- Presented by AbelsonTaylor Group

Leveraging Multi-Touch Attribution for Greater Brand Marketing Success

An explanation of how it works and why it's important

This article is presented by AbelsonTaylor Group, a sponsor of the 2023 Clio Health Awards.

The art and science of healthcare brand communications has matured at a furious pace all around us these past few years. Brand managers and their agency partners must keep abreast of the latest tools used to measure their audiences and target those audiences with exactly the right message, at the right time and in the right place. But sometimes the maturation of marketing technologies outpaces the speed at which we think about what we can do with those technologies.

Such has been the case with the challenge of identifying and properly crediting the value of a brand's various touchpoints with audiences. Even in the present age of AI, big data and omnichannel marketing, pharma brands—for the most part—are stuck to the traditional idea that the last touch, the last communication someone receives before converting, should get all, or most of the credit for that conversion. Or, they might not even know which touchpoints to attribute credit.

At AbelsonTaylor Group, we work with our clients to look beyond that conventional worship of the last touch and provide evidence-based methods to calculate the real impact of every touchpoint more accurately. We continuously develop platforms and processes in which clients can have a high degree of confidence. They can see which tools, communications and platforms are responsible, and to what degree for nudging doctors or patients a little, or a lot of the way, towards the brand. Based on these learnings, experienced pharma brand managers have transformed their decision-making process to see measurable returns.

This is called multi-touch attribution, a technique that assigns a fractional credit for each conversion to each touchpoint, which then undergoes careful data analysis of the relationships. That's an oversimplification of everything going on under the hood, of course; sourcing the right data from each touchpoint, linking all the unique customers together across channels and building a platform and model that can handle review and analysis of multiple data sets are all challenging undertakings.

We at AbelsonTaylor Group have implemented multi-touch attribution tracking with HCPs and their many sign-up or sign-in activities, offering brands increased insight into the degree to which each channel is influencing HCP decisions. Meanwhile, we continually gain more advanced tools and technologies that allow us to see even deeper into the data.

What can multi-touch attribution uncover? Well, if a brand manager knows how much a brand is spending per touch via a particular channel and knows how many touches add up to an entire conversion, then that brand manager can calculate relative cost per conversion for each channel. And that brand manager might just discover surprising insights along the way. One of our clients, for example, was astonished to find that the cost per attributed conversion for one HCP social media channel was more than seven times the cost for another, similar channel.

Through multi-touch attribution, determining how much fractional credit each touchpoint earns per touch takes us a long step towards answering that old marketing saw, "I know I'm wasting half my promotional budget, but which half is it?" And answering that brings us a big step closer to every brand's goal of the right message at the right time in the right place.

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AbelsonTaylor Group

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