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4 Full-Funnel Attribution Best Practices for a Better Customer Journey

As brands and enterprise companies diversify their marketing dollars between various channels (Facebook! Google! TikTok!), the modern customer journey is rarely straightforward. A potential customer may view a Facebook post, watch a Youtube commercial, click a Google ad, sign up for a newsletter to get 10% off, and scroll through a company’s reviews — all before taking the plunge and making a purchase. This is just one example of a customer journey that may lead to a conversion. But make no mistake: the journey is rarely the same.

As a result, accurately crediting each marketing touchpoint for an online conversion is no simple task. It’s all too easy for marketers to end up with inaccurate data that leads them to spend more on a lackluster campaign. Here’s where attribution models come in: choosing the right attribution model can help you accurately map customers’ interactions with each channel — and subsequently craft more effective campaigns.

One popular model is full-funnel attribution, where each touchpoint across the entire sales cycle gets assigned an equal value. It’s a great model for marketers who want to take a holistic, high-level look at their digital mix. 

Ready to try it for yourself? We compiled four best practices to help you implement a full-funnel strategy and improve your customer journey.


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1. Share the Attention Between Your Touchpoints

You know the feeling when you dedicate weeks, perhaps even months, to a digital marketing campaign, only to see it struggle to nudge your company’s sales upwards? Or, maybe you’ve spent half of your budget recruiting influencers to promote a product launch, but you only hear crickets — instead of buzz — on the big day? It’s disappointing when creative ideas and strategic plans fail to deliver ROI. 

It’s possible you’re devoting too much time, energy, and resources into one part of the funnel, such as the initial stages of awareness and consideration — while neglecting the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, which is equally important in driving conversions. For a full-funnel attribution model, you need to divide your efforts evenly between each part of the customer’s purchase cycle: create online ads to drive brand awareness, use retargeting tools to nurture interest, promote limited-time deals to drive desire, and eventually convert these leads into customers. 

2. Transform Your Existing Customers into New Customers 

Full-funnel attribution is occasionally called linear attribution, but that’s a little misleading:  Customer journeys are never linear with a clearcut start and end. Converting a lead into a customer marks the beginning of an exciting new opportunity — not the end.

To transform your existing customers into loyal followers, marketers must spend the time and resources to nurture the relationship. Thank them for supporting your company, whether it’s through special VIP events, exclusive branded content, or freebies and discounts. (Everyone loves free stuff!) It’s much easier to remarket to your existing customers, who are high-quality leads, than spending the effort to continually chase new ones. You can use tactics and emotional pulls similar to your broader marketing funnel, but be sure to start them off at the consideration stage as they’re already familiar with your brand. 

Pro tip: When developing a “micro-funnel” for your existing customers, make sure to leverage customer analytics. This will help you understand who they are, what they want, and why they want it. Then, you can craft the perfect strategy to compel them to come back for more. 

3. Harness Technological Tools 

Today’s marketers are inundated with channels and platforms — social media pages, blogs, websites, videos, email campaigns, and branded ads are just the tip of the iceberg. (Put it this way: it’s a lot of tabs to keep open.) With a full-funnel attribution model, each of your marketing platforms should be treated equally. More importantly, they should work in harmony. 

It can be challenging to see how your disaggregated efforts fit together to support the broader marketing strategy. Here’s where a comprehensive tech stack comes in: Marketers need to choose the best tools and integrations to gather the most useful analytics from each platform. This helps understand how their touchpoints contribute to the customer journey, whether it’s a platform for social media, email marketing, reputation management, or all of the above. These tools can quickly spit out charts, datasets, and insights to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. 

Don’t want to struggle with a separate tool for each of your touchpoints? Consider adopting a marketing attribution platform, where you can review and manage all of your data in one place and ensure you’re covering every step of the funnel. 

4. Rally the Team

Every tech tool you adopt will tell a distinct chapter of a larger narrative. Suppose your marketing efforts are divided between teams that specialize in social media, branding, or video. In that case, it’s likely that everyone is focused on their deliverables without completely grasping the whole story. 

With a full-funnel approach, every marketing and sales team will need to sync up. Because each marketing channel has equal weight, teams must support one another’s production process and standardize the brand identity, helping customers form a positive impression of a brand wherever they enter the funnel. Plus, sales representatives will need to pay close attention to the marketing team’s unique campaigns to better close sales. At the end of the day, all sides will need to grasp the big picture. 

Analyze, Experiment, and Improve

As a marketer, you’re under tremendous pressure to demonstrate ROI and prove to your company’s executives that their marketing dollars are well-spent. After all, nobody wants a budget cut. A full-funnel attribution model is a great way to get an informed understanding of how effectively your overall marketing strategy contributes to conversions. 

Once you’ve strategized, implemented, and analyzed a complete round of full-funnel marketing, you can then experiment with new marketing ideas and see if there is any difference in impact. Remember: it may be time for a resource reallocation if specific channels aren’t working as a touchpoint in attracting high-quality leads or assisting leads down the funnel to drive revenue for your brand. 

Our recommendation:

Check out The Best Marketing Analytics Tools & Software for 202‍ Alternatives and Competitors in 2023

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