May 7, 2019

Attribution: The Key to Understanding and Motivating Audiences

Photo of people sitting in front of a window

What is attribution?

According to Forbes Research, “most CMOs still struggle to quantify and communicate the value marketing creates to their leadership, peers and partners.”

Attribution is an attempt to rectify that.

From online searches to in-office appointments, Facebook likes to conversations over Sunday dinner, your patients may have learned about your brand, and been convinced to try it, by any number of possible touch points.

Attribution is the effort to understand what marketing touch points affect a patient along their journey, and to what degrees.

“In our daily work,” says Intouch Media director Abby Dugan, “clients task our teams with not just creating campaigns that provide a surround-sound approach all along the patient or HCP’s journey, but also to provide granular metrics on the performance of this work.”

How did a patient first hear of your brand? How did they learn more about it? How were they convinced? How did the final decision happen? Where were these moments, and what made them work?

For any marketer, these questions are complicated, but for healthcare marketers, the complication is compounded. This isn’t a decision to buy a pair of sneakers or a box of cookies. It’s a decision about someone’s health, and it can be affected by their healthcare professionals, their caretakers, their family and friends, the media they consume, the health insurance plan they have.

But being able to accurately attribute action to its causes is the opportunity to truly know your customer and your marketing. Rather than seeing only the end result – have they tried you or not? – and being in the dark about the process, attribution gives marketers visibility into the process. What helped them know more about you? What was most helpful? What wasn’t?

This is, of course, more than just academically interesting. “The ability to better identify how, where, and when to optimize your channel mix will yield success in not just meeting, but exceeding campaign goals,” says Dugan.

As digital marketing becomes ever more capable, attribution becomes ever more granular. We have the tools to do – and learn – what marketers a decade ago could only dream of doing or learning.

Engaging Intouch Analytics’ advanced analytics offerings, such as attribution modeling, allows our team to report to our clients how various touch points work. The attribution model provides a mapping of how the various channels engaged in a campaign impacted the KPI. We can identify whether the effort assisted in driving to a key conversion, or if the channel was the final touch point that resulted in a critical action or fulfillment of a KPI. Ultimately, attribution modeling allows our teams to better identify how to amplify the right message to the most engaging channel mix.  — Abby Dugan, Media Director, Intouch Media

As with anything worthwhile, successful attribution doesn’t come easy. It takes a detailed plan and process, informed choice of the appropriate attribution models, a flawless attention to the measurement of the right metrics, and a willingness to track, test, learn, and adjust.

Personalization in healthcare is more important than in perhaps any other field. Health is, for each of us, not only extremely personal and private, but also perhaps the most fundamental and important facet of our lives. For brands working to reach people with meaningful messaging about their health, the stakes couldn’t be higher.