Glossary
Mobile App Terminology

Attribution models


What is an attribution model?

Attribution models are different ways of assigning credit for meaningful consumer interactions with your ads. The simplest and most common model in digital marketing is last-click attribution: the last click (big surprise) before a conversion gets credited. That conversion could be a sign-up, app install, registration, purchase, or other events you want.

The last click is clearly not everything that happens in many marketing conversions, however.

In mobile marketing, a consumer might have heard of your brand from multiple sources. They may have seen your ad several times before clicking on it. It’s even possible they clicked on your ad and installed your app but didn’t open it until they saw yet another ad!

There are multiple attribution models, including:

  • First click attribution
  • Last click attribution
  • Multi-touch attribution
  • Linear attribution
  • Time-decay attribution

See Mobile Attribution for full definitions of each of them. Ultimately, each attribution model emphasizes different aspects of how marketing influences consumer behavior, and focuses on different parts of the customer journey.

There are also position-based attribution models, which assign differing values for each interaction: perhaps more for first and last, and less for the middle steps. And there are custom attribution models that you essentially build yourself for your unique product, vertical, or marketing process.

And there is last non-direct click attribution, which values the very last click less.

Uses of attribution models

Since the customer journey often involves multiple steps and touchpoints before the final conversion, attribution models allow marketers to understand in different ways how each channel is contributing to their bottom line.

For example, let’s say a customer sees an ad on a social media platform, goes to Google and types in the brand name and clicks on a branded search ad, then looks at a product but doesn’t purchase right away, and several days later they see a display retargeting ad and finally make a purchase.

With so many interactions that led to the eventual sale, attribution models are what help marketers determine the value of each marketing channel. Attribution models help marketers understand which campaigns are driving high-quality traffic and leads at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, regardless of the marketing channel.

As Marketing Evolution highlights:

Marketers need to make several considerations when selecting which attribution model to rely on at their organization. First, think about the type of sales cycle you use, and how long it typically runs, and how much of it is done online or offline.

With this higher degree of granularity in their data, marketers can then allocate budget more efficiently to their highest performing campaigns and channels. In short, attribution models are used in order to accurately measure and optimize the return on ad spend (ROAS) for every paid campaign that their customers interact with.

How Singular improves mobile attribution

In order to accurately understand which channels are driving users and customers, Singular provides marketers with a suite of mobile attribution and marketing analytics tools.

In terms of mobile attribution, this allows you to accurately measure and analyze the impact of each marketing channel, campaign, and creative. In addition, mobile attribution helps marketers to track and analyze users across their entire customer lifecycle. By analyzing and reporting on the acquisition and re-engagement of users on various platforms, this enables marketers to allocate marketing resources in the most efficient way possible.

In terms of marketing analytics, these allow you to further optimize marketing campaigns with granular performance insights.

The platform provides ROI analytics across media sources so that you know exactly where your users and customers are coming from and can get a comprehensive view of performance. In summary, Singular’s mobile attribution and marketing analytics enables marketers to determine their most profitable channels and achieve the highest ROAS possible.

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