and collects the desired data. Make necessary adjustments based on feedback.
7. Launch and analyze the survey. Distribute the survey to your target audience using the chosen method. Once sufficient responses have been collected, analyze the data to identify patterns and trends in how customers learned about your business.
Remember, the goal of this survey is to gain insights into the customer journey and optimize your marketing efforts.
Self-reported attribution allows businesses to accurately measure and assign value to different marketing efforts based on their impact on customer behavior and conversion rates. This information is crucial for optimizing budget allocation and driving business results. By identifying the most impactful marketing activity through self-reported attribution, businesses can focus their efforts on the channels and touchpoints that have the highest impact on customer engagement and growth.