by Stan Pavlovsky, Chief Revenue Officer
April 03, 2020 14:47
Revenue Attribution: Tying Marketing ROI To Business Results

Revenue attribution: it allows marketers to reliably identify which campaigns are the source of incoming business revenue. However, many marketers today are still not using revenue attribution to its full capabilities. 

Do you want to know what revenue attribution is, why it’s used, and how it can boost your business efficiency and revenues? Read on, because this article is for you. 

What is Revenue attribution?

Revenue attribution is the process of crediting a conversion or sale to a specific channel or marketing action. The most basic example of this is a promotional email that directly led to a web purchase. The attribution is pretty clear: the customer received the email, clicked on the link, and purchased the item. Therefore, the revenue for this sale—and other sales like it—is accredited to this specific email campaign.

Revenue attribution is key to accurately measuring and reporting campaign performance. It gives CMOs hard numbers with which they can prove marketing ROI.

Revenue attribution models: who gets credit?

Marketers have many marketing channels active at the same time and oftentimes customers will encounter multiple marketing channels over the course of their purchase. So how do you measure which one gets credit for the sale?

There are different attribution models in place, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.


  • First-touch revenue attribution.

This model gives credit to the first touch point a customer encounters. It assumes that the first touch point is what makes the customer aware of your brand and is what starts them down the path to the sale. The problem with this method is that it can overemphasize how important the awareness stage of the funnel is. It’s also susceptible to errors, since the true “first-touch” could have been offline or otherwise untrackable, such as word of mouth


  • Last-touch revenue attribution. 

The last-touch model credits the sale to the last recorded touch point. It’s the simplest revenue attribution model to measure by far, and is what many attribution tools default to. Much like the First-Touch Revenue Attribution model, revenue using the Last-Touch Revenue Attribution model can also easily be attributed to inaccurate sources. For example, if a customer encounters your booth at a tradeshow and then goes to your website to do the purchase, it’s the website that gets the credit for the sale - even though the tradeshow had the most influence.


  • Multi-touch revenue attribution. 

This revenue attribution model keeps track of every touch point the customer encounters over the course of the buying cycle and gives credit to each. The amount of credit for each touch point varies based on whatever variant of multi-touch attribution you’re using. Plus, it’s potentially more accurate than the other two methods as it offers a greater insight as to  which marketing assets are influencing the overall buying decision.

The missing link in revenue attribution: what other marketers don’t know;

Most of the methods listed above require some sort of online or digital component in order to capture the required data: website tracking, an online form, or a specific landing page. Offline touch points like print ads, tradeshows, or even word of mouth are overlooked. So how can brands aggregate all that information to find out which of these touch points contributed to the sale?

A proper inbound call tracking solution will do all this and more.

Retreaver has the capability to monitor all of your marketing channels seamlessly by combining your valuable data in one place. Modern call tracking solutions like Retreaver generate unique phone numbers that you assign to both digital and offline campaigns, and tie them into your marketing automation system. You get an accurate picture of actual campaign performance, and your agent doesn’t have to risk wasting your customer’s time asking intrusive questions. View our article covering the Benefits of Call Tracking With Retreaver to learn more.

Visit Retreaver to learn more about how call tracking contributes to your marketing ROI.

Start Tracking With Retreaver Today.