Introduction to mobile attribution

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Class 10 The what, why, and how of mobile attribution

Introduction to mobile attribution

Beginner | 5 minutes

This class, we’re starting with the basics of mobile app attribution with an expert – Lara Doel from Singular, a leading attribution platform. You’ll get a clear definition of what mobile attribution is plus 6 of the most common attribution models app advertisers use today.

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Hi, I’m Lara from Singular and really excited to join you for our three part course on Attribution: The what, why and how?

In marketing today, every campaign or investment needs to come with the ability to measure in real-time, track success, failure, and, where possible, analyze options for optimization/improvement.

The key is to gather the right data points across the entire user journey to analyze your marketing-driven outcomes and make decisions accordingly.

And this is where “Attribution” comes into play.

So let’s jump in…

What is Attribution?

Attribution is one of the most important puzzle pieces for modern marketers who are connecting with consumers. It’s also one of the most crucial components in your marketing growth stack.

In its simplest form, attribution is connecting an effect with a cause – in other words, understanding what drove an effect.

The effect could be an app install — an opportunity for a game maker, brand, or enterprise to connect with a customer. The cause is any of a number of different things: a digital ad, a comment from a friend, a suggestion in an email, or a banner beside the road. The important thing for a marketer is understanding the cause so that they can replicate or optimize the effect.

Now, just to shake things up a bit, marketers also need to be able to measure attribution across channels, including Mobile App Attribution: which on its own is done differently for Android and for iOS since the release of Apple’s ATT Website Attribution Cross-platform: connecting the user journey across desktop, web, and mobile

There are a LOT of attribution models out there, and they are among the most controversial elements in digital marketing. We’re going to touch on just a few now:

1) First click attribution
First click means exactly what it says: the first click (or touch) that the end-user performs, gets credit for the conversion?
2) Last click attribution
Last click is pretty simple too: the last click or touch gets credit for the conversion.
3) Multi-touch attribution
Marketers assign some value to all the touchpoints a brand has with a consumer or user before conversion. Note that multi-touch attribution (MTA) is extremely helpful in analyzing the full user journey.
There are multiple varieties of multi-touch attribution, including the next three I’ll describe.
4) Linear attribution
In linear attribution, marketers assign equal value to every touchpoint a brand has with a consumer or user (no matter how big or small the brand is).
5) Time-decay attribution
Here, marketers assign increasing value to recent touches and decreasing value to earlier touches.
6) W-model attribution
The most credit is given to the first and last touchpoints, applying linear attribution to additional touchpoints between them, while giving the mid touchpoint heavier value.

Today, the standard in mobile attribution is to use last-touch attribution as the main attribution method, and it is sufficient for most companies.

At the end of the day though, the attribution model, or models, you choose will depend on where your company is in their marketing measurement maturity, the specific KPIs of your marketing team, and what you believe is the best model for your business. Once you choose your models, the key is to remain consistent in order to ensure improvement over time.

Key takeaways

1) Attribution means finding a reason why something happened – namely, why a specific event occurred and what the driving force was behind a specific outcome
2) Attribution includes being able to answer all questions related to the performance and outcomes of your marketing campaigns
3) There are different methods for attribution across the web, mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS, and across devices.
4) There are different types of attribution models and it’s up to you to decide which works best for your team.

Let's put these tips to good use

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