in

Choosing the Right Mobile Measurement Partner: An In-Depth Guide for App Marketers

default image

Hey there!

So you launched your mobile app and are ramping up user acquisition efforts. You‘re probably starting to think about tracking marketing performance beyond vanity metrics like impressions and clicks.

What you need is a robust attribution and analytics solution to cut through the noise and truly optimize your ad spending. This is where leveraging a dedicated Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) can make a huge difference.

I‘ve been in mobile marketing for over 5 years now, and have tested my fair share of different MMP platforms. In this guide, I‘ll share the insider knowledge I‘ve gained on everything from the value of mobile attribution, top platforms, and how to select the best one for YOUR app.

Let‘s get started!

Why Mobile Attribution is a Must-Have

Imagine you spent $100K last month on paid user acquisition. You likely ran campaigns across many platforms like Facebook, Apple Search Ads, Google UAC etc.

But when you look at your analytics, all you see is you got 1 million impressions and 50,000 clicks.

Did that $100K generate 1,000 app installs? 10,000? How many of those users stuck around and became active? How many made in-app purchases?

Without mobile attribution, you‘re flying blind.

Mobile measurement partners give you the full picture by mapping each user‘s journey to see what combination of marketing touchpoints led to conversions like app installs, purchases, signups, or any other action you care about.

Here are 5 key reasons you need mobile attribution in your stack:

Pinpoint High ROI Channels

Mobile attribution identifies exactly which marketing platforms and campaigns deliver the users who drive the most value for your business.

For example, your analysis may reveal:

  • Facebook video ads generate 65% of all app installs from paid UA.
  • Users acquired from Apple Search Ads have 2x higher retention.

With these insights, you can shift more budget towards the high ROI channels and away from ones generating lower quality users.

Eliminate Fraudulent Traffic

Here‘s a depressing stat – up to 30% of app installs from paid UA could be fraudulent.

Sophisticated bots and click farms spoof app downloads to steal advertiser dollars. Mobile attribution analyzes signals to detect this fake traffic.

By identifying shady publishers and blocking fraudulent clicks, you avoid wasting money on bogus users.

Optimize User Journeys

Mobile attribution maps out each user‘s steps from initial touchpoint to final conversion. You can see exactly where you‘re losing potential users along the journey.

For instance, you may uncover:

  • 70% drop off at the email capture stage of onboarding
  • Low retention for users acquired via a specific ad network

Identifying these weak points allows you to focus efforts on improving experiences and conversion rates.

Calculate True LTV and ROAS

Getting a precise view of your customer lifecycle and marketing ROI is impossible without end-to-end attribution.

For example, you may find:

  • Users from Facebook video ads have a LTV of $45 over 6 months
  • For every $1 spent on Apple Search Ads, you earn $2 in revenue

Making decisions based on customer lifetime value and return on ad spend, instead of vanity metrics, is crucial for growth.

Uncover Cross-Promotion Opportunities

Mobile attribution uncovers insights across channels, like:

  • Users who sign up on website have 2x higher retention when the app is promoted in welcome emails

These cross-channel synergies allow you to optimize experiences across touchpoints.

As you can see, mobile attribution is absolutely essential to maximize the return from your user acquisition investments and scale your app effectively.

Now let‘s look at how mobile measurement partners can unlock these benefits for you.

How Mobile Measurement Partners Unlock Attribution

In the past, app marketers handled mobile attribution themselves by:

  • Having engineering teams implement SDKs from each ad network

  • Building a pipeline to centralize the data

  • Running queries and analysis to connect the dots

This entire process requires significant ongoing engineering effort. It leaves you managing infrastructure and pipelines instead of optimizing ad campaigns.

A mobile measurement partner eliminates this heavy lifting by providing attribution capabilities out-of-the-box.

Here are 5 ways MMPs unlock the power of mobile attribution for you:

1. Seamless Ad Network Integrations

Top MMPs like AppsFlyer, Adjust, and Singular maintain pre-built integrations with every major network – Facebook, Google, Snap, TikTok, etc.

Instead of managing SDKs from each network, you simply add the MMP SDK once. It handles collecting and relaying the attribution data across all ad platforms.

Network In-House MMP
Facebook Ads Add SDK ✅ Pre-integrated
Apple Search Ads Add SDK ✅ Pre-integrated
Google UAC Add SDK ✅ Pre-integrated
Add SDK ✅ Pre-integrated

This plug-and-play setup with networks lets you start tracking campaigns in no time.

2. Cross-Device Tracking

Users don‘t confine themselves to just mobile when engaging with your app – they move across mobile, desktop, tablets, and more.

MMPs use probabilistic and deterministic techniques to identify users across devices. This provides a complete view of each user‘s journey.

Building cross-device tracking in-house requires significant data science investment. MMPs give you this out-of-the-box.

3. Attribution Modeling

MMPs support common attribution models like first- and last-touch, as well as algorithmic models like time decay.

But they take it several steps further by letting you combine models and define custom attribution logic specific to your app.

An ecommerce app may want to use first-touch for paid UA channels but last-click for affiliate channels. Advanced MMPs provide this level of flexibility.

4. Privacy and Regulation Expertise

With regulations like GDPR and CCPA in effect, managing user data properly is complex. MMPs build compliance into their tech stack.

For example, AppsFlyer‘s privacy-centric IDFA graph provides Apple ATT support. Adjust‘s consent management platform simplifies GDPR.

Their experience staying compliant frees you from the overhead of updating tracking SDKs and protocols regularly.

5. Analytics Dashboards and Alerts

MMPs ingest data from all sources, process it, and provide turnkey analytics through intuitive dashboards and reports. This prevents you from managing pipelines and writing SQL queries.

Platforms like Kochava and Localytics also enable configuring alerts for anomalies like sudden drops in KPIs that may indicate problems.

As you can see, MMPs really do all the heavy lifting required to operationalize attribution. This frees your team to focus on analysis and optimizations that drive growth.

Next, let‘s explore the top mobile measurement partners available today.

Top Mobile Measurement Partners in 2022

The mobile attribution space has seen robust innovation and new players emerging in recent years.

Here are the leading mobile measurement partners you should consider for your app:

MMP Key Strengths Sample Customers
AppsFlyer Attribution, fraud protection, cross-promotion analytics Tencent, NBCU, Nike
Adjust Automation, customer data platform, privacy PayPal, SoundCloud
Singular Unified attribution and marketing, LTV focus Intuit, Postmates, Walmart
Kochava Custom analytics, behavioral audiences Snap, ESPN, Bleacher Report
Branch Cross-platform attribution, deep linking Pinterest, Yelp, StackOverflow

Let‘s analyze the unique capabilities of each of these leading options:

AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer is arguably the sector leader when it comes to scale and adoption by major brands. Their platform processes over 6 billion attribution events daily!

They shine brightest when it comes to fraud protection. AppsFlyer detects billions of fraudulent app installs every month leveraging proprietary algorithms and AI.

The platform also provides a view beyond just app installs to track web, phone call and offline conversions originating from marketing efforts.

AppsFlyer is a great fit for apps focused on measuring and optimizinguser acquisition across channels. Their fraud capabilities and scale are hard to beat.

Adjust

Adjust takes an automation-first approach with features like Auto-Tracking which pre-integrates networks using configuration vs. code.

Their Control Center product aims to offer a "command center" for marketers with workflow automation capabilities.

On the analytics side, Adjust acquired data science company DataMind to bolster capabilities like predictive user modeling and lookalike audience finding.

For apps looking to remove attribution management overheads and focus on marketing optimization, Adjust is a leading choice.

Singular

Singular converges both attribution analytics and hands-on marketing campaign management in a single platform.

For example, their ROAS Optimizer lets you define ROAS targets, and Singular automatically shifts budgets between networks to achieve goals.

They provide unified insights and workflows spanning attribution, creative performance, audience management, and marketing analytics.

For resource-strapped growth teams looking to minimize workflow complexity, Singular provides an intriguing end-to-end solution.

Kochava

With their homegrown Infinity user graph, Kochava can connect billions of devices to users. This allows constructing a holistic user profile by combining attribution data with CRM and other behavioral data sources.

Their customizable dashboards and segmentation capabilities based on these rich profiles make Kochava stand out for apps focused on analytics.

Their portfolio of blockchain solutions for securing data and preventing fraud also provide unique differentiation in the privacy arena.

Branch

Branch pioneered the application of deep linking, where taps on links take users directly to specific content vs. homepage.

Their cross-platform tracking and linking capabilities enable following users across devices and channels with personalized experiences.

Referral program tracking is another specialty, allowing you to easily attribute app traffic generated by referrals.

For apps interested in leveraging deep linking and robust cross-channel tracking, Branch should be on your radar.

This covers the most popular MMP options available today and how they differ. But how do you decide on the right one for your app?

Let‘s go over the key factors to keep in mind.

How to Select the Right Mobile Measurement Partner

While MMP platforms share some common capabilities like attribution modeling and analytics, they diverge when it comes to areas of focus and product strategy.

Picking the platform best aligned to your app requires assessing a few factors:

1. Ad Network Support

The #1 prerequisite is that the MMP integrates with the ad networks you plan to use for paid user acquisition.

Review which networks each platform supports to ensure coverage of your needs – Facebook, Google, Apple Search, TikTok etc. Most leading MMPs support the major channels.

2. Attribution Flexibility

Evaluate capabilities like multi-touch attribution, algorithmic modeling, and options for custom logic tailored to your app.

For example, an ecommerce app may want to apply different attribution weight for view vs. add-to-cart vs. purchase events.

3. Fraud Protection

Fraud filtering is table-stakes. Go beyond that to assess capabilities like machine learning algorithms, traffic anomaly detection, publisher scoring etc.

Prioritize MMPs who invest heavily in fraud like AppsFlyer vs. ones more focused just on analytics.

4. Marketing Automation Integrations

If you use tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, or Marketo, assess pre-built integrations to pull in attribution data and sync audiences.

Platforms like Singular with robust APIs and connectors excel here. Others may have more limited capabilities.

5. Pricing Model

Is pricing based on volumes like monthly active users (MAU), number of events, or data points?

Does it fit your business model? Watch out for hidden fees too.

6. Focus on Analytics vs. Activation

Some MMPs focus purely on attribution and analytics while others add capabilities like audience segmentation, campaign management etc.

Figure out which approach aligns better to your team‘s structure and objectives.

By considering factors like these, you can zero in on an MMP tailored to your app and growth strategy.

Most platforms offer free trials – take advantage of this to test capabilities using your own data.

Next, I‘ll go over some best practices once you‘ve picked an MMP to ensure successful adoption.

Tips for Maximizing Your Mobile Measurement Partner

Implementing your MMP thoroughly and adopting best practices is crucial to maximize the value generated.

Here are 5 tips that I‘ve found help apps get the most from their selected platform:

1. Phase the Implementation

Big bang MMP implementations often fail. Prioritize rolling it out for your highest budget campaigns first.

Once you‘ve validated it‘s working and driving insights for those, expand to the rest of your campaigns.

2. Monitor Performance

Keep an eye on technical KPIs like crashes and latency as you deploy the MMP SDK. Correlate releases with any degradation and optimize integration.

Nothing angers users more than a slow, buggy app experience – so watch out for MMP code causing performance hits.

3. Leverage Campaign Templates

Platforms like Kochava provide pre-configured templates for common campaign types like app install, video views etc.

Leverage these as-is initially rather than custom builds to accelerate time-to-value.

4. Alert on Anomalies

Configure alerts for sudden changes like a drop in DAU or suspicious install spikes that may indicate fraud attempts.

The sooner you are notified of anomalies, the quicker you can debug issues.

5. Sync Key Audiences

Identify high-value segments like paying users and configure integration to directly share these with platforms like Facebook Ads for targeting.

Avoid manual exports and uploads. Automate audience syncing to maximize accessibility of data.

With a phased rollout, rigorous monitoring, leveraging pre-built templates, setting alerts, and audience automation, you can ensure your MMP delivers maximum impact.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this guide provided you with a 360-degree view of mobile measurement partners – from what mobile attribution is to why it‘s important, how MMPs deliver it, which platforms to consider, and how to select one and implement it successfully.

Here are my key takeaways for you:

  • Mobile attribution provides indispensable insights – go beyond vanity metrics to optimize user acquisition and growth.

  • MMPs eliminate heavy lifting – leverage their turnkey attribution capabilities vs. building in-house.

  • Take a phased approach – rollout your MMP incrementally to validate impact before expanding.

  • Choose one tailored to your needs – assess factors like network support, fraud protection, and marketing workflow integration.

Adding a robust MMP lays the foundation for you to scale your app efficiently. Measure marketing performance accurately, eliminate wasted spend, improve user journeys, and calculate true LTVs.

I hope you found this guide useful! Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to chat more about attribution, analytics, and other aspects of app marketing.

Good luck!

AlexisKestler

Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.