Who Gets the Credit?  The Attribution Headache

How many times have you started researching holidays on your mobile on lunch break, then continued on the iPad at night?  A few more searches on your laptop when you’re getting serious about booking, maybe even looked up YouTube videos on the destination on your Smart TV?  

As you then take the next few days and weeks to think about it before booking, you’ll be retargeted with Facebook ads, Google display ads and more – everywhere you look you’ll see golden beaches and deck chairs staring back at you, until eventually you cave and book, but what channel closed the deal…and is that even the one that should get the credit?

This is where the attribution debate begins.  Marketing budgets are precious, so we have to ensure you are putting money into the right channels.

Over 58% of markets use a last click attribution model, which assigns all credit to the last thing you clicked before you booked, but is this really fair?  It’s a question we’ll never agree on I’m sure, but it’s good to take a look at how your performance report shapes up when you use the other attribution models too.

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So what are the other options?  Well, first click, last click and data-driven are the better-known options.  Another is linear, where the conversion is evenly attributed across all touch points.  There’s also time decay, which is sometimes criticised as it has a short 7-day window but can be good for more urgent services such as emergency window repair and dentistry. 

The final option is position based, which was much-praised for fairness at the presentation.  The position based model assigns 40% of the credit to the first and last click, the rest is split between the middle touch points.  This is seen as a good starting point, so is worth exploring.


However you decide to split your data, the most important thing to keep in mind is that there will almost always be multiple touch-points with your business before a person converts.

Each is important, as it is building brand awareness and credibility for your business, so use a blend of channels and placements as part of your marketing strategy.

Check out more insights from the Google NYC visit here.

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