Understanding Digital Attribution: How To Maximize The Value Of Attribution Data

Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead
5 minute read
Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead
5 minute read

Customer journeys keep transforming. That entails a proliferation of touchpoints and channels. Today, consumers can use an unprecedented number of ways to interact with brands. That, in turn, makes it often challenging to capture their wants, needs and actual preferences.

Marketers expect consumers to be more technologically savvy and choose digital channels over live conversations with company representatives. Yet customer interactions remain essential, as are calls allowing clients to reach out when it’s needed. The good news is that reducing live contact can help enterprises save money. But instead, they need to introduce contemporary technologies like self-service that can help improve CX. 

Nowadays, most businesses are geared toward delivering a positive omnichannel experience. They tend to steer clients to channels that suit their preferences better while also offering an opportunity to have live conversations through AI-powered chatbots or IVRs.

An omnichannel marketing output, like advertising and customer service strategy, requires utilizing call analytics software and specific marketing attribution tactics. The latter not only requires having a vision and strategy but also selecting a suitable attribution model. 

Let’s explore digital attribution in more detail and analyze the different types of attribution models.

What Is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution, in its essence, is the way to assess the performance of specific tactics and channels and determine the value of ROI. Simply put, it helps to understand how customers discovered and, as a result, purchased your product or service. 

While it might seem like a simple process, consumers rarely get to take a digital shortcut to your app or website. That is why businesses have to consider numerous touchpoints and track the entire journey to explore every in-between interaction in detail before the conversion action. But let’s face it: that hardly sounds realistic.

Fortunately, marketers can get hold of attribution data through the reports that offer actionable insights on increasing ROI, CR, ROAS, and sales.

Marketing attribution reports provide detailed information on all the essential interactions and assign value to them along the customer journey. 

Multi-touch reports can help enterprises identify the specific marketing or sales initiatives that led to conversions. This information is crucial for businesses looking to allocate their resources more effectively.

Let’s take a social media strategy as an example. Every company needs to understand if its social media activities led to the influx of new customers or increased sales. With attribution reports at hand, they can assign specific financial value to every effective marketing initiative.

In a nutshell, reports can answer numerous questions about the efficacy of a blog, the type of content that generates more leads, the most viewed website and landing pages, channels that drive more traffic, and much more.

Attribution, Lead Tracking

Types Of Attribution Models

Here’s the thing: attribution is a delicate process. But once you answer the principal questions about the sales cycle, distribution of touchpoints across the funnel, and campaign objectives, it becomes evident which option suits your company best. 

Ultimately, the choice of the attribution strategy and model is dictated by the goals your enterprise pursues. Let’s take a look at some of the models.

Linear: It implies that an identical value is given to all channels. Let’s say that you use four channels. It means that you give equal credit to each channel: 25% to referral, 25% to organic, 25% to paid ads, and 25% to direct. 

Time-decay: It implies that the most value is given to the last interaction. Here’s an example of distribution: 5% to organic, 15% to referral, 30% to paid ads, and 50% to direct. 

Position-based (U-shaped): It implies that a greater value is assigned to the first and the last touchpoint, and the remaining value is fairly distributed between other channels. Let’s look at the example: 40% to organic, 10% to referral, 10% to paid ads, and 40% to direct.

W-shaped: It resembles the U-shaped model, except for a small detail: the additional interaction and the last touchpoint are given the most credit, and the remaining value is fairly distributed among the other touchpoints.

Full path: It has a lot in common with the W-shaped model. The main difference is that the most value is given to the first interaction, the lead conversion, the opportunity creation, and the last interaction that closed the deal. As is the case with other models, the remaining value is fairly distributed among all other interactions.

Custom: It allows businesses to customize the whole process: identify the principal touchpoints, determine the value of channels or interactions, and take charge of distribution.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to use Google Analytics attribution modeling. With its proprietary Model Comparison Tool, users can assess the impact of their marketing channels. While the tool allows comparing up to three models at a time, it can come in handy if you want to experiment and create a custom model.

As for choosing a suitable model, it is crucial to consider all the factors, including the following:

  1. The type of sales cycle and its length
  2. The channels your business is leveraging
  3. The types of ad campaigns and their goals

As mentioned before, tracking is essential to the success of your marketing outputs. Recent regulations and tracking limitations made it clear that marketers will have to think and act unconventionally to tackle their ad spend measurement. 

Here are a trio of practical suggestions that can help you tackle tracking issues and comply with recent regulations.

How To Solve Limited Tracking Issues

Invest In The Right Platform

What marketers need is to keep tabs on all aspects of their campaigns. In other words, track, analyze, and access digital metrics on a user-friendly dashboard. Phonexa enables marketers to measure ROI attribution, make campaign adjustments, create comparisons, and view the progress in real-time as part of its all-in-one marketing automation solution for calls, leads, clicks, email, SMS, accounting, and more. 

Ultimately, with the right platform and suite of solutions, you can streamline your marketing outreach strategies and make every customer interaction count.

Adapt To Changing Digital Environment

While the marketing world is still adapting to the recent tracking limitations and updated regulations, marketing experts need to manage their expectations. 

Let’s face it: data won’t be 100% accurate anytime soon. The same is true of information on customer behavior. However, it’s crucial to pay attention to the emerging larger trends and make educated decisions about your campaigns and content strategies to keep your CR high.

Make The Most Of The Owned Channels

The owned channels matter like never before, and here’s why: you already have all the insights and essential performance data. It means that recent industry changes won’t critically affect the performance of your campaigns. 

Naturally, it may be a wise choice to implement changes like shifting to server-side tracking and treating some of the recently attributed data as directional instead of absolute. But ultimately, you need to make sure that you don’t miss any marketing opportunities.

Make attribution a priority and apply data-driven decisions by scheduling a consultation with one of Phonexa’s experts.

Got Questions?

Get in touch! We are available 24/7.

Victoria Berezhetska avatar
Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. In her work at Phonexa, she covers diverse topics around digital marketing, including affiliate marketing, call tracking, lead generation, marketing automation, and so much more.

Education: City University of Seattle

Expertise: Affiliate marketing, digital marketing, call tracking, lead generation, insurance


  • 8+ years of experience in digital marketing, specializing in building customer loyalty

  • Deep B2B and B2C content expertise intertwined with strong analytical and interpersonal skills

  • Unwavering drive for growth and commitment to creating impactful content

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