Marketing Attribution | Online Help - Zoho CRM

Marketing Attribution

Why do Businesses Need Marketing Attribution?

Marketing campaigns play a crucial role in any business, as they help one ensure a better consumer reach and awareness. Most companies prefer integrated campaigns since multiple channels ascertain much better and consistent brand promotions. In general, sales and marketing cycles in any business are quite lengthy processes that last for months and it's likely that the buyer interacts with the reps several times through multiple channels during this period.

It's essential that you track and capture the touchpoints that help close the sale, understand if your campaigns are actually driving revenues and figure out the right campaign that actually moved the buyer down the decision path. This is where the marketing attribution comes into play.

Benefits of Marketing Attribution

Your company launched a new product last month and it was marketed on several platforms like social media, brochures were distributed to existing customers and partners, and display ads were put up to drive brand awareness. At the end, you notice an elevation in the overall conversion rate and a resultant increase in the revenue, however, you are clueless as to which part of the campaign was responsible for these results? or Which campaign should be credited for maximum lead generation?

Marketing attribution helps you gauge questions like these.

  • It helps you map the journey of your prospects from lead to customer while taking every touchpoint and interaction into account along the way.
  • Gives you a proper understanding on which marketing channels are effective and which are not. You can significantly increase your marketing efforts and invest more on the channels that are getting the best returns.

A detailed insight of this sort will give you a clear picture on help to attribute the revenue credit to the various marketing channels based on their performance.

Permission Required
Users with administrative permission in profile can configure attribution models.
Sales Stages in Attribution Models

Sales stages in attribution models display the stages that are commonly involved in a sales funnel. The default stages that are available in Zoho CRM's attribution models are: Lead creation, Lead conversion, Deal creation and Deal won. You can also add more stages to an attribution model based on your business sales funnel. You can choose and add stages only between the deal creation and deal won stages.

Types of Attribution Models in Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM offers six attribution models that give you better performance insights across your marketing campaigns, optimize your budget, and let you credit the most deserved campaign. You can choose only one attribution model at any given point of time. In the following section we will discuss each model in detail and help you choose the best model for your business structure.

First Touch

The First Touch model gives credit based on a single touchpoint, that is, it gives 100% of the credit or deal amount to the marketing effort that brought a visitor to your website for the first time. This model basically emphasizes the marketing campaigns that are at the top of the funnel. This model best works when your focus is solely on the lead generation and brand awareness.

Example: Say a customer signed up for a webinar after visiting your company's webpage, then participated in a survey sent through email, then converted at the end of the survey, and after a trade show the deals are closed. So, in this case, all the credit would be given to the first touchpoint - the webinar.

Last Touch

The Last Touch model is also a single touch model, that gives credit based on the single touch point. However, unlike the first touch model this model shifts all the credit to the final step in the sales cycle. It focuses on the last thing that triggered the winning of the deal while ignoring all the steps that were taken up until the deal won stage. In other words, it gives 100% credit or deal amount to the campaign that was responsible for winning the deal. If your primary campaign goal is to generate maximum revenue, the last-touch attribution model can be useful for your business structure.

Example: Say you sent out an email campaign to your existing customers regarding a new ebook , you then send out surveys to the participants who showed interest by replying to the email campaign. At the end of the survey most of the customers are converted and after a sales call you eventually leads to deal closure. So, in this case the last touchpoint gets the 100% of the deal amount - the sales call.

U Shape

The U shape attribution model gives credit to two key touchpoints - the first touch and the last touch and any middle touchpoints that lie between the two. The first touch which represents the lead generation or initial interaction with any marketing activity is given 40% of the credit. Similarly, the last touchpoint or deal won is given another 40%. The remaining 20% is divided evenly across the middle touchpoints that occur between those two stage transitions. This model can be effective if the initial interaction with a lead is vital in your business and the last touch is important because it is directly related to deal closure.

Example: Say, your business has an impressive conversion rate but maintaining an equivalent retention rate till the sale closure is quite challenging. In such cases, the campaigns that are run after the conversion till the sale is closed and won holds more importance than lead generation. Thus, you can use the U shape attribution model and assign 40% of the revenue credit to the first touchpoint and another 40% to the last touchpoint and the remaining 20% to the touchpoints that took place between these two stages.

W Shape

The W shape attribution model is similar to U shaped, but this model includes an additional key touchpoint. The three touchpoints: lead creation, deal creation and deal won receive 90% of the credit (30% to each touchpoint). The remaining 10% of the credit is distributed among the middle touchpoints. The underlying concept of spreading the credit in this manner is to emphasize the three key funnel transitions that impact a customer's journey.

Example: If your sales cycle is longer it is more likely to be complex and include several revisits by the customers, more competitor evaluations, and multiple communication channels. To improve the accuracy of planning and budget allocation it is incredibly important to understand all the touch points that lead customers to interact with brands and move further in the pipeline, estimate the length and the path trends of each campaign and impact of each campaign’s across the funnel.


A linear attribution model divides the credit equally between each touchpoint. The first touch, last touch, and any intermediate events are all treated with the same importance. For example, if your sales journey involves 10 touchpoints, it will give 10% of the credit to each. This model gives a better and more comprehensive idea of the middle touchpoints which may be equally important in generating revenue as the first or the last touch. But, it may appear to be an idealistic model as it gives equal importance to every touchpoint, which may not be the case - it is not possible that every touch truly contributed the same amount towards the sale. To address this, we let you choose the credit weightage (on level of 1 to 4) for each campaign and also exclude the ones that you think did not have much impact on the sale.

Example: Say, you conduct a webinar and also promote your product on Twitter and get more leads from Twitter than webinar. You also observed that the conversion rate was better after the demo requests at the middle stage. The requests received from the Google Ads were comparatively more than the email invitations. Based upon these facts, you can ascribe more credit to the Twitter and Google Ads touches and invest more on these channels in future for better returns.

Time Decay

A time decay attribution model gives more credit to the recent marketing interaction. This model can work better for longer sales cycle where the early touchpoints may not necessarily be the most important touchpoints. Like, once the prospect is in the pipeline you focus more on nurturing initiatives that can incite a prospect to move further towards the sale - to an opportunity and revenue. So, instead of disproportionately allocating revenue credit to the initial stages, the time decay model gives more credit to most recent touchpoints that moved the buyer to the sale.

Example: Say, a buyer requests for a product demo right before the sale was closed. If he has also clicked on a blog post in your email a week before that, then based on the time decay model the credit weightage will be more for the product demo than the blog post, even though the blog post may have driven him into the product demo or incited the deal closure.

Customizing Attribution Model

The U and the W shaped attribution models give you the freedom to build custom attribution model that best matches the customer journey specific to your buying process. These models are more flexible and accurate as they let you allocate the percentages of revenue credit to each touchpoint and meet your own reporting criteria. For example, you know that one of your campaign that included a landing page at some middle stages played an important role in pushing the customer down the funnel, you can go ahead and assign that stage a higher percentage of the credit - like 25%, 40%, 25% distribution. Zoho CRM allows you to do three levels of customization in these models:

  • By default the first, middle and last touchpoints for both the models is set at Lead creation, Deal creation and Deal Won. You can change these touchpoints based on which sales stage matters the most to your business structure.
  • You can customize the credit percentages on each of these touchpoints by applying your own weighting if you know which campaign had the highest impact or the one that was more responsible for pushing the customer down the sales funnel.
  • You can add more stages to your attribution model between Deals Creation to Deals Won stage if your business involves a lengthy and complex sales cycle with multiple touchpoints until the eventual sales closure.

Setting up Attribution Model

Based on your understanding of the different attribution models, your company's requirements and the touchpoints that you want to capture, you can choose an appropriate model for your organization.

If you are setting up the attribution model for the first time, Zoho CRM will calculate the ROI based on the past two months of data.
You can choose only one attribution model at a given point of time.
You can add sales stages to the U and W shaped models only from the standard layout of the deals module.

To set up an attribution model

  1. Go to Setup > Customization > Marketing Attribution.
    You will be redirected to the attribution models page.
  2. From the Choose Shape, select the desired shape.
  3. Click Save.

Add Sales Stages

By default, the U shape and W shape models include the lead creation, lead conversion, deal creation, and deal won stages. However, you can customize the model and add additional stages after the deal creation stage. You can also specify the weightage of each of those stages.

To add sales stages

  1. Select U or W shape model.
  2. Click the Add icon, after the Deal creationstage.
  3. In the Add stage popup, choose a Stage from the drop-down list and enter value for Weightage.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Click the Add icon to add more stages.
  6. Drag and drop the line between the stages to define the last stage for ROI calculation.
  7. Click Update.

Customize Weightage and Exclude Campaigns in Linear Model

Only for the linear model there is an option to define the weightage for each campaign. The revenue will be ascribed to the campaigns based on the value that you enter. Also, you can exclude those campaigns that you think did not have major contribute on winning the deal.

To select weightage and exclude campaign

  1. In the Linear model go to Add weightage.
  2. Select the Campaign from the drop-down list.
  3. Select the Weightage from the drop-down list.
  4. Click Exclude Campaign and select the desired campaigns.
  5. Click Update.

View Number of Contributed Deals

In Campaigns record detail page you can view the entire statistics of the campaign like the number of leads or contacts that participated in the campaign, generated revenue, ROI value, and the number of deals that contributed towards that ROI.

The ROI is calculated by taking only the closed deals into consideration. However, you have the option of including the open deals too. You can toggle on Include Open Deals for ROI from the record's detail page. 

View Marketing Attribution Reports

Once an attribution model is set up, a dashboard will be added to the Analytics tab in CRM. Zoho CRM provides a set of reports by default, however you can include additional components as per requirement. Below is the list of reports that are already available:

  • Campaign with greatest ROI (Yearly)
  • Top revenue generating campaign
  • Leads generated based on type of campaign
  • Conversions based on type of campaign
  • Revenue generated based on type of campaign
  • Compare revenue generated with previous Month
  • Compare conversions with previous quarter/year
  • Compare leads generated with previous quarter/year 
To view attribution reports
  1. Go to the Analytics tab.
  2. Click Marketing Attribution.
    The default dashboard will be displayed.
  3. Click Add component.

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