When most people think about campaign attribution, the first thing that comes to mind is revenue. How much did I spend to promote my campaign? And how much revenue did I get as a result of it?

This is a particularly urgent question when you add mobile to the mix. Every marketer inherently knows mobile devices and tablets are favoured devices among consumers, but how do you measure its contribution to sales and revenue? How can you get the numbers you need to justify the expense of mobile marketing to the CFO?

Attribution answers all of this and more. Specifically, it sheds light on the role each channel (display, smartphones, tablets) plays in contributing to sales. And, more strategically, shows you how to reach your goal with the highest level of profitability. To do that, you need to ask the right questions, know what you want to measure, and optimise based on your success

Here are five things to think about to help you drive success.

1. Decide what to measure

What is it you want to measure? Success stems from clearly defining your mobile KPIs, whether that’s pushing consumers further down the sales funnel (e.g. watching a video on a new car model that prompts them to schedule a test drive), acquiring new customers outright, or reactivating dormant customers. Beyond that, you need to set specific goals for your KPIs. For instance, if your goal is to drive orders through your food delivery app, how many do you want to get? What’s the cost-per-order (CPO) you want to hit?

Setting an appropriate timeline is also important. Will you measure your KPIs in two weeks, one month, one quarter? Short-term KPIs should be measured in less than a month. Longer term KPIs, such as live time value of a customer, should be measured over longer time frames.

Bottom line: Break your big picture down into smaller goals, and track everything.

2. Define your target and how to reach it

Let’s be blunt: expect disaster if you don’t define your target audience, and how you’ll reach them. Who do you want to reach? Which countries are they in? What are their age, gender, interests and online behavioural signals? What is the best way to reach them outside of your App Store Optimisation (ASO) strategy: social networks, SEM, premium ad-networks, programmatic campaign, etc.?

If you don’t have a clear idea of who your audience is, you’ll end up spending time, energy and money without any return on your investment. Conversely, once you know who you wish to target, you can tap into the biggest enriched mobile advertising platforms of the market to find your prospects at scale, especially if you plan to target consumers via mobile apps (which tend to have rich demographic behavior, thanks to sign-in credentials).

3. Pre-launch the right tracking method

You have your KPIs, your target, and how to reach it. Time for a test! We recommend you dedicating a portion of your budget for a test launch. Again, determine the parameters of your test. Will you test the design? (A test we recommend since you’ll want to see which design works best across a variety of mobile devices.) If yes, use two or three different designs for the same target audience and placements.

Do you want to test the placement? Then keep the same target and design A/B testing, but add a tracking solution. Track each placement by design banner, target and traffic type (mobile web vs. mobile apps) to get detailed results and to analyse the return of the campaign.

4. Get ready for the big day

By now you’ve completed your prelaunch, and you have your final results of what works the best (design, device type, channel, etc.). It’s time to launch your campaign. Set a daily/weekly budget for each programmatic platform you use to buy media, and look at the results on a daily basis so you know how to optimise your ad spend going forward.

5. Optimise results

By now you’re receiving insights into who’s responding to your campaign (demographic, country, age group, gender) as well as the channels (specific sites, devices, etc.) that reach them most effectively. At this point, you can start to move your ad spend to focus on the audiences and channel delivering the best results. You can even retarget consumers who’ve responded, but haven’t converted yet, in multiple mobile apps they may use.