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What Is the Best Attribution Model to Measure All Online Marketing Channels?

One mistake that most people make when looking for an attribution model is expecting to find the best one. This might sound controversial but it’s true. You don’t just happen upon the best model. You have to go through a process of trial and error before you can get to the model that works best for you. This is especially important when you are dealing with online marketing channels.

Mapping Customer Journey

The main point of attribution modeling is to map the customer’s journey. What’s a customer’s journey? It’s the process that the customer goes through from the time he or she finds out about a product or service to the time he or she makes the purchase. It involves the different channels that contributed to the conversion. With this definition of ‘journey’, you can tell that single point models are not the best. While they give an idea of all the channels involved, they only credit the first or last channel. This is simplistic and not entirely beneficial. It only works for people who have very straightforward marketing and sales processes.



For online marketing, there are numerous channels that are included in a customer’s journey. Each one contributes to conversion and must therefore get a fraction of the credit. The single point models are not reliable in this case. This is where the multi-touch attribution models come in.

Multi-touch Attribution Models

If you are in pursuit of the best attribution models for digital marketing, we can loosely conclude that you need to focus on multi-touch attribution models. Why, you may ask? Multi-touch attribution models are able to assign credit to each digital channel. With this information, you can present the effectiveness of each channel to your superiors. Additionally, this information acts as justification for increasing a certain channel’s budget allocation while reducing another’s.

There are different types of multi-touch attribution models. These include:

·         The linear model which assigns equal credit to every channel.

·         The U-shaped or position-based model assigning more weight to the first and last touch-points.

·         The W-shaped model which takes the first, middle and last touch-points as weightier.

·         The time decay model which assigns more weight to the touch-points closer to conversion.

·         Custom model which assigns credit based on your assessment of what is more important.

These multi-touch models work for multi-channel marketing strategies and campaigns.

Tips on Choosing the Best Attribution Model

If you’re to choose the best attribution model for digital marketing, you must avoid a few pitfalls. The most common ones are:

·         Sticking to single touch models because they’re simpler and easier to use.

·         Switching models often when you can’t seem to increase your conversions.

·         Inconsistency.

If you avoid these mistakes, then you will eventually find the best model for your business. The trick is to start with a simple model then work your way up to a more complex one. You could choose to start with the linear attribution marketing model. This assigns equal weights across all digital channels. If, for example, you want to account for interaction, you can incorporate cohort or multivariate analysis. The Markov model also helps with assessing the effect of one channel on conversions. As you advance in your trial and error, your model will improve. With time, you will have the best model to measure the online marketing channels you use.


The more straightforward and simple the marketing and sales process is, the easier it is to find a model. The more digital channels you use, the more complex this process becomes. It therefore calls for more detailed multi-touch models such as algorithmic attribution. You need to go through some trial and error before arriving at what works best for you. It’s safe to conclude that finding the best attribution model for digital marketing channels is a journey.


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