Glossary
Multi-touch attribution (MTA)
Multi-touch attribution (MTA)
Multi-touch attribution (MTA) is an attribution model that calculates and distributes the conversion value to multiple touchpoints.

What is multi-touch attribution?

Multi-touch attribution (MTA) determines the value of every touchpoint contributed to the conversion rather than giving all the credit to a single source.

Let us demonstrate further with an example. Kris interacted with three different ads from three different channels before making a purchase. First, Kris saw a display ad on channel A and thought the product was interesting but did not click on the ad. Then she saw another display ad on channel B. This time she felt more intrigued and clicked the ad but left the product details page without buying anything. Finally, a few hours later, Kris developed an urge to buy the product she saw in the ads and searched for the product in channel C. Then she clicked on the search ad that appeared on top of channel C's search results page and finally purchased the product.

Kris interacted with three channels before buying the product, but what drove Kris to make the final purchase? To figure this out, marketers will need to understand which touchpoints played their role along Kris’s mobile journey. This is where multi-touch attribution comes in.

The multi-touch attribution model calculates and distributes the conversion value to multiple touchpoints. In the example above, using multi-touch attribution, an MMP will calculate the contribution of each touchpoint and distribute the conversion value to all three channels (channels A, B, C).

Why is multi-touch attribution important?

Reflects real-life mobile journey

The user's mobile journey is complex. A user does not just make a decision to install an app by viewing a single ad. For a user to land on a conversion, they usually go through a long journey consisting of multiple ads throughout multiple channels. In fact, an internal study from Airbridge shows that more than 30% of conversions are made after three or more touchpoints. Therefore using multi-touch attribution can better reflect how real-life users think and act.

Optimizes budgeting

Finding out how much value each channel added can enable marketers to better distribute the marketing budget that can optimize marketing performance. We now all know that users in real life engage with multiple touchpoints. Therefore, considering that only one touchpoint contributed to creating a conversion may exaggerate the performance of certain channels while underestimating the rest. Multi-touch attribution can find out how much contribution each channel made and give marketers a bias-free view, helping them to make better decisions in budget allocation.

Empowers marketers with granular data

The world of mobile marketing is getting more competitive as new channels emerge and users are becoming more reluctant to perceive marketing messages. Therefore marketers would need a deeper level of data to optimize their marketing funnel. The multi-touch attribution model can provide marketers with accurate and granular channel data on where marketing works best and empower marketers to optimize their marketing strategy.

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