Choosing a Marketing Attribution Model and Tools for Your Organization

In a world of ever-increasing data, where a customer came from remains the most vital question.

Without knowing how people find and choose you, it’s impossible to pinpoint what channels produce the highest ROI. That makes it difficult to build powerful, cost-effective campaigns.

Luckily, marketing attribution offers an effective solution to this problem.

What is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution illuminates the buyer journey and provides intelligence on the path customers took to conversion. This clarifies which of your marketing tactics contributes most to the bottom line.

Marketing attribution is accomplished with specific marketing attribution models, which assign different weight to interactions that led a user to buy. Each model reflects different priorities, so choosing the right one is essential.

What Makes a Good Marketing Attribution Model?

Each marketing attribution model is designed to help you make sense of your data. A good attribution model lets you know:

  • Which marketing messages a user consumed and where.
  • Which touch point had the biggest influence on buying.
  • Whether the sequence of messages had favorable effects.
  • Which messaging has the greatest impact on which buyer.
  • The roles of brand perception and uncontrollable events.

What Are the Most Common Marketing Attribution Models?

Choosing a Marketing Attribution Model and Tools for Your Organization

Today’s marketing attribution models are moving from single-touch to multi-touch:

  • Single-touch models tend to attribute conversion to the first or last touch point.
  • Multi-touch models look at all of the touch points the consumer engaged with.

Top multi-touch marketing attribution models include:


This model equally credits every touch point a consumer engaged with for the final conversion.


This model attributes the first and last touch with 40% of the credit for a given conversion. The touch points taking place between those milestones are given an equal share of remaining credit.

Time Decay

This model weights touch points that occur closer to the conversion as more significant than those that happened earlier. The precise amount of credit is based on the number of touch points.


Here, the touch points credited with first touch, lead conversion, and opportunity creation are each accorded 30% of the credit for the final conversion

What Factors Should You Look For in Marketing Attribution Tools?

Since no single attribution model captures all insights, marketers often use software that combines them. Speed and accuracy are key requirements for these analytics suites. It’s also essential that they have cross-channel visibility.

Some marketing attribution tools use sentiment analysis and other advanced techniques to understand how brand perception influences buyers. While not essential, this can be a way to strengthen both campaigns and individual platforms (e.g. social media.)

Without marketing attribution, even the most carefully-crafted campaigns will still be built on best guesses. Attribution ensures your time and money are focused where it counts.