20 October 2016

Which Attribution Model Should You Pick for Your Multi-Channel Campaign?


Ever felt like you are darting around aimlessly in the dark when it comes to the effectiveness of your communication channels?

Attribution models were created to rescue marketers and businesses like yours from this.

How to find the best attribution model


An attribution model is a method used for measuring the financial impressions that communication channels and touchpoints have along conversion paths.

This involves utilising metrics such as customer retention, sales, revenue, and of course profit, to report the impact of each communication platform on your multi-channel campaign.

In essence, attribution models are critical in helping you measure the effectiveness of your channels; revealing the communication channels that have led to conversions and sales, the ones that have initiated those conversion paths, and the channels that are of little consequence in such regards.

This way you can direct your efforts and budget towards what really works.

Discover how to effectively communicate marketing data at your next board meeting with our free Demand Generation Report Guide!


The different attribution models for your multi-channel campaign

The six most popular attribution models are as follows:

Last Click Attribution Model

This model awards all (100%) the credit for the sale to the last touchpoint before the customer made a purchase. This is the model that is used by most platforms themselves, such as Google AdWords, Google Analytics and so on as it is the easiest one to understand. However, it entirely misses the influence of those channels that were not the last click..

First Click Attribution Model

This model can be thought of as the opposite of the Last Click model. The First Click model gives 100% of the credit for the sale to the very first touchpoint a customer came in contact with before they purchased. In keeping with being the opposite of the Last Click model, First Click can completely miss the influence of interactions with channels lower down a customer engagement funnel.

Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model

Similar to the Last Click model, the Last Non-Direct Click model assumes that the last touchpoint is responsible for driving the sale, except when that touchpoint is a direct visit. In other words, it is like a Last Click model, but only counting the last visit driven by a known marketing channel, and assuming subsequent visits are a result of that channel.

The Linear Model does not award credit to only one touchpoint in the customer’s journey, instead it considers all touch points equally responsible for the sale. Thus, if the customer went through four touch points, say an organic search, a social media page, or an email, then a direct visit before purchase, then each of the four will receive 25% credit for the sale.

Positional Attribution Model

The Positional Model also considers all the touchpoints in the customer’s journey, however, it awards more credit to the First and Last points, while the one in between receive lesser credit for the purchase.

Time Decay Attribution Model

The principle behind the Time Decay model is that the closest touchpoint to the time of purchase is the one that is most responsible for driving revenue.

It considers the credit of each touchpoint to be increasing the closer it is to the time of purchase.

Thus, it awards much less credit to the touchpoint that happened long before the sale and gives the bulk of the credit the ones that occurred i.e. just hours before.

Which attribution model is best for your multi-channel campaign?

Answering this question is not simple because though the discussed attribution models are easy to understand and implement, they are not all equally suitable for every campaign.

Instead, it is much more profitable to first assess and analyse the effectiveness of each channel according to how many sales it contributed to; how many it initiated, completed or simply assisted.

Compare its performance to the purpose it was originally intended for, then you can decide the attribution model for that channel. Avoid using one attribution model for the entire multi-channel campaign as this could lead to inaccuracies.

In fact, even within one channel you might use different attribution models to assess the effectiveness of different parts of the same campaign. For example, brand keywords on paid search are likely to be used late in a customer engagement, but generic keywords are more likely to be used earlier on.

This also raises the need to carefully design each channel in a way that will make it more efficient at fulfilling its objective within the stage of communication.

This is perhaps the challenging part of building a multi-channel campaign. However, The Customer Journey to Online Purchase, one of Google’s interactive infographic tools, makes a good guide.

This tool, which is based on the findings of Google Analytics, shows how each channel affects purchase decisions. According to the tool, depending on the industry, the size of the business and the location of the campaign (market), different channels will play various roles at various stages of the customer’s journey.

Now that you know and understand the importance of the various attribution models, and their role in achieving a successful multi-channel campaign, isn’t it time your business makes its strides with profitable communication?

Begin by downloading our CMO Demand Generation Report for more in-depth insight.

Demand Generation Guide




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