It is more important to have a big picture of all the channels that work together to contribute to sales than spending gobs of time attributing leads/sales to first-click or last-click. Instead, go with the multi-touch method.
Think of it like the Mississippi River. If you dyed each tributary a different color, by the time you got to the Gulf of Mexico the river would just be brown. You know each tributary and its volume, but it’s hard to attribute one molecule at the mouth of the river to a specific tributary. Just like in sales, impacting the total volume is what counts the most!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t know your lead channels and how they impact sales. Knowing all the advertising channels that make up the buyer’s journey from initial interest to sale is important, especially as the market changes. And we do want to monitor a marketing source’s contribution so we can control the flow of leads like a river’s dam. It's best to understand that all the channels have some impact on sales, and the data collection for first or last touch attribution is inherently flawed, especially if you rely on your sales agents to assign attribution in your CRM, which we all do.
Use analytics to monitor all the top of funnel channels (tributaries) regularly. You will start to see trends as things change. Tactical marketers should be in analytics weekly looking at how Facebook, Google, and Syndication impact the traffic to your site. You should also be looking at your goal conversions. The magic three are website form submissions, first-time phone calls, and first-time text messages. You should be certain that you are providing enough leads for your online sales team to set the number of appointments needed to hit their sales goals.
Here is a quick breakdown:
1. A healthy website should have 1-3% of its new users submitting a form, calling, or texting the OSC.
2. 20-25% of those leads should set an appointment (Leads should be 4-5X appt goal)
3. 30-35% of the appointments should submit a contract. (Appt. should be ~3X sales goal)
While marketers do not have direct control over items 2 and 3, number 1 is our prime directive. Your company’s ratios for number 2 may vary, but you should know exactly what they are, so you know when to adjust the flow of leads and by how much.
Knowing which floodgates to adjust comes by watching how your team of advertising sources impact both the top and the bottom of your funnel in real-time with market context. An example of this would be that in 2019 syndication was vital to selling inventory homes, but in 2021, there were not many inventory homes, so syndication did not play as big of a role in contributing to sales. And now a lot of builders are only selling inventory, but they are selling before construction is complete, so syndication is still not vital.
Be a marketer who sees the frontline of the market changes by monitoring your advertising sources and their impact on traffic, leads, and sales, so you can keep your advertising sources working in harmony. Avoid jumping down the rabbit hole of trying to perfectly assign first-touch or last-touch attribution because the data will never be perfect.