Attribution tracking has been considered the core of all marketing analysis since the beginning of marketing strategy implementation. All reputable marketing teams use some variation of attribution models so they can optimize and increase the ROI of marketing campaigns. However, in the digital world, there has been an evolution of the consumer journey, and attribution models need to be modified according to client interactions. This article will examine the different types of attribution tracking models, along with their various pros and cons.
Model #1: The First-Touch Attribution Tracking Model
The first-touch attribution tracking model is a method whereby the marketing campaign initiates all interactions, including the first customer interaction, with the company. The model will often ignore the overall campaign driving conversions after the initial interaction, as well as all interactions after the first touch.
This attribution tracking model is beneficial because marketers focus solely on customer demand and not on conversions. By concentrating on demands, the model highlights marketing campaigns that introduce consumers to the company brand irrespective of the outcome.
Unfortunately, a first-touch tracking model does have some cons with one being that there is limited optimization. Without any ability to determine the drove conversions and revenue, the marketing team will have a problem justifying their impact on the company’s financial bottom line.
Model #2: The Last-Touch Attribution Tracking Model
Contrary to the first-touch marketing model, the last-touch attribution tracking model emphasizes the conversion in the last customer-brand interaction. Marketers utilizing this campaign can gain insight into transactions with the highest conversion rates, but they will lose sign of influencers leading to the overall conversion.
A benefit of this model is that it is powerful for marketers focusing on driving conversions during a marketing campaign. When a non-converting action holds no value for the company, last-touch models are effective as attribution tracking strategies.
The con of the last-touch model is that it ignores any influencing factors on the path to conversion. For example, a lead can interact with the brand several dozen times before conversion, and the last-touch model will not provide information on these highly influential interactions.
Model #3: The Linear Attribution Tracking Model
The linear attribution tracking model is the first step away from single-touch models to a multi-touch attribution model which is offered by Gauges’ attribution tracking software. Linear attribution involves even assignment of credit for consumer-brand interaction throughout the consumer journey. So, for instance, each touch will receive 10% value if there are ten touches. If there are five campaigns, each will receive 20% of the credit.
The linear model is advantageous because it is a straightforward method of analyzing marketing campaigns through multi-touch attribution tracking. By assigning the same amount of credit to each interaction, the marketer can optimize effectively and accurately for the consumer journey instead of dealing with a single-touch case.
While the liner model helps a marketing team move past single-touch models, it does present with some limitations or challenges. As all touches receive credit, there is a loss of optimization for specific outcomes. For example, linear attribution tracking will assign the same level of credit to high influencing conversion activities (such as demonstration requests) and low influencing touches (such as email clicks) making it difficult to optimize or request conversions.
Model #4: The Time Decay Attribution Model
The time decay attribution tracking model is another multi-touch analysis method. This option operates by assigning the most credit to the customer interaction resulting in a conversion. Any touches leading up to the conversion will receive less value, and the less the credit will depend on how far away the touch is from the conversion.
One of the most significant benefits to the time decay attribution model is its ability to optimize. This model acknowledges the importance of all interactions leading up to the conversion while still placing value on activities before and after the conversion. Touches nearest to the conversion activity are more valuable than those further away as they increase the likelihood of a customer-brand conversion. Successful marketing teams will often use this model to optimize touches driving conversions, as well as touches increasing the chance of conversions in the future.
Despite being a highly beneficial attribution tracking model, the time decay model presents with specific challenges. One of these problems is that it cannot recognize the interaction introduced by the consumer.
Model #5: The Position-Based Attribution Tracking Model
The position-based attribution tracking model is one combining the best features of the time decay and linear models. Position-based models assign approximately 40% of the credit to the last and first touch, with the remaining credit being divided evenly to the touches in between.
As a beneficial model, this type of attribution tracking ensures that all touch points in the consumer’s journey receive a portion of the credit while allowing the first and last touches to be optimized. This means that significant credit can be assigned to the marketing campaign introducing the customer to the company and promoting the conversion. Bonus points are available for modification of the weight in the position-based model reflecting business requirements.
Unfortunately, by blindly assigning credit to the first and last interactions, the touches can be provided with too much credit. For example, does it make sense for a low-value first-touch email to receive the same level of credit as a paid search advertisement resulting in a conversion? This is the disadvantage of the position-based attribution tracking model.
Model #6: The Custom Attribution Tracking Model
While it can be easier to rely on pre-designed attribution tracking models, marketers can improve attribution by developing customized attribution models for companies. Using a custom model, the brand can make modifications to the weight, assign more credit, and optimize for influential outcomes in the business.
As can be seen, there are many different types of marketing attribution tracking models offered from technology companies like Gauges and more, ranging from single-touch to multi-touch options. Using the information above, you can determine which would be the most beneficial for your particular business and which can help you increase your overall conversion rate.