Mobile app marketers have been experiencing a “doublethink“. They know they don’t want to be a “clickhead” and that they can’t trust the last click. But they put up with a limited view of their conversion funnels because they’re still waiting for the perfect all-purpose multi-touch attribution platform that still doesn’t exist yet.
Modern app marketing strategies are omnichannel and multi-touch. This means users might see an ad on Facebook, then in their favorite app, then in a banner, before eventually installing it from the app store. For marketers, this means our users’ conversion patterns have become complex. So much so that it can feel impossible to know which points of contact were essential in stimulating the conversion. Despite the challenges, it’s necessary to determine the value of each interaction in order to manage budgets and scale. But to do that, marketers need to track more than just the last click. Which can be easier said than done.
Almost everyone has a Mobile Measurement Partner (MMPs) these days. And many have evolved their KPIs from a quantity to quality focus. Switching from chasing installs to chasing in-app purchases or subscriptions. But according to eMarketer, only 54% of US companies are using multi-touch attribution models as of the end of last year. Many apps I work with in LatAm come to me with strategies in place that don’t fully take advantage of all that their MMP has to offer. There are a few simple configurations that can help ensure marketers get the full picture of their users’ conversion journeys. Here are three simple ways you can take steps towards multi-touch attribution and get the most out of your MMP.
1. Activate attribution for impressions.
MMPs have recently experienced a renewed focus on impressions. Impressions got a bad rap for being thought of as easily manipulatable by fraudsters and difficult to tie directly to results. But when marketers abandoned the View-Through metric (VTA), they disconnected themselves from a lot of valuable data. VTA allows marketers to see not only when a user clicks an ad, but all impressions that may have influenced the final conversion.
VTA gives marketers a glimpse into the pivotal “first impression”. Some of the most popular MMPs now share VTA information as default, alongside whatever attribution model your campaign is running (CPC, CPA etcetera). To access the information simply make sure you use an MMP that shows VT and that it’s enabled. It shows the real value of the overall marketing spend and makes it possible to better allocate budgets. The channels that drive user conversion are visible, regardless of if they are bottom or top of the funnel.
2. Correctly configure attribution windows to align with campaign goals.
Attribution windows matter and they should be determined based on the objective of a campaign. For instance, if I secure a prime video or playable ad position within an app for one of my clients I will want to see its long term value. Thus I will often use a longer window (30 days) to see if it delivers the results we are aiming for. These ad formats are memorable and impactful, and a user might actually have their interest peeked enough by a single view to be stimulated enough to download the app much later. But for many activities related to app installs and promotions, the seven days (D7) is enough time to see the effectiveness of an ad.
3. Set the same attribution window for all partners.
To be able to compare channels and ascribe real value to the entire user conversion funnel, I always make sure to set campaigns to the same attribution windows. This ensures that all the measurement is made impartially and helps me avoid making wrong decisions based off of skewed data. This means that when I am running campaigns alongside Google or Facebook, I have to take into consideration that their default windows are 30 and 28 days, respectively. Thus when comparing results and optimizing it’s crucial to adjust the channels accordingly.
My final thoughts are directed towards anyone who is still unsure about what their MMP has to offer. It might sound obvious, but speak directly to your MMP. You can even bring up these points as a guide for the conversation. We might not have the “set it and forget it” omnichannel and multi-touch attribution platform of our dreams yet, but there are steps everyone can take. It is important to balance out the weight of the last click, and measure the real value of every step of their conversion funnel.