Anne-Marina Dickson

Why your digital marketing reports need to look beyond the last-click - especially in e-commerce

There are lots of different means of marketing your product, and most companies are using a combination of different strategies and tactics to find their customers and then sell to them. But what happens when you only recognise the efforts of the final piece that actually led to the sale?

Imagine a hockey team that only ever rewarded its forwards - the final player who kicks the goal. All the other players on the field: the defence who stop competitor goals going in, midfield who help to set the goal up, the goalie who is the final layer of defence against the competition - they’d all be quite upset. That’s exactly what you’re doing to your other marketing activities every time you reward that last click with the credit for your sale.

Marketing Attribution - Give Credit to All Your Players


What are the types of marketing activities that you should be tracking?

The simple answer here, is all of them - everything from your outdoor billboard to your website landing page, to the Google Remarketing that brought the customer back to the site 3 months after they first saw your billboard. Create a template up front to track all of these activities and work out how they work together to combine into a customer conversion.

Make sure you have all the various aspects that work together online hooked up to talk to one another - Google Analytics sync’d to Google AdWords; Facebook Conversion Tracking enabled on your website; your CRM linked to your Google Analytics. This will give you the most complete picture of how all your marketing efforts are working together.


What is an Attribution Model?

At its simplest Attribution is the term the digital industry uses to refer to credit being given for a sale to a particular customer touchpoint (your marketing efforts). There are many different models, four of the most commonly used below:

- Last Click Attribution - gives credit to the final touchpoint that leads to a customer conversion
- Linear Attribution - which gives equal credit to all customer touchpoints
- Time Decay Attribution - which gives credit to the customer touchpoint the closer they are to a customer conversion
- Last AdWords Click Attribution - gives credit to the final click on a paid media campaign (for example, through AdWords)


Linear Attribution & E-Commerce

When it comes to e-commerce, 96% of shoppers don’t make a purchase on their first visit to a site. Which means you’re getting inaccurate conversion results if you consider only the last click that led to that customer sale. They may already have been to the site a few times, seen some remarketing ads and then decided to come back and make a purchase.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Linear Attribution because it gives equal credit to all players on the field. If they don’t all exist and play in harmony together, then you’re at risk of never getting the opportunity to score the final goal.


What’s an easy way to get an idea of your customer conversion path?

Helpfully Google provides easy access to this data for beginners. You can start by heading to Google Analytics and clicking on Conversions, then Attribution and this will give you a report that initially will default to Last Click Attribution but gives you the option to choose between and compare different attribution models.

The only caveat here is that you need to have Goals and Conversions enabled for your Analytics. Once you’ve done that and it has collected your data, you’re well on your way to understanding how multiple different marketing touchpoint impact your sales funnel.


It’s true what the man said, knowledge is power and once you understand more about how all these marketing efforts contribute to your sales, you know more about where to spend your budget.


Posted by Jen LM, 10 February 2017

Really great article. This is a discussion we have with clients, the tricky part is winning them over on why it needs to be done, as in the funds to ensure set up and tracking are on point. We have previously done this for clients that see the value and it's a great way to understand how particular channels are performing and manage investments accurately.
Thanks again
Jen from


Anne-Marina Dickson G67 Anne-Marina Dickson
Company: G67
Position: Mobile & Digital Consultant
The founder of G67, a consultancy firm which devises bespoke digital strategies for small businesses. With 15 years experience in the digital space, across telco, media, music, real estate and SMEs we can help you optimise your digital assets to meet your business goals.

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