Reveal The Secret Of Linear Attribution: A Closer Look - TrueProfit

Reveal The Secret Of Linear Attribution: A Closer Look [2023]

Are you struggling to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns accurately? How about referring to a particular ad attribution model, linear attribution?

From deeply understanding the customer journey to optimizing your ad spend, linear ad attribution provides valuable insights and practical tips that can surely bring your marketing campaigns to new heights.

In today’s blog, let’s dive deep into the explanations of this marketing attribution model and explore how it can revolutionize your marketing strategies. Scroll down now!

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What Are Marketing Attribution Models?

Marketing attribution (or advertising attribution) is the process of assigning value and credit to different touchpoints of customers before starting to buy products or book services.

In essence, these unique marketing attribution approaches go above and beyond traditional methods as they are highly applicable to any business.

From considering the complexity of multiple channels, devices, and customer behaviors to attribute value accurately, these models greatly help marketers understand the complete customer journey and make data-driven decisions for campaign optimization and success.

Some other noticeable benefits of employing marketing attribution models are:

  • Ad attribution assists in improving personalization efforts by understanding specific touchpoints that resonate with different audience segments.
  • It enables effective budget allocation by identifying which channels and touchpoints generate the most conversions. Thanks to that, marketers can optimize their marketing strategies and focus on the most effective channels to maximize return on investment (ROI).
  • Marketing attribution helps evaluate advertising campaign performance, identify areas for improvement, and optimize strategies in real time.

Aside from the linear attribution model, there are many others that you can refer to, such as W-shaped, U-shaped, first-click, last-click, and time decay attribution. In short, each of these has its advantages compared to the others, and they also match distinguished types of business and campaigns.

Curious enough? Let me tell you more about the linear marketing model below.

How Does The Linear Attribution Model Work?

First, what is linear attribution? Linear attribution is an approach in marketing analysis that assigns equal credit to all touchpoints throughout the customer journey.

linear attribution
Besides various advantages, there are also significant disadvantages when it comes to the linear attribution model

Simply put, instead of favoring specific touchpoints or giving more weight to certain interactions like other marketing analysis models, the linear attribution model treats each touchpoint as equally influential in achieving conversions or desired outcomes.

For example, if a customer saw an ad on Facebook, clicked on an email link, and then visited the website and bought something, linear attribution would give ~33% of the credit to each of these actions. This way, it shows how every action helped the customer move closer to buying.

Pros and Cons Of Linear Attribution

Besides various advantages, there are also significant disadvantages when it comes to the linear attribution model.

✅ Pros❌ Cons
  • Linear attribution is easy and simple to use. It does not require complex algorithms or weights, and it works for any business, even with limited resources or skills.
  • This model gives a complete view of the whole customer journey by treating all touchpoints the same. Based on this, businesses can find the most influential touchpoints or gaps in the buying process and make effective marketing strategies.
  • With linear attribution, businesses can see how different touchpoints and channels perform as they have to value every interaction equally.
  • Linear attribution only considers touchpoint contributions and ignores other factors, such as brand image and competitor activity, leading to a wrong assessment of the customer journey and missed opportunities to improve the results.
  • Not every touchpoint affects the customer journey; therefore, giving equal credits for all touchpoints might make a business spend its budget on something that’s not worth it.
  • It’s hard to use this method on a larger scale of marketing campaigns because the linear attribution model may not show the true impact of each touchpoint from multiple channels.

How Does The Linear Attribution Model Calculate Credit?

For a linear attribution model, you assign equal weight to every touchpoint
For a linear attribution model, you assign equal weight to every touchpoint

Just as mentioned above, the linear attribution model gives equal credit to each touchpoint, which means every one of them plays a similar role in leading to a conversion. Based on that, to calculate credit, simply divide the total credit among all the interactions involved in the customer journey.

Want more detailed instructions on how to do the task? Here’s my two-step process for calculating credit in the linear attribution model for you:

  • Step 1: Determine all the marketing interactions a customer interacts with before purchasing. Something you can include are social media posts, referral emails, website visits, and so on.
  • Step 2: Now, assign an equal credit weight to each touchpoint. For instance, if there are five touchpoints, each touchpoint may receive 20% credit.

After calculating the credits, you can start to analyze and examine the results to identify touchpoints that consistently receive higher or lower credit and evaluate their role during the conversion process.

More importantly, once you have more gains, data, and information, don’t forget to refine your attribution model and try testing some others. Trust me, there’s no harm if one business wants to know more about their customers’ journey.

Linear Attribution In Real Life Example

Suppose you are a founder of a tech company called Company A (which mainly retails electronics gadgets online) that employs a linear attribution model for your multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Because of that, you run various ad campaigns across different channels, including social media ads, search engine marketing, email newsletters, and affiliate partnerships. To assess your marketing efforts’ overall impact, you adopt the linear attribution model.

Now, imagine there is a customer named Helen who starts her journey by:

  • First, she coincidentally clicks on a Facebook ad from Company A and feels a bit interested.
  • She later performs a Google search for the product and clicks on a paid search ad.
  • After that, Helen receives an email newsletter from Company A and finally buys one of your products through an affiliate link on a random tech review website.

Using the linear attribution model, Company A would assign equal credit to each touchpoint in Helen’s journey. The Facebook ad, the paid search ad, the email newsletter, and the affiliate link would all be attributed with an equal share of influence in the conversion progress.

By employing the linear attribution model, you gain insights into your marketing channels’ overall impact. You can now assess the effectiveness of different touchpoints in driving conversions and allocate your marketing budget accordingly.

As an illustration, if you see that the affiliate partnership contributes the most, you and your company can invest more resources into optimizing and expanding the benefit for any affiliate partners. Otherwise, you must consider reducing the money invested on less profitable channels.

Final Word

Linear attribution is a simple and straightforward way to measure the impact of marketing efforts. However, it also has some drawbacks that might limit the ability to optimize campaigns and achieve better outcomes.

Therefore, the pros and cons of this model should be carefully considered before applying it to a business. Don’t forget that other attribution models that can better suit the needs and goals of a business should also be explored and implemented.

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