Marketing Attribution: All You Need to Know

By  | 

In every sector of the business world, the key to marketing is understanding the journey of the customer. Many customers go through extensive and unique journeys with a company, involving various touchpoints and forms of engagement.

In order to improve the Return on Investment (ROI) companies must fully comprehend the nature of these journeys, and how they are being fuelled by current marketing strategies. The solution – marketing attribution.

What is marketing attribution?

Marketing attribution is a process that evaluates the entire customer journey through all marketing touchpoints, determining which touchpoints are of the most value. These touchpoints will be delivering the most customer engagement and contribute highly towards lead generation and overall sales.

marketing attribution

The process of marketing attribution will vary depending on the preferred attribution model, but the fundamental aim is to provide data on the highest value touchpoints, in a customer journey. This allows companies to streamline marketing campaigns to suit the current attribution data and increase ROI.

What types of marketing attribution models are there?

Marketing attribution is achieved using three main types of models. These models are first touch attribution, last-touch attribution, and multi-touch attribution.

First touch attribution

First touch attribution focuses on the very first point of engagement a customer has with the company. Every customer journey must begin somewhere — whether from a search engine, pop-up ad, or email link.

First touch attribution

This initial interaction becomes the main target for the attribution model, and the ensuing journey map is disregarded. Top-of-funnel behaviour is vital in understanding what makes customers begin their journeys, and so this model is a great option.

Last touch attribution

Last touch attribution follows a similar process to the first model, except at the reverse end of the customer journey. This model focuses on the very last touchpoint a customer interacts with. Purchase is always the most desired outcome of every customer journey, so understanding final touchpoints can help seal in more total sales.

An example of the last touchpoint might be a phone call where a customer buys a product. In this instance, it is highly beneficial to consider using software such as industry-leading call tracking with Mediahawk. This will enable you to harness critical data surrounding the touchpoints that led to a phone call.

Multi-touch attribution

Multi-touch attribution differs from first and last touch attribution (known as single-touch models). These models incorporate every touchpoint along the customer journey, and each variation assigns different values to the structure of the journey.

The main models for multi-touch attribution are:

Linear attribution

This model considers all the touchpoints in a customer journey equally, from the very first interaction to the last. This is a great way of understanding how customers are engaging with the content throughout the journey, and which points are more successful at generating leads or sales.


The U-shaped model focuses mainly on the first and last touchpoints, with some consideration of the middle journey. This model identifies which interactions are hooking customers and which are solidifying purchases, without neglecting insight into the journey that connects them.


This model, similar to the U-shaped model, assigns credit to the first and last touchpoints. However, it offers a greater emphasis on the middle of the funnel. This is used to better understand how effectively customers are funnelled through the journey from start to end. This reveals what makes initial prospects become potential purchasers.

Time decay attribution

Time decay Attribution

This model follows the assumption that touchpoints become more valuable as the customer journeys down the funnel. The first touchpoint has the lowest value, ascending with the final touchpoint having the highest. This model is ideal for understanding how marketing touchpoints progressively encourage customers at each stage, leading to conversion.

What are the advantages of using marketing attribution?


the advantages of using marketing attribution

Regardless of the preferred model, marketing attribution can bring a wide range of benefits and also taking success to next level for your company. These include, but are not limited to:

  • An understanding of how each touchpoint contributes towards customer conversion.
  • The ability to streamline marketing campaigns to adhere to customer needs.
  • An increased rate of lead and sales generation, along with greater ROI.
  • Tailored touchpoints to improve the customer experience – i.e., call to action, live chats, creative designs.

To conclude, where companies require a deeper knowledge of how their marketing touchpoints are engaging customers, marketing attribution is a must-have tool for your company. When you can understand the customer journey, you can determine how it ends.

Ryan Bradman

Ryan Bradman

Guest Blogger & Outreach Expert - Interested in Writing Blogs, Articles in Business Niche | News Journalist By Profession in the United Kingdom
Sharing is caring