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Marketing Attribution (sometimes referred to as Multi-Channel Attribution) is the process of studying the click paths that lead consumers to your site.  I should probably now define a click path, which is the series of touch points that lead to conversion.  For example, if you have a site that sells Lego’s, a click path may look like:

Star Wars legos (Paid Search) > tie fighter lego (Organic) > RetailMeNot (Afiliate) > (Organic)

So in this click path, the consumer is first looking for Star Wars Lego’s and clicks on a paid search ad.  The consumer does not convert, but then visits the site again, this time with the search phrase of ‘tie fighter lego’ and found the toy companies natural (organic) search listing.  The consumer still does not convert, this time leaving the site to look for a coupon. They find one on RetailMeNot, but the consumer still does not convert and comes back one more time, this time with a branded search and purchases.  Yup – searchers do search like this.  It’s quite complex, but you can imagine the advantage a website has when they can understand and act upon this data.

I typically have several goals when doing an attribution analysis.  One, is get an understanding how my marketing channels play together.  Two, I want to get a good sense of which head terms eventually lead to conversions.  Third, is looking at each channel in a silo.  Fourth, is looking for opportunities to reduce as spend.


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