Online Attribution in DoubleClick for Advertisers

       Yes… Attribution is one of the hottest topics these days in the online marketing world. The marketers are struggling to find and figure out the best attribution model to apply that will contribute positively to the marketing campaigns’ return on investment and bring more profits to the company. Each marketing tool offers its marketing attribution models whether it is a first touch, last touch, equal credit distribution or a customized model. Today we would like to dive into attribution options offered by DoubleClick for Advertisers.


       DoubleClick for Advertisers offers an attribution modeling tool which was introduced in September of 2012 that allows to assign the value to each of the touch points that contributed to the conversion. DoubleClick does this automatically by running the scripts behind the scenes. The marketer won’t need to devote hours and hours to manipulation of the data in order to build attribution models. More importantly, the online marketer will be able to easily switch from one model to the other in DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA). If the analyst is interested in seeing the marketing campaigns’ performance from the first interaction standpoint or the last touch perspective or apply customized credits, he/she can easily implement that in DFA.


       The Attribution Modeling tool is available within Multi-Channel Funnels in DFA and offers six… yes… you read it right… six standard attribution models and you also have an option to create your own one. It takes minutes to build these models without any need to wait for months and months for a model to be built and implemented by the company. Let’s review these models now:


-        Floodlight Model (“last click wins”). It gives 100% of the credit to the last click or the impression if no click was recorded in the path.


-        Last Interaction. It gives the last touch point 100% of the credit for the conversion.


-        First Interaction. It gives the first touch point 100% of the credit for the conversion, This attribution model is critical to understand which campaigns created initial awareness.


-        Linear Model. It assigns an equal credit to each touch point in the conversion path.


-        Time Decay Model. It gives most of the credit to touch points that occurred nearest to the time of the sale or conversion. It can be applied to the campaigns with the short life cycle.


-        Position-Based Model. It assigns a certain percentage of the credit to the first interaction, middle interactions and the last interaction.


       And, of course, you can build customized models using DFA’s attribution modeling tool which will allow you to be more creative and sophisticated and achieve better performance results.


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2 Responses so far.

  1. spock says:

    Thank you for a very informatve article. The most clear explanation ever into attribution.
    If one wanted to build their own model or independently validate the DFA model, is it possible to get access to the underlying DFA logs that expose the user id plus corresponding impression/click history?
    Please advise.

    • Admin says:

      Thank you very much for your comment.
      If you are referring to cookie-specific information, then the answer to your question is yes – you are able to get this information through DoubleClick, however, there are two things you have to keep in mind.
      In order to get this report:
      1. You have to have a direct relationship with DoubleClick (not a reseller).
      2. That might be pretty expensive since this report is not available via standard DoubleClick reports and it will need to be requested at extra cost.
      This report will allow to link impressions and clicks to the conversions with the help of cookies. An alternative (not ideal, but without extra charge) would be using standard DoubleClick reports: 1.The report that will show impressions and clicks by campaign and placement. 2. The report that will show all conversions by campaign and placement. What’s nice about this second report is that you get a raw data report at a per-record level with all order ids and the touchpoints. Say, if the person clicked on Paid Search ad and then also clicked on the Display and converted, then those two touchpoints with same order id will be listed in the report. You now have access to the raw data and can validate, slice and dice it and apply any attribution model you want. Also, you might be interested in this article that explains how DoubleClick collects information from the technical standpoint.

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