What Is the Most Common Attribution Model?
February 12, 2021 •DJ Team
Imagine you are helping someone as they cross a stream of rushing water. Do you watch their voyage along the shoreline to find the best entry point? Or are you more concerned with the stepping-stones that let them get across? Which information do you think will be more useful in ensuring other people behind them cross the stream without incident?
This brief thought experiment helps us understand a little more about attribution modeling, and why different attribution models are essential to understanding the customer journey. Attribution modeling helps marketers and other stakeholders understand the steps a customer takes from initial research to a purchase—from one side of the stream to the other.
But different attribution models can illustrate radically different paths, even for the same customer. One might show you the entry point the customer took in learning about your brand. Another reveals those content stepping-stones that take them from interest to loyalty.
There are several common attribution models that solve different problems for marketing teams. Let’s take a look at what those problems are, and how a few common attribution models help solve them.
What is the Current Common Solution to the Advertising Attribution Problem?
There are 3 main questions, or problems, when it comes to advertising attribution today.
Which Content Gets Credit?
This is the most essential question to answer for a marketing team. What part of the customer journey do you want the attribution to focus on? Do you want to know which content or ads are getting the first attention from customers? Or are you more curious about the last piece of content that seals the deal? Maybe you want to see an equal picture of every step along the way. All these models exist, but to make the most of the data, you have to decide what you want to learn first.
Which Model Gives That Credit?
Once you decide the kind of information you want to explore, it’s a matter of figuring out which model will reveal it to you most efficiently. We’ll get to the specifics of a few common attribution models in the next sections.
How Do Referral Sources Get Credit?
Lastly, you might also want to focus on which marketing channels are most effective. If you are posting the same or similar content on different social channels, for instance, you need to know which channel sent the customer your way. This is another layer of cross-channel analytics above and beyond just examining which content or ads are most engaging to customers at different stages of their journey.
Solving these advertising attribution problems means setting up one or more attribution models. Then, define a schedule for checking in on your data and adapting your marketing strategy accordingly. The good news is that with tools like DemandJump, you can switch between models quickly to see a few different perspectives.
What is the First Touch Attribution Model?
The first click attribution model is the practice of giving the full credit to the first piece of content your consumer engages with. First touch attribution is like seeing the place where a person chooses to enter the stream to begin with.
You can use this information to help others start to cross more efficiently in the future. If your goal is understanding which ad or piece of content is most successful at attracting customers to begin with, first touch attribution is an approach for you.
What is the Last Click Attribution Model?
The last touch attribution model is the practice of giving the full credit to the last piece of content your consumer engages with. Last click attribution is like seeing the place where a successful journey across the river most often ends.
You can use this information to help others land safely at the target destination. If your goal is understanding which ad or piece of content is most successful at giving customers the final push to purchase, last click attribution is an approach for you.
What is a Position Based Attribution Model?
A position based attribution model is the practice of distributing credit across all the pieces of content your consumer engages with. This model gives 40% of credit to the first and last pieces of content, then distributes the remaining 20% of credit between the other steps.
Position based attribution is like taking a measured step back to survey the entire journey across the river from beginning to end. You can use this information to help direct individuals who are starting from different positions arrive at the same destination. If your goal is understanding multiple possible journeys by which consumers go from awareness to decision, position based attribution is an approach for you.
What is a Time Decay Attribution Model?
A time decay attribution model is the practice of distributing credit for the conversion across all the content a customer has viewed, with more importance placed on the most recent pieces of content. Time decay attribution is like paying most attention to the critical steps a person takes right before they finish crossing the stream.
You can use this information to help individuals in the middle of the stream move in the right direction. If your goal is helping many interested parties make the final steps to a buying decision, time decay attribution is an approach for you.
Switch Easily Between Common Attribution Models with DemandJump
Different marketing campaigns and stages of company growth might mean you want to model your marketing attribution differently. That’s why we developed DemandJump to collect all the data from your various marketing initiatives and keep it ready to be presented at any time.
Why choose just one of the most common attribution models when you could benefit from insights you collect between them all? And that’s just the beginning of the amazing marketing insights our platform provides. Sign up for a free trial and cross over the difficulties of modern marketing to arrive safely on the shores of scalable growth.
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