Decoding the Multi-Touch Attribution Model: Methods and Benefits

The concept of multi-touch attribution (MTA) can seem a bit mysterious. After all, it could be said that it is easier to focus on just one touchpoint, such as the first interaction with your brand or the ad that led to a conversion, instead of every touchpoint at once. 

In some instances, that can hold true, but simplistic attribution models aren’t appropriate for all businesses. If you want to tap into the power of MTA models, it is vital that you choose the right methodology for your business. 

With that in mind, we invite you to join us as we explore various multi-touch attribution model forms available and highlight the benefits each provides.

A Brief Recap of MTA

The customer journey is nothing if not complicated. Consumers rarely purchase a single interaction, which is why attributing a sale to a single touchpoint simply cannot provide a full view of their customer journey. 

MTA allows you to examine every part of your marketing strategy (from ads to emails to social media posts) and how they each influence customer decision-making. Instead of giving all the credit to the last ad someone clicked, MTA spreads out the credit among various touchpoints at once. 

Methods of MTA

There are many ways to distribute credit to each touchpoint along the customer journey. Some of the most common MTA models include the following:

  • First-Touch Attribution: Gives all or most of the credit to the first interaction a customer has with your brand 
  • Last-Touch Attribution: Credit goes to the last interaction before a sale 
  • Linear Attribution: Equally distributes credit across all interactions a customer has with your brand, from the touchpoint that made them aware of your brand’s existence to that which led to their conversion
  • Time Decay Attribution: The closer the interaction is to the sale, the more credit it gets, and vice versa
  • Position-Based Attribution (U-Shaped): Gives the most credit to the first and last interaction while spreading out the remaining credit to all interactions that occurred in between

There is no single best or worst MTA model; each offers a unique mix of benefits. Therefore, you should explore each option and decide which one best aligns with your customer journey, marketing mix, and sales cycle. 

Benefits of Using MTA

MTA provides many major benefits, especially if you choose the ideal model for your business. These benefits include:

Improved Customer Insights

At its core, MTA helps you understand the consumer journey and the various touch points involved in transforming leads into paying customers. Once you have a holistic view of the process, you can tailor your marketing to better meet their needs.

Smarter Budgeting

Understanding which of your marketing efforts are driving the most sales allows you to allocate your budget more effectively. You can pinpoint channels that are providing a good return on ad spend (ROAS) and shy away from those that aren’t, in turn creating a smart budget that makes every dollar count. 

Increased ROI

When you know what works, you do more of it, which often leads to a better return on investment (ROI). If a particular product is flying off the shelves, you’re probably going to beef up your inventory — the same concept applies to lead nurturing. 

For instance, say that your MTA model reveals that social media-based interactions are responsible for about 50% of conversions, but only 15% of your marketing budget is geared toward social platforms. In such a scenario, you can reroute some funds away from less effective channels and up your social media spending. 

Enhanced Campaign Efficacy

With the insight you gather from MTA, you can create more effective marketing campaigns. You won’t have to resort to guesswork and instead use relevant data to guide future campaigns.

Backing up your campaigns with timely data insights can give you the confidence to pursue new growth opportunities. Whether you want to launch a new product or target an adjacent market, MTA can be your guide. 


As your business grows, understanding MTA can help you scale your marketing efforts effectively. Minimizing waste and prioritizing the most impactful channels will unlock your full growth potential. 

Master MTA and Build Your Brand

MTA models represent a powerful growth catalyst for your business. When you can peer into the customer journey and obtain meaningful insights, you’ll have the opportunity to tailor content based on consumer preferences. 

That said, that all starts with choosing the right model and supporting that model with robust analytics tools. Once you pair the ideal model with a modern analytics platform, the possibilities are limitless. You can more effectively advertise, reach more prospects, and generate stronger revenue.

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