Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Modelling Simplified

on Tutorials • March 4th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model

Attribution Modelling is a great way of evaluating the performance of Digital Marketing Campaigns. The fact that most businesses now prefer using Digital Marketing Platforms to promote their brands online makes this even more important. There are different ways to perform Attribution Modelling, including the use of platforms like Google Analytics. 

The purpose of Attribution Modelling is to assign credit to different touchpoints that a customer interacted with on his way to conversion. Google Analytics comes with a number of default Attribution Models that can be used to extract insights from your data. However, these standard Attribution Models ignore some of the interactions on the customer’s journey to conversion. This problem can be solved using Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Models that rely on Attribution Data to build custom Attribution Models for crediting different Marketing Channels for conversions. 

This article will provide you with an understanding of Data Driven Attribution Models along with a simplified guide on how you can set up the Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model.

Table of Contents

Understanding Data Driven Attribution Modelling

Data Driven Attribution Model
Image Source: https://www.searchlaboratory.com/us/2019/04/why-use-data-driven-attribution-and-which-google-product-to-use/

Before a customer can perform a valuable activity such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter or any activity that can help the business generate revenue now or in the near future, they may have interacted with many of the product advertisements from different channels. 

In most cases, all the credit goes to the last advertisement that the customer interacted with prior to conversion. However, there is a high chance that the last advertisement was not the only one that the customer interacted with and hence, not the only one that is responsible for the conversion. 

Data Driven Attribution Models use the actual conversion data to create custom models for assigning credit to different touchpoints that a user encountered on his way to conversion. These Data Driven Attribution Models give a more actionable and complete view of the keywords and the Digital Marketing Channels that are performing best. This helps marketers make sound decisions when determining where to invest their marketing resources and plan their future strategies accordingly. 

With Data Driven Attribution Models, businesses can know which campaigns, keywords, and advertisements had the greatest impact on their business goals. These models can be used for websites, store visits, and also with Google Analytics to keep track of conversions from the Search Network Campaigns. 

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Steps to Set up Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model

Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model
Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74y0kRslmBA

The Data Driven Attribution Model is not enabled by default in Google Analytics. If you open the “Model Comparison Tool” and click the drop-down menu written “Select Model”, you won’t see an option for Data Driven Attribution. 

The following steps can help you enable Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model for all your Marketing Channels:

Step 1: Setup E-Commerce and Conversion Tracking

The Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model should be generated from the E-Commerce and Goal Conversions data. So, ensure that these have been set up as views in your Google Analytics Dashboard. 

Step 2: Connect your Google Accounts to the Google Analytics Account

Here, Google Accounts include all your accounts on various Google products that have data related to your conversions from Marketing Channels. This means all accounts such as Google Adwords, Google BigQuery, Google Search Console, Doubleclick Campaign Manager, etc have to be connected. This will help you generate better insights from your Data Driven Attribution Model.

If you use Doubleclick Bid Manager (DBM) or Doubleclick Campaign Manager (DCM), ensure that they are connected to your Google Analytics account. This will give you access to Google Display Network (GDN) Impression Reporting through which you can get view-through conversions data for your Multi-Channel Funnel Reports. 

Step 3: Integrate Data from Other Channels with Google Analytics

Integrate your shopping cart, phone call tracking software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, and other channels with Google Analytics. You can also set up or fix cross-device tracking, cross-domain tracking, and start tracking offline conversions online using Google Analytics. 

Feeding more data into your Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model will mean that a high-quality model will be generated. Also check out Attribution model for Google Ads.

Step 4: Import the Cost Data into Google Analytics

Cost data is very important for you to perform Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis using the Data Driven Attribution Model supported by Google Analytics. If you’ve already connected your Google Adwords account to Google Analytics, you will automatically get the cost data into your reports. 

For the case of other paid Marketing Campaigns, you have to import the cost data manually or use an API. 

After uploading all the cost data for all paid Marketing Campaigns into Google Analytics, it will be possible to measure Data Driven Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) and Data Driven Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) for every paid Marketing Channel. 

You can also check our article on how to export Google Analytics data.

Step 5: Ensuring Minimum Conversion Threshold

The Google Analytics Premium View for which a Data Driven Attribution Model is to be created should meet the minimum conversion threshold required for creating a Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model. Having conversion data does not mean that you’re eligible to perform Data Driven Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics. 

Step 6: Enable the Data Driven Attribution Model in Google Analytics

 You can accomplish this by the following steps:

  • Open the “View” column (in the “Admin” section of the selected Google Analytics Premium View) and then click the “View Settings” link. 
  • Scroll down on the page and turn on the “Enable Data-Driven Model” toggle button (under “Model Settings”). 
  • Select the DCM Floodlight conversion type for which you need to generate the Data-Driven Attribution. You have the option of selecting a maximum of 20 DCM Floodlight conversion types. 
  • Click the “Save” button and wait for one week. Google Analytics will then analyze the data and create the Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model. 
  • Open the “Model Comparison Tool” (click through Conversions > Attribution) in your Data Driven Attribution enabled Google Analytics View and click the “Select Model” drop-down menu. 
  • You should now be in a position to see the Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model. 

Google Analytics 360 Pricing

Although Google offers a free tier for Google Analytics, it doesn’t allow the creation of Data Driven Attribution Model in it. Businesses have to subscribe to the paid tier i.e Google Analytics 360 in order to create Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model. Google does not follow a transparent pricing model for its Analytics 360 Suite and the final price can be decided based on your business and data requirements after a discussion with the Sales team at Google.

Analytics 360 pricing
Image Source: https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/compare/

More information on Google Analytics 360 can be found here.

Limitations of Using Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model

The limitations of using Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Models are as follows:

  • The process of creating a Data Driven Attribution Model in Google Analytics is lengthy and complex. 
  • It takes one week for your Data Driven Attribution Model to be ready after its creation. 
  • Google Analytics 360 is expensive. Hence, it is not considered to be suitable for small businesses. 
  • The Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model generates reports with hidden calculation logics, making them difficult to interpret. 
  • A high number of conversions and clicks are required to create a Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model. 

Conclusion

This article provided you with a simplified understanding of how Data Driven Attribution works along with an in-depth guide on how you can set up your Google Analytics Data Driven Attribution Model. Although the Data Driven Attribution Model provides good results, it is considered to be too expensive and complex for a small business to set up. Even then, a lot of data sources such as CRM tools of your business cannot be directly integrated into Google Analytics. It has to be either done manually or using an API if available. These limitations can be overcome by using automated data integration platforms like Hevo.

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