Attribution Modelling: What are the options?

Attribution Modelling: What are the options?

Attribution is a murky word in today’s marketing landscape. Marketers talk about it and agencies blog about it.  However, when it comes to delivery, attribution it can often become watered down and reduced to ‘last-click’ models and vague identification. In a customer journey as convoluted as today’s, that simply won’t do.

Before we start, let’s clarify something: what is attribution? Attribution is how we measure the impact of our marketing performance on the bottom line.  This, for all marketers, should be an imperative, but as we all know, often this can become bogged down in more tactical metrics like views, impressions and click-throughs. With tagging technology now well-developed, and the majority of many purchase cycles moving into the online space, we are now in a position to more accurately track that journey across multiple channels, and even assign a weighting to each channel in any given purchase. This is the ultimate aim of attribution, allowing marketers to adjust channel spend within individual campaign timeframes and to optimise performance and spend. 

So, what other models exist aside from Last Click? Here’s a quick rundown of the different methodologies:

1. Last Interaction: In a Last Interaction model, the last touch point before sale (e.g. Direct channel) receives 100% of the credit for that sale.

2. Last Non-direct Click: In the Last Non-direct Click attribution model, all direct traffic is ignored, and 100% of the credit for the sale goes to the last channel that the customer clicked through from before converting (e.g. the Email channel)

3. Last AdWords click: In the Last AdWords Click attribution model, the last AdWords click would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.

4. First Interaction: In the First Interaction attribution model, the first touchpoint (e.g. Paid Search channel) would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.

5. Linear: In the Linear attribution model, each touchpoint in the conversion path (e.g. the Paid Search, Social Network, Email, and Direct channels) would share equal credit (25% each) for the sale.

6. Time Decay: In the Time Decay attribution model, the touchpoints closest in time to the sale or conversion get most of the credit e.g. the Direct and Email channels would receive the most credit because the customer interacted with them within a few hours of conversion. The Social Network channel would receive less credit than either the Direct or Email channels.  Since the Paid Search interaction occurred one week earlier, this channel would receive significantly less credit.

7. Position Based: In the Position Based attribution model, 40% credit is assigned to each the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% credit is distributed evenly to the middle interactions. For example, Paid Search and Direct channels would each receive 40% credit, while the Social Network and Email channels would each receive 10% credit.

8. Custom: Attribution modelling has now moved on to such an extent that a custom model, combining various instances of the above methodologies into one bespoke model, is entirely possible. You may, for example, want to apply a Time Decay model to the top of the funnel but move to a position-based model once the prospect is addressable via email. This is particularly useful if different internal teams own different parts of the journey and have differing KPIs.
So, there you have it. These attribution models range from simple to sophisticated, and you may find that one is better suited to your business than another. But that’s for another blog!
For more information on these models and how to implement them, why not get in touch with the team!