Jan 7, 2023

What are attribution models and how you can use them in your marketing campaigns?

In the world of digital marketing, where competition is fierce and standing out is crucial, attribution models play a significant role. These models help businesses determine which marketing strategies are contributing to sales and conversions. Whether using a single channel or a multi-channel approach, attribution models allow you to analyze customer interactions with your brand throughout their journey, identifying the touchpoints that have the most impact. There are various attribution models to choose from, including last interaction, first interaction, last non-direct click, linear, time-decay, and position-based. By leveraging these models, businesses can optimize their marketing campaigns, reduce drop-offs, and improve conversions across different channels, ultimately maximizing profitability.

While marketing used to be something only the big players in the market could afford, today, it has become affordable for anyone with the rise in the popularity of digital marketing. Digital marketing has allowed anyone to market their brand and take it to the masses.

But, every coin has two sides to it, and so does digital marketing.

Because it has become so affordable, everybody is trying their hand at digital marketing. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the competition—you need to know exactly which digital marketing strategies are working and which aren’t to stay ahead of your rivals.

But that’s not it, due to the abundance of various digital marketing avenues—which in marketing are called channels—finding out from which channel customers are coming from has also become very challenging, to say the least.

This is where attribution models come into play. Understanding these models can help you focus on the right digital marketing strategies and bring in those all-important leads to your business.

What are attribution models?

Let’s start with the basics.

Attribution models, at their very core, are a way to find out which marketing strategies are contributing to sales and conversions.

You can be using a single channel or a multi-channel digital marketing strategy, attribution models can help you identify where, how, and when leads are interacting with your brand throughout the customer journey—the path they take to become customers.

With attribution models, you can use customer data to weigh each interaction—this is commonly known as a touchpoint—customers had with your brand. This allows you to find out which customer interaction had the biggest impact on conversions.

You also have a lot of flexibility with attribution models, as there are various different types which you can use based on your marketing strategy and sales funnel.

Here are six of the most common attribution models:

1. Last interaction

This is sometimes known as the last click or the last touch attribution model. As the name implies, this model gives 100% weightage to the last customer interaction before they convert.

For instance, if your leads downloaded your asset, read your lead nurturing emails, booked a call with you after the email, and then bought your product or service, the last interaction model gives 100% credit for the conversion to the final call.


2. First interaction

The first click or first interaction model is the exact opposite of the last interaction model. This model gives 100% credit to the very first touchpoint with your customer.

If we take the example from above, this model will give full weightage to the asset download for the conversion.

Both first interaction and last interaction models are the simplest attribution models to implement but they disregard any impact other marketing techniques or channels might have had at different stages of the customer journey.

3. Last non-direct click

While this model also gives 100% weightage to a single touchpoint, it does so to the last touchpoint before the direct interaction that led to the conversion.

In our example, this would be the step where your leads interacted with your nurturing email.

4. Linear

As the name suggests, linear attribution gives equal credit to all touchpoints before the conversion. So, all four steps in our example will be weighted equally.

5. Time-decay

This model also gives all touchpoints credit for the conversion, but it also considers the time each interaction occurred. Touchpoints that happened closest to the conversion receive a higher weightage while other steps are weighted progressively lower.

6. Position-based

This model gives 40% weight to the first and the last direct touchpoint and the remaining 20% is given to any other interactions your customers may have had before they converted.

Apart from the six models, you could also leverage custom attribution models to get a much more accurate representation of the impact each interaction had on the conversion.

How can attribution models help improve your marketing campaigns?

By understanding which areas of your sales funnel are working and which parts are not, you could identify leaks in your funnel and take the necessary steps to improve those specific interactions.

This way you can reduce drop-offs and improve conversions across all marketing channels. This can also help you identify which marketing channels contribute most to the conversions, so you can focus more on those channels to maximise conversions.

Leverage attribution models to bring in the cha-ching

With what seems like a million different options available to market your brand, it’s important to find out which marketing tactics work best for you to maximise conversions and profit.

And that’s exactly what you can do with attribution models. If you’re not using them yet, make them part of your marketing campaigns to make your sales funnel more leakproof.

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