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Tips & Guides — 07 Nov 2023

Mobile Attribution 101: The guide

Understanding Mobile Attribution: A Comprehensive Guide

Today, countless marketers rely on mobile attribution to optimize their return on investment. Mobile attribution empowers you with essential data that serves as the compass guiding your decisions in adapting, enhancing, or maintaining your overarching marketing strategy. It helps businesses determine which marketing channels are effective and which aren’t.

Mobile attribution becomes particularly helpful when you need to decide where to allocate your marketing budget for the most substantial return on advertising spend. Businesses using mobile attribution can employ these insights to enhance user acquisition, user retention, and the overall app user experience, ultimately fostering stronger engagement and brand loyalty.

What Is Mobile Attribution and Why Is It Important?

Mobile attribution is a process used in digital marketing and mobile app analytics to track and analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and user interactions with mobile applications. It involves identifying and attributing specific actions, such as app installations or conversions, to the marketing channels or campaigns that led users to take those actions.

The primary goals of mobile attribution include:

  • Understanding User Behavior:

Mobile attribution helps businesses understand how users discover and engage with their mobile apps. It provides insights into which marketing channels or campaigns are driving user interactions, such as app installs, in-app purchases, or other desired actions.

  • Optimizing Marketing Strategies:

By attributing user actions to specific marketing efforts, businesses can assess the performance of different marketing channels and campaigns, allowing them to allocate their marketing budgets more effectively and maximize ROI.

  • Enhancing User Experience:

Mobile attribution enables businesses to improve the user experience within their apps. By analyzing user behavior, they can identify areas for enhancement, personalize content, and offer a more engaging and tailored experience to users.

  • Measuring ROI:

Mobile attribution allows businesses to accurately calculate the ROI of their marketing campaigns by tracking the cost of acquiring users and comparing it to the revenue generated from those users.

Mobile attribution tools and platforms use various tracking methods, such as unique tracking links, device identifiers, cookies, and in-app event tracking, to trace user interactions back to their source. These tools provide comprehensive data and analytics to help businesses make data-driven decisions and refine their mobile marketing strategies. 

In summary, mobile attribution is a critical component of mobile marketing and app analytics, enabling businesses to measure the impact of their marketing efforts, optimize their strategies, and provide users with a better and more personalized experience.

Mobile Attribution Models

There are various mobile app attribution models to choose from based on the specific insights you aim to gather, including:

  • First click: first click or touch receives credit for the attribution.
  • Last click: last click or touch gets credit for the attribution.
  • Multi-touch: some degree of value is assigned to all interactions a brand has with a consumer before conversion, providing a comprehensive view of the user journey.
  • Linear: every touch a brand has with a user is assigned equal value, regardless of its significance.
  • Time-decay: recent touches with the consumer receive increasing value, while the value decreases for earlier interactions.
  • View through: attribution is driven by a user viewing an ad without clicking on it.

How Mobile Attribution Works

Developers and marketers frequently employ strategies to encourage users to install or engage with their mobile apps. Digital advertisements, such as banners or video ads, serve as ideal tools for tracking mobile attribution.

The mobile attribution process follows these general steps:

  1. Set Up Mobile Attribution.
  2. The User Interacts with Your App.
  3. Every touchpoint comes with a unique ID that once triggered, will send specific details to the Mobile attribution tool for recording. The details may include the user’s unique device identifier (IDFA or GAID), Internet browser, IP address, operating system, app store, and so on. 
  4. The user performs a conversion event, which can be downloading or doing an in-app purchase. This conversion event also comes with a unique ID that the Mobile attribution tool tracks. 
  5. The process is repeated as long as new users interact with your app. 
  6. Once there is enough data collected or the set time is fulfilled, you will then receive the data for you to analyze. Through this data chain, you can gain deeper insights into the efficacy of the campaigns, insights that are pivotal for optimizing their marketing expenditures.

What Is MMP and How Does It Work?

A Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) is a company that acts as a third-party entity that attributes, gathers, and organizes application data, aiming to provide a cohesive overview of a brand’s campaign performance. MMPs employ a combination of technologies to measure mobile events, such as clicks, revenue, app installations, and more.

Mobile measurement partners typically offer an SDK (Software Development Kit) that can be integrated into applications. Its primary purpose is to establish a link between ad engagements, app installs, and in-app events. The SDK attributes app installs and post-install events to the user acquisition source and corresponding campaign, providing marketers with detailed insights.

If it’s not possible for you to integrate with the SDK, you can use API Attribution. Read more about it here.

Affise MMP is a tool embedded into Affise Performance that allows you to set up tracking for apps. To track conversions, clicks, installs, events, and more, you need to set up tracking correctly by following these steps:

  1. Set up a tracking link
  2. Set up a regular S2S integration on Affise
  3. Set up a postback link


Advantages of using Mobile attribution

Using mobile attribution can yield several benefits, including:

  • Optimized ad spending: leveraging Mobile attribution helps identify which ad campaigns and channels are effective and which are not. This helps reduce advertising costs for ineffective initiatives and increase investment in successful ones.
  • Understanding user acquisition: Mobile attribution helps track installs and conversions, providing insights into the user journey from ad click to in-app actions. This data sheds light on the reasons behind app installations.
  • Precise network and campaign comparison: by understanding what drives users to an app, you can accurately measure the success of each campaign and network.

Managing mobile app attribution can become a challenge, but with the right attribution tool in place, interpreting and analyzing the data becomes more accessible. You don’t have to tackle this alone; feel free to reach out to Affise MMP for assistance in enhancing your mobile attribution process.

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Daria Mamchenkova

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Daria is a dedicated Content Writer driven by her passion for crafting crystal-clear articles. Her passion lies in crafting articles that unravel complex concepts and make them easily digestible for readers. She is enthusiastic about acquiring new skills. Daria loves to explore the world of affiliate marketing, helping businesses and readers understand the intricacies of this industry.

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