Marketing Attribution 101

Maria Breaux
March 13, 2014

Did you know? Only about half of businesses carry out some sort of attribution.

Marketing attribution is the practice of determining the role that different channels play in informing and influencing the customer journey, and subsequently allocating partial value to different touch points which have influenced a sale or another desired outcome.

There are many different attribution models, each with their own merits - the most important thing is picking a model that fits your business. Consider:

  • First-click - Credit is given to the first click in the path to conversion.
  • Last-click - Credit is given to the last click in the path to conversion.
  • Linear - Credit is spread equally across all clicks in the path to conversion.
  • Time decay - More credit is given to clicks that occur closest to the time of conversion.
  • Position-based - Credit is given based on the position of the click in the path to conversion, with the first and last click receiving more value.
  • Regression or algorithmic - Credit is given based on regression analysis of historical performance.

While it can be complicated to make attribution a part of your marketing process, the business motivation is very clear: to justify marketing spend, to build an understanding of the customer journey and audience behavior, and to use this understanding to optimize the media mix.

When marketers implement attribution, they often get immediate insights that allow them to better adjust their budgets, moving money away from poorly performing channels and toward better ones. This allows for a better strategy across the entire path-to-conversion.

To learn the basics of marketing attribution, download our guide.

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