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Sarah Wharton

Set Sail for Conversion – how cruise providers can chart the seas of attribution modelling

Hit Search blog attribution modelling cruise providersIf there’s one key question all cruise providers should ask it’s “How did my customers find me?” Without the answer to this, you’re simply treading water without a hope of knowing where to focus your marketing spend. Is your email marketing campaign working or are customers finding you through social media channels? Should your focus be on content or is PPC working well? You need to ensure that you’re charting a course for success through the sometimes choppy waters that carry a customer to conversion.

Attribution modelling can help you identify the channels that drive your conversions as well as boost awareness and create loyalty, so that you can decide which should receive more spend. Attribution modelling uses a variety of different models to give weighting to various touch points along the customer’s journey.

Imagine a cruise customer journey that looks like this:

  1. They find your site through organic search when looking for cruise providers.
  2. They engage again when they receive an email newsletter.
  3. They click through on one of your PPC ads.
  4. They convert after finding you again through an email deal.

A last touch attribution model would give all of the value to the email deal since it was the last method by which the customer arrived at your site before booking a cruise, while a first touch attribution model would credit the organic search result as this was what first made the customer aware of your site. A linear attribution model, meanwhile, would give each touch point an equal weighting (in this case 25% of the value) since they all played a part, and a position based attribution model would divide 80% of the value between the first and last touch points, and the remaining 20% between those in the middle. Lastly, a time delay attribution model gives increased value to each progressive step in the journey.

Which model you use entirely depends on what you want to find out and the type of campaign you’re analysing, but what touch points should you be including in your attribution model in the first place? To decide this you need to look at the ways in which your campaign components are designed to fit into a customer journey beginning with awareness and going through decision, conversion to creating a loyal customer who books cruises year after year.


Here cruise providers need to include touch points that create a general awareness of their brand. This could include offline activity such as TV adverts, billboards and press ads, as well as online activity including social PPC, online PR campaigns and engaging content such as infographics.


Once you have created some general awareness around your brand, you want to influence the decision of prospective customers actually looking to book a cruise. In this part of your attribution model you’ll be looking at touch points like PPC and SEO – ensuring your site appears high up in SERPs when customers search for cruise providers.


Once you have your prospective customers on your site, it’s all about steering them towards conversion – getting them to book that holiday. Here you want to include elements such as CRO, onsite content and blogs – any components that convince the customer that they want to book their cruise with you.


Having a customer book a cruise is great, but wouldn’t it be better if those customers returned time and time again to book more cruises? Be sure to include loyalty touch points such as email deals, newsletters and social media interactions in your attribution model to ensure returning loyal customers are considered.

Here at Hit Search, we specialise in attribution modelling for the cruise sector and have even created a free booklet explaining the facts which you can download here.

To speak to one of our attribution modelling experts about how we can help you get the most from your marketing spend and target customers who are ready to set sail, call us on 0845 643 9289.

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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