Mobile attribution in China: How Adjust gets it right
Product Content Strategist
Posted May 15, 2017
As of this May, Adjust supports native measurement in China. For app marketers looking to take their first steps east, a mobile attribution solution that’s simultaneously neutral, reliable and speedy is a welcome helping hand. The sheer number of Chinese smartphone users - coupled together with a greater tech savviness - means huge opportunities for international companies looking to break into the Chinese market. However, the Great Firewall, privacy and piracy issues and a fragmented mobile ecosystem all present significant obstacles to most outsiders.
Recently we published the first post in our series on what makes attribution in China so hard; today we’re talking about how Adjust’s new capabilities can help your app overcome each one.
Problem #1: Slow and spotty at the Great Firewall
China’s Golden Shield project - known widely as the ‘Great Firewall’ - is a censor that stops traffic to blacklisted websites or specific pages/IP addresses. It bans many social networking sites and filters out banned keywords in order to control content Chinese internet users would otherwise have access to. The Wall slows user experience to such an extent that it can be impossible to tell whether you’re experiencing an actual connectivity issue or if you’re trying to access a banned site.
Another effect of the Wall is that it limits bandwidth available for all external traffic, including international apps. It can effectively destroy an international app’s user experience, causing images and videos to timeout, slow down redirects and tracker links to a crawl (or drop them entirely) or cause users to try the app once and never open it again (which is likely why 37 percent of Chinese smartphone users report having an app they’ve only opened once), wrecking your retention rate.
We’ve created a direct connection with dedicated bandwidth to China. With some clever tech, we’re able to guarantee reliable, fast traffic. How fast? 200 millisecond latency with a success rate of 100 percent. Adjust is 5x faster than foreign competitors and 25 percent faster than local solutions. This means that if someone wants to talk to Adjust’s servers from China, they’re able to communicate with us even better than if we were their next-door neighbor.
Problem #2: Where’s Google Play when you need it?
In China, where Android commands over 86 percent of the smartphone market, the experience of purchasing an app is quite different than it is in the US or EU. There is no single app store with the breadth or market share of the Google Play Store; instead, there are hundreds of smaller stores, and each functions as its own ad network (many provide attribution as well).
One of the largest stores, Tencent App Gem, has 700m monthly users on its WeChat messaging app. Others, like D.cn (Dang Le in Chinese), focus on a specific vertical - in this case, games. This can be problematic for international companies because getting into each app store requires its own infrastructure, meaning extra time-consuming work to build individual APKs for each one. In addition to the work it takes to customize an app for each store, the attribution data that then filters in is scattered, making it near-impossible to view your data in a single dashboard. Imagine trying to get an overview of your best performing creative assets when you have six or fifty or two hundred dashboards to look at - not especially user-friendly.
Adjust’s support for mobile attribution in China comes with an APK duplicator. For international companies, this means a single, one-time SDK integration with Adjust that automatically builds a new APK for you when you need it. This means that you set up all of your events once, and then Adjust tracks every campaign you run without filling your plate with heavy, backend work.
We also decided to offer an SDK integration rather than a server-to-server setup in order to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with the latter; SDK integrations are both more reliable and provide attribution with a bit more color to it, capturing more information (such as accurate timestamps and location-based information).
All of your campaign data will be filtered into one high-powered dashboard. This means that you can do a variety of things that were previously quite tricky across multiple app stores. With it, you can analyze lifetime value, retention, ROI or any other user trend. You can also sync your data to any platform, or business intelligence system. You can even segment your users across all app stores in order to send targeted push or in-app messages, without compromising sensitive data. Adjust will also automatically de-duplicate your users, so you’ll never pay for the same user twice, no matter how they arrived in your app.
Problem #3: Neutrality and privacy
Some local mobile attribution providers in China take a different approach to data property, and profit from selling data. There is also the problem that many of the stores that offer attribution services are just that - stores. This means that app marketers are paying to advertise from the same place they receive their attribution data from. So far, neutral entities in China have been scarce.
Adjust is a neutral, third-party attribution solution and a global leader in fighting mobile ad fraud. Our Fraud Prevention Suite offers real-time protection, meaning that fake user activity is rejected straightaway - before you pay for it. Adjust stops fake payments, fights click spamming, and filters out IP addresses that are unlikely to belong to real users, meaning that you’ll protect your budget and keep your KPIs safe.
Adjust will never sell your data - on the contrary - tools like individualized permissions and our Audience Builder allow you to refine and control the data you share with your colleagues and partners, so you know exactly who has access. We also use our own servers, rather than cloud-based solutions, to give you peace of mind.
Adjust is the only mobile measurement partner to meet global security standards. We are EU Privacy Compliant and have passed rigorous legal and security audits to earn the ePrivacy Seal.
Curious about how companies are already using Adjust in China? Keep your eyes on the blog for upcoming case studies with Chinese and international partners, or contact us to find out more!