Is it Time to Rethink Your Attribution Model?

As it stands, many brands are still focused on a first touch or last touchpoint attribution models. This approach, while it may appear positive assigns 100 percent of the attribution to the ad which first was exposed to the individual or the last-click they made showing a “clear” path to ROI, ignoring all of the nuances of a customer’s journey.

Today, consumers have so many ways to interact with brands: video, social, search, apps, websites, radio…to name a few. The customer journey is massively fragmented and consumers attention is dispersed across multiple platforms and channels. You can’t truly quantify just one point in your attribution model, let alone the first or last touchpoint.

This is where marketers can get more creative with their attribution models. Creating a model that’s more justifiable to recognize the many touchpoints that influence a consumer. Think about all of the possibilities customers have to interact with your brand and realize that there probably isn’t just one point in the journey pushing them over the edge to make a purchase. 

To use another example, if you’re looking for a restaurant in Toronto, ON, there are several steps to your journey. You probably start with a search on Google, checking Yelp reviews on their app, hit up Facebook, ask friends, etc. These are all part of the journey and then, of course, when you’re actually there, that’s when you’ve committed to that restaurant. Who takes that credit for the conversion?

We argue that today’s savvy marketers are viewing the journey in such a way that removed the siloes that traditional attribution models apply to attribution, focusing on the holistic experience across multiple channels and devices.


The hope is that marketers will focus on creating a more evenly distributed attribution model(s). There’s already a push for hyper-targeted ads and brands understand that platforms like video might not lead to a conversion, but could help assist on a conversion.

As marketers, we must be extremely cautious about how much we buy into attribution models. The focus should remain on what we’re going after, which is eyeballs on our products and the best bang for our buck possible. But fear not — here are a few quick tips to set you on the right path:

A Multi-Channel Approach – Establishing an approach that will support your holistic marketing efforts and the channels and mediums in which your current and potential customers engage in is essential. Moving your focus away from first or last touch models which do not recognize the true impact a multi-channel approach can have against customer acquisition.

Create a Narrative for the Journey – Understanding that your customers will touch your brand across multiple platforms, plan your communications accordingly. Each consumer will engage differently, at different times and on different devices. That said, if the messaging has uniformity the overall brand message will be consistent and push that customer from the top to the bottom of the purchase funnel.

Evaluate the KPIs – No denying that the KPIs need to be measured here, so focus on evaluating the KPIs for each channel in play for your advertising. You’ll still need to understand what has performed well from an engagement and interaction perspective.

By taking this approach, you will find that the holistic experience of the consumer becomes more centric and your evaluation will truly respect the support that each channel and device can have on your marketing performance.

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