What is Attribution Modelling and why should you care?

Attribution explained.

Let’s say hypothetically you are a football manager and you are looking to rearrange your line-up to increase the number of games you win.  You notice that your strikers are scoring 95% of the teams goals, midfielders are scoring 5% and defenders are scoring 0%.

So in order to score more goals you should take all of your midfielders and defenders out of the line-up, and replace them with strikers? Right? Wrong.

Winning is about more than scoring goals it is about understanding your team and most importantly the parts of the team that help drive the goals.

Translating this into digital marketing terms your branded head keywords and email campaigns are the strikers, the keywords and channels that customers use just before they make a purchase, sign up or book. The volume for these terms would be insignificant if it weren’t for the midfielders and defenders, these are comprised of long tail, generic keywords, affiliates and display campaigns.

Attribution modelling explained.

Last Click

The typical attribution model that advertisers report on is known as “last click”. Potentially this only gives you visibility on your strikers. Example below for a £100 sale with 4 channels of interaction;


First Click

This attribution model will help you to figure out the channels that are driving the new visitors to your brand and most importantly starting your customer journeys. See the same example again with the “first click” attribution model;


inear or Even

“Linear” attribution or “even” attribution gives you visibility of all channels evenly. Below is our same sale again with “linear” attribution modelling applied;



The “Bathtub model” is the model which is best when focussing on the first and last clicks of a customer journey, with a smaller percentage for middle clicks. Example below;


The attribution model that is best for you completely depends on your business model, your current advertising space and your marketing goals.

If you would like more guidance on the best fit for your business please get in touch.