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The Multiple Types of Multi-Touch Attribution

Posted on 2.19.2015

Advertisers are struggling to make sure they credit the right sources of conversion and they are turning to multi-touch attribution in droves to do so.

Multi-touch attribution (MTA) is essentially the practice of allocating a proportional amount of credit to promotional efforts, across channels, which lead to the desired customer action. MTA is, in many ways, still developing, and this year will likely be the year it comes to maturity (or, at least, more popular acceptance). In order to take full advantage of this method, you need to understand that there are several different ways to attribute value to customer interactions, or “touches”:

Even - A basic model where all touches receive credit equally. This model is typically used when no one particular interaction is known to convert customers, and the goal is ongoing marketing engagement.

Time Decay – Most credit is given to the individual touch that created the desired outcome (such as a sale), with declining credit for less recent interactions. This model is particularly useful for companies with very short sales cycles.

U-Shaped/Position – In this multi-touch attribution model, 40 percent credit is given to the first and last touches, with the remaining 20 percent divided among interactions in the middle. The U-shaped model is best for advertisers seeking to drive awareness and action and is ideal for those with longer sales cycles.

Custom - In this model, advertisers determine the credit to be given for each "touch", dependent on product knowledge, customer base, and sales funnel based on factors such as cost, time, or effort.

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