How Partner Teams can Attribute Referrals in TCMA and Channel Programs

TCMA attribution

What is TCMA?

TCMA stands for through-channel marketing automation. Through-Channel Marketing is a system that enables organizations to scale advertising and local marketing messaging through their networks of indirect retailers, dealers, distributors, reseller agents, affiliates and other partners. 

“According to Forrester research, only about half of brands have implemented TCMA, with only 17% fully satisfied that they are getting the most from the systems. We believe that there will be significant interest in this third stage over the next few years.”

Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Channel Partnerships & Alliances

What’s the issue?

When you are scaling a partner program, you will run into channel conflict where in either:

  1. Someone in your sales department is receiving a commission on top of the referral fee you are having to pay partners for that same deal, or
  2. Two partners are claiming attribution over the same referral. 

Some of this can be solved with your CRM, but when you have partners assisting in promotions of your sales collateral and marketing content, you will need to attribute the right clicks to the right partner. 

Maintain Attribution in Through-Channel Marketing Automation Programs:

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Attribution Models: 


  • Coupon Code Attribution: An exclusive coupon code is tied to a specific affiliate. The unique code will attribute 100% of sales to the affiliate based on that coupon code.
  • Preferred Publisher: No matter how many other touchpoints are in the sales funnel, if a Preferred Publisher is one of them, they will get 100% of the attribution.
  • Custom Attribution: Unique attribution setup that could be any combination of the other models or something new.
  • Linear: Each touchpoint in the conversion path – multiple affiliates or various sources such as Paid Search, Social Network, Email, and Direct channels – would share equal credit for the sale.
  • Time Decay: The touchpoints closest in time to the sale or conversion get the credit.
  • First Click: The first affiliate touched in the sales funnel gets 100% of the attribution.

What’s included in your TCMA budget for next year?

  1. An agency or content creator
  2. TCMA platform for housing/tracking content and pages
  3. A partner recruiter / CS individual to support partner onboarding
  4. Integration support for your CRM/PRM (from tech department or an agency)

Two-Tier Metrics

Our Two-Tier Metrics show you channel partner participation data and downstream end-user analytics. Opens, clicks, video views, and watch times are all available on the xAmplify dashboard.

This makes for higher-impact campaigns, better forecasting, and more meaningful QBRs as your partners close in on their pipeline customers. Meanwhile, priority partners quickly become evident, putting SPIFs and MDF to better use.

Two-Tier Metrics are always intact and comprehensive, never null and void, because using the xAmplify email function to redistribute is compulsory for partners. There is no option for channel partners to download digital assets and send them out using a different distribution platform.

Additionally, this means:

  • Every closed deal has an attributable digital footprint for every partner.
  • Deal registration is always enabled, with metrics and attribution intact.
  • Conflict resolution among direct and indirect sales teams within an organization or among multiple channel partners is no longer an issue.