Prove Your Marketing Impact: The Basics of Marketing Attribution

Prove Your Marketing Impact: The Basics of Marketing Attribution

Team Streams

October 25th, 2021

Prove Your Marketing Impact: The Basics of Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution has been the topic of discussion this week on Twitter


Marketing attribution models


The hot take is that marketing attribution is made up 🤔. But is that really the case? 

Yes, marketing attribution is tough. No, it’s not always 100% accurate. But that does not mean that you should simply ignore it. There are some clever ways you can get a ballpark figure for your marketing attribution, in this blog we will share with you what they are. 


What is Marketing Attribution?


In simple terms, marketing attribution is the use of data and analytics to determine which marketing strategies contributed to sales or conversions. 

For example, one of your email campaigns may have led to two conversions. You would then calculate the value of those conversions and attribute it to this email campaign.

But if you are a marketer, you know things aren’t quite that simple. Consumers or clients often interact with several pieces of content or marketing campaigns before making a purchase so it is tricky to attribute a sale to one specific campaign. This is why some of the marketing Twitter is adamant that marketing attribution is made up. 

But there are some tactics you can put in place to get a rough idea of which of your marketing campaigns are generating the most sales or leads. 


How Do You Measure Marketing Attribution?


There are several models that you can use for marketing attribution. Here are two of the simplest to implement. 


Single Touch Attribution 

A single-touch marketing attribution model gives the credit of the sale or lead to a specific marketing campaign.

Single-touch attribution comes in two forms

First-touch attribution

First-touch attribution, as you might guess from the name, gives credit to the first marketing campaign the customer interacted with, in their buyer journey


  1. A customer sees a PPC ad on Google for your product
  2. They don’t make a purchase
  3. Later they receive an email campaign from your business
  4. They then make a purchase from this campaign

The first touch model will give the attribution to the PPC ad and ignore the email campaign.

Last-touch attribution‍

This is essentially the opposite of the first touch model and gives the attribution to the last marketing campaign the customer interacts with before making a purchase. 


Take the same example as above.

The last touch model will give all the credit to the email campaign and ignore the PPC ad.


Multi-Touch Attribution

Multi-touch attribution models, as you may guess from the name, attribute a sale to multiple marketing campaigns that a customer has interacted with before they make a purchase. 

There are two common multi-touch attribution models that you can use to attribute sales to your marketing.

Linear Attribution

With linear attribution, you record every campaign that your customer has engaged with. You then equally attribute the sale to each of these campaigns. 


The linear model will then attribute 33% of the sale to each of these marketing channels (podcast, PPC, email). 

Time Decay Attribution

With the time decay attribution model, time is factored into attribution. 

Marketing campaigns that the customer interacted with closer to the sale are given more weight. 


Take the example above. 

The customer interacted with three channels. 

With a time decay model you would give each of these channels an attribution that looked something more like: 


To Sum Up

Marketing attribution is not an exact science, but that does not mean that it doesn’t have value. The insights you gain from attribution can help you push more effective campaigns and get a better return on your marketing budget. The four examples of attribution models given above are a great place to start if you are new to marketing attribution and can help you prove to your C-suite why they need to invest more in marketing. 


See inspirations here:


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