The Complete Guide to Attribution Report Marketing Uses

Attribution reporting can assist marketers to find the gaps in their strategies by tracking the impact of specific goals, which helps businesses and digital marketing programs grow.

Updated: November 26, 2021
The Complete Guide to Attribution Report Marketing Uses

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Tracking the efforts of your digital marketing strategies can be difficult. 

With many different touchpoints, channels, and campaigns running at once, it can be hard to determine exactly which parts of your marketing are bringing in leads and revenue and which parts need help. 

Attribution reporting is a type of reporting strategy that shows you the real impact of the different marketing efforts you implement. 

With an attribution report, you can discover which areas of your marketing strategy and interactions with customers move towards the desired outcome. 

But how do you begin attribution reporting? What do they point out and what can you learn? 

This blog will help you learn everything you need to know about an attribution report strategy and how it can make your organization grow.

    What is Attribution Reporting?

    An attribution report is at its core a strategy that allows digital marketers to see the direct impact that a marketing campaign, tactic, strategy, or content piece has had on a specific goal. 

    It provides a picture of exactly which touchpoints have helped your audience move towards the goal, usually a conversion or a sale. 

    Attribution reporting will summarize key points of data to let you see which actions that your audience has taken have had the highest impact. 

    It will often be built into specific models that are focused on helping you realize different values in your data. 

    Here are a few examples of different attribution report models: 

    First interaction

    This report will place the importance on the first interaction a customer has within your data set.

    Last interaction

    Similar to first interaction, the importance is placed on the final interaction that leads to your goal.

    Linear attribution

    The importance is spread evenly and credit is given to each interaction in your data set.


    These attribution reports will place 40% of the value on the first interaction and 40% on the specific interaction that created a contact in your system. The remaining 20% is spread across the interactions between those two points.


    This model places 30% of the value on the first interaction, 30% on the specific interaction that created a contact, 30% on the last interaction that created a deal or made a sale, and 10% to the rest of your interaction points.


    This model divides the credit with 22.5% going to the first interaction, the contact creation interaction, the interaction that created a deal or sale, and the closed sale interaction. The remaining 10% is spread across the rest of the interactions in the data set.


    This attribution report model places the value on the most recent interactions.

    Why Use Attribution Reporting?

    Marketing departments often wonder where the impact of their spending is going, and which of their strategies and efforts are producing the best results. 

    While singular reports can help you get a grasp on the data behind individual initiatives, it’s hard for most people to compare and go through the data in their heads. 

    An attribution report offers transparency in marketing efforts and allows your team to look at all relevant information in a single place. 

    It gives you clear insights into the specific relevance each part of your strategy has to the overall success or failure and tells you exactly which areas of your strategy need more work. 

    An attribution report helps marketing teams perform better, allocate resources to the right initiatives, and learn more about how the steps in each campaign guide customers towards an end goal and desired outcome.

    What Does the Attribution Report Point Out?

    The attribution report can be generated in many ways, but the specific points that are generated are meant to give visibility into the same areas of focus.

    In order to get the most out of your attribution report, you should look for the following areas of interest:

    What Content Generates More Leads

    Content is often referred to as the king behind digital marketing, so understanding the value of your content and the ways it contributes to revenue and sales is important. 

    An attribution report can pull information together to see if posts or blogs are viewed before conversions or goals are met and how close those views were in relation to customer conversion. 

    An attribution report will also help you learn which types of content are performing best. 

    This allows marketers to know which channels or content forms they should spend their resources on developing and promoting.

    What Marketing Channels Generate the Most Visitors

    Knowing what kind of content brings in the most traffic, conversions, or views is important, but equally important is knowing which of your marketing channels is generating the most visitors and leads for your site. 

    An attribution report will be able to identify which channels your leads are coming from, such as email, social media, blogging, podcasts, ads, or other channels. 

    The report will also break down the types of traffic from each source and how quickly traffic from each channel reaches your goals.

    Where is the Best Place to Invest Marketing Resources

    Knowing where to invest marketing resources takes up a big part of a leader’s time since you want to ensure that your budget isn’t going into efforts that don’t bring back high ROI.

    Additionally, if you have channels that are working well you don’t want to spend all your budget on developing those and missing out on other opportunities. 

    An attribution report will help your brand understand exactly which channels are bringing in the most revenue, leads, or return customers. 

    Once you know this information, it becomes easier to allocate a budget and decide which channels to develop, which to drop, and which to leave as is.

    What Pages are Viewed the Most Before Leads Become Customers

    Your website has many different pages on it, and while knowing surface-level numbers like total page visits can have benefits, an attribution report can help you dig deeper. 

    You can learn how many times pages are viewed before a lead converts, or which pages are converting the most leads into customers. 

    Once you learn more about your data and which pages are performing the best, you can spend time promoting the page or directing more traffic to those pages with CTAs and customer journey funnels.

    How to Create Re-Engagement Strategies by Observing Retention Rates

    Another benefit of a retention strategy is the ability to learn more about the retention rates of your customers. 

    When you can have a clear picture of when customers drop off or how your returning customers are coming back, you can gather more information to create a re-engagement strategy. 

    Re-engagement means targeting those who were once leads but have since lost interest in your brand or gone cold. 

    Because you know these contacts were interested in one point, re-engaging can remind them of the value of your brand and bring them back to becoming hot leads and engaged contacts.

    How User Behavior Works

    Understanding the behavior of your users is key to knowing how they act and which of your marketing funnels and strategies are best going to target your audience segments. 

    An attribution report will help your brand learn important trends in user behavior. 

    The type of information you can learn might include:

    • Where conversions happen most frequently.
    • Which messages resonate the most with your users.
    • What CTAs are bringing in the most sales.
    • What styles of advertisements are being clicked on most.
    • Where your user demographics are spread out across your marketing efforts.

    Which Channels are Driving the Most Revenue?

    Knowing your traffic numbers is important since increases in traffic can be related to increases in revenue and improvements to your overall brand awareness and identity. 

    However, the channels that bring in direct revenue are also important to note. 

    If you have specific channels that are strong lead to revenue generators, your attribution report can help you identify them. 

    Once you know exactly which channels produce the most or highest sales, you can edit your marketing strategy to target those specific channels and increase your business’s bottom line.

    What Can You Learn From Attribution Reports

    Attribution reports do more than give you clarity on your marketing efforts. 

    They can also show specific pieces of information that have significant impacts on your digital marketing program. 

    Once your team has become comfortable with reading attribution reports and garnering insights, you can use them to help you: 

    • Create Retargeting Groups
    • Understand the Customer Journey
    • Use Offline Conversations
    • Have Long Sales Cycles
    • Find Micro-Conversions
    • Link Offline Sales to Online Searches
    • Optimize PPC Speed
    • Improve SEO
    • Get More Value from Paid Social

    Wrap Up

    Attribution reporting allows your business to understand which areas of marketing strategies and campaigns are bringing in the desired results and which areas can be used for some improvement. 

    They also help you refocus and refine existing strategies and campaigns to strengthen your conversions and help you get the most out of your data.

    Data visualization is important for organizations who want to have clear pictures of their information and learn the impact that data has on the entire business. 

    To find out more, read our blog on data visualization

    You’ll discover the history of data visualization, how it works, different methods and types of visualization, and data visualization trends.


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