Try It Free

What Is Mobile Attribution?

May 29, 2020 DJ Team

What is mobile attribution?


Mobile attribution refers to tracking the customer journey from discovery to conversion across mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and mobile channels like Instagram. A multi-touch attribution model must account for mobile searches and apps to get a true measure of digital marketing success.

American adults spent approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes a day using mobile devices in 2019. This number continues to grow for many reasons, not least of which is the ubiquity of smartphones. More importantly, mobile apps empower users to complete tasks that previously required the processing power and screen capabilities of a desktop PC.

Marketers have long understood that as mobile screen time consumes more of our personal and professional lives, it presents prime opportunities to reach new market segments.

mobile attribution image

While many martech tools exist to reach potential customers, effective solutions for mobile lead attribution aren’t as widespread. Tracking a customer’s journey through the sales funnel — across various apps, ads, devices and channels — often becomes complicated and confusing.

However, tracking these mobile users and their online behaviors allows marketing teams to determine the most effective touchpoints so they can tailor strategies and campaigns. Focusing on the most effective methods ultimately increases a brand’s number of conversions while decreasing the cost per acquisition. To accomplish this, marketers should turn to attribution tracking.

What Is Attribution Tracking?

Before discussing mobile attribution specifically, it’s important to take a step back and ask: What is attribution in digital marketing? Most industry professionals know “the rule of seven,” which states a consumer on average sees seven of a company’s advertisements before converting. And in today’s marketing landscape, these impressions are spread across many different platforms, including but not limited to:

  • Billboards
  • Radio
  • Podcasts
  • Social media
  • Search engines
  • Programmatic ads
  • Traditional television
  • Streaming platforms
  • Apps

what is mobile attribution

Some of these predate the digital marketing revolution. Measurement techniques for mass-market, analog advertising tools have always been imprecise. For example, post-buy analysis gives media planners and buyers an estimate of how many people watched a TV channel during a certain time slot. But even today, you never know how many of them really saw your ad or went to get a snack when it aired. It’s the same story with print ads, radio spots and so on.

mobile attribution

Digital marketing supposedly fixed this. Marketers could now use data-driven methods to analyze the consumer’s journey, from initial interaction with a Facebook post, clicking a custom link in an automated email, the Zero Moment of Truth on Google or another touchpoint. Attribution tracking, or attribution modeling, provides a framework for analyzing which marketing channels receive credit for those conversions.

Understanding Mobile Lead Attribution Platforms

On mobile devices, the constantly changing array of apps, devices and IP addresses, makes that journey much less linear. With marketing budgets spread so wide, companies must know which tactic convinces a customer to convert. 

“In today’s uncertain economic and public health environment, it is more important than ever before to make decisions that are grounded in facts and connected to revenue,” a recent Harvard Business Review article states. “Effective use of data and analytics can help marketers stay anchored to their customers’ changing reality and focused on their moments of truth.”

Modern attribution platforms should always include mobile devices in order to show a complete picture. Trusted partners understand multi-touch attribution and provide data showing cross-channel consumer journeys, B2B lead attribution and overall ROI per conversion. This requires a number of digital marketing tools — from deep linking to persona modeling — to eliminate confusion.

Effective mobile attribution combines the same models available for other digital marketing platforms, including single-touch, multi-touch, algorithmic and media attribution. As a result, marketers can assess which model works to better focus time and budgets by channel.

While marketing attribution helps companies determine the ROI of specific campaigns, it also informs the health of the business and its current position in the market. When it comes to tracking path to purchase across multiple attribution models, DemandJump helps businesses of all sizes prove the value of their marketing spend. Get a demo today!

Please Share: