This article is part 1 in a 3 part series about understanding & customizing your Attribution app model, please be sure to check out part 2 and part 3 after reading. 

Attribution App uses a proprietary model to give you precise metrics for your return on ad spend. Below we will dive deeper into the technicalities of how Attribution App derives return on ad spend for your channels and walk you through the adjustments you can make to your model. 

To start, the two major advantages of Attribution app compared to other analytics tools are its consideration of 'multi-touch' attribution and the 'look forward' window. 

Multi-touch attribution: 

Attribution app is designed to be a multi-touch tool, this means Attribution app will consider all your marketing channels when calculating return on ad spend. 

This differs greatly from tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights which will favor their own channels above others. 

How is ROAS calculated? 

After you have properly installed the Attribution app snippet on your webpages
a cookie will be automatically be installed in the HTML of your visitor’s browser. 

The cookie will allow Attribution app to see the specific visitor’s journey which includes their page views, ad interactions, and conversions. 

Attribution app will use these interactions in conjunction with your desired settings to calculate return on ad spend for visits in a specific date range. 

Understanding the visitor’s journey. 

Imagine that the black line below represents the visitor’s journey from January 1st to January 31st 2019. 

When a visitor first visits your site the cookie will be installed in their browser, January 1st in the example above. Attribution app will then track this visitor as they interact with your pages and ads; ad interactions are considered 'touch-points' while things like sign up or sign in can be considered 'events.'

When you integrate a conversion tool like Hubspot or Salesforce for example Attribution app will automatically pull in events like 'lead form submission' and deal or opportunity stage change. 

If you'd like, with the assistance of one of your developers, you can track any event manually on the client or server-side

Events that include a revenue trait will be used to calculate you return on ad spend. 

Below we see an example of a visitor’s journey with ad touches, conversions, and type in traffic included. At the moment the specific dates are not as important as the concepts. 

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Attribution App uses a multi-touch Attribution model which considers all your ad channels when providing credit for a conversion. 
  2. Attribution App installs a cookie in your visitor's browser to see each specific event along the visitor's journey. 
  3. There are multiple things attribution app is tracking like ad touches, conversions, and direct traffic, you can also create your own custom events (and fire them) AND/OR integrate with conversion tools to track events automatically.

Looking back vs looking forward: 

When you compare Attribution app to your other analytics tools you may find some differences for a few reasons. 

One of the most common is due to the ‘multi-touch’ feature of Attribution app where it considers all your ad channel touches along a visitor’s journey rather than a select few. 

Another major difference is based on how Attribution app uses visits and ad touches to calculate revenue, conversions, and return on ad spend. 

While most other analytics tools will use an arbitrary look back window of 30, 60, or 90 days based around the conversion event, Attribution app uses a precise and proprietary look forward window instead that follows the individual's journey. This allows for double entry auditing of all conversions. 

The look back window

Below is an example of a common look-back window, the opposite of what Attribution app uses, here the conversion event occurred on February 15th and a look-back window was generated to see which ads were responsible for this conversion. 

With this method only the ad channel that was touched on January 15th would receive credit for this conversion, whilst the touch on December 28th would be ignored since it is outside the look-back window range. We find this to be an arbitrary look at your return on ad spend, instead we deploy a look forward window. 

Look Forward Window

Attribution app deploys a look forward window when the visitor records their first page visit. The look forward window will track the visitor along their journey as they touch additional ad channels or continue to record events like conversion and sign up. 

Because Attribution app tracks the visitor’s events on a forward basis you will be able to see exactly which visitors completed certain events at specific times giving you high fidelity on your conversion, ad touches and revenue data. 

Please be sure to check out part 2 and part 3 after reading.

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