A self-attributing network (SAN) is a unique type of ad network capable of advertising on its own platform. What this means is that it acts as both a publisher and an ad network, allowing it to measure conversions internally. As a result, SANs are able to track each ad campaign and its performance on their own platform, which is not possible in traditional ad networks. This feature enables SANs to have a more accurate understanding of their advertising performance, providing them with better insights to optimize their ad campaigns and generate better results.
The mechanism of SAN is based on the use of unique identifiers, or "addresses," assigned to each node in the network. These identifiers allow data to be routed to the correct node based on the identifier rather than relying on other factors such as location in the network. The SAN is typically implemented as a distributed system, where each node in the network is responsible for its own unique identifier and can also act as a router for other nodes in the network.
When a user clicks on an ad within a SAN, they are assigned a unique identifier that is recorded by the SAN. This identifier is then passed along with the user as they move along the conversion funnel, allowing the SAN to track the user's journey and attribute the conversion to the correct ad campaign.
SANs typically use various technologies to assign and track unique identifiers, including cookies, device IDs, and tracking pixels. These technologies allow SANs to identify and track users across different devices, browsers, and platforms, providing a complete picture of the user journey.
SANs work with mobile measurement partners (MMPs) to provide mobile marketers with a more accurate understanding of their advertising performance. SANs act as both publishers and ad networks and can therefore measure conversions internally. This conversion information is then shared with MMPs like Airbridge using an application program interface (API).
When SANs share their conversion data with MMPs, it allows the MMPs to provide more accurate and comprehensive attribution data to marketers. The MMPs can then use the data from SANs in combination with their own data to provide a complete picture of the user journey, including which campaigns drive the most conversions and revenue. This helps marketers optimize their ad spend, improve their ROI, and make the most of their marketing budget.
Additionally, SANs and MMPs often work together to provide marketers better fraud protection. For example, SANs can use the conversion data they collect to identify and flag potential fraud, and then share that information with MMPs. This ultimately allows MMPs to take action to prevent fraud and protect the interests of their customers.