Why it’s impossible to grow your app or game with mobile ads without having attribution tracking in pace?
Businesses are going mobile-first. In August 2018, US business invested 9,4% of their complete marketing budget in mobile marketing. On a global level, it is expected to reach over $3 billion by 2020.
Even traditional brands are taking the app approach to follow up users’ search trends in mobile industry. We feel that there is no need to highlight all the benefits behind mobile marketing and why it remains a primary growth channel for app businesses. Probably, you know it already. Moreover, you can read it in our previous post.
Today, we will try to highlight all about mobile attribution and find the answer, why it improves performance marketing?
Mobile advertising means delivering promotional content to designated users through mobile like smartphones and tablets. Advertising appears as a text message on SMS, mobile websites, mobile apps, etc.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mobile startup or experienced advertiser, you’ll reach a point when you need to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
To measure marketing activity you need the attribution. According to Andreas Kaplan, a professor of marketing ESCP business school, mobile marketing is any marketing activity conducted through the general network to which consumers are constantly connected with the help of their personal mobile devices. In this article, we’ll try to include the most essential information about mobile attribution.
So what is this mobile attribution and why do app marketers need it?
All about mobile attribution
Mobile attribution is the way how marketers can see what led users to the brand and how users subsequently interact with in-app content. Mobile attribution helps to track how and where users noted your app and decided to become your customers.
There are two major players in mobile apps: Google and Apple. They enforce the connection between what users see before deciding to install your app. Mobile attribution is like the bridge over the gap.
Why is mobile attribution so important?
Mobile advertising analytics is important because it allows measuring advertising and marketing effectiveness. Given that by 2020 mobile advertising spends can reach over $180 billion
, attribution can exactly define which platforms and networks generate a big amount of advertising-based installs and which ads don’t worth your money, i.e. mobile attribution helps to save your money.
One of the tasks of app marketer is to evaluate the ad campaign effectiveness. Mobile advertising analytics helps to objectively measure the effectiveness of one ad campaign from another. Though, sometimes attribution can confuse because a single measurement system hasn’t been developed yet. Plus, every platform has its own method of traffic quality control.
Moreover, two leading mobile platforms like iOS and Android have several differences in the attribution methods and the sequence in which these methods are applied.
5 common mobile attribution models
We’ve already identified two types of the most used operating systems (Android and iOS) that are basic platforms for mobile ad placement. Next in the line are mobile attribution models that can be used in app marketing.
determines attribution model
as a rule or set of rules that defines how conversion credit will be assigned to different marketing touchpoints.
Basically, there are two types of models: a single-touch attribution method and multi-touch attribution (includes assisted touchpoints).
A single-touch attribution method assigns a 100% of conversion credit to one marketing touchpoint. For instance, a customer saw 20 ads before converting, a single-touch attribution will set that only 1 of 20 ads deserves conversion credit. Single-touch attribution is a popular model because of its connection to Google Ads.
Single-touch attribution includes two other methods: First Clicks and the Last Click.
First Click. It is counted only first click on an ad in this model. First Click is used to measure brand awareness.
Last Click. This model is the most frequently used in the mobile marketing industry. The conversion is attributed to the last click on the advertisement made by a user.
Yes, the last click has a big matter because it leads to the actual conversion, however, it doesn’t show the whole story. Most likely, your customers will engage with your brand across multiple touchpoints on various channels before the conversion.
According to Appsflyer
, potential customers get familiar with the app via assisting sources. In the multi-touch attribution (MTA)
models all the touchpoints are important. Let’s see which MTA model includes linear, position-based, and time decay methods.
Linear or even-weighted distributes all the credits evenly (it’s like if all the soccer players would receive the same amount of scores for a goal). Linear model doesn’t ignore all the touchpoints in the middle of the conversion path (it takes them all to account). The lack of this model is that not all touchpoints are equal.
Position-based also known as U-shape model considers the first and the last clicks. The model gives 40% of conversion credit to the first and the last marketing touchpoints. 20% is distributed among other touchpoints in between.
Time decay assumes that the closer a touchpoint is to a convention, the more influential it is. Time decay offers a good balance between the value it brings and how easy it is to apply. Time decay takes into account all the traffic sources one used to convert but gives them credit in reverse order.
4 steps of mobile attribution work
A user is redirected to the appropriate app store after he decided to click on an ad.
After a user clicked on the “Download” button, the install is considered to be in the app store. On the Android platform, you can see the install source in Google Analytics using the Google referral line. However, GA isn’t able to send a postback call to any ad network.
At this stage advertiser pairs an ID with an ad network. It is important to track the installing source of SDK in the app. Right after the first launch, SDK immediately asks all the ad networks about Google advertising ID (GAID) or any other identifier (IDFA).
After pairing the ID with the ad network, an attribution SDK sends a postback to all linked networks with the information that a user had already installed the app and publisher don’t need to target ads.
Mobile app attribution methods
As you know, there is no industry standard to the best methodology of measurement, however, some techniques became universal.
Unique identifier matching
This is a click-to-install comparison in real-time based on GAID (Google Play) and IDFA (App Store), ie getting information with the help of device identification.
This method collects publicity available data (like IP address) about a mobile device that creates a unique fingerprinting. It tracks the path of a user from ad-click to app install or other conversions.
Open URL with click ID
As soon as a user clicks on an advertisement he creates a unique tracking ID. The system follows the users until a conversion request for an install.
Unified attribution solution
Integrates various tracking methods of mobile app downloads.
What does mobile attribution mean for app marketers?
Mobile attribution helps marketers receive unbiased data about the effectiveness of their ad campaigns compared to the cost of their advertising. Without mobile advertising, tracking marketing becomes the unknown place where you can’t see the performance.
Without mobile app attribution, you can’t define what part of a sudden rise in installs is the result of organic traffic and which one was made with the help of advertising. Mobile attribution provides the data that helps to measure the efficiency, in other words, mobile attribution fills the data gaps.
Mobile attribution creates one universal SDK for your entire advertising ecosystem. Universal SDK connects advertisers to the entire mobile universe through the integration with thousands of media sources.
If CPA is an innovative space that helps app marketers move forward, then app attribution is the assistant tool that simplifies the work of marketers and helps faster to achieve the high-level goal of app marketing.