Discovering Multi-touch Attribution

February 21, 2020
• Author: Adrien


Do you know the difference between single touch and multi touch attribution models? It's a simple differentiation, but it can make all the difference. It's the first step towards understanding more advanced techniques like data driven attribution modeling.

Discovering Multi-Touch Attribution

Data analysis is a field that is always pushing the envelope. There's a constantly growing demand to get as much as possible out of the information a company takes in. This brings along the inevitable need for detailed attribution models.


Marketers are becoming aware of the importance of attributing credit to all touch-points, rather than a single touch-point along the customer journey. Marketers need an understanding of how all the interactions fit together and influence one another.


Choosing an attribution model requires a clear understanding of attribution and functional data integration. Knowledge of these concepts provide insights into empowering your multi-channel data.

What is multi-touch attribution?

Multi-touch attribution is a type of model used to assign credit to more than one touch point in the customer journey. This is opposed to some of the simplest existing attribution models such as Last Click Attribution or First Click Attribution. These two may be applicable in small scales use cases but, the more complex a company's marketing efforts become, the more rewards an investment into multi-touch attribution can reap.


Multi-touch models define the right weight to be assigned to every single channel and helps you determine how to attain astounding insights for your marketing strategy. This is nothing to scoff at. When you can feel confident in your ability to allocate your marketing spend, that's one less item on your agenda to worry about.

How many models exist?

Every attribution model has its own advantages and deciding which one to choose depends on a number of factors such as path length, number of impressions, or maybe, type of industry. Let’s explore some of the available multi-touch attribution models.


  • Linear
    • Assigns each touch point the same value.
  • Time Decay
    • Assigns touch points progressively more value.
  • Custom
    • As it says, you get to assign the values yourself.
  • Full path, U-Shaped and W-Shaped
    • These models assigns certain touch points a majority of the credit, while the remaining touch points split a small percentage, usually 10%.


At this point, a question may come to your mind: how big of a difference do these attribution models make?


A big one. When multi-touch attribution is combined with data-driven modeling, we've seen marketing profitability increase by as much as 40%.

At this stage, it's important to mention the required set up. The answer lies within data integration. Having all of your data properly integrated is the only way for these models to work their magic.


Tracking marketing activities across multiple channels can be done in a number of ways:

1. a Javascript tracking code can be added to your company website to ensure full tracking of the user movements throughout your pages.

2. UTM parameters also track movements to obtain the origin of a session and assign credit to the related campaign or activity. These are carried from page to page via URL.

3. Cookies are a special method to track an anonymous user. Once the site assigns a cookie to that user, it remains until removed or expired. Over this period of time, the same user may complete an identifying action such as submitting a form on your website.


This matches the user with the touch point activity enabling data collection.

4. Application Program Interface (API integrations) allow for multi-touch attribution to track and collect data from multiple channels and platforms. Using APIs allows for possible interactions between different software programs.


However, having many options does not make your life easier. Having a deep understanding of your business and marketing data gives you the best possible chance of success. At this stage, you may want to consider options to achieve a detailed analysis and collect data from many different sources.


The goal at the end of the day is converging all of your data into one place, so that it can act as a funnel. Another possibility may be to find a customized solution that meets all of your business needs and requirements.


Need an analytics or attribution consultation? Schedule a live one-on-one demo with one of our product experts!