In marketing measurement, there are two common ways to giving credit to each touchpoint in a conversion sequence: post-view, also known as a view-through conversion, and post-click conversion. As briefly mentioned in our general overview post on the topic of marketing attribution modeling, the decisions on whether to measure based on a post-click or post-view model depend to a great extent of the tracking possibilities you have at hand.
But before going too much into detail on this topic, let’s have a look at what post-view and post-click actually means.
Digital advertisers usually look at measuring the impact of their advertising using clicks, for example:
User A has clicked on link B before immediately converting on my website.
However, advanced advertisers look at this a bit different:
Our click-based example was based on the immediate action, a click in this way of measuring, preceding the conversion. In reality, the user might have had multiple different actions before the conversion action. In the example below the user has clicked on a paid search keyword, a link in an email and then converted through organic search. If attribution is done on a post-click instead of a last-click basis, each touchpoint, or click, will get a part of the conversion credit if the action happens within the defined lookback window.
The lookback window is a period when action should be matched to the conversion after an ad is clicked. For example, in low-cost eCommerce transactions, the lookback window might be 7 – 14 days, whereas, on complex products like selling a car, a lookback window of 60 days could be used.
With post-view conversions, as the name suggests, not just the click but also the views a user has in the specified lookback window get a part of the credit for the conversion. Most of the advertisers who advertise on multiple channels will have video and social media as part of the conversion journey. These channels usually are not driving clicks, but still, contribute to outcomes. Here is how the journey we had above might look measured on a post-view conversion attribution model.
Which one to choose?
By reading the above, the obvious would be to work with post-view data instead of post-click data. However, there are a few issues with post-view data:
- Facebook does not allow third-party impression tracking. Since launching its own attribution platform, Facebook does not allow third-party impression tracking. This means that you can of course still track views on almost everything except for Facebook, but given Facebooks importance in most advertisers’ media mix, you will not compare apples to apples anymore
- Retargeting often delivers up to 30 impressions before a conversion. Especially when using a non-algorithmic attribution model, you are likely to give too much credit to retargeting as a channel.
- Have your ads been seen? Impression tracking works in a way that an impression is counted the moment the advertising is served. This does not mean that the ad was seen. Let’s say your ad is served in the middle of a blog article, but the user never reads to the part of the blog post where your ad is. In a post-view model, it would be given credit for the conversion.