Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) & Baseball: Why Your Leadoff Hitter Is The Most Important

Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) and Baseball are both a game of statistics.

Bill James (famous baseball statistician) found the strongest indicator of scoring runs in a game is whether the leadoff hitter gets on base. In Baseball, the leadoff hitter can start the best statistical predictor of success—originating opportunity to score.

Similar to Baseball statistics, when a smart marketer embraces a robust MTA platform, one aspect of what they measure is the first touchpoint, known as the “originator”.

This concept of attributing credit to media sources who originate revenue is quite new.

Even though marketers spend billions a year in advertising…the industry is stuck in antiquated measurement systems providing 100% credit to the last ad before the conversion event.

What this means, is that these outdated measurement systems give ZERO credit to media sources ‘originating’ revenue.

So if four ads contribute to a conversion, today’s outdated systems allocate the entire credit to the fourth, last ad–ignoring the first three, which actually seeded the revenue.

But multi-touch attribution (MTA) platforms like C3 Metrics work differently.

MTA recognizes credit should be assigned to a team of ads…and perhaps stronger credit should be given to the one who originated the conversion—because without originating revenue, how can you even have revenue?

So in the world of Baseball, and in the world of online media attribution—the leadoff hitter/originator is pretty darn important.

But what about the rest of the players…do they get credit with media attribution?

Just as in baseball where some players strike out, get RBI’s, or get two-run homers–some get credit and some don’t. In attribution systems like C3 Metrics, the revenue gets credited to three fundamental players: Originators, Assists, and Converters.

All online media sources are captured in C3 Metrics from the top of the funnel where sales are originated to the very bottom of the funnel. So for a $100 transaction, an Originator would get a fraction of that $100 attributed to them—and the Assist and Converter would get their respective fractional credit of $100 attributed to them. 100% of the revenue attributed into three parts.

We know that leadoff hitters getting on-base produces the largest impact on scoring runs (less runs are scored without them). And with media attribution, we know that Originators produce the largest impact on scoring revenue (no revenue without originators).

Baseball, Football and media attribution—one of these things is not like the other, and one of these things is like the other.

Batter up!