Digital marketing attribution

Despite the benefits of alternative digital marketing attribution methodologies which have been talked about for well over a decade now, many brands still use last click. If you don’t know what attribution methodology you are using, in all likelihood you will be using last click too.

Last click attribution

While it is in many ways the simplest form of digital attribution, the most common criticism is that it over-rewards “lower funnel” marketing channels, i.e. activity nearer to the point of purchase, such as PPC or affiliates.

This can mean organisations significantly underinvest in “upper funnel” activities such as display or video. Many advertisers substantially change their media mix when they adopt alternative models.

For example, within direct-response digital marketing activity we’ve come across many advertisers who have reallocated up to 4 times the original attribution of sales on display activity by moving away from a last click model. This has of course subsequently led them to re-evalaute how much investment they put against these channels.

It may seem obvious, but ultimately you can drive significantly more revenue, sales and profit but measuring your marketing more accurately. The fact that more advertisers work on last click than don’t demonstrates how you can gain competitive advantage by evaluating and testing the right model for your organisation.

As an illustration only we’ve highlighted some digital attribution rules you can consider below:

  1. All impressions considered
    Re-attribute all unreferred sales that have media* impressions prior to sale.
  2. Recency
    Re-attribute unreferred applications with media impressions within a certain time period prior to sale.
  3. Repeatedness
    Reattribute unreferred applications with >2 impressions prior to sale.
  4. Product Relevance
    Re-attribute all unreferred sales with at least 1 relevant impression prior to sale .
  5. Product Relevance + Recency
    Re-attribute all unreferred sales with at least 1 relevant impressions 48 hours prior to sale.

We’ve advised and implemented attribution models for many brands including the current attribution model used for the digital marketing of American Express globally.

Contact us and we’ll walk you through the process of how you can select the model right for your brand.

Marketing mix modelling (econometrics)

Most brands with a reasonable amount of spend on media and advertising should consider using marketing mix modelling (also known as econometrics or MMM) to measure all channels.

You can read about how we can help you evaluate whether this is right for your organisation here: