If you spend money on marketing, you know the problem — figuring out which dollar, or combination of dollars, caused the customer to make a purchase so that you can determine where to spend more money.

But attribution isn’t easy. Most marketers struggle to say with any certainty which touchpoint or channel helped the customer make a decision to buy, and the situation is made more complex thanks to multiple tracking pixels and differing attribution models per ad network.

Today, LeadsRx has launched its 2.0 product that includes, among a raft of significant updates, a universal tracking pixel that promises to solve the attribution problem for marketers.

So how does the universal tracking pixel play with existing trackers from the likes of Google and Facebook?

“The LeadsRx universal conversion tracking pixel works right alongside other pixels from the ad serving vendors like Google, Facebook, and AdRoll,” AJ Brown, CEO and cofounder at LeadsRx told me. “But the insights you’ll get from a universal pixel means you can remove the vendor pixels and get them off your site.”

That could solve one of marketing attribution’s biggest issues — multiple result counts.

“Let’s say you have three pixels from three different ad vendors on your website and a visitor has clicked on ads from all three at some point before converting,” Brown said. “What you’ll get from each of those vendors is the fact that the ad they served resulted in a conversion.”

The lack of communication between these disparate platforms makes understanding return on investment difficult and time-consuming.

“These vendor pixels don’t share data with one another, so you’ll see a total of three separate conversions with no information other than a timestamp to try and decide if they are the same individual,” Brown said. “In some cases, you only get aggregated results without detail, so it’s impossible to glue this information together for a complete picture of what the attribution path is.”

The LeadsRx universal tracking pixel tracks attribution paths for each individual separately across all ad vendors. The end result? Marketers know exactly what is influencing each visitor’s decision to convert.

LeadsRx Shot

In addition to the tracking pixel, the new LeadsRx product includes algorithmic attribution that uses machine learning to evaluate patterns of successful and non-successful conversion paths, and therefore weight the findings accordingly. It also includes the ability to select and change attribution models on the fly, and predictive modeling to help understand radio and TV attribution.

Choosing the right attribution model is important, so being able to select the right one dynamically without long recalculation delays is important.

“Many marketers want to know the complex combination of advertising and content that helps prospects make the decision to convert,” Brown said. “This requires a multi-touch attribution model, which takes all touchpoints into consideration and uses different weighting factors based on a number of methods. Choosing a single touch attribution model instead, like first touch or last touch, would be a mistake, since this would miss potentially important touchpoints that occurred midway.”

However, single touch attribution still has its place.

“Consider B2B sales teams who mostly want to know the original source of a lead,” Brown said. “Did it come from their own prospecting activities or from a marketing campaign? Did another customer refer the new lead? Using a first touch attribution model works well in this simple situation, as it will always indicate exactly where the lead started.”

And how will the age of the connected TV, and having to target to households — not individuals — affect the future of marketing and attribution?

“The whole area of connected households is a marketer’s dream,” Brown said. “Television is just one part of the excitement, but so are thermostats, refrigerators, door locks, and more. The Internet of Things will hopefully give marketers new attribution points that can make a real difference in the personalization and effectiveness of advertising.”

In addition to the universal tracking pixel, and new attribution models, LeadsRx 2.0 includes an Ad Grader tool to help marketers decide which ads are working well, and which to cut. It also includes integration with Google AdWords and CallSource, giving it the ability to attribute sales to inbound telephone calls.

LeadsRx is available from today, with plans that start at $50 per month.