App Marketing

How to keep up with attribution in 2018 (and stay sane)

James Haslam
Content Manager

We’ve written over 150 pieces of content over the past year.

That’s articles, ebooks, infographics and more. And with each publication normally comes an indication of small changes in the industry - either something new to learn; or something we really think you should know about.

Adjust has also gone through a lot of change, both because of what the industry has been up to, and in how we’ve been making our own waves with new products, ideas and discussions.

So, we wanted to catch you up on all that’s happened, in one resource (to make it 151, at least.) Below you can find a summary of our biggest three initiatives of 2017, plus a few staff favorites we’ve added to give ourselves a small pat on the back for another successful year.

Measurement 2.0: The next level of sophisticated attribution

Near the beginning of the year we brought out three new products, which were the start of a movement we called ‘Measurement 2.0’. Audience Builder, Real ROI, and hourly data heralded a new approach for us, proving out commitment to doubling down on attribution. Audience Builder brought a new way to segment user profiles previously unseen in the industry, and hourly aggregation also set us apart, allowing clients to get to grips with data on an hourly basis - a feature so dynamic that clients can easily see campaign performance in any timezone, in any active campaign region without potentially affecting their datasets. For more on Audience Builder, view our video below.

As the year progressed, we upgraded a major feature: Campaign Wizard. This tool allows clients the ability to customize campaigns down to the ad-group level (eg. that’s 4 levels of granularity!), allowing better flexibility with our partners. We also made continual enhancements to Audience Builder.

We asked Karel Ellis-Gray, Director of Client Services of EMEA and APAC, about how customers have felt about the year, taking on the feedback the team has received in the region:

“I’m very happy to say from the client services side it has definitely been a year to be proud of.

We made some fundamental changes to the way we structured the teams and interacted with our clients. We’ve invested a lot of time working closely with our clients, ensuring they make the best use of our platform and understanding the data they receive from us.”

“Alongside improving what was already there, 2017 saw the release of a number of key features clients requested to further improve their Adjust integration. The time zone feature was long missing from our arsenal, and something we finally released early in the year. This was very warmly received by clients across the globe, especially throughout APAC.

“Audience Builder was announced  at the beginning of the year. Working closely with our Beta clients, we were able to fully roll it out; now, numerous clients have created segments to help retarget their most valuable users.”

Getting the fundamental knowledge of mobile attribution

We’ve spent a lot of the last year defining attribution, not only with our product, but with our content too.

If you want to get started from step one, our guide to the essentials of mobile attribution is the best place to begin. It’s an incredibly in-depth look at what attribution is, and goes into great detail about the entire ecosystem.

You can also find more on our YouTube channel

Mobile ad fraud: Leading the fight against fraud

There’s not been a bigger topic than fraud in 2017. It’s an issue we’re fighting with increasing frequency, and it remains a looming threat on the industry at large.

Fortunately, we’ve been industry leaders in taking the fight to the fraudsters - not just with talk, but with real action. We’ve been combating fraud as far back as it’s been a problem, and have been doing so with an advanced fraud prevention toolset that prevents fraud from the source, not by simply notifying you after the fact.

We also launched the Coalition Against Ad Fraud. Known as the CAAF, the Coalition is our strongest anti-fraud partnership initiative yet. Big name partners such as ApplLift and LiftOff are members of the scheme, designed to bring leaders in the industry together to fight the problem of ad fraud by deciding, together, on the best ways of doing so.

Our in-house ad fraud expert, Andreas Naumann had this to say: “After bringing attribution fraud in the form of click spam to the industry's attention in 2016, and providing a prevention method in the same year, we repeated this success by doing the same against click injections in 2017.”

Andreas also added, “There is going to be more innovation in fraud detection and fraud prevention in 2018, and a lot more education will be needed to get everyone up to speed. This will help everyone make educated decisions on the risks and benefits of buying from different channels.”

Ad fraud essentials

Ad fraud can often feel like a completely overwhelming topic - it’s such a complex problem, after all. So, here are three must-reads that will clue you into what mobile ad fraud is really about. Below you’ll also find a video from our most recent Mobile Spree, with a panel full of insight.

An Expert’s Guide to Mobile Ad Fraud: Where does fraud come from?

Our ad fraud white paper goes into great detail about the sources of fraud, helping readers understand the problem in simple terms.

Why filtering short click to install times isn't the answer

Around the time of publication, there were many who sold filtering as the method to fraud prevention (or detection, in many cases). Here, Andreas explains exactly why that isn’t the case.

Mobile ad fraud defined

Jump over to our glossary to see the definitive… definition of mobile ad fraud.

And you can also find our latest talks on the topic on YouTube

Fraud on the blog

We haven’t stopped talking about fraud on the blog - here’s a collection of our best fraud focused articles from 2017.

Fraud case studies

This case study with Viber focuses entirely on fraud, and looks at how effective the Fraud Prevention Suite can be.

Fraud glossary terms

Here you’ll find definitions for key fraud terms we produced this past year.

Staff favorites

This is the point where Marne and I get to talk a little bit about the pieces we’re most proud of writing. We’ve produced a lot, not just in blog posts; concise product updates, mammoth guides, and a lot of stuff you’ll never see. But, until now, we haven’t highlighted which pieces we think are the most useful, or the ones we’re simply the happiest with writing. You can find the top five below.

Audience segmentation: Four use cases from our clients

This is Marne’s first favorite:“it’s very informative, and tells detailed stories about how our customers actually use Audience Builder to make their lives easier.”

Discrepancies: Why doesn't data always match up?

One of my favorite pieces focuses on every single type of discrepancy that can occur between Adjust’s data and on those of other platforms. It offers useful insight for clients who always find themselves questioning differing data.

Why is mobile attribution in China so hard?

In this post you can learn lots about the hurdles attribution companies face when it comes measurement in China.

How we built Campaign Wizard using Feature Teams

My other top blog contribution involves telling the story of how we build our products. Feature teams have become a core pillar of how Adjust works together across all departments.

How Angry Birds 2 Became Rovio’s Most Profitable Game

Finally, Marne takes us back to Mobile Spree for Rovio’s discussion about Angry Birds 2. It's a good story about recovering from failure, well told by Ville Heijari, the company’s CMO.

A look to the year ahead

We don’t want to make too many predictions. Instead, we’re focusing more on the certainties. As Andreas mentioned, fraud is sure to rise in 2018. Privacy will also become an bigger focus for businesses, especially with the incorporation of the GDPR on May 25th, 2018. Finally, we’re sure that marketers will grow more confident with using retargeting as a means to attract the users they want - though that’s not to say that new user acquisition will ever be out of focus.

But those are the obvious trends, a lot can happen within the year. So, beyond broad predictions, let’s take a look at one big change Adjust is going to bring to the industry in 2018, with our Ad Spend API.

Paul Müller, Adjust’s CTO, announced the Ad Spend API during our second Mobile Spree conference in San Francisco in early October. The initiative - a groundbreaker in the industry - is built to give mobile advertisers their broken down ad spend data, providing real insight into the true costs of paid marketing campaigns.

It will work like this: let’s say an advertiser runs 50 different ad campaigns with a network, and wants to check the cost of these campaigns. The “cost data” that the network currently supplies would be the total cost of acquisition, essentially an aggregated number. So, even if one user cost $4 to acquire, and another cost $40, the network would send the total: $44, not a broken down sum.

With the Ad Spend API, this advertiser would be able to track and calculate the per-device, non-aggregated cost paid at the time of acquisition - for each and every user who comes in through a paid channel. So they would know which user cost what, and where they came from.

The initiative would essentially give an incredible amount of control to advertisers, with which they would be able to run more effective campaigns with.

We asked Paul about the progress of the API, and he had this to say: “We are very pleased with the first results of our new Ad Spend API. The partners that have joined us so far deliver an unprecedented insight into the ROI of their campaigns.”

“For 2018, we will pursue our initiative to add as many networks as possible, as fast as possible. The goal is nothing less than a 100 percent coverage of ad spend for our clients. Establishing a new standard is never easy, but we believe the market is ready for this change and we are willing to drive it.”

The API is just one of many industry advances in the works. Follow our product update channel to find out what’s released, as it happens.

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