Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the most important things to measure effectively for any business, especially when it concerns marketing strategy and campaigns.

When measured effectively it allows your company to see what is working and what is not, allowing your marketing team to make informed decisions about what is working and what isn’t.

So if proving ROI is so vital to make intelligent, informed decisions, why is it so hard to calculate?

Your marketing efforts may be spread across a vast array of platforms and mediums such as online, events and direct mail.

With all these marketing channels, you need a robust marketing attribution model in place to record where the sales are coming from and the cost per sale.

Once you have this you’ll be able to accurately measure your marketing ROI.

In this blog, Trevor McClintock talks us through the top three marketing attribution models, how they differ and how they score the sales that come into your business.

1) First Touch Marketing Attribution

First touch marketing attribution weights 100% of the credit of the sale to the marketing channel or effort.


As this model weights all the sale on one touch point, it overemphasises one part of the sales funnel.

In this case, it focuses on the top of the sales funnel and marketing channels that drive awareness.

This is a great first step for companies that want to discover what marketing channels are most useful, and for companies that do not employ a sales team.

The only downsides to this model is that they are quite limited to what they can accurately report on, and if you have a long lead time between the awareness stage and the sale completion date the tracking (for online especially) may expire.

2) W shaped marketing attribution model

If you have a more intricate sales funnel, you may consider adding more depth and more scoring features to your marketing attribution methods.

The W shaped attribution model does just that, equally weighting sales between the first and last touches on the customer journey.


Using this model will not only allow you to map out what first touch marketing efforts are proving the most fruitful, but at what point during the customer journey your leads are dropping off.

This model will allow you to optimise your customer journey and methods to ensure that your customers are getting the best experience throughout the customer journey.

3) Full path attribution

Like the W method of attribution, the full path model offers attribution beyond the first marketing touchpoint, but also follows the customer journey all the way to the close of the sale.


Although this method is the most detailed of all the models we have looked at so far, it can prove difficult to implement effectively.

As it has more tracking touch points to track conversions, it also has more moving parts and more people with more responsibility.

It is crucial that all of your departments are on board with this.

Key Takeaways

If you’re new to marketing attribution and are looking to analyse which channels are working, you should implement a first touch attribution model.

If you’d like to get a little bit more advanced and map user journeys and drop offs, you should consider implementing a more detailed attribution model.

If you would like any more advice on the matter, please be sure to drop me an email or get in touch on Twitter or Facebook.