The question of attribution methodology forever lurks in the shadows of every mobile marketing effort. In this context, the term attribution refers to how a campaign measures user events that are a direct result of marketing activity. Such events could include, but aren’t limited to, the installation and re-installation of an app or an in-app purchase. Attribution determines the number of ad dollars spent vs. conversions gained, and offers the main data points which determine the success or failure of each mobile app advertising effort.

By tracking user events, and understanding how users behave during moments of impulse and prompted calls to action, you can change and improve key aspects of your app, your campaign, and your overall creative direction.

Detailed post-campaign analytics are the crux of all marketing efforts, however attribution poses challenges specifically within the mobile arena, since there is no existing standard of methodology. In its current state, attribution is a grab bag of various tried and true methods of activity measurement, forcing marketers to fend for themselves, and determine effective methods of attribution for each campaign.

Here are a few methods of attribution that have proven successful in the world of traditional online advertisers. These methods of attribution have made it possible for marketers to determine user origin causes of user behavior.


  • Pro:
    • Cookies allow ad servers to identify the same user across various platforms and multiple touchpoints via an assigned user ID.
  • Con:
    • Users can disable and reset their cookies which can lead to inconsistencies and fallacies within reporting.

Pixel Tags:

The pixel tag is a small block of code embedded in a web page that allows webmasters to know when users view a web page. It creates a cookie for each user and enables administrators to follow and backtrack user behavior to see what prompted purchases, clickthrus, and other forms of engagement.

Custom URL Parameters

This practice refers to having different links to the same content housed in different places, for the purpose of determining user origin. Perhaps you run a campaign simultaneously on a website and on Twitter to drive visitors to download a new app. Each link will have custom URL parameters depending on where it is housed, campaign administrators can consider the folks who accessed the app and determine their origin, thereby measuring and comparing the impact and effect of each link placement.

Mobile – Specific Attribution Methods

Attribution provides specific challenges to mobile marketers, because there is no existing standard, and the two main mobile platforms – iOS and Android – vary slightly enough that attribution methods must be customized slightly for either platform. Attribution data in the app space is crucial to the process of monetization, as marketers must be able to optimize their messaging to Google Analytics is currently the gold standard of mobile app attribution, offering insight into user origin, behavior, and other causes of motivation.

Attribution Potential with Soundpays

The Soundpays technology provides ample opportunity for campaign attribution. It is designed to not only streamline purchasing opportunities by appealing consumer impulse and convenience, it also offers precision reporting which results in a 360-degree attribution reporting. Attribution is a pillar of the mobile marketing ecosystem, and a thorough understanding of the cost and effect of each campaign will inevitably determine future success, indefinitely. While there is no single, definitely approach to mobile ad attribution, it is important for marketers to consider options and methods of attribution when selecting retail vendors and partners.

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