What is An Attribution Tool & How to Select the Best?

What is An Attribution Tool & Which One is Best?
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“In the time it took you to read this sentence 20m emails have been sent.” – John Watton

Yes, that’s the world we live in today! The fact that we are part of such a fast-paced digital era no longer leaves room for all the old school hit-and-trial digital marketing methodologies. If you are thinking about why you are not getting the numbers or the ROI that your business should have achieved already, you need to go back and see how well your digital channels and touchpoints are doing.

According to a report published in 2016, 47% of the world’s digital marketers are involved in marketing campaigns with no pre-defined marketing strategies in the first place. You might be spending a lot more on digital advertising and social media campaigns than your direct competitors. However, just because you do not have the right insights on your customer journey and the way your product reaches out to them and vice versa, your money might be going down the drain. How can you turn it around for your business? Let us ‘digitally’ walk you through the world of attribution tools…

In this article/


Attribution Tools – An Overview

To understand the world of digital marketing better than might you ever had, one of the crucial things you should be crystal clear about is the concept of attribution tools.

The simplest definition of an attribution tool is – the mechanism of determining your most effective marketing elements by knowing your customer journey – from the start till the end and all the digital touchpoints in between.

ChiefMarTech says that marketers have access to well over 7,040 digital marketing technology solutions at their disposal – tailored to assist them for effective target audience reach. Out of this number, around 200 solutions are specifically designed to track user data and bridge the gap between your potential leads and the amount of resources spent on marketing campaigns.

Based mainly on using tracking information such as cookies and tags, attribution tools analyze a visitor’s journey and what exact channels they used before they finally reached you and a ‘conversion’ was made. This data is then analyzed and used by digital marketers for future marketing and advertising campaigns with the aim of achieving greater results and increased ROI. For example, you decide to promote your product via Instagram paid promotions and after a couple of weeks, you see a good number of organic hits on your advertisement. However, those potential buyers made better conversions only when you reached out to them via an email ad campaign later on. Your digital marketing team will undoubtedly be more interested in your email ad campaign data and how they can use it for future marketing models for your business.

Keeping this into consideration, many digital marketers today face the dilemma of selecting the right digital marketing campaign for a business organization. There might be a lot of underperforming or over-performing elements associated with your business, most of which you might not have complete visibility. Whether to choose a single device or a multi-platform tool, to go with your existing attribution model or add new ones to your system, several factors will play a key role here. However, one of the major players will be your mobile traffic.


The Impact of Mobile Attribution Tools

According to an independent study conducted by AppsFlyer, mobile devices have connected over 3.5 billion people to the internet. That is around half of the world’s population. And it doesn’t just stop there – the GSMA predicts more growth in the future. This is the impact mobile usage has had on us for the past many years. Businesses that have consistently invested and analyzed their mobile app attribution tools and methodologies have done way better than the ones that didn’t.

Ever thought of why you should have an attribution vendor in the first place? Well, for starters, Google Analytics will never give you the results that are essential to your business needs in real-time. For example, at some point, you might want to know what mobile ad attribution meaning really is and what mainly drives users to install your mobile app, or what platform is best suited to make your next marketing campaign more fruitful. An attribution provider will take care of these things and provide you with data that is accurate, up-to-date and filtered in accordance with your requirements.


Key Factors for Making the Right Choice

So what are those main elements that you need to keep in mind before selecting a mobile attribution tool? Let’s have a look:

  • Method of Attribution – you should know that every attribution tool might not be suitable for your business model or end product
  • Detect Fraudulent Traffic – if there is something out of order, you should be able to monitor it right away and block or reject that traffic 
  • Easy Dashboard Visibility – if you are unable to have the visibility and numbers that you need, then there is no point having a tool in the first place
  • Ability to Retarget – if you can retarget your bounced traffic effectively, you can surely extract some potential leads
  • Uninstalls Numbers – you need to know how many have gotten rid of your app, don’t you?
  • Integrations with Facebook, Google Ads, etc. – your tool must have the ability to integrate with these self-attributing networks so that you can get better results.


Top Mobile Attribution Tools

Below are some of the top mobile app attribution tools:



One of the renowned tools and pioneers in mobile attribution, Adjust is integrated with self-attribution networks such as Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. With features such as audience builder, ad fraud prevention and app analytics, Adjust is one of the better tools that might suit your business needs.



With 4000+ partners, Appsflyer is another powerful and useful tool that several businesses use today. It gives you a thorough view of your customer’s journey so that you are better positioned to devise future marketing strategies and decisions.



With Funnelll, you can easily track your customer journey during their stay on your website, such as registration, pricing, proceed to checkout, etc. With absolutely no coding required, Funnelll lets you copy visitor tracking setup on one platform such as Google Analytics, to other outlets such as Facebook, Pixel, etc. with just a few clicks.



One of the popular mobile app attribution tools is Kochava – offering similar features as Adjust like data analytics, LifeTime Value (LTV), funnels, etc. In addition to this, it can send email, SMS or Slack notifications upon metrics or conversion rates fluctuations. Kochava is the only tool that offers the flexibility to attribute without needing their SDK to be loaded in-app.


Mobile Ad Fraud – For Real?

Unfortunately, yes, there are a lot of people or organizations out there that benefit from your loss. Fraudulent practices such as click spams, fake installs, device farms, etc. might drain your ad budgets and give you results that you were not looking for whatsoever. In fact, our latest report forecasts that in 2020, ad fraud will consume 44% of global advertising spend, up from our Q2, 2019 findings of  41% of global ad spend of ad spend going to ad fraud. 


Your best bet to truly fighting ad fraud is to integrate an independent third-party solution, along with your existing MMP, in order to gain access to accurate and raw data, and block ad fraud in real-time. Many MMPs do not have the capability to detect complex and common forms of ad fraud or block them in real-time, such as SDK spoofing.

What is An Attribution Tool & How to Select the Best?
What is An Attribution Tool & How to Select the Best?


Our Final Thought

As the famous saying goes, ‘better late than never’ – there will never be a ‘right’ time for a business to revisit its digital marketing strategies and methodologies. However, yes, not opting for the optimum marketing attribution software or implementing the tools that your product needs for better promotion and awareness, can give you unimaginable business failures that will yield significant monetary and non-monetary losses in the long-run.

So, when deciding on the right MMP for your product or brand, consider important factors such as their attribution capabilities, their anti-fraud prowess and whether this aligns with your business goals and budget. 

If you’d like to have a chat with one of our fraud consultants, about how to integrate Interceptd’s ad fraud protection capabilities alongside your MMP or attribution tool, then book an obligation-free chat here.    

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