The Art and Science of Multichannel Attribution
How Children’s National Health System Foundation Collapsed Its Cost Per Dollar Raised
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Depending on how your marketing organization is structured, questioning how much a particular marketing initiative contributes to overall conversions may be stepping on someone’s toes. Everyone wants to take credit for positive results, but smart organizations dig deeper to understand all the variables that could impact conversions, such as:
- How many marketing touches does it take to get a conversion?
- How long does it take someone to convert?
- What is the relative strength of each channel?
- How do channels influence one another?
- How does the order of touches impact conversions?
Jon Thompson is director of marketing and communications at Children’s National Health System Foundation in Washington, D.C. Three years ago, Thompson looked to multichannel attribution to solve some pressing organizational challenges. “We had an immediate tactical problem of structural infighting about who gets credit for what gifts,” Thompson says. Linked with the human problem was the business problem at the root of it: determining which channels and programs were driving the best return on investment. “We needed to come up with a mathematical way to model it all,” he says.
Thompson turned to digital consultancy Modea for help developing a multichannel attribution model to address these issues and offer ongoing business intelligence insights. Here, we’ll learn how the model enabled the foundation to eliminate underperforming campaigns and reallocate resources. Applying these principles, even at a basic level, can help any marketer make better decisions by understanding what drives results.
The Children’s National Health System Foundation is the fundraising arm of Children’s National Health System, ranked #1 for neonatology, and among the top-10 children’s hospitals overall in U.S. News & World Report. Building a multichannel attribution model helped the foundation dramatically reduce its cost per dollar raised. “We took it from over 80 cents to 7 cents in a single fiscal year,” Thompson says. Here’s how they did it.