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Discussion – 


Discussion – 


WTH is Attribution in Marketing? (And why should I care?)

attribution in marketing

Riddle me this:

  1. A hungry Google user types ‘best salmon recipe’ into the search engine and lands on your recipe website. They cook up the salmon just as you said and they make this face when they eat it: 🤤
  2. Two days later, they see an ad on Instagram to opt in and download your lead magnet with your 10 best seafood recipes. They do so.
  3. Three days after that, you send them an email promotion for 25% off your cookbook. They visit the cookbook’s product page, but… they don’t buy it.
  4. One day after that, they see a Google Search Ad for your cookbook, click on it, and this time they do buy it.

Which of those four marketing “touchpoints” should be credited with the sale?

Five Attribution Models

Data and analytics nerds (in which we include ourselves) have been rasslin’ with the “attribution problem” since long before the Internet was a thing. But the tracking capabilities of the web were supposed to make attributing credit so much easier and more reliable.

The truth is that attribution is still a tough nut to crack. Your trusty (and free) Google Analytics platform provides five attribution models to choose from:

five attribution models from Google


Last Click — 100% of the credit is given to the last touchpoint. In our example, the Google Search Ad would be our hero.

First Click — We’re guessing you can figure this one out. In our example, our SEO team would get all the credit.

Linear — Each touchpoint gets equal credit. In our example, all four touchpoints would get 25% credit each.

Position Based — The first and last position each get 40% of the love and the remaining 20% is divvied up amongst any touchpoints in between. In our example, SEO and Google Ads will get 40% each while email and Insta ads would get 10% credit each.

Time Decay — With Time Decay (our personal favorite), the touchpoints closest to the sale get more credit than those further back in time. In our example, Google Ads would get the lion’s share of the attribution whilst SEO would get the least (which, for most cases, makes the most intuitive sense to us).

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