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Attribution Habit #7

Bring it all together to move forward

Attribution is lot like exercise. It’s not the big things you do once or twice that make a difference, it’s the small things you do consistently that have the most substantial payoffs. That’s why we have been talking about the habits of attribution as opposed to a singular path to attribution.

Here are some helpful Do's and Don’ts to pull all the habits together:

The Dos

  • Be consistent. Develop a recurring process of reviewing your data to improve both the capture and value of the data.
  • Aim for insights, not answers. Marketing will always remain an art form, no matter how much data we throw at it. There are often multiple solutions to the challenge of understanding which activities drive pipeline and revenue. Use your attribution data more as a compass than a map.
  • Experiment with your insights. Use those insights to take action and calculated risks. If a particular channel is performing well, try increasing the resources you give it and see if it drives the results you need. Review those results, learn what you can and then take another step forward.

The Donts

  • Don’t prioritize data over customer experience. The main goal is to provide your prospects with the easiest access to information that increases their interest in your company. Make decisions that support that goal, as opposed to structuring your campaigns only to gather data. There is often a tradeoff between customer experience and data capture. You need to find the right balance for your company and market.

  • Don’t chase perfection. Marketing attribution reports are meant to be tools that makes it easier to do better marketing. The reports themselves are not the end goal.


There is a theme in the advice above: progress over perfection.

Attribution is an imperfect science and an art form unto itself. The people who feel the greatest frustration with attribution have strict expectations about what attribution can do for them. Attribution does not do the critical and creative thinking for you. It merely provides a heap of data for you to sort, analyze and ultimately act upon.

The most successful attributors (Attributionists? What should we call people who do attribution?) have a reasonable expectation for what attribution data can do for them and are comfortable with using imperfect data to take small steps.

Remember the circle: Data > Insight > Action > Repeat