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What Is An Attribution Model in Marketing? Top 5 attribution model of 2024

What Is An Attribution Model In Marketing
Table of Contents
Estimated Reading: 6 minutes
Post Author: Giuseppe Iafulli
Reviewed By: Cory Anderson

In the complex world of digital marketing, understanding what is an attribution model and the impact of various marketing efforts on consumer behaviour is crucial. This is where an attribution model comes into play. An attribution model in marketing is a framework used to assign credit or value to different marketing touchpoints throughout a customer’s journey. It helps marketers understand which channels, campaigns, or interactions are driving conversions and contributing to sales. This article explores the concept, importance, types, and challenges of attribution models in marketing.

Despite how overwhelming this appears, we will break it down into manageable steps today. The most popular attribution models and their meanings will be quickly reviewed first. Afterwards, we will quickly review why you wish to use various models instead of others.

What is an Attribution Model: Introduction

The Concept of Attribution in Digital Marketing

From doing a product search online to completing a purchase and all the steps in between, attribution modelling helps marketers analyse and credit marketing touchpoints at each phase of the customer journey.

Marketers can use attribution models to find out what aspects of their marketing strategy are generating the most leads for a certain stage of the sales funnel.

Multi-touch modelling allows you to allocate credit across several touchpoints to understand the impact of marketing interactions on the sales funnel.

Why Attribution Models Matter for Marketers

Attribution models are vital tools for marketers. With the help of these models, we can see how various marketing channels and strategies perform. The importance of attribution models for marketers can be summarised as follows:

  • Understanding the Journeys of the Customer: Marketers may learn more about the steps consumers take before buying with the help of attribution models. Improving marketing techniques to match consumer behaviours requires this knowledge.
  • Marketing Budget Optimisation: Marketers may better use their money by determining which channels and touchpoints generate the highest conversion rates. This way, investment can be focused where it will have the greatest impact.
  • Improving the Campaign’s Efficiency: Marketers can determine which strategies produce results and which need to be improved using attribution models, which lets them tweak their campaigns for maximum impact.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: A more strategic and less speculative approach to marketing is possible with the help of attribution models, which give hard data for decision-making.

Types of Attribution Models

In the realm of digital marketing, various types of attribution models are used to understand and credit the impact of different marketing touchpoints on a consumer’s decision-making process. Here’s an overview of the most commonly used attribution models:

First Touch Attribution Model

According to first-touch attribution modelling, the initial channel or touchpoint that a customer interacts with is given full credit for the conversion.

Best For: Identifying which channels are most effective at generating initial awareness

Attribution model marketing

Last Touch Attribution Model

The inverse of first-touch attribution modelling, last-touch attribution modelling attributes a lead’s conversion solely to the last touchpoint they engaged with.

Best For: Understanding which marketing efforts are most effective at sealing the deal.

Related Post: Last Click Attribution: What It Is & How To Use It

Linear Attribution Model

One form of multi-touch attribution, linear attribution modelling, assigns equal weight to each channel Related Post: Last Click Attribution: What It Is & How To Use Itand touchpoint a consumer interacts with along their buyer’s journey.

Best For: Businesses looking for a simple and holistic view of the customer journey.

Time Decay Attribution Model

All touchpoints that led to a conversion are considered in time-decay attribution modelling, which also considers the time of each touchpoint; the touchpoints that occurred most immediately before the conversion are given the greatest weight.

Best For: Emphasizing the importance of interactions that happen near the conversion point.

Position-Based Attribution Model

According to the position-based (U-shaped) method, the two most important encounters in a sales funnel are the one that led to the customer discovering your brand and the one that resulted in a conversion.

Best For: Balancing the importance of initial engagement and closing interactions.

Related Post: Multi-Touch Attribution: What It Is & How It Works

Implementing Attribution Models in Marketing Strategies

Choosing the right attribution model for your business is a critical decision that can significantly impact your understanding of marketing effectiveness and where to allocate your budget. Here are steps and considerations to guide you in selecting the most appropriate attribution model:

Understand Your Customer Journey:

  • Complexity and Length: Consider the length and complexity of your sales cycle. Short, direct cycles might be well-served by simpler models like last-click, whereas longer, more complex cycles might benefit from multi-touch models.
  • Channels Used: Identify all the channels and touchpoints your customers interact with. Some businesses might rely heavily on the initial awareness phase, while others might engage customers across a variety of platforms over time.

Define Your Business Goals:

  • Awareness vs. Conversion: Determine what’s more important for your current business strategy — is it creating initial awareness (first-click might be appropriate) or is it securing the final sale (consider last-click or time-decay)?
  • Overall Strategy Alignment: Ensure the model you choose aligns with your broader marketing goals, whether it’s market penetration, customer retention, or brand awareness.

Consider the Resources Available:

  • Data Capability: Do you have the necessary data and tools to implement complex models like data-driven or time-decay attribution? These require more sophisticated tracking and analytics capabilities.
  • Expertise: Consider whether your team has the expertise to understand and act on the insights provided by more complex models.

Evaluate Model Flexibility and Adaptability:

  • Changing Market Conditions: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Ensure that the model you choose can adapt to new channels and changing consumer behaviors.
  • Test and Learn: Be prepared to test different models and learn from how they reflect your marketing effectiveness. Sometimes a hybrid or custom approach tailored to your specific needs works best.

Review and Reassess Regularly:

  • Performance Review: Regularly review the performance of your chosen model against key performance indicators (KPIs) and return on investment (ROI).
  • Iterate and Optimize: Be open to iterating your approach as you gather more data and insights. What works today might not be as effective tomorrow.

Consult with Stakeholders:

  • Internal Teams: Engage with sales, marketing, and finance teams to understand how different models might impact reporting, budgeting, and strategy.
  • External Experts: Consider consulting with external experts or agencies that specialize in marketing attribution to gain deeper insights and guidance.

Learning from Marketing Attribution Failures and Successes

You can learn a lot from both your attribution triumphs and mistakes. Improving future marketing campaigns is as simple as figuring out which strategies worked and which didn’t. Businesses can gain valuable insights from their marketing attribution experiences by doing the following:

Identifying Data Issues and Analysing Attribution Failures:

When attribution fails, it’s usually because of poor data quality or a lack of integration. Data inaccuracies or gaps can be found and fixed by delving into these failures.

Learn about Model Limitations:

If an attribution model doesn’t work, it could be because it wasn’t designed for that particular marketing plan or customer journey. With this insight, we can choose a better model for the future.

Keeping Up with the Market:

Attribution mistakes can occur for various reasons, including shifts in customer behaviour or market circumstances. More dynamic strategy adaptation is possible with the recognition of these aspects.

Using Kleene’s Decision Intelligence Platform

In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, staying competitive requires a steady mix of up-to-date data, cutting-edge tools, and the right mindset. As time progresses, maximising Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) will become increasingly complicated, but utilising the right tools can help you make informed decisions help you unify data from many departments into one accurate single source of truth, it offers powerful analytics tools, and facilitates better decision-making with the help of recommendations powered by artificial intelligence.

Kleene enables marketers to measure and prove the incremental impact of every channel, both online and offline, predict budget investment impact and test different allocation scenarios using advanced AI attributions, measure the impact of online and offline campaigns on ROI and get better insights with all data taken into account. We combine Multi-Touch Attribution with Media Mix Modeling to attribute all your marketing activities (online/offline) to the right orders, moving beyond last-click attribution. It helps you gain a holistic perspective of your campaign’s performance with a rich, actionable dashboard showing impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, ROAS, and CAC across all your marketing channels and attribution methods

With Kleene’s Decision Intelligence Platform, your organisation can achieve more than survival—it can thrive thanks to smarter, data-informed decision-making.

Is data-driven decision-making something you’re prepared to implement in your retail business? Contact a Kleene specialist now to learn more about how our Decision Intelligence Platform can meet your company’s specific demands and help you get an edge in the market. Data analysis is only part of the equation; guiding your company to succeed in a volatile market is the real deal.

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