What Is Attribution Modeling and Why Is It Important for Your Marketing Campaign?


When you’re managing various marketing campaigns across online channels, it can be hard to identify which social media ads, landing pages, keywords, and other tactics are successfully generating leads or sales for your business.

Attribution modeling is a framework for helping gauge which of your marketing efforts are working better than others so you can get more out of your marketing budget and resources.

The idea behind attribution modeling is to give marketers a high-level view of the customer’s digital path to purchase, tracking each touchpoint along the path and attributing each one to a result — conversion — a step that moves the customer along the journey toward a purchase.

If you’re struggling to identify which marketing efforts are contributing to lead acquisition and conversion (and which aren’t), here’s how you can use attribution modeling to help.

What is Attribution Modeling?

Attribution modeling is a process for identifying which digital marketing tactics are contributing to successful conversions.

Through attribution modeling, marketers assign a credit value for conversions across digital touchpoints. A marketer may value touchpoints such as searching for a product, downloading a piece of branded content, visiting a specific landing page, and making an online purchase.

When a customer successfully converts (on making a purchase or another conversion goal), credit is distributed across the marketing efforts contributing to that conversion. This allows marketers to identify the channels and tactics directly guiding leads through the path to purchase.

Why is Attribution Modeling Important?

At its core, attribution modeling provides a method for marketers to understand and prove the return on investment (ROI) for their digital marketing strategies.

The ability to assign value to all digital touchpoints that contribute to the customer journey — and lead to successful conversions — gives you crucial data you need to analyze the success of your campaigns and make decisions about marketing strategy moving forward.

Here are some of the primary benefits that make attribution modeling important for brands.

Track and Increase ROI for Your Marketing Spend

Being able to attribute value to the touchpoints along the customer journey helps marketers see more clearly where their marketing spend creates business revenue. This allows marketing teams to not only track return on investment (ROI) for their multi-channel marketing campaigns but also improve ROI over time by focusing on the most valuable strategies.

With data-driven insight into which areas of the marketing budget are achieving results, marketers can strategically adjust, putting more budget toward the efforts that pay off and moving budgets away from those not worthwhile.

For instance, if one of your social media videos attributes to a high number of conversions, you can strategically put more marketing spend toward boosting and promoting the video to get it in front of more eyes. If, on the other hand, a specific landing page for one of your products rarely attributes to conversions, your team can adjust accordingly. You may divert effort away from that landing page and toward other methods for promoting this particular product, or you may determine that it’s worthwhile to update the written and visual elements on that page to make it more appealing to your audience.

Gain Insight Into Audience Behavior to Personalize Marketing

Attribution modeling gives marketers data on which channels and marketing campaigns work best to guide leads down the conversion funnel. This is not only a metric for ROI and optimizing your marketing dollars; it also shows you how your target market interacts with your brand online and which marketing efforts they respond to best. With these insights, marketers can better personalize messaging to different audience segments. As you target consumers with more personalized marketing, you will likely see higher attribution and conversion rates.

Measure and Optimize Marketing Strategy and Creative Elements

Attribution modeling can evaluate multi-channel marketing strategies, helping marketers pull together data from their efforts across social media, websites, digital advertising, and other online tactics. With attribution data to help you understand which channels and tactics work well, you can continue to optimize your marketing strategy with channels that resonate best with your audience.

The data gained from attribution models can also reveal which creative elements — from copywriting to images and graphic design — have the best impact on your audiences. This can help your brand define visual elements for social media posts, digital ads, and more to have a higher appeal to your target market.