Why Last-Click Attribution Modeling is a Waste of Time!

by Herm Brocksmith, President PIN Business Network

When a product or service is sold, people and companies are quick to take credit for the sale and justify their value to you or your company.

Have you listened to just about every lead provider there is explain to you that they are responsible for getting people in your door and claiming that they are responsible for the sale to your customer? That’s called Attribution. If any vendor is telling you that they are responsible for the purchase, then they clearly do not understand what today’s buyer is doing in their journey to purchase a car, truck, van or for that matter just about any product or service.

Think about yourself, your spouse or significant other, your children, your parents, your siblings and the journey that each of you go through when you buy something. The internet is a great source of information. In your purchase journey, you sift through articles, videos, product specific technical data, statistics, user reviews, industry expert opinions, consumer reports, and the list goes on and on. Finally, you decide upon a product or service that you want to buy. This is the upper funnel in a two-funnel user journey.

Now, it’s time to buy it. We do more research on the internet to find the right vendor, dealer, distributor, etc… to buy it from. We make contact either electronically, on the phone or in-person to insure we are getting the best price, confirm inventory and either go see it or buy it. This is the lower funnel.

At any one of these points in time in our purchase journey, we are affected either directly or indirectly by sentiment. Sentiment comes in the form or positive, negative and neutral sentiment. It can be subtle or direct. You either feel good, bad or neutral. When it comes to actually buying the product or service, you must feel good about the product or service and the vendor from which you ultimately buy.

Buyers click 10, 20, 30, 70, 100+ times to gain the information they are looking for before deciding to purchase a product or service. Do you see why “Last Click” attribution cannot claim the sale? There are too many touch points that ultimately affect the sentiment involved in the purchase of the product or service.

In my personal experience, I have walked away from buying a product or service for many reasons. Perhaps, after doing my research and seeing the product in person, it just wasn’t what I really wanted. Maybe the sales person did a poor job or even turned me off by simple body language, hygiene or talking to me instead of my wife.

It’s no different when people are buying cars and trucks from your dealership. Far too many variables come into play for any one source to claim 100% attribution. It just doesn’t happen that way. The advertising dollars that you spend to drive sales in the many sources you spend it in affect your sales. Some of the sources will perform better than others by providing better influence by driving clicks on the road in the buying journey. The best digital footprint cannot lay claim to the ultimate sale as there are just too many influencing factors that are simply not digital (the sales person, the handling of the telephone call, the condition of the product or service, a coworker, a spouse, a parent, etc…). Influence and sentiment take place online, at work, in the home, in the mind, in social situations and in the place of business.

Ultimately, if you are serious about growing your business, then you must work to find vendors that understand what influence and sentiment mean in the buying journey. And, you must make every effort to work on positive influence and positive sentiment within the areas that you and your staff control within the sales funnel including online assets like your website, email and form submission processes, how you and your staff perform on the phone and in-person at your dealership, as well as what the dealership first-impression looks like. You must have a succinct “Why Buy / Why Service” message that all employees understand and can communicate. Control what you can control by driving positive sentiment and influence. By understanding the positive and negative influences and how they drive buyer sentiment, you will find the secret in building and growing your business.