Have you ever wondered which ads are bringing in sales, and which campaigns are wasting ad spend?

Tracking what content actually leads to sales is called Attribution Modeling. This is a powerful tool for successfully scaling ads, and it only works if your data is accurate.

Attributing revenue to particular content gives you the ability to optimize and scale paid advertising campaigns without guesswork or wasted ad spend.

Marketing Attribution

Attribution data for marketing can be hard to understand, because there are so many different types of attribution models.

The biggest benefit to attribution models is the ability to maximize ROI from paid advertising. One of the most common data presentation methods is multi-touch attribution marketing models, of which there are several versions.

Two of the most commonly referred to attribution models, first-click and last-click attribution, are important for reviewing performance at the top and bottom of a marketing funnel. However, sometimes, it's needed to take a look at the entire picture to determine where to focus on improvements or celebrate great results.

Multi-touch attribution is extremely helpful for giving ecommerce companies that 10,000 ft view of their paid advertising performance at each step of the funnel. 

What is Multi-Touch Attribution

Every marketing funnel has a top, middle, and bottom. The top of the funnel (TOF) is typically when a user makes their first-click interaction with your brand. The bottom of funnel (BOF) is typically where a user will interact to directly make a purchase. Content in between TOF and BOF which may result in a sale is called middle of funnel (MOF).

Here is an example of what all the touch points of a marketing funnel looks like for one of our ecommerce clients:

Marketing Attribution Model Comparison

There are several ways to distribute credit across the funnel. 

You can credit each sale to the content which produced the very first click users made when introduced to your brand. This is called first-click attribution.

Another model credits each sale to the content that directly resulted in a sale. This model is called last-click attribution.

Multi-touch attribution models work by distributing credit across different points of the marketing funnel to show how much influence each step from first- to last-click had in actual purchases.

Marketing Attribution

Multi-Touch Attribution vs First-Click or Last-Click Attribution

Once you have a better ideal of performance when looking at your entire funnel, next you will want to look at specific troubled areas or highly successful ones. First-Click and Last-Click attribution are ideal for deep diving into a specific step in your marketing funnel. Using these models, it's 

Different Types of Multi-Touch Attribution Modeling

There are multiple ways to create multi-touch attribution marketing models, and each has it's own particular use case.

The three biggest ones are "scientific" mode (which is anything but scientific), full impact, and linear attribution.

"Scientific" Mode Attribution Modeling

"Scientific" mode is the least helpful multi-touch attribution model. The way it works is by setting a timer that starts on first-click. If the user buys before that time frame, it gets credited to first-click. If the user buys after that time frame, it credits last-click for the purchase.

This is a version of "U" shaped attribution that gives no credit to any touch points in the middle. That's a big problem because there's no way to see what you are wasting ad spend on between first and last clicks.

Another problem with the "scientific" attribution models is knowing when to set the timer for. How long should you wait after a first click before giving credit to the last click? đź¤”

We do not recommend relying on this model because of the inherent ambiguity and lack of actionable data.

Full Impact ROI Attribution Modeling

Full impact is a multi-touch attribution model is a great if you want to look at overall marketing performance, but don't care about revenue attributed adding up to actual revenue.

Last Click Attribution Funnel

With full impact, up to 4 clicks can be given full revenue credit for a sale. This gives a clear view of what content is resulting in sales and what content is wasting ad spend.


One of the limitations of full impact is that the revenue total will be much higher than your actual revenue (because you are giving full revenue credit to up to 4 touch points). The amplification of data makes it easy to identify high performing content at every step of the funnel, even if it is not first- or last-click. 

If you are looking for a model that gives you a high level view but also matches actual revenue, read on to discover the Linear ROI Attribution Model.

Linear ROI Attribution MODELING

Linear ROI attribution model gives a view of performance at each step of your marketing funnel, with an accurate revenue that adds up to match your payment processor records.

Linear ROI Attribution Modeling

Linear Attribution is a "W" shaped attribution type that gives fair credit to each touchpoint in your funnel, giving a complete and accurate picture of what content deserves credit for each sale.

This helps to give a clear picture of what nonperforming content to cut out of a marketing funnel, and which content can be scaled up for better results.

Linear ROI Attribution Modeling

The Linear model is great for getting an overall view and reconciling revenue against your payment processor or CRM.

The biggest difference between Full Impact and Linear Multi-Touch Attribution Models is that Full Impact gives more revenue credit to each touch point. This amplifies your marketing results and makes it easier to find high performing content, but revenue will not match actual revenue.

Practical Ways to Use Multi-Touch Attribution To Improve Marketing Performance

Multi-Touch Attribution Models are best used for ecommerce companies to get a high-level, overall view of their marketing performance. They can be used to see the highest and lowest performing content in a marketing funnel, making it easy to determine actionable ways to increase ROI from paid advertising.

When Should I Use Multi-Touch Attribution

Be careful about where your data comes from. If the data is inaccurate or poorly attributed, this can really affect the attribution report and be misleading about how to act on the results. That will cost you money!

Only use Multi-Touch Attribution models if you are confident the data is accurate.

At Wicked Reports we provide Attribution Health Reporting for every account. This allows our clients to know exactly how accurate and helpful their attribution data is. 

Attribution Health

Attribution Health helps you to determine how trustworthy attribution reports are, to give you confidence in making marketing decisions based on reports in your Wicked Reports dashboard.

Combining highly accurate attribution data with multi-touch attribution models makes ecommerce marketing decisions easy and effective. Book a call with a Wicked Attribution Expert today to find out how these high quality reports can increase your brand's ROI.

book a demo for Wicked Reports Multi Touch Marketing Attribution Software

Katie Switzer

Written by Katie Switzer