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Attribution Habit #2

Understand how the key terms affect the execution of your marketing efforts.

This isn’t just a dictionary—It’s part of your action plan.

This idea is so simple it is easy to dismiss, so why take the time to talk about it? Often the most basic ideas are the ones that marketing teams gloss over in pursuit of more complex ideas and execution. However, take one minute to pause here and reflect on what these two terms mean as it relates to attribution and reporting.

[For simplicity, we’ll use the term “person” to describe any lead, contact, prospect or customer who interacts with your company]

Touch = A person’s interaction with your brand or company. Examples include a person clicking an email, visiting your website, or talking to you at a trade show.

Channel = This is what drove the person to have that the touch. This originates with you. Examples include sending an email, posting to your social media feeds, placing a CPC ad.

Offer = This is what the person “touched.” Examples include the contact form on your website, the white paper you offer, the webinar you hosted.


**Offer and channel may seem very basic, but many teams get hung up here. The most simple analogy to think of it like an airplane journey. The channel is where the customer started (departure city) and the offer as the destination (arrival city).

Touches will fall into two major categories, with a third bonus category:

Online = The offer and resulting touch take place on your own domain(s). Examples include your own website, your own customer support portal, and any landing page domains you own. Keyword here is ownership.

Offline = The offer is hosted somewhere other than your owned digital property. This could be someone else’s digital property (such as a webinar platform like On24 or Webex) or in the real world (such as a tradeshow).

Invisible = I use this as a bonus term to describe any touch that cannot be measured. These are the meaningful ways in which a customer interacts with your company that will never show up on your website reports or a list imports. Do not discount these touches because they cannot be measured. Simply acknowledge them and keep marketing. Always focus on the meaningful, not just the measurable.