Leading Higher Ed Institution Recaptures over $1.47M using Multi-touch Attribution


Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) discovers unproductive student paths and highest value channel returns, lowering costs and increasing share.

A higher ed institution sought to quantify discrete marketing channel efficacy in order to increase returns and positioning for market growth. However, without MTA the brand was blind to actual prospective student path activity.


Arcalea’s MTA enabled visibility of customer activity data, uncovering and quantifying value of specific student paths across channels, enabling savings and revealing opportunities for revenue gains.

The Challenge

The brand needed to increase targeted acquisition and revenue through marketing mix evaluation, eliminating unproductive paths and increasing ROMI. However, the brand had no insight into marketing efficacy beyond default Google Analytics and Google Ads reporting. As a result, the brand was blind to the number and structure of current and prospective student paths, true costs and ROI per channel, or even top acquisition sourcing.


In order to measure channel efficacy, the brand required customer journey visibility and quantification across the ecosystem. Arcalea began by implementing a Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) solution to uncover true customer path attribution for the institution. Capturing website and marketing channel first-party data, Arcalea passed current customer activity data into the brand’s CRM and MTA Dashboard. Through at-a-glance visualizations by channel, path, conversion, and revenue, customer journeys were filtered by over a dozen new dimensions, revealing insights unavailable through traditional analytics.

While paid media appeared to provide the greatest raw number of opportunities, when MTA was implemented, organic traffic was immediately revealed to source far more revenue-producing customers by a factor of 3:1. 

Paid media delivered significant target customers; however, the number of paid media paths outnumbered the revenue-producing paths over 20:1. By revealing the actual productive and non-productive paid media customer paths, the brand was able to identify specific ad elements to eliminate extraneous landing pages and optimize revenue-relevant content. 

Additionally, among the multiple customer targets, the highest value targets’ paths had the lowest Quality Scores of the customer base. As a result, the brand had been paying a premium on paid media channel acquisition for the majority of their least valuable leads. The paid media channel path visualization identified the specific landing pages and path elements to optimize moving forward.



In the first 60 days, Arcalea’s MTA solution identified unnecessary spend, page paths, and highlighted the previously unknown true source of the majority of high-value customers. Modifying the depth and allocation of spend across channels by more than 50%, the brand gained nearly $1.5M in savings per year while improving customer acquisition through the first few insights alone. 


Moving Forward


As a result of the newly gained customer journey views, the brand was able to use conversion intelligence to support decisioning across the mix. MTA identified not only that 20% of the customer paths were driving 80% of the revenue, but which 20% was responsible for the revenue-producing customers. 

With a first-party data foundation, the brand is able to build on the initial $1M+ savings by continuous reassessment of channel paths and customer value.  As the brand moves forward, leadership will know exactly which paths to eliminate, optimize, or redouble to gain market share at greatest ROI. 


Related Case Studies

A growth-focused national healthcare brand successfully captured high-value customers with a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) over 10:1. However, because of a complex marketing mix with partial data, the leadership was unable to tell which investments were working and which were not.

The pharma brand used a complex marketing mix to reach unique customer segments and patient populations, but had little visibility to the customer journeys of the patients and brand-customer interactions.

A leading pharmaceutical company created an unparalleled, targeted solution for an under addressed patient population. Despite a breakthrough market solution, organic visibility was low, and existing customers were largely acquired through branded paid campaigns.

The brand needed to increase targeted acquisition and revenue through marketing mix evaluation, eliminating unproductive paths and increasing ROMI. However, the brand had no insight into marketing efficacy beyond default Google Analytics and Google Ads reporting. 

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