Deciding where to invest your marketing budget can be a tough call, especially between Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) and Mixed Media Modeling (MMM). The choice ultimately depends on your specific requirements; are you having trouble discerning the impact of individual channels? Or are you going through a significant budget shift? Depending on your situation, challenges, and goals, prioritize the one that works better for you.

Mixed Media Modeling and Multi-Touch Attribution are both methods used in marketing analytics. Although the phrases may often be used interchangeably, they serve different purposes and utilize different approaches.

Here's a breakdown of each:

Mixed Media Modeling

Mixed Media Modeling (MMM) is a statistical technique that helps to evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing channels in driving sales or achieving other desired outcomes. This method involves analyzing historical data to understand how different marketing channels, such as TV, radio, print, and online ads, contribute to overall performance.

In short, MMM aims to allocate credit to each marketing channel based on its impact on the desired outcome.

Key points about Mixed Media Modeling:

  • Statistical Approach: MMM uses statistical modeling techniques to quantify the impact of different marketing channels.
  • Historical Data: It relies on historical data to understand past performance and make predictions about future outcomes.
  • Aggregated Data: MMM typically works with aggregated data rather than individual-level data.
  • Long-term Perspective: It provides insights into the long-term effects of marketing efforts across various channels.

Multi-touch Attribution

Multi-touch attribution is a technique for allocating credit to different touchpoints throughout a customer's journey toward a conversion or sale. The main goal of this method is to determine which marketing interactions, such as ad clicks, website visits, email opens, and so on, influence a customer's decision to take a desired action.

While MMM often looks at overall marketing effectiveness, MTA focuses on understanding the specific interactions that contribute to conversions. It’s more of a lookback for insights into what worked, used to inform future strategy.

Key points about Multi-touch Attribution:

  • Granular Analysis: It tracks each step of the customer journey for a detailed analysis of interactions.
  • Real-time Insights: Multi-touch attribution can provide real-time insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
  • Attribution Models: Different attribution models, such as linear attribution, time decay attribution, position-based attribution, etc., are used in multi-touch attribution, each assigning credit to touchpoints differently.
  • Digital Focus: Multi-touch attribution is particularly relevant in digital marketing contexts where customer interactions can be tracked more easily.

It’s also important to note that MTA and MMM can work with aggregated/anonymized data, but pixel and cookie deprecation could lead to in inaccurate reporting with data limitations from an increasingly privacy-aware digital population.

In summary, if MTA is a lookback, MMM is a look forward to what is your ideal media mix.

So, should you invest in an MMM or an MTA?

The answer is typically both, but we can help prioritize. If the current pain point is needing a clearer picture of each channel's contributions, then an MTA can help paint that picture. If there is a large budget shift or major planning is on the horizon, an MMM can help you determine the most efficient use of those marketing dollars.