Once you finish connecting all data sources to Steam Data Suite, you can start using the marketing attribution features. Steam Data Suite collects an event from inside your game to analyze user properties and attributes this back to a click on an advertisement or visit to a website. This allows us to attribute a new user back to a source marketing event.
Because Steam doesn’t allow you to track the purchase button on the store page, we register the first run of a new player as a conversion event. This means that you can attribute every player that has at least started your game once.
In order for us to supply you with conversion information for your campaigns, we apply fingerprinting technology. This means that at certain contact points with the players we generate an identifier for that player that allows us to make a probabilistic match with data from previous contact points.
In case of a campaign for a game on Steam, these contact points are the banner click and the First-run. By combining the identification of a player for these two contact points we work around the fact that regular funnel-based traffic breaks on the Steam store page, which is out of our control.
The fingerprinting takes place during a redirect between your ad and the Steam store page. Instead of linking directly to Steam, you use a tracking link, which can be generated through a page on SDS. The end users will click the tracking link and a seamless redirect will hand them over to the Steam store page for your game.
Once the player starts your game another fingerprint is created. This is done by our system after receiving an HTTP call from your game. This means your game has to contain specific code for sending out this call. We have example snippets available for this for the most popular languages/engines.
Fingerprints are build and hashed into an anonymous identifier. Something like “8e8693f824c12e611d06078779155f6ee1d88e92”. There is no way for us to reverse this process and learn anything personal about your players. We also can not identify the same player over multiple games or for other features as a precaution.
The exact ‘ingredients’ and method for generating the fingerprints is our secret, but we can tell you that factors like IP address and the timing of the different events are important data points in the process.