Multi-touch attribution

Multi-touch attribution, or MTA, is a measurement methodology that determines the value of every touch point along the path to conversion.

What is multi-touch attribution?

In the past, a user would see an ad and buy a product. Today, it’s just not that simple.

A user journey often consists of multiple touch points across a variety of marketing channels, online and off. And to add to this complexity, some touch points play a bigger (or smaller) role in a user’s path to conversion.

More basic attribution models (such as first click or last click aren’t able to take into account the impact that some of these touch points may ultimately have on conversion. And this means marketers won’t have visibility into the efficacy these touch points either.

Multi-touch attribution helps marketers understand which touch points played a significant role in the user journey, and therefore understand how to optimize their campaigns, spend, etc. at every step of the way across one (single-channel) or more (omni-channel) devices and online or off (e.g. TV and OTT).

Why MTA matters for mobile attribution

In the mobile ecosystem, the path to download is almost never Multi-touch attribution and consists of multiple touch points (in addition to a whole lot of marketing spend!).

For example, a retail company may have identified that they have a huge opportunity to bring loyal web users over to their more streamlined mobile app. To do this they run a series of owned media web-to-app campaigns coupled with remarketing efforts various paid channels. How do they know which campaign and channel was most effective and where they should double down or let up?

Take another example: A gaming app looking to significantly boost its user acquisition efforts on their latest title via an integrated marketing campaign that spans activities such as a QR code broadcast in the sky above a major city and more traditional paid media marketing. How do they know where to spend, and on what?

MTA will benefit both of the above examples by giving granular insight into what’s working, and what’s not, every step of the way.

Digging deeper into the user journey

This method, when also referred to as fractional attribution, alludes to weighted credit given to media sources that indirectly contributed to the conversion. Fractional attribution is considered the future of attribution. Even media sources that touched users along the way (after the first touch and before the last touch) will receive some fractional payment.

In the mobile ecosystem, these touch points are looked at by advertisers and attribution providers as “assists.”

Assists reveal more of the actual story about how and why a user converted and play a major role in future budget allocation decisions.

With a wider perspective on the user journey, app marketers can budget more effectively and realistically for each point (i.e., media source) that contributed to an install.

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