MARKETING ATTRIBUTION: Definition, Modelling, Everything You Need

Marketing attribution
HubSpot Blog

Marketers have more channels to connect with customers than ever before. And because the shopper journey is non-linear, consumers engage with brands at multiple touchpoints before making a purchase. This is a great opportunity and a big challenge for marketers. Marketers need to be experts in understanding which channels are most successful in generating leads and converting customers. To execute a good marketing strategy, you need to accurately predict the impact of increased or decreased spending on these channels. And with multiple touchpoints and increasingly complex buyer journeys, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers to achieve that visibility. They have to sift through a data hodgepodge from disparate sources, spend hours crunching numbers in spreadsheets, and wait for marketing operations resources to help unless they use marketing attribution.

What is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is known to determine sets of consumer behaviors that ultimately result in a purchase. 

These activities, also known as touchpoints, might include whatever prospects do to move closer to making a purchase, from putting a question into the Google search field to calling the sales team.

Because a corporation outlines the steps, a consumer takes when dealing with the brand in both situations, the process is comparable to mapping out customer journeys.

The ultimate objective distinguishes the two. 

While the customer journey map concentrates on the decision-making stages, from awareness to conversion, marketing attribution identifies the channels and strategies that are most effective at each stage.

Because the two concepts are related, lead attribution is another name for marketing attribution.

Marketing Attribution Modelling

No marketing channel can be treated in isolation according to the method because they are all links in a single chain. 

One touchpoint, such as a website, must operate another, such as a lead generation form. 

How can one then ascertain each channel’s contribution to the lead’s decision-making process?

Attribution models come in various varieties, from straightforward single-touch models that give value to one touchpoint to sophisticated models that include data, intricate algorithms, and machine learning.

Here is a summary of five of the most popular single- and multi-source marketing attribution models, along with information on how each one functions and its advantages and disadvantages.

#1. First-touch attribution model

A type of single-source attribution is the first-touch attribution model, also referred to as the first-click or first-interaction attribution model. 

In this paradigm, the first channel or message a customer connected with or interacted with receives full credit or value.

For instance, if a buyer first interacted with your business through organic search or a direct marketing effort, that channel or campaign would receive full credit for the conversion.

This is a useful model for lead generation marketers since it enables you to identify the activities that impact building brand connections. 

This approach, however, ignores all other channels and only gives one channel priority.

#2. Last-touch attribution model

A type of single-touch attribution is the last-touch attribution model, sometimes referred to as last-click or final interaction. In this paradigm, the final touchpoint is given full credit or value before the ultimate transaction. Most marketers favor this model, which Google Analytics uses by default.

Retargeting ads on Facebook, for instance, would be given full credit if that was the customer’s final point of contact. The remaining channels would get nothing.

The last-touch attribution model is fantastic if you have a short buying cycle with few touchpoints and are conversion-focused. The value of all previous encounters is discounted, the same as the first-touch attribution paradigm, and only the final channel is given credit.

#3. Linear attribution model

The linear attribution model gives credit for the conversion to each channel in a multi-touch attribution model.

It entails giving each touchpoint a client interacts with equal weight and credit, regardless of where it falls in the customer journey.

This means that each of the four touchpoints throughout the consumer journey—a blog, a search ad, an email campaign, and an in-app ad—would be given a value of 25%.

While the linear attribution model offers a more comprehensive picture and aids in developing a linked strategy for marketers, it falls short in identifying the most efficient channels.

This implies that some people will receive more praise than they merit while others won’t.

#4. U-shaped attribution model

The first and last touchpoints are given preferential credit in the u-shaped attribution model, commonly referred to as the position-based attribution model.

However, it also considers the additional touchpoints.

If a potential customer contacts you through a Google search, then visits your Instagram page and subscribes to your email newsletter, the first and last touchpoints will each be worth 40% of the value, while the second touchpoint will only be worth 20%.

The u-shaped attribution model, another multi-touch attribution model, is useful if your customer journey involves a lot of touchpoints.

But it is predicated on the idea that the first and last touchpoints are the most important.

#5. Custom attribution model

The algorithmic or custom attribution model is a model that is made specifically for your company, sector, distribution channels, and normal consumer behavior.

This strategy entails using a custom model to assign your attribution weight or value.

It can be challenging to set up because it needs a lot of data and takes a long time to debug and fine-tune. It is likely the greatest model, though, as it offers the most sophisticated view of what is causing your conversions.

The custom attribution model works well for brands with extensive historical data and lengthy purchase cycles.

Using this data, machine learning can distribute weight more correctly across multiple touchpoints.

Marketing Attribution Software

Businesses use marketing attribution software to analyze how prospecting and sales-related activities, occasions, or touch points affect the effectiveness of their marketing and sales teams.

It can be quite challenging to determine what made a transaction effective because a closed deal frequently represents the culmination of several different elements and circumstances that may occur in any sequence.

Using software for marketing attribution, businesses may value every factor that may have contributed to a sale’s success based on its impact on the customer or prospect throughout their contacts with the business.

The best marketing attribution tools are listed below.

#1. HubSpot Marketing Analytics Software & Dashboard

With integrated analytics, reports, and dashboards, HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics & Dashboard software tracks and evaluates the success of your marketing activities.

With HubSpot, all of your CRM and marketing software data is accessible in one location at your fingertips without the need for SQL or code.

This makes it simple to locate, examine, arrange, and share your marketing attribution data from your all-in-one CRM platform, among many other sorts of data.

#2. Ruler Analytics

With closed-loop marketing attribution, Ruler Analytics, call monitoring, and marketing attribution software give you access to all your revenue and conversions in one place.

To help you calculate the return on ad spend (ROAS), pinpoint which campaigns, channels, and keywords are converting visitors into customers, and better understand your customers’ buying cycles, our multi-channel marketing attribution software includes both online and offline conversion tracking.

#3. Branch

The branch is a cross-channel attribution and mobile linking platform that provides information on your team’s marketing initiatives.

The technology links consumer touchpoints from every one of your channels with conversions on any platform.

#4. Active Campaign

The customer experience automation platform ActiveCampaign offers attribution reporting features.

You can determine which traffic sources and touchpoints influence lead conversion using ActiveCampaign’s Attribution Reporting.

The tool’s contact records comprise lists that are updated with all conversions a contact makes and the individual touchpoints that contributed to those conversions.

In the Segment Builder, you may find out from which traffic source (such as an advertisement or campaign) a contact who converted went to your website.

#5. C3 Metrics

Enterprise cross-platform advertising attribution is the main emphasis of the attribution reporting tool C3 Metrics.

The platform provides attribution solutions for companies in various sectors, including e-commerce, automotive, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and travel.

The C3 Metrics Attribution Data Cloud, which operates across digital, TV, radio, and direct mail, is another option.

Digital Marketing Attribution

In digital marketing, attribution is a technique used to determine how much each marketing channel has contributed to your sales efforts.

On the surface, everything appears quite simple, but if you go deeper, it may quickly become complicated.

However, following the procedures and methods, an effective attribution analysis can greatly improve your marketing ROI.

B2B Marketing Attribution

B2B Marketing Attribution is another particular instance of marketing attribution relevant to business-to-business transactions.

Businesses in this sector sell goods or services to other companies or industry experts.

B2B attribution may refer to larger purchases from companies, memberships, or leads, while B2C attribution may relate to smaller transactions.

Why is Attribution Important in Marketing?

To evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts, attribution calculates the number of advertising dollars spent on the number of conversions obtained.

How Do You Measure Marketing Attribution?

Developing a unique model is the final and frequently most precise method of assessing marketing attribution. Depending on your most effective analytics, you can give different levels of credit to different touchpoints using custom attribution.

How Do You Report Marketing Attribution?

An attribution reporting technique demonstrates the results of your many marketing initiatives. You may use an attribution report to determine which components of your marketing strategy and consumer interactions contribute to the desired result.

What Is the Most Common Attribution Model?

Last-Touch Attribution Model

It is the most typical attribution model you will encounter (e.g., Google Analytics). Furthermore, it’s a great tool for studying shorter sales cycles with fewer touchpoints, where the first touchpoint is frequently the final touchpoint and the conversion action.


Marketing attribution will become increasingly crucial in maintaining customer happiness and revenue development as more and more channels are added to the mix.

You will get the most out of your marketing attribution efforts by adapting your strategy to your organization and making the most use of data, even though it is difficult to determine which model is the best.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like