Today, people use over 10 different ways to interact with companies. This means that the marketing landscape is even more fragmented than it was before. Marketing your product – even digitally – is becoming a more complex task every day as we try to cover all these bases.

Marketing attribution models make marketing easier by telling you how and when you should focus your marketing efforts. They are also a way you can use to measure Return on Investment (ROI).  All in all, they’re an important part of optimizing your marketing strategy.

Below, we discuss these models and have compiled a list of model types.  Use this quick review to find out which one is the best for you.

Marketing Attribution

Not only are consumers interacting in more and more ways with companies, but their expectations are also rising. This means that marketing management is becoming a more varied landscape than ever.

Now, the top priority when creating a strategy is finding the right mix of tools to make an impact. This way, you’ll know if you should be focusing on Facebook ads or emails. Customers rarely go straight to a website then make their purchase.

Before they got there, they passed through a series of messages and ads. Being able to track consumers through this journey is what makes marketing attribution so successful. If you know that your Instagram ads are leading to more conversions than your YouTube ads, you know where you should be investing more money.

How Does It Work?

In summary, marketing attribution is the act of discovering which touch points your customer interacted with before purchasing your product or service. These touch points could be anything from a TV commercial to a promotional email.

The Customer Journey

Usually, promotional emails are no mistake. Companies usually outline their customers’ journeys.

This predefined journey contains all the steps that their clients usually go through before making a purchase. If you’re receiving a promotional email, it’s usually because you’ve reached a point in their journey that tells them you’re ready to make a purchase. This can prompt events like big discounts or offers.

How do they do this? Usually, with some kind of marketing attribution model.

This model is usually a set of rules. These rules tell you how much credit or importance you should assign to a channel in any campaign.

A channel is a way that your customers use to engage with you. This could be social media sites, your blog, email, or any other avenue.

Using attribution modeling, you can figure out which channel drives customers towards purchases. The model will give these channels credit for the conversions they lead to. The type of model you use can affect the results you get.

This is why you need to use the right model for your business. Here is a list of different marketing-attribution models along with their pros and cons.

Marketing Attribution Models

There are quite a few types of marketing attribution models. One type is single-source marketing attribution models.

Single source marketing attribution models assign all the credit for the purchase to one touch point. This is usually the first touch point or the last touch point.

First Touch Attribution Model

This model applies all the credit for a purchase to the touch points that led a visitor to your website for the first visit. This model applies for the credit even if the visitor doesn’t subscribe or purchase anything. In fact, a visitor doesn’t have to perform any converting action to be included in the analysis.

This model analyses the beginning of the customer journey.

There are quite a few pros of the first touch attribution model. It’s the best way to go if you are focused on generating demand. It is also one of the best ways to search for leads.

If you use this model, you’ll be able to easily tell which actions drive the first connection to your brand. Use these touch points to find leads. Lead cards can be instrumental in creating ROI.  Another advantage is that it’s easy to use with Google Analytics.

The main con with this model is that it focuses on one touch point. This means that you can end up over-prioritizing this channel. Another con is that it doesn’t tell you what actions lead to the bottom of the conversion funnel.

Last Touch Attribution

The opposite of first touch attribution, this model gives credit to the final step before a customer buys. Also known as last-click attribution, it’s the go-to model for most marketers.

The last touch point usually occurs when the consumer already has the item in their cart. It’s often the part where you reach out and remind them to make the purchase.

The disadvantage of this model is that it ignores all the steps that have led to the purchase. Because of this, it’s advised to use it with a multi-step process instead of a last-touch only process.

Multi-touch marketing models also exist. These use more than one source or touch point to carry out the attribution. We’ll discuss the two most popular ones.

Linear Attribution

This is the simplest multi-touch attribution model. It gives equal revenue credit to all of the touch points on the customer journey. So, if you find 10 touch points, each gets 10 percent of the credit.

This model lets you make the most of the whole journey. The main pro is that it allows you to optimize the whole journey instead of one point.

The main disadvantage is that by giving points evenly, it’s hard to tell which are performing well. This means that some poorly performing points will also get more credit than they deserve.

Time-decay Attribution

This model gives the touch point delivering the conversion of all the credit. The farther away the touch point is from giving a conversion, the less credit it gets. This marketing model gives you a better idea of the interactions pushing the consumer to your product.

However, a limitation is that it doesn’t focus on the points leading the consumer to your site. An advantage is that you have a better understanding of which parts of your site are driving conversions.

Which One Suits You?

Choosing from these 4 different models depends on your business goals. If you have a small consumer base and you want to focus on generating leads, then the first-touch attribution is best. However, if you’re looking to optimize your website to lead towards conversions, time-decay attribution would be best.

For people looking to get a general picture of their consumer journey, linear attribution gives the most comprehensive picture. Take a look at your online business to decide which of these options would be best for you.

Curious about more ways you can optimize your online business? Find out more on our website.