The Value of Multi-Channel Attribution for Multifamily
Most lead tracking software models in multifamily today credit the ad source a prospect uses when he or she first contacts a property. Sadly, this direct attribution model fails to show the true impact of all of your marketing and advertising campaigns. Many companies have tried and are trying to include "multi-channel attribution" models within their CRM platforms in an effort to tell the full story of the client journey. The concept of multi-channel attribution aims to credit the advertising sources that a prospect uses at various touchpoints of their customer journey leading up to their conversion. The goal is to answer questions like, "What other sources did a prospect view before calling?" or "Did they visit the website multiple times in different ways before they called?" A great way to shed light on these questions and arguably one of the best ways to see multi-channel attribution for multifamily marketing today is within your own Google Analytics accounts.
In this example, Paid Search (Pay-per-click) was a part of 100% of the property website's leads in the month of June, but this would fail to show in your lead tracking software.
Assuming your multifamily digital marketing agency has linked their Google Ads account with your property's Google Analytics account this is possible for you to see firsthand. By integrating your Google Ads account and setting up conversions on your website, you will have direct access to see Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics. This will show how your different advertising channels contribute to conversions on your property website. Below is a snapshot showing how the top five advertising channels contributed to website conversions for this sample property. In the case of Paid Search in the top row, the PPC campaign would only be credited within the property's CRM system with 50 leads. This is shown in the "Last Click or Direct Conversions" column on the far right. This displays the amount of conversions- calls and form submits- that would be directly attributed to your Pay Per Click campaign in your lead tracking platform. What wouldn't show in your ad source reporting, but is incredibly valuable when assessing marketing performance, is the data in the "Assisted Conversions" column. This column shows that this property's Pay Per Click campaign helped contribute to 48 conversions, but was not the final conversion interaction source that a prospect used when contacting the property. This provides great evidence to show that the property's paid search campaign was a crucial part of the prospect's apartment search path that ultimately led 48 prospects to contact the property, in addition to the 50 leads it was directly credited for.
While most CRM systems are not quite there today to show the full picture of the customer journey of a prospect's apartment search, there is a ton of useful information within Google Analytics if you use a digital marketing agency that links their Google Ads account to your Google Analytics. At Street Digital Media, we value linking our Google Ads accounts with our clients' Google Analytics. Doing so allows us to provide more transparency into the customer journey, which leads to more educated and insightful digital marketing assessments and decisions.