Attribution: creating a new mindset for reporting

The new attribution offerings from Google allow you to track a customer’s journey across devices, as well as helping to determine the impact and ROI of the various marketing channels.

The new data-driven attribution models transfer credit from the last touchpoint and distribute it across earlier touchpoints within the journey, therefore giving upper funnel activity the relevant credit. However, with this new approach time plays a factor, and therefore there are consequences to consider when reporting on the newly attributed conversion data.

What are the key factors?

There are some key factors of the attribution offerings which users should take into consideration:

  • Upper funnel touchpoints will take time to see conversion credit
  • The conversion numbers for recent days will not be the final count as attributed conversions will accumulate daily

We can demonstrate this using the example below. If we looked at a report for the performance of May, there would be no conversions attributed to the marketing activity of May as there has only been one view.


However, a few weeks later the customer went on to convert via a paid search ad, having also clicked on a display ad as part of their journey. The attribution model will distribute the appropriate credit across the journey touchpoints which occurred within the defined lookback window. Since the view in May is within the 30-day lookback period, it will receive partial credit for the conversion.

If we were to look at that same report again for May, there would now be partial credit applied to the view in May, resulting in an attributed conversion value.

Once the lookback period has passed, the numbers will not change. So if we were to look at the report for May from the beginning of July onwards (30 days later than 31st May), the attributed conversions would remain static.

Cross-channel reporting

Time is not the only point to consider when reporting on attributed conversions. Switching your current model to the data-driven attribution model will affect the conversions associated with each marketing channel as well. Depending on which model you are currently using, the change for each channel will vary.

The example below shows how the different marketing channels are affected depending on the applied attribution model.

Changing your attribution model can therefore not only impact the numbers you see in reports, but also potentially the performance expectations – and related incentives – placed on different teams. As such, when moving to a new attribution model, it’s vital to have a well-thought out transition plan in place, and careful consideration should be given to stakeholder management and education.

With a team of experienced in-house and Croudie attribution specialists, we can help you ensure that you are ready for the switch to a more streamlined and data-driven approach to attribution and help you gain detailed insights into your marketing activity. For more information about the various attribution offerings and to find out how Croud can help, get in touch

by Tammy Greaves
29 June 2018



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