Time decay, linear, data driven attribution models. The options are many, but some are definitely better than others. We've experimented with all attribution models, and are seeing some really interesting things in the data driven option in Google Analytics Premium.
Let's take a step back for a minute, though, and talk about what an attribution model is. From Google "Data-driven attribution reveals the real path-to-purchase, allowing you to fine-tune strategies based on real customer behavior."
There are 3 traditional buckets of "rules based" attribution models which include: single touch (credit assigned to one source), even (conversion attributed across all touchpoints), and custom (assigns more credit to first and last touchpoints, but also gives some credit to the middle points). A few years back, Google introduced data driven attribution, which is algorithmic and dynamically builds attribution models based on actual conversion path data. This is really the gold standard now. Consider the opportunity:
So, what do YOU need to get started with data driven attribution? Google recommends making sure you have a strong internal champion to ensure the attribution program is set up properly, and who can analyze and disseminate findings.
Data Driven Attribution Model Requirements for Success:
1. Define Goals - what are the true conversions, a sale? a lead? Nail these down and make sure you are tracking them.
2. Cross Departmental Budget - Since multiple sources will be credited with driving conversions, it's critical to be able to have some fluid budget allocation to optimize performance.
3. Cross Departmental Buy-In - You're going to need cooperation from marketing channel owners and their trafficking/tagging folks (if a different group) as well as from IT to make sure data is clean and accessible.
4. Mechanism to Disseminate Information - show your stakeholders that their contributions matter and how.
Google states that "industry standard assumptions suggest that returns on an attribution solution will typically be 10x the cost of the solution", so it's almost a no-brainer to begin understanding your customer journey(s) better, and to ensure your marketing mix is best in class.