Hello Attribution & Goodbye Last Click!

Attribution models are great, but the real question is what are you going to do with them? In this post I will share Attribution Tips employed by successful companies. And I promise that you will not shed a tear waving goodbye to last-click tracking after reading this article.


Education is one of the most important steps you will take when you begin to look at your attribution implementation methodology. Understanding when and how to utilize attribution logic lets you optimize your customer experience and marketing tactics.

For example, imagine the paid search department seeing their cost-per-order increase because it wasn’t actually the last action before placing an order by the customer. Then imagine the display department cheering because they are receiving more credit for helping the conversion prior to the last click.

It’s interesting to see teams working together to push the overall ROI.  Typically each channel works in silos and less as a group looking to optimize one of the most important metrics…the overall ROI. The example below outlines the overall ROI as $8.10 for all the channels.  This number should be shared across all teams to get them to improve that return.



Deduplication is the removing of duplicate events and visits from analytic reporting. If you have multiple tracking systems and multiple sources, Insight will help you “deduplicate” those leads in their attribution models.

Consider, you have 100 Orders but there are really only 80 unique orders because you employ two tracking systems.  If you clicked on both ads and then converted, each would get credit because those systems don’t communicate with each other. This issue alone is extremely helpful to look at by your marketing department to see what is really happening.


My two favorite attribution models are the Starter/Players/Closer model and the Even model.

In the following examples, I will focus specifically on Starter/Players/Closer. If you are not familiar with the Starter/Players/Closer model, here is a high-level explanation:

For the Starter/Players/Closer attribution model: The Starter (initiating) touch receives a set percent of credit for the conversion, the Closer (last) touch receives a set percentage of credit for the conversion, and the remaining Player touches each receive an equal share of the remaining credit for the conversion. See the Advanced Web-Store Attribution in Insight blog from Michael Halbrook.

The Even attribution model accomplishes the same but applies an even percentage breakout of revenue and orders. Typically the Starter will get 30%, Players gets 30% and Closer will get 40%.

This attribution can be a dream come true for large organizations who struggle to understand how to break out revenue. If you do not like the subjectivity of assigning a percentage, then you can simply change to the Even attribution model.



Attribution is great, but what if I have different customers buying different products. Do you think a person buying a lawnmower has the similar marketing touch points as someone buying a crib? Insight allows you to create custom filters to analyze at a category level.

Let’s layer this onto the attribution models…wow this is getting exciting!

I know my mom very well. When she wants to visit a specific website she goes to Google and types in the actual URL in the search box. It’s just adorable. But ask yourself: Who should get the revenue associated with her purchase later in that visit?


Most companies will take a look at the ROI when they incorporate variable costs. That’s great, but they may be underestimating some expenses: your salary, technology fees, agency management fees, and a whole mess of other costs. Obviously some of this information can be aggregated and shared with a limited amount of people to defray costs across the organization, but it is still a significant issue.

There is also a very subjective way to share the total cost of Analytic software based on each customer’s varying approach to organizational goals.

I come from the Agency and Client side which makes me appreciate attribution a lot more than most. I understand that the last click models have held a lot of large companies back from truly understanding their data and tracking revenue for each of their marketing channel.

Attribution is a significant implementation and investment issue that determines ongoing tracking and sales goals. If you want to learn more about Attribution Models, reach out to someone at Adobe. We are here to help you customize your Adobe implementation based on your specific needs!


Ryan Green