Multi-Attribution Models in Digital Marketing

Understanding the customer journey is crucial for optimising strategies and maximising returns on investment. One of the key tools for achieving this is attribution modelling.

Traditionally, marketers relied on single-touch attribution models, assigning the entire credit for a conversion to a specific touchpoint. A touchpoint refers to any interaction a user has with a brand or its marketing channels, such as clicking on an ad, visiting a website, or engaging on social media. As the complexity of consumer journeys increased, the limitations of these models became obvious.

Enter multi-attribution models – a paradigm shift in the way we analyse and allocate credit across various touchpoints.
Attribution models are analytical frameworks used to assign value or credit to various touchpoints in a customer’s journey that lead to a desired outcome, typically a conversion.

The primary goal of attribution models is to understand and quantify the impact of each touchpoint on a customer’s decision to convert. Since customer journeys are often complex, involving multiple interactions across various channels, attributing the success of a conversion to a single touchpoint can be too simplistic and inaccurate.

Different attribution models offer different perspectives on how credit should be distributed among touchpoints. Single-touch attribution models assign all credit to a specific touchpoint, while multi-touch attribution models consider multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. Multi-attribution models aim to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the customer’s path to conversion.

Several common attribution models exist, each with its approach to distributing credit. Some of these models include:

  • Linear,
  • Position Based,
  • Time Decay,
  • Last Interaction,
  • and Last Non-Direct Interaction.

Benefits of Multi-Attribution

Holistic Understanding of Customer Journey

Multi-attribution models provide a more comprehensive view of the customer journey by considering multiple touchpoints. This holistic perspective enables you to identify key interactions that contribute to conversions, allowing for more informed decision-making.

Optimised Budget Allocation

By attributing value to various touchpoints, you can allocate their budget more efficiently. Understanding the impact of each interaction helps in adjusting investment levels across channels, ensuring resources are directed towards the most influential touchpoints.

Improved Marketing Strategy

Insights gained from multi-attribution models allow you to refine your strategies. Identifying the touchpoints that resonate most with your audience allows for the creation of targeted and effective campaigns, enhancing overall marketing performance.

Attribution Models in Detail

Last Interaction

Focusing solely on the final touchpoint, the Last Interaction model attributes the entire conversion credit to the most recent customer engagement. Its simplicity is useful for quick analysis, providing clarity on the immediate precursor to a purchase. However, it overlooks the complexity of the entire customer journey, potentially neglecting influential touchpoints that led to the conversion.

Last Non-Direct Interaction

Similar to Last Interaction, this model excludes direct entries, offering insights into the last marketing-driven touchpoint. While it addresses the issue of direct visits, it still lacks a comprehensive view, emphasising the concluding touchpoint without considering the full range of preceding interactions that may have played a crucial role.

First Interaction

The First Interaction model prioritises the initial touchpoint that introduces the customer to the brand. It acknowledges the importance of creating awareness and capturing attention. However, it disregards subsequent touchpoints, potentially missing out on valuable insights into the nurturing and convincing stages of the customer journey.


Equally distributing credit across all touchpoints, the Linear model aims to provide a balanced perspective on the customer journey. While it ensures fair consideration for each interaction, it might oversimplify the attribution process by assuming that all touchpoints contribute equally to the conversion, regardless of their actual impact on the customer’s decision-making process.

Position Based

Recognising the significance of both the first and last touchpoints, the Position Based model allocates credit to the initiation and final persuasion stages of the customer journey. Despite offering a more nuanced approach, it tends to overlook the potential impact of intermediate touchpoints, potentially undervaluing their role in influencing the conversion.

Time Decay

Taking the temporal aspect into account, the Time Decay model assigns more credit to recent interactions, acknowledging their potential to influence conversions. While suitable for industries with short sales cycles, it may not be optimal for those with extended purchasing timelines, as it prioritises short-term engagements over long-term brand-building interactions.

Adopting multi-attribution models is imperative for a nuanced understanding of the customer journey. Each model brings unique insights, allowing marketers to tailor strategies to their audience’s behaviours. By leveraging the benefits of multi-attribution, businesses can optimise their marketing efforts, enhance customer experiences, and stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape.