What is attribution? Attribution is simply how you give credit to the marketing or non-marketing source for each lead that you receive. Marketing sources are those that you pay for, such as TV, yellow pages, internet, billboards, and so forth. Non-marketing sources are those that you do not pay for, such as word of mouth, repeat clients, and client referrals.
At Vista, we see a lot of firms that don’t have a detailed plan in place about how attribution should be handled. It is hard at times, because there can be multiple sources of a lead. A person can see your ad on TV, then think about calling you later so they look your number up online. How do you attribute the source of that lead?
There are two attribution strategies that should be followed. They are 1) objective attribution and 2) subjective attribution. Objective attribution is tracking things such as “method of contact.” How did the person physically reach out to you? What number did they dial? What website did they come through? There is no room for discussion or interpretation, you are simply tracking the channel through which they came to you.
Subjective attribution gets into questions like “what made you choose our firm?” and “how did you hear about us?” In order to get some consistency in your tracking of these subjective responses, you should make sure that first of all, your team is asking the question in the same way. The second thing that should be done is that you create a document that defines the different categories of responses and defines which categories take priority. For example, what is the definition of a client referral? If the client came in through the website, but was recommended by a friend, what takes priority? Defining these rules in a document helps your team achieve more consistency in the data and helps you make better decisions.
Take the time to put this document together and take the time to review it with your intake team to make sure they have clarity on the definitions. If they are having trouble getting this information from callers, you can coach them on how to ask the questions. It can be done, even on calls that you are not signing up.