The Different Types of Attribution Models

Debra Morgan, Marketing Tech Outlook | Thursday, September 09, 2021

Almost every company is in a difficult period, and it has never been more critical to evaluate the impact of every dollar spent.

FREMONT, CA: Attribution modeling enables marketers to determine how much credit each marketing channel and customer touch point should be given for a particular conversion. This technique allows marketers to optimize their programs over time by focusing on the channels and touch points that generate the most value. However, not all attribution is created equal, and different attribution models distribute credit differently.

To achieve value through attribution, one must first determine which models are the most appropriate for the organization. There is no uniform attribution model, and the one that works best for organizations will be determined by the customers' purchasing behaviors and business objectives. To assist, consider some most often used attribution models and when to utilize them.

First-Touch Attribution

Occasionally referred to as "first-click" or "first-interaction" models, this attribute 100 percent credit for each conversion to a single source. According to the moniker, the first documented connection a consumer has with the organization is attributed with triggering the ultimate transformation—regardless of how many other touch points occur in between. For instance, if a customer discovers a site via organic search, is then retargeted via display advertising on a publisher site or social network, and then makes a purchase, the organic search continues to receive full credit.

The simplicity of first-touch models is a benefit. Rather than spreading value over several channels, they focus exclusively on the initial point of contact. They can be a simple approach for a new marketing campaign to understand how consumers act and where they are most likely to be reached to fill the top of the funnel. Additionally, it is a practical approach for products with a short buying cycle, as potential customers rarely connect with the brand more than once before making a purchase.

Last-Touch Attribution

As with the first-touch attribution, last-touch attribution models attribute conversions entirely to a single interaction, in this case, the most recent engagement an individual had with an organization. Whether it was clicking an advertisement, receiving an email, or engaging with a social media post, a client's final action before converting is regarded as the sole factor contributing to that conversion.

Due to the simplicity with which last-touch attribution can be implemented and evaluated on an ongoing basis, it is an excellent solution for organizations looking to obtain some fundamental insight into consumer behavior to understand their funnel better. Additionally, it is an effective strategy for organizations with a short buying cycle, as the latency between exposure and purchase is relatively minimal. However, last-touch ignores a significant portion of the complexity inherent in modern multichannel digital marketing, which exposes consumers to many messages that lead to their ultimate conversions.

See ALso: Top Marketing Attribution Consulting

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