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Choosing the Right Analytics Attribution Model

The marketing scene is ever-changing with new trends and platforms emerging just when you thought you had a solid marketing strategy for your business. From maintaining multiple social media channels and sending weekly newsletters, to organizing sponsorships, your marketing strategy can quickly become a complicated laundry list of responsibilities.

Although marketing is all about experimenting with different approaches, eventually you will need to evaluate your current strategy and narrow down on the practices that drive conversions. So, how do you choose the right channels that fuel conversions? How do you identify the underperforming strategies and the ones that exceed expectations? This is where an analytics attribution model comes into play.

What is an Analytics Attribution Model?

An analytics attribution model reports which marketing channel receives credit for a conversion on platforms like Google Analytics or Amazon Seller Central. For example, will you credit the newsletters that readers clicked on after a successful sale? Or was it the Facebook ad they saw the day before the real hero?

Thus, choosing an appropriate attribution model helps you determine which channels work towards your goals rather than simply guessing the most successful ones. By singling out these productive channels, you can tweak your current marketing strategy to earn more conversions.

What are the Types of Analytics Attribution Models?

From the simple first-click model to the more complex data-driven model, your team has several models to consider. Keep in mind that you can always use multiple models to gauge your most successful strategies since each approach yields a treasure trove of insightful data.

First-Click Model

The First-Click attribution model attributes conversions to the first touch point customers encounter in your marketing campaign. This model is best for exploring which one of your channels is best for acquiring new customers. If the customer first interacted with a Facebook ad, then the ad earns all the credit even if it was an email newsletter that pushed the actual conversion.

Last-Click Model

At the other end of the spectrum lies the last-click model. Returning to the previous example, the email click was the last touch point before the customer made a purchase. Therefore, the email campaign gets credit, according to the Last-Click model. Your team can use the Last-Click attribution model to find the channels that drive potential buyers to convert and move through the marketing sales funnel.

Last Non-Direct Click Model

Let’s say the customer did not complete a purchase after clicking on the email link. Rather, they decide to sleep on their decision before returning to your website to convert the next day. In this case, the last-click model will attribute credit to direct traffic. But what if you wanted to disregard direct traffic? After all, you want to understand which channels entice your audience to visit your website. This is where the last non-direct click model comes in. The last non-direct model credits the channel that the customer last interacted with before directly searching for your website. By using this model to analyze your data, you can see which marketing strategy triggers the most direct traffic.

Last Google Ads-Click Model

Digital marketers typically reserve this model for analyzing the effectiveness of Google Ads campaigns. The Last Google Ads-Click model assigns credit to the last customer interaction with Google Ads that caused the conversion such as clicks on Google Search, YouTube ads, or display ads. Although it may not be the most comprehensive model — especially if you have multiple marketing channels — the Last Google Ads-Click model can help you move through the clutter and understand the granular details.

Linear Attribution Model

All the previous attribution models covered gave credit to a single channel. However, there are times when marketers want a more holistic view of our marketing channels. Marketing is a long-term effort that builds up customer relationships over time. For those looking to give credit to multiple channels involved in converting a customer, the Linear Attribution model may give you better insight.

This model equally credits all the channels the buyer interacted with before transacting. Imagine if an individual came across and clicked on an Instagram ad, an email marketing campaign, and an organic search for your product; each channel receives a point for converting the customer. Through this attribution model, you can single out the channels that rarely contribute to the conversion process, and redirect focus to areas that yield better results.

Position-Based Model

The Position-Based model emphasizes the initial and final touch points in the marketing funnel, giving those channels 40% of the credit for a conversion. However, the other channels that the customer interacted with will receive the remaining percentage of credit (split evenly amongst them). The Position-Based attribution model becomes particularly useful when you want to evaluate which strategies acquire the leads and which are best for converting those leads. Furthermore, the Position-Based attribution model also indicates which channels invigorate the marketing journey, making it easy to decide where to shift your focus.

Time Decay Model

If your goals are all about conversions and actual purchases, then the time decay model is the applicable choice. The most credit goes to channels that finalize the purchase while less credit goes to the first touch point. For all the channels in between the first and last touch point, the closer the touch point is to the conversion, the more credit it will earn. This approach helps marketers identify the best channels for conversion; thus, they can refine strategies rather than wasting energy and money on channels that don’t encourage sales.

Data-Driven Model

Finally, for those who really want to get into the nitty-gritty details of their marketing strategy, the Data-Driven model may be the flexible option you need. The algorithm automatically weighs each channel’s impact as it relates to achieving your end goal. By analyzing the different paths customers take before they convert (or don’t convert), the data-driven model assigns a certain amount of credit to the appropriate channels depending on its effectiveness.

This model is the most adaptable among the attribution options as it does not force you to choose which interactions are the most important like the first-click or last-click attribution models do. Instead, the Data-Driven attribution model evaluates the patterns in customer paths that end in sale and rewards channels that contribute to these conversions.

Which Analytic Attribution Models Works for My Business?

Knowing about all the attribution models is only half the battle. Now, you must choose one (or a few) to use as you build out your next digital marketing campaign. Take some time to weigh the pros and cons of each model. Which model aligns best with your marketing goals? Which ones would evaluate your success the most effectively? Which approach will save you time and money, so you can focus on growing your business on the web? Do not be afraid to play around with several analytics attribution models to see which one produces the most desirable results.

If you are ready to make huge improvements to your marketing approach, having an expert at your side will make all the difference. Premiere Creative has the experience you need to optimize your business’ advertising strategies and get the leads you want. Schedule a call with our analytics team by dialing (973) 346-8100.