Attribution in the Digital World

Chris Gallanongo, Director of Product & Operations talks on the importance of attribution and the benefits of having an attribution model.

Attribution modelling is an important part of determining how efficiently your campaign is performing. Understanding the media channels that you are using is a crucial part of your marketing strategy, therefore, it is extremely important to correctly measure the ROI of each conversion.

If you don’t have any attribution model in place, then you’re most likely set to the default of ‘Last Click’ which means that you’re only considering the last channel that the user visits before converting. Last Click is the simplest, but least rewarding for insight. This attribution doesn’t consider the other sources you’re using, for example: Someone has visited your site 5 times – twice from social media, once from PPC, once from display and once from SEO. On the last instance the user was driven by the PPC campaign and then decided to convert. What about the other 4 channels which drove the same user to the site previously - should they not get credit? In my opinion, they should.

All sources should get credit for the leads they are involved in creating, regardless of where that is within a conversion funnel. Just because a source wasn’t responsible for the final visit that led to a conversion, doesn’t mean that it isn’t providing any value or helping to close the lead. 

The purpose of attribution is to let you know how much of a role each channel is contributing to the conversion process and which sources are complementing each other to allow you to distribute your budget more effectively.

Examples of different types of Attribution Models:

Last & First Interaction

  • The most common conversions are attributed to the “Last interaction” Or “First Interaction”
  • This can be misleading because this data doesn’t give a clear image of what channels drove a user towards the website.


  • This gives equal value to each source that contributed toward the conversion.
  • If you have a lead that came to your website 5 different times from 5 different sources, each source would receive 20% of the credit for closing the lead. This model is a great way to evaluate the overall contribution of each of your channels, however it doesn’t consider positioning within the conversion funnel as all are given equal credit.


  • This model considers all touch points and is a more useful attribution to start with.
  • If an advertiser is using different channels to run their digital campaign, this model will attribute conversions based on each channel when interactions are made throughout the user journey
  • This model evaluates all touch points within the conversion and assigns accordingly which source made the most contribution.

In conclusion, it is important to choose the right attribution model – testing and constantly refining data that is presented is crucial. Moving away from common first & last interaction models and focusing on more position based allows you to fully understand the conversion path and shows which sources are contributing and complementing each other, allowing you to be more efficient with your budget. 

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