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Rick Hogan

Attribution Matters: Why Marketing Attribution is Essential for Digital Marketing Success


Most organizations, especially small businesses, do a really lousy job of tracking marketing attribution. This means they are likely spending their hard earned money on marketing efforts that aren’t working and are not able to shift budgets to the ones that are driving leads.

This ineffective approach to marketing doesn’t need to continue. With a bit of knowledge and a few tools (some free and others nearly free), small businesses can get complete visibility into the online channels that are driving leads and will no longer be in the dark when it comes to marketing attribution.

What is Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution is the process of determining which online channels drove an action you want to measure. For example, did the phone call, chat or form submission come from a Google Ad, an Organic search, a Facebook Ad or Google My Business? A solid marketing attribution system takes the guesswork out of determining what channels drove results and makes it easy for marketers to direct their investments in the most productive marketing channels.

Understanding Key Marketing Attribution Tools: UTM Codes and Call Tracking

What is a UTM Code?

UTMs are strings of data added on to the end of a URL that enables analytics systems (such as Google Analytics) to track the specific lead source. You can track identifying parameters such as a referring source, marketing medium, campaign name, term (keywords) and content (used to differentiate ads). UTM codes supply the data needed to identify top-performing lead sources that drive the response and conversion rates. You can use Google’s Campaign Builder to easily create UTM codes. Beyond what Google tracks, UTMs can also pass data to a website allowing for dynamically inserted content and delivering a personalized user experience.

What is Call Tracking?

Call tracking software identifies the lead sources of phone calls, forms and text messages. The company sets up a subscription for one or more tracking phone number(s) and assigns each number to the specific marketing channel they wish to track. Each specific tracking number is dynamically inserted in place of the main business number in order to identify source attributes for forms, text messages and phone calls. Through this dynamic number insertion, each call or text placed gets forwarded to the main number in a seamless fashion. The software can record the phone call, call duration and the caller’s number and location for quality assurance purposes. This allows for a complete picture of your call and form based lead generation efforts.

Benefits of Marketing Attribution

Before marketing attribution systems were available, the sales and marketing teams had limited insight into what triggered leads to call or convert. The availability of marketing attribution tools helps reduce the sales and marketing divide. By using UTM codes and call tracking systems, businesses can measure the performance and effectiveness of each channel and campaign. This provides independent data supporting the ROI of marketing campaigns to stakeholders throughout the organization.

By tracking the sources of clicks and calls, businesses can determine their top-performing channels. This knowledge ensures their digital marketing efforts are focused targeting the best performing lead sources. Better yet, call tracking recordings can give management insights into employee performance in their interactions with prospects and customers. All this information converges to help a company fine tune its targeted campaigns in order to increase engagement and conversions.

Your lead flow is the lifeblood of your business, and marketing attribution enables you to keep a finger on the pulse, so to speak. In addition to offering insight into crucial lead sources and ongoing performance, this knowledge enables you to develop more highly targeted digital marketing strategies on an ongoing basis. Marketing attribution enables your business to see where your leads come from, develop strategies for increasing lead flow and conversions from ideal prospects while accurately measuring the performance of your campaigns. If you’d like to reap the benefits of marketing attribution, learn more about our digital analytics reporting and implementation services here. Contact us today to speak to a digital analytics expert.


  Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive  Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this post or otherwise want to give us a shout, send an email to hello@bleevit.com.

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