Marketing attribution software solutions for 2023
Sophisticated marketing attribution has become more urgent as buyer journeys continue to expand and diversify. Marketers know that good attribution software is necessary to stay competitive, but with so many options on the market, choosing the right solution can be challenging.
The good news is that most of these solutions have clear strengths and weaknesses. Many were designed for specific use cases or industries. A simple comparison of key features can help you identify the best fit for your organization.
In this post, you’ll learn what marketing attribution is, what a good marketing attribution software offers, and compare 10 of the industry’s top solutions.
First we’ll look at:
To help you make the best choice, we’ve reviewed the industry’s top marketing attribution solutions.
What is marketing attribution?
Marketing attribution is a method of assigning value to marketing touchpoints to assess which channels and campaigns are yielding the greatest return on investment (ROI). The goal is to give your marketing department straightforward data to showcase what’s working and what isn’t.
Marketing attribution can serve your team in many ways.
- Understand your audience better. Designing and working with a marketing attribution model forces you to consider every stage of your customer’s journey.
- Focus your marketing efforts. When you know which touchpoints are the most influential for your audience, you can focus your marketing resources strategically.
- Optimize marketing ROI. Prioritizing your marketing spend on the touchpoints and channels that have the greatest impact on conversions is the best way to get the most out of your budget.
What is marketing attribution software?
Marketing attribution software is a tool for consolidating and organizing all the data in the marketing attribution process in a single space. A good marketing attribution software allows you to analyze individual attribution models to better allocate resources toward the most effective channels.
It is possible to do marketing attribution without a dedicated software solution. But that takes spreadsheets or other manual means. And that's considerable time and effort your marketing team could be using on more strategic and creative projects.
Attribution software also comes with a troubleshooting team to quickly solve problems for you. A well-established software can bridge the gap between method and action, allowing you to focus your efforts on using the data to boost revenue.
Modern marketing attribution models
The two most common attribution models are first-touch and last-touch. The first-touch model gives the first customer touchpoint the most credit for the conversion. Conversely, last-touch attribution ascribes the conversion credit to the last channel a customer interacts with. Both of these models are often too simplistic for the modern customer journey that covers multiple touchpoints before it’s time to make a purchase.
To better understand the complexity of a customer’s buying journey, multitouch attribution and cross-channel attribution are two models that attempt to provide a more realistic view of the value of customer touchpoints.
Multitouch attribution seeks to remove the biases of first-click and last-click models by allocating credit to each touchpoint in a customer’s journey. By looking at each element on the customer’s path to conversion you can see the influence channels have on each other.
There are two main types of multitouch attribution models — rules-based and algorithmic. In a rules-based method it is up to individual marketers to decide how much weight is assigned to points in a customer’s sales journey.
There are five models of multitouch rules-based attribution.
- Linear multitouch attribution assigns the same value to every touchpoint.
- Time decay multitouch attribution increases the value of each interaction as the customer approaches a purchase decision.
- U-shaped multitouch attribution assigns greater value to the first and last touchpoints.
- W-shaped multitouch attribution gives the most value to the first interaction, the “lead creation” interaction, and the final interaction.
- Full path multitouch attribution puts greater emphasis on the first touch, lead creation, opportunity creation, and customer close touch.
Rules-based multitouch attribution models can also be completely customized.
Multitouch attribution — what it is, and how to do it well
Algorithmic methods use statistical modeling and AI to assign credit to individual stages of the journey. These models are more objective than rules-based models, but their accuracy depends on the sophistication of the algorithm.
There are two main models of algorithmic multitouch attribution.
- Fractional attribution awards fractional credit to individual touchpoints using machine learning. The algorithm provides a granular look at which touchpoints deserve the most credit so you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.
- Incremental attribution uses algorithms to assign partial credit only to marketing elements that influenced conversion. Incremental attribution is an experimental process that helps quantify marketing events that would not have happened without a particular interaction.
Cross-channel attribution assigns conversion credit when touchpoints span multiple channels, like radio, TV, email, social media, and more. Cross-channel attribution uses the foundation of multitouch attribution but extends it to every channel a customer might interact with along their buying journey.
Looking at the way channels interact with each other lets marketing teams understand which elements deserve more allocation of resources.
Now that you have an understanding of what marketing attribution is and the various models used, let’s look at the 10 leading software options for 2023.
1. Adobe Marketo Measure
Adobe Marketo Measure solves the key struggles many business-to-business (B2B) marketing teams face with attribution by providing a single, complete solution for everything from touchpoint tracking to attribution modeling to analytics and reporting. This software combines multitouch and cross-channel attribution to deliver EverytouchⓇ attribution and end-to-end automation. Marketo Measure features include:
- Data sourcing at each stage of a customer’s journey
- Easy-to-use dashboards
- Limitless CRM reporting
- Full scalability
- Simple integration with other datasets and your favorite business intelligence (BI) tool.
Adobe Marketo Measure is designed for B2B marketing, which tends to necessitate more complex customer journeys than business-to-consumer (B2C) journeys. It’s robust enough to serve large scale enterprises that need a high level of automation to process large quantities of data.
Appsflyer turns its attention to mobile app marketing attribution data — specifically sources that drive installation and uninstallation data. This app is user friendly and easy to install. Settings can be adjusted on the spot, and it comes with a host of integrated partners like Facebook, Opera, Adroll, Matomy, Mobvista, GameAnalytics, Kiip, and more.
Key features include:
- Industry standard privacy and security to protect customer data
- Accurate and actionable insights
- Flexible platform to fit unique business needs
Some drawbacks include not allowing users to download reports and requiring repeat sign-ins when exiting and reentering the app.
Hubspot allows marketers to connect CRM and marketing data and assign credit for each touchpoint a customer engages with along their buying journey. This software tracks each customer interaction so that revenue from that interaction is associated with that customer’s record. With the reporting feature you can identify the channels that are missing, meeting, or exceeding their performance.
Notable features include:
- Contact attribution reporting
- Revenue attribution reporting
- Custom objects that provide data specific to your business
- Behavioral events tracking
Hubspot’s attribution software is great for those who already use other Hubspot tools. You will be familiar with the interfaces and integrations. However, if you only use Hubspot tools your data might be limited, which means you will need to integrate with third-party sources for more accurate insights.
4. Ruler Analytics
Ruler Analytics is a multichannel marketing attribution software that gives marketers access to all data in a single location. This platform provides granular insight into customer conversion by tracking campaigns, channels, and keywords — tying marketing efforts directly to revenue.
With Ruler, marketers can compare various rules-based models and track the channels that are increasing brand awareness and pinpoint conversion touchpoints as well as other factors that compel customers to make a purchase.
Because Ruler integrates with Google Ads, Google Analytics, and many other sources, you can use your preferred reporting tools to measure your marketing efforts in Ruler Analytics.
Ruler’s key features include:
- Customer journey tracking
- Opportunity attribution
- Offline conversion tracking
- Live chat tracking
Ruler Analytics excels at tracking and recording marketing attribution from phone calls. If your primary marketing campaigns are through other channels, other software solutions might suit your needs better.
Dreamdata is a B2B attribution platform that integrates with your techstacks and organizes all revenue-related data into a single source of truth. Customizable multitouch attribution models allow you to evaluate each touchpoint in your customer’s journey so you can predict revenue, plan scaling efforts, track ROI, and benchmark growth.
Key features include:
- Customizable multi-touch attribution models
- Integration with users’ techstacks
- A unified data platform
- Ability to scale parts that are specific to your business
Dreamdata can be a bit intimidating to new users. Most users need time to familiarize themselves with the interface and ensure everything is set up properly. The company offers onboarding and training, but if you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution to quickly improve your marketing attribution, this may have too steep of a learning curve.
6. Google Attribution
Google Attribution is a multitouch and cross-channel attribution software that is part of Google Analytics. Users can choose from the three most common multitouch attribution models — linear, position-based, and time decay — to serve their marketing goals. Google Attribution uses machine learning algorithms called data-driven attribution to understand how touchpoints across channels affect conversion.
The base version of Google Attribution is free and the full version of the software is available at a customizable monthly cost. As with all Google products, Attribution integrates with Google’s suite of apps and programs, which is a plus for companies already using Google tools.
Google’s attribution software features:
- The ability to compare different attribution models
- Access to Google’s data
- A concentrated view of all digital performance
- The option to track assisted conversion
Some disadvantages include limited third-party integration and a dashboard without many customization options.
Neustar is a feature-rich software that helps marketers track online and offline campaigns. It lets your marketing team recognize the elements of your customers’ journeys that impact their conversion within omnichannel campaigns. With the data provided by Neustar you can optimize campaigns in the moment and make the most of your marketing resources.
Key features include:
- Third-party integrations
- Mobile inclusive media tracking
- Online and offline tracking
- Pre-integrated apps for data collection
The main drawback of Neustar is that it requires significant manual work to extract the full potential of the software.
Singular is an attribution software that consolidates data into a single dashboard so marketers can connect spending with an outcome. Utilizing multitouch and cross-channel attribution models, you can track and measure paths to conversion spanning multiple channels.
- 2000+ integration options
- Access to marketing data from anywhere
- A single source of truth for marketing campaigns
- Cost aggregation
- Fraud protection
Singular works well for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that use at least five channels for marketing. This platform is designed for industries where mobile apps are an important factor — such as gaming, retail, travel, music, and finance.
A limitation of Singular is the time it takes to load data. If your campaigns rely on large and diverse sets of data, you may experience some delays in generating reports.
9. Nielsen Attribution
Nielsen Attribution allows you to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns at granular levels. The platform utilizes audience measurement, media planning, and marketing optimization.
Audience measurement uses cross-channel data to give full insight into your audiences. With exhaustive data on where, when, and how to reach target audiences, media planning helps you decide which channels to invest in. Marketing optimization lets you maximize ROI by illuminating how your efforts impact customers on their buying journey.
- Native Facebook integration
- Offline tracking integration
- Access to Nielsen insights
Users have reported trouble fully installing and integrating Nielsen Attribution. Since some data need to be updated manually, do not expect a turnkey platform your team can jump into using immediately. Once it is installed the learning curve is low.
Branch is a software focused on cross-channel attribution and mobile linking that gives you visibility into every marketing initiative your team is working on. It focuses on the intersection between touchpoints and conversion across your marketing channels.
You can measure results on analytics dashboards that break down the data into whichever segments you prefer with no user limits.
Key features of Branch include:
- Anonymous predictive modeling
- The ability to segment data on its dashboard
- Fraud protection
A major drawback to Branch is its lack of integrations. Companies that already have analytics sources as part of their marketing process may find they need to switch or implement extra steps to use the data.
Getting started with marketing attribution software
Customers’ buying journeys are becoming more complex. A robust marketing attribution software helps your marketing team decide which elements deserve the credit for conversion.
When deciding which software to use, identify your top-priority channels and the attribution models you want to start with. Any quality marketing attribution software will go beyond single-touch attribution. By establishing the touchpoints within a campaign and how they intersect with other channels, you can decide if your attribution software needs to concentrate more on cross-channel or multitouch attribution.
Adobe Marketo Measure allows you to measure engagement across platforms and be aware of every touchpoint's impact. Marketo Measure gives your marketing team the tools to prove and improve their impact. Watch this overview video to learn more or request a personalized demo to see how it can work for your company.