Next Level Florist Marketing (1/3): First Touch Attribution

By Ryan O'Neil

Do you know where your clients are coming from?

This is one of the most important questions a growing business can ask as they analyze which marketing efforts are most effective. If you have a marketing method (or channel) that is failing to perform well, you need to know so you can cut it or change your approach to that channel. The first step to figuring out the effectiveness of a florist marketing channel is to decide which form of lead attribution you'd like to measure--first touch, last touch, or multi-touch. Over the next few posts, we'll dive into some of the benefits and shortcomings of each method, starting with first touch attribution.

First Touch Attribution

First touch attribution simply means that you are measuring how leads meet you for the first time. If someone was a bridesmaid at a wedding and you gave them your business card but they later organically came across your Instagram feed when looking for inspiration, the interaction you had with them at the wedding would be how you attribute the lead.

This model works on the assumption that the strategy that first brought the customer to your company delivers the most value. This can be a great model for companies that want to see how well all of their top-of-funnel outreach efforts generate profitable prospects. However, it fails to give any insight into how well prospects are nurtured after they became aware of your presence.

Compared to other industries, event professionals have a relatively short buying cycle. According to TheKnot, most engaged couples will aim to hire a florist between 9 and 11 months before the big day. With so many other decisions that need to be made between the engagement day and the time they look for a florist, many engaged couples leave their florist search until they're absolutely ready to check flowers off their to-do lists.

Moreover, many will rely on references of friends and family members to create their short list of florists, so the first time they hear your company name could very likely be right before they reach out for a consultation. Even if they first find you through a marketing effort other than word of mouth, they're much more likely to reach out for a consultation rather quickly on that first touch because they are in a time crunch.

However, while first touch attribution helps measure marketing efforts in these types of situations, it fails to consider the full customer journey in cases where there's a significant gap of time between when a potential client first learns about your company and the time they reach out for a consultation. For example, if your floral company has a significant brand recognition in your town, it is possible that a potential client may have heard of you several times over the course of their life. In this case, that potential client may have a difficult time even remembering the first time they heard about you and first touch attribution will be a less than accurate indicator of your marketing efforts.

While first touch attribution may be a great option for some floral businesses to utilize in measuring the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, every situation is different and it's important to consider other attribution models before settling on a single method. Keep an eye out for the next blog post in this series on last touch attribution!

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