Attribution is supposed to help marketers determine the influence that marketing activities have on KPIs, such as conversions and sales, based on the touchpoints a customer goes through as part of the conversion funnel. All too often though, the data and models that inform attribution provide a limited or distorted picture of what’s going on.

Some forms of attribution rely on cookie data that can be lost due to deletion, expiration, or blocking. Other forms of attribution use failed models that limit the viewpoint to predefined timeframes, to first click attribution, or to last click attribution where only one marketing activity before a conversion or sale gets noticed.

Attribution based on clickstream data (aka clickstream attribution) fixes all of these problems by providing a holistic view of a company’s marketing efforts that takes into account every click, in the order it occurred across customer touchpoints. Clickstream attribution opens the door for you to attain more practical and actionable insights.

Clickstream attribution works across channels and devices

Any company that spends significant marketing dollars driving leads, conversions or sales online needs clickstream attribution for an inclusive view of the impact of their marketing efforts and ROI.

Clickstream attribution lets you analyze the stream of online touchpoints between your brand and consumers, click after click, across channels and time. Although clickstreams are on the device level, a data matching process of can be used to merge multiple clickstreams of data generated by consumers using more than one device into anonymized single streams of data representative of consumer activity across channels and devices. This provides the comprehensive data you need to get an accurate picture of what’s going on.

Clickstream attribution allows flexible lookback windows

Clickstream data goes back in time much further than cookie-data. This allows for conversions and sales occurring now to be attributed to marketing activities occurring as far back in the past as a marketer believes to be reasonable. There is no time limit on clickstream data, and marketers have full flexibility to adjust their lookback windows whenever they need to. This is far better than attribution that relies on cookies because the longer a cookie-based lookback window is, the more cookie loss becomes a problem.

Clickstream attribution can assign credit and provide granular insights

Another major benefit of clickstream attribution is that it can showcase clickstream data through the lens of any attribution model or lookback window. And, it can be used to provide granular insights into what users do after exposure to marketing touchpoints.

For instance, you can view clickstream data through a time decay attribution model with a 6 month lookback window. Or, you can view it through a linear attribution model with a 2 month lookback window. Try enough models and lookback windows and you’ll find a combination that supplies you with the most actionable insights.

The insights don’t just have to be about assigning credit. One best practice with clickstream attribution is to research what your audience does after being exposed to each one of your marketing touchpoints. For instance, you can compare and contrast what people do after engaging with your Facebook page to what people do after engaging with your Twitter profile to better understand the two customer cohorts and how to motivate them to convert.

Clickstream attribution captures on-site and off-site conversions and sales

Unlike other attribution methods, clickstream attribution doesn’t leave marketers blind to the influence that marketing activities have on off-site conversions and sales. When marketers do the hard work of adding trackers to all marketing campaigns across search, social, email, display, affiliate, and other channels, they should be able to see the impact of these activities on on-site and off-site conversions and sales. With clickstream attribution, brands can connect marketing campaigns to 3rd-party marketplace transactions, reseller performance and much more. Stay tuned as we’ll soon publish a detailed post about how clickstream attribution excels at tying digital marketing campaigns to off-site conversions and engagement.

Bottom Line: Clickstream attribution can really help marketers understand the influence that marketing activities have on conversions and sales, anywhere online. At Jumpshot, we provide clickstream attribution based on clickstream data from our 100-million consumer panel, empowering organizations to understand the true value of their digital campaigns and gain a holistic view of their marketing initiatives.