Digital Attrition Modeling

Digital Attribution Modeling in 2023-24

In today’s tech-savvy marketing environment, there’s a prominent digital topic to delve into – how to trace the digital steps leading to an online purchase. Among the multiple strategies available, three principal models of attribution emerge: First-Click, Last-Click, and Data-Driven.

First-Click Attribution

Imagine, that you’re walking by a café where the combination of coffee aroma and classic jazz lures you into the establishment. This model can be likened to remembering the alluring mix of smell and sound that lured you into the business. It zeroes in on the initial draw.


The First-Click method emphasizes the inaugural impression. By focusing on the primary channels, businesses discern what originally piqued the customer’s curiosity. It’s direct and unambiguous, presenting a lucid view of the onset of the customer’s journey.


On the downside, it’s analogous to valuing only the combination of coffee aroma and classic jazz while disregarding the overall ambiance or quality of service. This method completely ignores the ensuing interactions that culminate in a sale.

Last-Click Attribution

Picture being in that café, wanting to make a purchase but not being clear on what you wanted. Then, you see the sign: “Today’s Special: A Triple Espresso for the price of a Double Espresso”. You see the sign and immediately order the special. This method cherishes that concluding impression.


The Last-Click strategy hones in on the ultimate persuasion. It elucidates what finally swayed the customer towards a purchase. Numerous digital platforms prefer this model due to its simplicity in chronicling the final interaction.


Yet, this method might bypass the complete array of experiences that shaped the mood. It stands the risk of downplaying earlier influential interactions (coffee aroma, classic jazz) in the purchasing process. The person wouldn’t have entered the café but for the initial alluring stimuli.

Data-Driven Attribution

Think of this as an in-depth analysis of each aspect of your interaction with the cafe, grasping the relative contribution of each stimulus to your overall experience. It advocates a comprehensive understanding.


The Data-Driven technique is exhaustive. It leverages algorithms and machine learning to ascertain the weight of every interaction. By examining the whole journey, enterprises obtain a refined perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of their approach.


However, immersing oneself in such granularity necessitates proficiency. This method requires ample data and sophisticated tools for interpretation. For some, this could be an overwhelming endeavor, akin to analyzing every beat rather than simply relishing the rhythm.

Comparing The Methods:


First-Click and Last-Click:

These methods epitomize simplicity. They furnish precise insights, reminiscent of closely inspecting a photograph to discern a singular detail. One reveals the journey’s commencement, the other its conclusion. They are like prismatic lenses, each illuminating a unique phase of the journey.


Conversely, the Data-Driven method offers an encompassing viewpoint. Analogous to admiring a sweeping vista, this method narrates a complete story. It sketches an expansive illustration, delineating the complex interplay of interactions throughout the purchase process.

Best For:


Tailored for those who value first impressions, this method resonates with businesses that want to amplify their initial allure. If a brand’s strength lies in captivating audiences right off the bat, this method provides the insights they crave. It’s perfect for companies aiming to enhance their welcoming gestures, making their entry points more enticing.


On the other hand, the Last-Click is for those who recognize the power of parting shots. It’s custom-made for entities that wish to understand and fine-tune their final persuasions, those moments that transform considerations into conversions. For those who believe in the significance of the last word, this model offers a deep dive.


As for the Data-Driven method, it’s not just a call but a siren song for organizations flush with data. It beckons those ready to embark on an intricate journey of exploration, eager to chart the terrains of their customer’s journey. It’s ideal for businesses that yearn to uncover the subtle and nuanced interplay of engagements, revealing the overt and covert influences on a customer’s decision-making process.

In conclusion, the digital marketing landscape of 2023-24 pushes businesses toward a strategic choice among the First-Click, Last-Click, or Data-Driven attribution models. Each offers insights tailored to different business objectives and customer touchpoints. To optimize strategies and foster meaningful customer relationships, organizations must align their model choice with their unique strengths and goals.

Todd Mintz

December 29, 2023

By Todd Mintz