Attribution in digital marketing

Media attribution involves analysis of media touchpoints (referral source) along the path to purchase to determine which has influenced sale and which credit should be given to for influencing conversion.

The purpose of attribution is to more accurately credit different channels for their influence in generating leads or sales. Without attribution media such as social media and paid media like display advertising may not be credited sufficiently since they generated an initial visit to the website, but a sale is credited to another subsequent visit prompted by a different source, for example, if someone searches for the brand in Google.

In Google Analytics it is available in the Conversion reports as Multichannel funnels.

Google explains that any channel can play three roles in a conversion path:

  • First interaction is the initial referral. It may be the only referral.
  • Last Interaction is the referral that immediately precedes the conversion.
  • Assist Interaction is any referral that is on the conversion path, but is not the last interaction.

The Attribution modelling tool gives these options illustrated by this example:

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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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