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What is the difference between the Polar Pixel and other platforms' data?
What is the difference between the Polar Pixel and other platforms' data?

This article details the difference in attribution reporting between the Polar Pixel tracking, your ad platforms, and GA4.

Abby Garland avatar
Written by Abby Garland
Updated over a week ago

Today, brands need more reliable data collection techniques in order to make confident decisions around actual marketing performance. As a solution to the phase-out of third party cookies (and to the tracking limitations of other platforms), Polar provides brands with two best-in-class tools:

  • The Polar Pixel is a first-party pixel that doesn’t get blocked. It provides you with the most reliable first-party data on marketing performance to optimize your campaigns.

  • The Polar Conversions API Enhancer feeds the more accurate Polar Pixel data back to your ad platforms to optimize their targeting algorithms (and in turn, increase spend efficiency).

But what exactly makes the Polar Pixel data more reliable than other platforms' data?

Polar Pixel vs. Ad Platform Data

The Polar Pixel reported metrics differ from the ad platform reported metrics, as the Polar Pixel uses first-party attribution. This kind of attribution tracking with a pixel is more accurate than your ad platforms' attribution data because it provides an unbiased, end-to-end view of customer interactions across multiple touchpoints, allowing for precise and fair attribution of revenue to various marketing efforts. We know that the ad platforms (like Meta and Google) tend to over report conversions attributed to their own campaigns, for a few reasons:

  • Duplication of Conversions: Ad platforms may duplicate conversions when customers interact with multiple ads, causing overestimation of the impact of individual campaigns. The Polar Pixel de-duplicates these conversions, giving you more accurate performance insight.

  • Limited Cross-Channel Insights: Ad platforms typically offer insights into their specific channels, missing the bigger picture of how various channels work together to drive conversions.

  • Data Privacy Concerns & Ad Blockers: Changes in data privacy regulations, like iOS 14 restrictions, can limit the accuracy of ad platform data. The Polar Pixel, being server-side, works with iOS14 and cookies, ensuring you don't miss any critical conversion data. Ad blockers can also limit the ad platforms from being able to holistically track each conversion.

Polar Pixel vs. Google Analytics (GA4)

In terms of Polar’s capabilities compared with Google Analytics (GA4), there are a few key differences:

  • The Polar Pixel misses far fewer conversions, whereas GA4 massively under-reports across channels and identifies more conversions as "not set" or "unknown". This is likely because script blockers flag Google Analytics more easily and block it altogether even though it’s also first-party tracking.

  • The Polar Pixel has a wide range of attribution models, enabling you to choose the perspective that fits your funnel strategy the best (for example, you could opt for a first-click model for top-of-funnel campaigns, a last-click model for bottom-of-funnel, a U-shaped model for a mixed strategy, etc).

  • The Polar Pixel also enables brands to leverage our Conversions API (CAPI) Enhancer, which isn't offered by GA4. Since the CAPI Enhancer sends the first-party pixel data back to ad platforms, there’s potential to significantly increase spend efficiency by providing the platforms with the missed conversions data.

In summary, we highly recommend leveraging the Polar Pixel tracking when making marketing decisions as this tool will give you more accurate data on your channel and campaign performance.

Interested in adding the Polar Pixel to your plan? Reach out to us via the in-app live chat and we'll assist with implementation next steps.

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