What is Lead Attribution and How can it Help Your Lead Generation?

Lead Attribution -  Assigning credit to your conversion process

Single touch-point purchases are a dying breed

Whether a consumer, a marketer or both, we rarely interact with a brand just once before making a purchasing decision.

Independent research and cross-channel engagement are now a natural part of the consumer evaluation process.

So if multi-touch conversion journeys are the next stage in consumer evolution, what’s the next step for Lead Generation?

Lead Attribution.

What is Lead Attribution?

‘An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.’google

As most sales are rarely attributable to one sole source, it falls to marketers to be able to quantify what stages deserve credit for final conversions in order to maximise the impact of their budget.

Take the below journey for example:

  1. Stacey first hears of your company via a third party promotional website
  2. Wanting to know more, she clicks through to your official website and browses a few pages
  3. She likes what she sees but doesn’t visit your site again for another four days
  4. She wants to know what others think of you, googles ‘[your company name] reviews’ and comes across some independent customer feedback
  5. Liking what she reads she decides to order your catalogue
  6. Three days later, she receives your catalogue and makes a mail order purchase

This is an increasingly common example of a typical consumer journey.

With a total of 6 known touch points, each of them a valuable step towards conversion, assigning marketing credit between your internal and third party sources can be tricky.

How to quantify the value of your interaction points

Analytical tools such as google’s attribution tool allow you to execute extremely effective attribution strategies and measure the results in glorious detail.

Tools such as these enable marketers to assign conversion credit by factors including first or last interaction point, non-direct clicks and time decay, comparing the success of varying channels by whatever parameters you assign.

But despite their analytical efficiency, digital attribution tools will only get you half way.

The role of the marketer in constructing an effective attribution model is to analyse consumer journeys unique to their business and understand where each of their channels fits in to their overall conversion process.

A Lead Attribution example

Christian Von Kantzow of Three Ships Marketing highlights this point in the following example:


1 | The above table shows lead form submissions generated via a variety of typical channels. Most of these leads’ final interaction point originated from Paid Searches.


2 |This table shows the same data but instead measures the first interaction point. It instead reveals that the converted leads started their journey through 3rd party channels.

This information highlights the nature of Lead Attribution and the complexity it presents in assigning credit to the most appropriate channel.

Perspective is key. And analysing your consumer journey in as many ways possible is the only way you will be able to successfully determine the value of each of your sources.

It may seem daunting, but Lead Attribution is a model that can offer invaluable insights into the success of your various channels in your bespoke conversion process.

And with the wealth of tools available, marketers have never been better placed to successfully implement Lead Attribution and maximise their marketing ROI.

Good news for everyone.