Benefits and Limitations of Multitouch Attribution


Sophisticated multichannel marketing campaigns often comprise complex customer journeys—sometimes with dozens of different customer interactions across different devices at different times and using different messages and marketing tactics. While marketing analysts often measure the sales lift and ROI of such marketing campaigns in their entirety, multitouch attribution attempts to quantify the contributions of each individual component of the campaign. As multichannel marketing becomes increasingly important in an ever more complex marketing ecosystem, pharmaceutical companies are turning to multitouch attribution models to give them a more nuanced understanding of how to allocate their marketing budgets. 

Multitouch attribution modeling can be a powerful tool for increasing marketing efficiency. If pharmaceutical companies fail to recognize model’s limitations, however, they risk missing important marketing opportunities. Understanding the model’s assumptions allows pharmaceutical companies to maximize those opportunities and cut through an increasingly noisy marketing environment.  


Benefits of Multitouch Attribution

Quantifying the ROI and sales lift for each component of a campaign allows marketing teams to identify whether specific tactics are over or undervalued. Such a nuanced understanding allows pharmaceutical companies to invest in tactics that work and cut those that don’t. As a result, marketing teams optimize their campaigns, bringing in more revenue for each marketing dollar spent.     

Additionally, pharmaceutical companies can use multitouch attribution models to develop better customer experiences. By understanding what tactics are well received and which aren’t within specific audience segments, pharmaceutical companies can improve consumer experiences. In the pharmaceutical industry, patients are increasingly demanding individualized experiences, making the ability to remain flexible and cater to more specific segments of the public more critical than ever. 

Limitations of Multitouch Attribution

Multitouch attribution modeling falsely assumes that the different touch points along a consumer journey exist independently of one another. In reality, each touch point is influenced, whether positively or negatively, by all the touch points that preceded it. An early touch point that appears inconsequential may actually augment the effectiveness of a later touch point; so, by eliminating seemingly ineffective interactions, companies run the risk of also reducing the power of interactions that had seemed highly effective. As a result, without a nuanced understanding of these limitations, multitouch attribution models can serve as poor guides for marketing investment decisions.

These problems are particularly pronounced in the pharmaceutical marketing industry. Multitouch attribution modeling is often used in data-rich digital marketing campaigns and does not adapt to offline marketing well. For example, the work of pharmaceutical sales reps would be difficult to measure. However, because sales reps play an ever smaller role in the industry as digital marketing takes over, this issue could become less problematic.

Additionally, since multitouch attribution models use individual-level data—without adjusting for aggregate industry-wide trends—multitouch attribution models miss some external effects such as seasonality, promotions, and pricing. 


How to Use Multitouch Attribution Models

When combined with in-depth industry knowledge and information acquired from other sources such as test-control research, multitouch attribution models can provide powerful insight into a pharmaceutical company’s marketing efforts. Measurement Mojo offers expertise that’s been cultivated over decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. As a strategic measurement partner, Measurement Mojo helps pharmaceutical companies measure and optimize the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Measurement Mojo has measured more firms than any other strategic partner in the industry, and we can help your business maximize its marketing opportunities. 


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