10 Marketing Challenges Solved by Marketing Attribution [with BONUS]

Solving Marketing Challenges by Marketing Attribution like playing chess

Where digital marketing has completely changed the dynamics of marketing and advertising in the past few years, there are some serious challenges that have been brought out in the digital marketing world.

Many of these challenges are widely considered as the measurement or tracking issue rather than the marketing performance issue. In order to solve most of the significant marketing challenges relating to measurement and performance analysis, marketing attribution modeling has been proven to be very effective.

Here we are going to discuss 10 critical marketing challenges which have been solved by marketing attribution modeling. These issues have critical impacts of marketing performance management which are mainly solved using multi-touch attribution modeling.

Let’s discuss each of these important challenges one by one along with how marketing attribution modeling helps to overcome these challenges.


10 Marketing Attribution Challenges in 2023

These 10 marketing challenges are acquired from various marketing case studies and experts and have been generalized to fit with most of the businesses and marketing.


1. Attributing ROI to Marketing

It has always been a critical challenge for CMOs and marketers to accurately analyze the ROI of their marketing campaigns and efforts. There are two main reasons why it is such a difficult challenge.

The first is the use of a single-touch attribution model and second is the fact that marketing and sales teams are not aligned properly. This makes it extremely hard to not only justify the marketing performance in terms of revenues, but it also restricts the teams to properly allocate the budget – more on this later.

By using the multi-touch attribution modeling, you cannot only be able to analyze all the touch points and channels, but you can also analyze the proper returns from each channel and overall as well. This way, you do not only get the accurate ROI but also the segmented ROI as well.

Using multi-touch attribution, the challenge of attributing ROI to marketing, which is mainly a measurement issue rather than a performance issue, has been resolved for many organizations.


2. Multi-Channel Campaign with a better approach

Marketers mostly keep their focus on single marketing channel for campaigns and even if their efforts are in multiple channels, they focus on each channel individually and separately. However, the actual success and data come from the multi-channel approach.

By using proper marketing attribution, the infamous single channel bias can be logically eliminated along with the implication of a better holistic approach in which all the sufficient marketing channels can be properly utilized for a successful marketing campaign based on the data analysis.

3. Customer
Journey Mapping

It is almost essential for every digital business to map an effective customer journey based on the accurate touch points and customer’s level of engagement with them, leading towards conversion. However, it is not as easy as it sounds, because of insufficient data of all the touch points and channels.

Mapping a customer journey requires sufficient data of touch points which are getting customers’ engagement and they are interacting with these certain touch points which lead the towards conversions.

This requires the data from all the touch points and channels, after which an effective customer journey can be put in place.

For this challenge, integrating the most suitable multi-touch attribution model cannot only provide accurate data for the analysis and making better decisions about mapping customer journeys but it can also help in testing various touch-points out without much of a hassle.


4. Ability to understand customers’ journey and making better improvements

Like we mentioned earlier that mapping customer journey is essential, but it is a continuous process which requires continuous testing. You cannot just put one journey mapped in and except it to work for your benefit.

By using multi-touch attribution, you get to see how each touch point is performing and you can also test the changes you are making in these touch points. The most important part of Conversion Rate Optimization is testing and marketing attribution makes it easy and more effective to analyze.


5. Making Marketing Performance management Easier

Another significant challenge which many marketers face is the management of their marketing performance. It gets really frustrating if you cannot analyze which channels are working for which type of audience and how your campaign is performing overall.

This can restrict you to attribute your ROI as well as the overall marketing performance with the revenues or profits. Either you can rely on your gut feeling and keep spending on campaigns like you have always been or start using multi-touch attribution.

In this problem, multi-touch marketing attribution tells you which channels are performing well and which are not, so that you can improve your efforts on the weak channels or start focusing more on the effective channels.

It also helps in getting the accurate ROI of each channel by which your marketing performance management gets better.


6. Better Utilization of Marketing Budget

Commonly, marketers focus on specific channels which are either the ones which almost everyone is using or those which have been proved to be successful for them. Using this method, they put most or all the budget on those channels without properly knowing the results.

This might work for some businesses but not being able to fully measure the performance of all the channels creates a gap. It is completely possible that the channel on which most of the budget is being utilized is actually not the most converting channel for the business.

The marketer or CMO can only know about this if they use multi-touch attribution. Using the right model, they cannot only figure out the best touch points and channels for their marketing campaigns, but it will help them to allocate the budget on channels and touch points which truly do matter the most.


7. Measuring the impact of Brand Marketing

It is one of the most challenging tasks for marketers to measure the ROI and effectiveness of brand marketing. However, we all understand that brand marketing is one of the most important parts of any business which cannot be neglected.

However, using the multi-touch attribution, it can become easier to measure the impact of brand marketing. The beauty of multi-touch attribution modeling is that it allows marketers to not only analyze and measure all the online channels, but it also helps in measuring the impact of marketing taking place via offline marketing channels – more on this in the next section.

So, using multi-touch attribution marketers can see the impact of brand marketing by analyzing the direct channels and survey results which are made to analyze the brand awareness among the audiences.


8. Measuring Offline Channels

As mentioned above, marketers often find it hard to measure the impact of offline marketing and mostly rely on online channels which are easier to track and measure. However, a lot of marketing is done via the offline channels. So, it is wise to combine offline channels with online channels.

So, in order to analyze the offline channels and their ROI in an accurate manner, multi-touch attribution plays a crucial role. It helps in measuring the overall CLV and CPL of the users, which is essential to measure the ROI.


9. Analyzing CLV accurately

CLV or Customer’s Lifetime Value is the key for long-term success and growth in terms of revenue. Analyzing the accurate CLV helps to measure the potential value of a customer, not only for the next transaction but for the overall course of their life as your customer.

It is definitely as difficult as it sounds, which is why it is another significant challenge for marketers. Thankfully multi-touch attribution also solves this problem for marketers and helps them to measure the actual CLV of their customers which helps in the long-term growth.

However, it demands continuous testing and analysis to crack the true CLV of the customers even with multi-touch attribution.


10. Measuring Actual CPL

Most of the marketers decide their CPL (Cost Per Lead) based on the budget they have which apparently seems reasonable. However, it does not necessarily provide the best CPL for the campaign.

It is like, if you set the maximum CPL of $100 for your campaign and you are getting less converting leads, then it is wise to invest more on better leads down the funnel which are more converting, even if they have higher CPL.

This increases the overall CLV which benefits the business in the longer run. So, using multi-touch attribution, you can actually get the best CPL, despite the fact that it may seem a little more expensive, it would be accurate for better business growth as it will help you acquire better leads with more CLV.



Another significant challenge that marketers face is the utilization of the best performing channels for future campaigns and marketing activities. The main reason for this is the insufficient data that marketers get from their past campaigns.

Using the multi-touch attribution, marketers would not only have better analysis and detailed measurement of the current marketing campaigns, but they will have the reliable data, on the basis of which they can easily predict the results of their future campaigns and plan better.



Four Stages of Attribution Modelling in 2023: Key Challenges

One thing was consistent across all the marketers we talked to: The desire to become more digital and to squeeze more revenue out of the marketing investment.

Of course, the bigger it is, the more likely the C-Suite is looking at marketing ROI. We see a huge potential for marketers from category 1 and category 2 to move into category 3 and 4 in the near future.

Being able to significantly influence and steer the movement of sales in a predictable way by adjusting and redistributing the marketing budget across channels and campaigns is the dream of every marketer.

At Windsor.ai, our team managed to talk with many leaders in Digital Marketing, whose companies are at different stages of data-driven decision making and implementation of Attribution Modelling. I would like to share our findings and the key challenges of four categories that have been observed:


  1. We don’t use attribution but we should get started ASAP

Marketers in this category often work in Financial Services (Credit Cards, Insurance), Automotive, or Consumer Electronics, especially in companies which have been around for a long time and traditionally have had healthy margins. Often the media-buy here is distributed across multiple agencies


The key challenges of this group of marketers are:

1) Internal alignment and alignment with agency is perceived to be a showstopper (elaborate on how this affects end goal, likewise for the other challenges)

2) Technical marketing analytics-skill set in-house

3) Ownership of data across different teams (Acquisition, CRM, …)

4) Legacy systems in place

Interestingly >90% of the larger organizations have a proper tagging and tracking system in place, meaning they sit on untapped gold mines. Analytics have been integrated by most of these companies and have collected data for a long time. This makes it very easy to move forward much faster than expected when getting started with attribution.


  1. We use Last-Click Attribution

Marketers in this category can often be found in Hospitality, eCommerce, Travel and some FMCG companies with a mid-range margin. Often, the companies start moving a part of the media-buy in-house, have full transparency over the numbers and work with agencies to do the programmatic media buys.


The key challenges of this group of marketers are:

1) Understanding how social and upper funnel activities affect conversions

2) Measuring the impact of impressions/views from mid-funnel activities

3) Uncertainty of media-spend allocation especially as it is heavily biased towards the SEM/SEA side

4) Integration of programmatic data into the conversion journey

The fact that last-click modelling can be applied means that the tagging and tracking is properly set-up. The next logical step of multi-touch attribution (MTA) is easily achievable. With common CRM and marketing automation systems like Salesforce and Marketo in place it would even be simple to do online to offline attribution modelling using the actual sales revenues.


  1. We use an independent attribution software

Marketers in this category are mostly found in Europe and North America and most of them are either agency professionals which have clients with a significant online ad-spend or companies which hired a team of ex-agency professionals to move the media-buy totally in-house. Marketers in this category are mostly running “always-on campaigns” with a significant spend and usually the margins in their industries are low and the volume is very high.


The key challenges of this group of marketers are:

1) The investment it takes internally and externally with adding tracking and tagging on all these pages repeatedly is very high

2) Global head-office purchased a nice multi-touch attribution solution, but no-one actually knows how to use it in the region and the support desk is somewhere far away.

3) The model used is a black-box and we don’t exactly know based on what criteria it analyzes the performance of channels.

Nowadays tracking and tagging technologies offered by existing solutions currently available are installed in all of the cases helping to remove complexities around additional tracking when moving to this stage. Challenge 2 and 3 are again dependent on choice of vendor and location of the marketing analytics team.


  1. We have an agency doing custom modelling for us or have a data-science team doing our own models

Marketers in this category are either the top ecommerce spenders having a large in-house marketing analytics team or advertisers which run large multi-million dollar campaigns within a certain time window.


The biggest challenges we see here are:

1) The data is modelled done on a project basis, additional costs are required to re-run and tweak the model

2) The data-scientist which built the models to run the attribution leaves the company and the replacement wants to build a new model or is not familiar with the code

3) The management tells the data-scientist to change the model frequently, making it hard to measure impact over time

Marketers in this category were at one point confronted with a make or buy decision. Reasons for choosing make might be that the technology stack is built in-house which makes it hard to integrate an attribution software relying on standard API’s or just simply that at the time when the decision was made, there was no attribution solution out there which would be able to do modelling to an extent which was expected.



Final Words

In the digital age we live in today, marketing has become more data and analysis focused, for which having the right marketing technology is essential. For this, multi-touch attribution plays a crucial role and solves various significant challenges that most of the marketers face.

Do let us know which of these challenges do you face and how did multi-touch attribution help you if you have used it? You can drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook!