Disruptive Marketing Blog

What Is The Best Multi-touch Attribution Model?

For a long time, people were forced to do marketing with no way of knowing just how effective their channels and campaigns were. Sure, you could see an increase in the number of conversions. However, you would not be able to tell which of your ads or campaigns yielded the results. It was therefore difficult to assign credit or find out where money was being wasted. Today, you are able to assign credit, monitor, and maximize on your channels and campaigns. Technological advancements have made attribution modeling possible. One of the best methods is the multi-touch attribution model.

Single Point vs. Multi-touch Models

From the names, you can easily tell what each model entails. The single point attribution models assign credit to only one channel or campaign while the multi-touch model assigns credit to each and every channel on the customer’s journey.

The single point models include first touch and last touch models. The former attributes conversions to the first channel while the latter credits the last channel. As for multi-touch attribution models, they come in different types. These include: linear, time decay, u-shaped, w-shaped and custom attribution models. We will look into this later.

Advantages of Multi-touch Attribution

Before you decide against using the single point attribution models, you need to have a good reason for this. The benefits of using a multi-touch attribution model should outweigh those of using a single touch attribution model. One benefit of assigning credit to every touch-point is that it gives you an idea of each channel or campaign’s contribution to the customer’s journey. This then informs you on which touch-points to focus on and which ones you can do without. Additionally, this helps you in forecasting. You can plan the business’ growth by using effective marketing techniques and ensuring that they have the necessary budgeting provisions.

Examples of Multi-touch Attribution Models

As earlier mentioned, there are different types of multi-touch attribution models to choose from. These include:

·         Linear Attribution:

The linear attribution model assigns equal credit to every touch-point. It does not matter at what point it is on the customer’s journey. This is an improvement from the single point attribution models. However, it’s a very simplistic view and assumes that all channels are necessary and that they all make the same contribution to conversions. In real life, this isn’t the case.

·         Time Decay:

The time decay model, on the other hand, assigns more weight to channels or campaigns that are nearer to the conversions. The general thinking is that the first touch-points would have led to immediate conversions if they were that important. Therefore, these first touch-points have the least weights.

·         U-Shaped Model:

Unlike time decay, this attribution model assigns more weight to the first and the last touch-points in the consumer’s journey. The channels in the middle have equal weights that are less than those at the ends, i.e., the beginning and the end of the journey.

·         Custom Models:

This is one of the most advanced attribution models. It assigns custom weights to each of the channels or campaigns. The amount assigned is upon your discretion. For these types of models, the blueprint lies with the marketer and is based on the desired goal. To develop the model, you have to go through a lot of trial and error before you can get to the perfect model form.


There is no foolproof attribution model in marketing. Different models work for different businesses based on what they want to achieve. Trial and error is therefore an integral part of attribution modeling. To find the best multi-touch attribution model, you would need to try out the different ones available to see which yields the most favorable and actionable results.

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