View-through attribution (VTA) refers to a model for crediting ad impressions that lead to a conversion or purchase even if the user does not directly click on the ad.
With VTA, conversions are attributed not just to clicks but also to impressions that preceded a conversion. The view or impression is credited along the conversion funnel.
For example, a user views a display ad for a product but does not click. Later they go directly to the site and make a purchase. With VTA, the view of the display ad is attributed with influencing the purchase since it preceded the conversion event.
How Does VTA Work?
VTA relies on tracking users across devices and channels to associate ad views with later conversions. Some key technologies and techniques enable VTA,
- Cookie tracking – Browser cookies record users who have viewed ads and then associate conversions back to the ad impressions.
- Digital fingerprints – Features like device type, OS, browser, IP address allow identifying a common user across devices to tie views to conversions.
- Probabilistic modeling – Statistical models estimate the likelihood a conversion is influenced by a prior ad exposure.
- Pixel tracking – Conversion pixels on a website report conversions back to various ad exposures in user’s history.
Marketers must have the above tracking methods implemented to utilize VTA and understand the conversion impact of impressions beyond just clicks.
View Through Attribution vs Click-Through Attribution
VTA provides a more comprehensive view of ad effectiveness compared to click-through attribution models. The key differences include,
- Clicks underrepresent impact – Clicks miss conversions influenced by impressions but without a click. VTA captures more conversion data.
- Views play a role – VTA values impressions even if no click, not just the last or first click before conversion like some click models.
- More cross-device data – VTA uses cross-device tracking to tie views on one device to conversions on another device. Clicks often happen on just one device in isolation.
- Broader funnel insights – Impressions indicate early funnel awareness and interest. VTA shows how this early funnel activity drives conversions. Clicks represent only lower-funnel intent.
Overall VTA provides a more complete picture of the customer journey and the influence of marketing touchpoints along the way to conversion.
Benefits of View-Through Attribution
There are several potential benefits for advertisers using VTA:
- Values impression influence – VTA models account for view and impression contribution to conversions, not just clicks. This can improve media budget allocation.
- Optimizes for brand awareness – Brand ads meant to build awareness can be valued for driving conversions. VTA enables this even without clicks.
- Evaluates cross-channel impact – By tying views to conversions across devices, VTA shows cross-channel influence and synergies.
- Identifies wasted spend – Impressions with low view-through rates can be identified as having little conversion impact and budgets shifted accordingly.
- Informs early funnel strategy – VTA demonstrates the conversion impact of upper funnel activities like video views. This can inform content strategy and media planning.
- Captures indirect influence – Exposure to brands through video or display ads may not lead to immediate clicks but still indirectly influence later purchases. VTA captures this long-term effect.
Q1: What is VTA attribution?
A1: VTA or view-through attribution is a model that assigns credit for a conversion not just to the last click, but also to earlier interactions that may have influenced the user’s decision.
Q2: What is an example of view through attribution?
A2. An example is when a user sees an ad on Facebook, clicks through to a website but doesn’t purchase. A week later they return directly and make a purchase. A VTA model would credit both the original ad view and the final direct visit for the conversion.
Q3: What is the difference between VTA and CTA?
A3. CTA or click-through attribution only assigns credit to the last ad click before a conversion. VTA looks at earlier touchpoints as well.
Q4: What is the difference between view through and click-through attribution?
A4. Click-through only counts clicks on ads. View-through also considers ad views and other impressions that may influence a user before they convert.
Q5: What does attribution mean in court?
A5. In court, attribution refers to determining responsibility or blame for an action or outcome.