In my last blog post, I warned our readers about the dangers of last click management, and how online branding strategies that employ this tactic cannot operate at peak performance. Today, I’m teaching you how to use incremental attribution to get past all that last click management business…and into more effective brand-building.

Brands with brilliant branding strategies are continually moving toward improvement of their websites’ conversion rates. One way they accomplish this is through search engine optimisation. Another is through enhanced user experiences. And yet another is through the gathering and analysing of the data that tell them which campaigns are resulting in the highest (and lowest) ROIs, or returns on investments.

When it comes to time, money, and investment in our brands, we all want to invest wisely. No one wants to waste time designing and enacting branding strategies that don’t work, and no one wants to spend money on campaigns that don’t result in new, valuable clients. Alas, no one can guess at what will work and what won’t. In every online marketing situation, data must be collected in order to determine ROI.

The Best Branding Strategies Employ Incremental Attribution

Incremental attribution could be called the intelligent market leader’s answer to last click management. Instead of tracking where customers came from right before they purchased, it attempts to match up revenue increases with particular campaigns, advertisements, and messages. An example of a set of increments would be:

  1. Contact with new prospect
  2. Contact’s exploration of the product
  3. Purchase

Incremental attribution studies activity associated with each campaign and decides which increment each one supports. Which online marketing or social media campaign amassed the most contact with new prospects? Which language, which images, and which promotional offers resulted in the most time spent by prospects exploring your brand’s products? Which campaigns resulted in the most volume and the most money spent per customer?

Answering questions like these for each increment will lead you to an online marketing formula that is custom-designed and highly effective for your particular brand.

With incremental attribution, buyer behaviour is tracked. Each message (or movement) is given a value, so you can determine where it is most effective in moving consumers through the incremental process, toward purchase. Some operations will work more effectively at different increments, whilst others are either ineffective in all scenarios or effective across-the-board. The only way to determine this is to use Google Analytics (for instance) to see what consumers are doing and how they’re responding to the online marketing moves you make.

An important facet of measuring ROI with incremental attribution is determining which messages are resulting in disappointing ROIs (those in which investment is high, but yield is low). These messages should be repositioned along the increments, to see how they perform, and if they don’t do well, they should be eliminated from your online marketing branding strategy.


I feel like I cannot stress this point enough: data capture is crucial to determining how branding strategies should be built, as well as to determining how they should evolve. Without data to study, brands and branding strategies will move into the future blind to the hard facts that have the power to shape something spectacular.

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For further help or advice with branding strategies or incremental attribution to improve your online marketing efforts, please get in touch with us on [email protected] You can also get your daily branding tips at

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