CTM Blog


Closed-loop Attribution: Connect the Dots in Your Data

by Barb Cronin

Read Time 3 minutes

Marketing attribution, particularly closed-loop attribution, is a vital piece of any marketer’s strategy. Knowing where leads and conversions come from is vital. However, many marketers report gaps in data–with data gaps, this won’t happen. Closed-loop attribution closes the gaps in data and communication so you know which campaigns and ads are driving the highest-value conversions, and which aren’t. Getting comprehensive data on the steps in your buyer’s journey is key to increasing leads, proving ROI, driving revenue, and providing the best possible customer experiences.

Closed-loop attribution gives you deeper insight into not only what ads are converting the most customers but also into your customers and their needs. Having this accurate and comprehensive data is crucial. Research shows that 64 percent of marketers report that data-driven strategies are essential to success today. With so much riding on data, it makes sense to be sure you’re getting attribution data around all of your campaigns, channels, ads, and keywords.

What is Closed-loop Attribution?

Closed-loop attribution lets marketers credit each channel, campaign, and ad for its role in the conversion of a prospect to a customer. With this approach to attribution, sales data flows back to marketing teams to better understand their true impact on the buyer’s journey. Closed-loop attribution helps you determine which touchpoints are most important in your buyer’s journey.

Like with closed-loop marketing, closed-loop attribution helps align sales and marketing teams. Another vital factor in business success. When these teams are aligned, team members, the organization as a whole, and customers all prosper.

When both teams pass information consistently back and forth to one another, messaging in both marketing and sales can be fine-tuned and tailored to the audience. These personalized marketing messages lead to better customer experiences which lead to increased conversions and happy, loyal customers–all top goals of sales and marketing teams.

The more you know about how each of your campaigns is performing as well as your customers’ buying behaviors, the better you’ll be positioned to increase sales and drive revenue. The benefits of closed-loop attribution are impressive. Research from Adobe reveals a few of the benefits of closed-loop marketing or attribution. With closed-loop attribution and marketing, organizations benefit from:

  • Increased conversions
  • Improved customer service experiences
  • Improved lead management
  • Optimized budget
  • Better ROI
  • Aligned sales and marketing teams

With the streamlined and consistent communication attained by closed-loop attribution, teams can better understand why prospects converted–and why they didn’t–and adjust both marketing and sales efforts accordingly.

How to Implement Closed-loop Attribution

Marketing and sales departments need ways to get this actionable data in real-time. Being able to consistently track and attribute which ads, campaigns, channels, and keywords are driving the most valuable customer interactions is essential to optimizing your marketing budget and proving ROI. When teams are getting data in real-time, they can act on the spot to improve the customer’s experience, shorten the sales cycle, and deliver results both customers and clients love.

Having all of this information in one place, with the ability to customize what data you see, how you see it, and how you report on it improves efficiency and saves marketers valuable time. After all, spending hours trying to collect data from various sources, then compile it into an easy-to-understand report can be frustrating at best. Having all of your data in one place where you can see what’s going on at a glance, makes marketers’ lives a whole lot easier.

However, many marketers don’t feel confident in their abilities to implement closed-loop attribution. But, it’s easier than you may think and well worth doing. Once you start using closed-loop attribution, you’ll unlock valuable data and insights previously missed. To succeed today, it’s essential to have reliable, comprehensive data–but not all marketers are getting it.

In fact, many marketers are less than confident in the data they’re getting. According to an article from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 57% of marketers are incorrectly interpreting their data. When data is inaccurate or incorrectly interpreted or reported, teams are not only unable to maximize ROI but also are making uninformed and likely incorrect marketing decisions.

Implementing closed-loop attribution or any marketing attribution model should begin with assessing which model will best meet your organization’s goals. Once you choose a model, you should determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to gauge success. When these are in place, choose a few team members to facilitate this. It’s suggested to have individuals from both marketing and sales involved.

The next step is to choose which marketing analytics software you will use. Google Analytics is a go-to for many marketers to report on web activity. However, if you want data from all online and offline marketing efforts integrating your analytics tools with call tracking software is key.

Connecting all the dots in your marketing data–for both online and offline activities– will help you better understand your customers as well as the success of your marketing efforts. The better you understand both, the better positioned you are to maximize your marketing strategy and consistently drive results.

There are a few basic things to keep in mind when looking at marketing attribution and call tracking software. Be sure it:

  • Offers tracking and attribution for all sources–both online and offline
  • Integrates with marketing platforms you already use
  • Provides closed-loop data

When a platform offers these features, you get information and data on all of your marketing efforts in one place making it easier to see the story your data is telling, prove ROI, and consistently optimize campaigns and drive revenue. In addition to these features, you’ll want to consider others including the ability to automate tasks and manage leads with conversation analyticstracking and attribution for calls, forms, texts, and chatsGA4 compatibility, keyword-level attribution, robust reporting capabilities, and other solutions that are specific to your organization’s needs.

Depending on your specific industry, you’ll also want to consider a platform with features to meet these unique needs. For example, do you need a product that is HIPAA, GDPR, and HITECH compliant? Or are you an agency looking for a product built with agencies in mind offering unlimited sub-accounts, flexible billing, and white-labeling options?

Once you have everything in place, get started tracking and attributing. Look for real-time actionable insights as well as trends over longer periods. And, as with all marketing efforts, continue to test, optimize, and repeat.


In summary, closed-loop attribution lets you credit each channel a specific amount for its contribution to a sale or conversion. Encouraging regular and ongoing communication between sales and marketing teams, this type of multi-touch attribution creates opportunities for both teams to fine-tune their communications and drive more high-value interactions.

Closed-loop attribution enables marketers to:

  • Align sales and marketing teams
  • Prove ROI
  • Deliver exceptional customer experiences
  • Optimize the right campaigns, ads, and keywords
  • Get actionable, real-time data
  • Fine-tune marketing content
  • Fine-tune sales pitches

If you’re like so many marketers and are still trying to connect the dots in your marketing data and clearly understand your buyer’s journey, closed-loop attribution may be the answer. CallTrackingMetrics offers closed-loop attribution showing you exactly which marketing campaigns are working the best and giving you first-hand insight into your customer. See CTM in action and Book a Demo today.