Attribution Details

Before the digital era, marketers centered their campaigns on mainstream media like newspapers, radio, and television commercials. Billboards and banners also played a role in sensitizing customers about a service or product. These methods were easy to track because you could attribute the sales to mainstream media, commercials, or billboards.

In the digital age, marketing has become more complex. Customers learn about your business in a myriad of ways. These include email campaigns and social media ads on top of traditional marketing methods. A customer's journey to purchasing your product may start when they see a social media ad, subscribe to your email list or watch a buyer's guide video. So how do you know which among the three channels convinced them to buy the product? Attribution helps you identify the most lead-generating channel so that you can invest more time and resources in it.

Attribution Example

Let's say you sell hair care products and run a haircare website with a blog, email list, and a monthly newsletter. You have also created Facebook ads, an eBook, and a YouTube channel with popular how-to videos. Each of these avenues is a customer touchpoint that creates awareness about your products.

A prospective buyer visits your blog through a Facebook ad and subscribes to your email list, reads the emails, downloads your eBook, but makes no purchase. Then you make a how-to video providing a solution to a problem they are experiencing. When they watch that video, the solution convinces them to try your product and make a sale.

An attribution model will help you identify the customer touchpoint that led to a sale. In the above example, the how-to video was the most impactful channel. This realization prompts you to invest in how-to videos to make more sales. A good attribution model gives credit to all the touchpoints and recognizes the most impactful channel.

Types of Attribution

Different businesses use different attribution models. Small businesses with fewer marketing channels will use a simpler model than a big business with several marketing strategies. There are three primary marketing attribution models.


A single-touch attribution model gives credit to only one marketing channel which might be the first touchpoint or the last. Suppose a customer first learned about your business through a Facebook ad then bought your product after a series of email campaigns. The single-touch attribution model gives credit to either the Facebook ad or the email campaign.


A multi-touch attribution model lets you give credit to several touchpoints for the final sale. This model is more thorough because it recognizes the contribution of different marketing channels from the point a customer learns about your product until they purchase it. This model has six sub-models that differ in how the model assigns credit to the different touchpoints.


The data-driven attribution model is more complex than the single and multi-touch models. It relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to assign value to various marketing channels. This model depends on algorithms and computer-generated analysis to inform you of the best-performing customer touchpoints.

Significance of Attribution

Attribution is crucial in marketing your business because it helps you identify the touchpoint making the most impact and leading to sales. After identifying the primary lead generator, you can dedicate more time and resources to it. This tactic increases your Return On Investment (ROI) and sales.

Secondly, you can identify the channels not generating any sales and work on them. Your attribution report informs you which touchpoint needs more work. For instance, if your Facebook ads aren't generating any leads, you can create new ads with different content and persuasion techniques.

Lastly, attribution helps you understand your clients' needs. Knowing what a buyer wants helps you improve your product to match changing consumer needs. For instance, if you realize a blog post about making money online attracts more organic traffic, you could create a premium eBook on that topic and sell it to the customers.