A No-Nonsense Guide to Marketing Attribution Models

“Why’s Google Analytics pulling through a lower revenue figure than Facebook?”

“Why’s my eCommerce shop not pulling through the same figures my Facebook ads are showing?”

That’s because marketing attribution models exist. Every platform you use for reporting on revenue has a different attribution model, meaning your revenue will be attributed to different channels based on how a user purchases. This can make it awfully confusing for business owners figuring out what marketing channels are actually working for their business. But have no fear! We’re here to explain it all for you in this blog post.

Last-click Attribution Models: Who uses it and why?

Last-click attribution models focus on exactly that – attributing revenue based on the platform the user converted at the final point. Google Analytics uses a last-click model to attribute its revenue, however what exactly does it mean?

Say a user clicked on a Facebook ad, then searched on Google for your brand and product, then purchased through this Google search. All of this revenue would be attributed to this final step: their Google search, which means that no revenue is attributed towards your Facebook ad campaign.

So why would you use a last-click attribution model?

Well, last-click is generally used to report on most paid search reporting, this makes sense for a few reasons. Google Analytics and Google AdWords are obviously bezzies as they’re made by the same company. Insights from Google Analytics can be easily transferred and applied to PPC advertising as a result. However last-click is not shy of its problems, with the most obvious being that it doesn’t consider the total picture of your marketing strategy and the path to purchase. Solely reporting on last-click discredits your other channels’ performance, as there are numerous ways users convert.

Multi-Touch Attribution Model: Who uses it and why?

Oh hey, Facebook advertising. We see ya’ there creating an entirely new attribution model to report on. The multi-touch model attribution is based on a click and view-based attribution model. You have a few different options to choose for your attribution in Facebook ads and you can adapt this attribution based on your business and how your users convert:  

  • 1-day click
  • 7-day click
  • 28-day click
  • 1-day view
  • 7-day view
  • 28-day view

View-through attribution is based on those who view your ad. For example, if you view an ad then convert through a different channel, that revenue will be fully attributed to a Facebook ad. However, you can change the attribution windows for this, limiting this attribution. Either choosing a 1-day view, 7-day view or 28-day view window in which the user converts. For example, if you chose a 1-day view model, if a user viewed an ad but converted after the 1-day view window, this revenue wouldn’t be attributed. Click-through attribution works in a similar fashion, attributing revenue according to the windows in which someone clicked on an ad.

A multi-touch model is very different to the default last-click Google Analytics model, as Google Analytics doesn’t attribute those that have viewed an ad and then been influenced by it to purchase.

It’s important to note that using Google Analytics to report on Facebook Ads in general is ineffective. This is because Google Analytics doesn’t fully track Facebook Ads for a few reasons (which we’ve detailed in this blog on how to use Google Analytics to analyse your social media performance!)

Marketing attribution models can be a little bit of a maze and it can be super hard to fully understand what channels are generating the highest ROI for your company. Whilst it’s difficult to align your revenue sources and performance, it’s important to pick an attribution model that fits you and your company and that’s where we come in!

If you’re finding the world of social media to be a little on the confusing side, that’s where we come in! If you need help with your business’ social media, get in touch! Drop us a line on 0161 393 2123, email hello@digitalmediateam.co.uk or catch us on social!