What the…?

The mere words ‘attribution models’ have plenty of founders running a mile. Put simply, they're used by businesses to see what works during the customer journey – an analysis of ‘touchpoints’ from the first time a customer comes across a product to the final action, often a purchase. The entire marketing ecosystem is considered. Depending on the type of model, the analysis goes from broad (channel, content or publisher) to granular (keyword or device parameters).

Why the…?

This is about understanding the customer better – what it is that has compelled them to make that final action. It makes a big difference to future marketing decisions, such as which social channels are proving effective, to nuanced insights such as the number of impressions needed for action.


First touch

- All the credit goes to the first step in the customer journey. 

Last touch

- All the credit goes to the final step in the customer journey. 

Linear (even-weighted)

- Credit is divided equally between each touchpoint. 

Time decay

- More credit is given to the touchpoint closer to the point of conversion. 


- 40% credit is given to first touchpoint; 40% to last; and 20% is divided between all other touchpoints. 


- 30% credit is given to three main touchpoints: the lead, the visit and the sale. 

Fractional attribution

- An attribution vendor builds a custom model for the business that uses individual, user-level data over a period of time to algorithmically assign a custom weighting to each touchpoint.

Expert advice

Brandon Gains is vice president of marketing at MonetizeMore, an ad optimisation specialist. 

‘Early on, implementing a Last Touch model is best for many companies. You can immediately answer questions like: what campaign is having an impact on sales? Where should we invest next month? The biggest mistake I see is focusing on all the different models you can use. If you use Google Analytics, most of the insight you’re looking for can simply be created by customising your set-up with the right goal tracking and using proper goal values with your CRM data. Key to this strategy is to implement a UTM (Urchin Tracking Module in Google Analytics) process and capture that data from your customers via web forms or at checkout.'

Learn more

The iterative marketing podcast features an episode on attribution models iterativemarketing.net

Peer-to-peer tech review site G2 has an exhaustive list of the main attribution software g2.com

43 marketing experts share their advice on which model to choose at customerthink.com


of businesses use some kind of attribution model 

Of them,

use attribution modelling because it is easy or already in place

use attribution modelling to give resources to the right place 


of this group either don’t think or are unsure if they’re using the right model

This article was first published in Courier Issue 32, December/January 2020. To purchase the issue or become a subscriber, head to our webshop.

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