What is multi-channel attribution model and how it works

Explore the transformative power of multi-channel attribution models in revolutionizing your B2B marketing strategies. Gain a comprehensive understanding of these models to accurately track lead sources across diverse social media platforms and content types, optimizing budget allocation and maximizing ROI.

B2B marketers need multi-channel attribution because they often have to work with a variety of social media platforms and types of content. These marketers can now more accurately track the source of leads they receive through these various channels.

Marketers often wonder whether they have a good attribution model. We’re going to help you get started with the basics by teaching you what a multi-channel attribution model is and how it can help.

What is a multi-channel attribution model?

Basically, multi-channel attribution means tracking different marketing channels that can lead to better attribution. Your success can be determined by properly planning and understanding different marketing contributions.

Multi channel attribution helps marketers to evaluate the success of touchpoints along every stage of the conversion funnel.

With that being said, marketers can see which channels generate more leads or which multiple channels are most profitable and plan their budget accordingly.

Attribution planning

If you’re not taking into account how offline media impacts your digital marketing, you may be overestimating the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

For example, your paid search ads depend on the searches happening at a given time, and those searches depend on consumers’ interests.

It can be difficult to separate the direct impact of marketing from the indirect effects of marketing – hard work across many channels will have a greater effect than a single channel.

Attribution is about giving credit to different touchpoints for customers’ conversions. The multi touch attribution models are hard because the customer’s decision is influenced by many factors.

It may seem like your marketing channels are the only ones that matter, but customer decisions can be influenced by other factors.

For example, the things that came before the sale (brand equity, word of mouth, promo, etc) only have an incremental impact on top-of-the-line sales.

Attribution is not as useful when it comes to external factors- like the overall state of the economy, pricing, seasonality, and promotions.

For example, it’s possible that lowering prices to compete with competitors will get you more business than all of your advertising efforts combined.

So, why should you consider multi touch attribution models? It’s a better way to do attribution than last-touch attribution.

Multi-channel attribution recognizes the work of all marketing channels and credits the conversion back to an earlier touchpoint than the last touch.

By understanding attribution, you are able to see the marketing impact. Even if your attribution model isn’t perfect, it is still better than last-touch attribution because you can understand how your channels work together.

Attribution model in Google Analytics

When you want to create an attribution project in Google Analytics, it’s important to pay attention to detail. However, you can divide these steps into two separate parts: preparation and the attribution project itself.

  • First, you need to connect Google Analytics account and Google Ads account. Visit your Google Analytics account, click Admin, and select the property you want to link it with.
  • In the Property column, choose Google Ads Linking, and then click + New link group.
  • After selecting the appropriate Google Ads accounts, you can input a title for the project and then link each property to your account.

  • Once you’ve linked your accounts, you can choose which views should be attributed. To add a view to an existing property, go to Google Analytics and choose the necessary property. From there, click + Create view in the View column.
  • You can enter the name of a website or mobile app and select the reporting time zone. Link your primary Google Analytics view to attribution for consistent reporting.
  • You can’t use views on User ID, roll-up properties, or views that remove URL parameters for attribution.

When setting up paid search ads, you want to configure your goals for conversion and enable eCommerce tracking.

  • Next, you need to enable auto-tagging in Google Ads for all of your campaigns. Then click Settings, Account settings and than Auto-tagging.
  • Check the box Tag the URL that people click through, and then click Save.

You should use the same standard UTM parameters for your non-Google Ads advertisements.

  • After this, the second step is to create an attribution project
  • Click on the tab New project, and then click Get started and Connect to your Analytics property section, choose the account, property, and view that you’re going to connect.
  • After this, click Next and then click Select conversion types.
  • Once you’ve completed the setup process, click Save and Complete setup.

Google Analytics Attribution Models

Different models provide different advantages so it is vital to understand the potential drawbacks of each one.

Google Analytics offers several pre-installed models for attribution.

Last interaction

This attribution model makes it seem like the last channel visited by the prospect is the one that led to the conversion, when in reality other channels may also have played a significant part. Probably the worst attribution model.

This model can only be useful if the ad captures the audience at the point of completion, and the sales cycle is quite short.

Last non-direct click

This attribution model makes all conversion value to the last channel a user went through. It is used by default in Google Analytics reports, which might create discrepancies due to it not accounting for other channels.

You may want to use this model if your direct customer base has already been converted by another channel.

Last Google Ads click

When looking at this attribution model, all of the conversion paths are attributed to the last Google Ads click before the conversion.

This has some disadvantages that are consistent with other attribution models that also attribute all of the conversion value to an individual touchpoint.

This attribution model can be used as a way to find which of your ads are most effective.

First interaction

This model attributes all conversion value to the first channel your customers interacted with.

This isn’t the best choice, because you don’t need other interactions to get high quality leads if the first interaction was so good.

This attribution model may benefit those who are looking to increase awareness of their product or service. When creating content, the value of first interactions is high.

Linear attribution model

Linear attribution model is better than previous attribution models, but it’s still not great.

It’s better because it assigns the same conversion value to all interactions in the conversion funnel. But, it makes budgeting more difficult because you can’t see which channels are actually working best.

Yet, It is worth considering this linear attribution model if you want to maintain consistent contact at essentially all stages of the funnel.

Time decay model

With this model, the value of your marketing efforts depends on how close marketing channel is to a conversion point. This can be useful if your buying cycle is short.

This model is better than the previous attribution models in this list, but it may have difficulty given that your buyer’s journey is long or if you’re wary about how social media may affect your business.

The time decay attribution model is a good choice if you want to work in terms of proximity to the conversion point. You can adjust it according to your needs.

Position based attribution model

If priority is given to the first and last touchpoints but you do want to give attention to other touchpoints, this method is a great choice.

Let’s say you sell jewelry and your attribution strategy is to optimize your conversion rates. With this attribution model, you can change the percentage of credit between your advertising channel, sales channel, and email marketing channel anytime.

Touchpoints are interactive moments that contribute to an overall experience.

If the first and last touchpoints are especially important, but you still want to assign some value to the other touchpoints, this model is best.

Multi touch attribution enables the best results in the end.

Best practices for using attribution

Once you have assigned value to your various multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) you can use data from it to find insights that help with decision-making. You don’t need a lot of data for it to be clear that one channel might not work as well as others.

Decision-making involves analyzing data. Here are a few ways that many marketers use for attribution data to make strategic changes.


Planning for a budget relies on an understanding of your ROI and market performance which can be predicted based on past investments.

A/B testing

A/B testing can help you see how marketing performance changes with different levels of investment in a particular channel.

Improve the performance

You can use insights from data from paid social ads to improve the performance of channels that don’t perform well. You can focus on other channels, or even promote those specific channels with your data.


If you have more than one business in the same niche, consider benchmarking your performance against another company. The difference in performance will help you find opportunities to improve where needed.

To create a marketing attribution strategy, you should first create and optimize different attribution models while taking your business goals into account.

Consider the best type of attribution models for your business, based on historical data, and the lifetime value of your customers.

If you want to customize your own attribution models, start with customizing time-decay and position-based models.

By understanding the different attribution models, you will be able to track your performance data and optimize your campaign to minimize waste.

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