Marketing Attribution And Attribution IQ in Adobe Analytics

In this post today, we shall cover the basics of marketing attribution and how we can use Attribution IQ from Adobe Analytics for our marketing attribution requirements

So what is Attribution?

Basically Attribution is the process of identifying a set of user actions (“events”) across screens and touch points that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning value to each of these events.


In simple terms, Attribution models are used to understand through which marketing touch-points( such as Facebook campaign ads,google display ads etc) did the user get to know about the digital asset, plus how and at what point did these touch points influence the user for the intended outcome. Using these models marketers can calculate how much credit should be given to each channel and optimize there spends accordingly

Why is it important and how is it done in digital marketing?

These days, the potential customer/user is bombarded with different ads and campaigns both online and offline. Their attention span is very short, and many ads never even reach the consumers the way they were intended to be. This requires targeting the users across multiple platforms. Moreover, the user can take multiple visits before converting and each visit can be from a separate touch point. Hence, It is very important to track and measure how much impact each campaign or ad is creating, so that the marketers can calculate which source and medium to invest better in the future.


In digital marketing, there are different models in marketing attribution based on the credit given to each of the touch points. While there are many, some popular ones are:

First touch

It basically attributes all the conversions to the first interaction/marketing medium of the user. For example, if a user made three visits before converting, wherein first visit was from google search, second from display network and third from Direct, then with first touch attribution, google search will get the entire credit.

Last Touch


It is similar to first touch , but in this case the last interaction of the user (that is, the direct channel) just before the conversion is given all the credit. In the same example as above, the third and last visit of the user before the conversion was direct channel. Therefore, all the credit will then go to the direct channel.

Linear model of attribution

In this case all the touch points, that is, from first to last interaction are given an equal amount of credit from the conversion. That is, in this case, all the 3 channels, according to the above example, will have an equal distribution of credit for the conversion


The main disadvantage of the models above are that they present a misleading or incomplete picture to the marketers. This is because at an overall level they don’t present insights into the returns on marketing investment and do not provide a refined guidance on how to distribute budgets among the various marketing media.

Attribution IQ in Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics has recently launched its Attribution modelling offering within its reporting tool, the Workspace. This tool has got many pre-built attribution models but we can also apply our own custom attribution to the Starters,Players and Closers. For example, we can go with a 30-40-30 attribution where the Starter is given 30% credit of conversion, 40% of credit is distributed equally among all players and closer is give the credit of 30%.

Using Attribution IQ we can not only find out how the various marketing touch points are leading to conversion, but these models can also be applied to any other data point like pages, internal banners and various CTAs

The advantage of Attribution IQ is that we can apply the attribution at both visit as well as visitor level. For something like Marketing attribution we will chose a visitor level lookback window because a visitor can make multiple visits from different marketing channels before converting, but for something like pages, we will consider a visit level lookback window

The other advantage is we can choose any metric that we consider a conversion for our digital assets with Attribution IQ. So we are not just restricted to purchase, but can use any success event like lead submission.

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