Not everyone thinks they need attribution. But with 70% of marketers struggling to act on marketing insights in order to generate improvements, attribution clearly plays a key role in mobile marketing by giving users the data they need to make the right decisions. A majority of marketers say that “attribution provides indispensable insight”, so let’s look at why mobile attribution providers (MMPs) are such a key part of modern mobile marketing, and why marketers need attribution after all.
What does an attribution provider do?
Mobile attribution is “the science of matching two data points, such as attributing ad spend to user engagement or installs based on certain variables.” Attribution allows marketers to discover where their users are coming from: some installs might come from video ads in an app, others from social media — it’s attribution that reveals and records that information.
In a sentence, attribution identifies whether a user installs an app after seeing an ad, and then keeps track of how a user behaves after installing the app.
Companies like Adjust, known as ‘mobile-measurement partners’, ‘attribution providers’ or just simply ‘measurement tools’, provide attribution services to advertisers who do any kind of paid marketing for their apps. Our main job is to ‘attribute’ a mobile app install (as well as ‘post-install events’) to the source they come from.
You might question why a third party should be involved. After all, shouldn’t this system just exist between the advertiser and the ad publisher? But there’s a good reason behind this, which we’ll explain.
How attribution works
An app (known as an advertiser) buys traffic on Ad Network A, who then serves an ad to a user’s device. The user clicks on the ad, having become interested in the offer, and are sent to the App Store where the user can (and does) download the app. All of the information, from the network who sent the ad, to the creative, is all saved by an attribution provider, who then reports back to Ad Network A that the click and install have happened.
If Ad Network A and the advertiser didn’t have anyone between them to attribute the install, then the network would effectively control the ad — in effect, it would be like allowing students to grade their own homework. Attribution providers are not only reliable data warehouses, but trusted partners in the ad system that maintain the status quo.
More than a one-trick pony
Attribution providers also usually have a suite of products that augment the marketing stack, such as the ability to:
- Segment and build custom audiences for retargeting campaigns
- Track cohorts (groups of users with common identifiers) and their in-app engagements
- Receive custom callbacks filled with granular app user data
- Utilize and track deep links
- Use combined datasets to optimize ad spend.
The advantages of using a mobile attribution provider, even for single-channel marketers, cannot be overstated.
The 10 advantages of an MMP
- In the world of mobile advertising, we’re Switzerland. Getting your attribution data from the place that bought or sold you an ad is like grading your own homework — it’s impossible to be completely objective. But if you only use the data available to you by publishers, you’re going to run into discrepancies — as different ad networks use different criteria to claim their installs (and your ad budget). This is especially true if you’re running campaigns across multiple platforms.
- Responsible marketing. In most cases, the attribution provider would be responsible for enforcing your standards on performance measurement. For instance, an ad network may try to claim an install even though the user’s last engagement with the ad was weeks before they actually installed the app. Making sure that all installs are measured correctly and consistently is a core part of an attribution provider’s job.
- We provide 100% accuracy. Every engagement that runs through Adjust is attributed via a matching waterfall. We check for only the strongest possible attribution indicators. Our methods are industry approved, transparent, customizable — and right.
- Our business is mobile measurement. Attribution isn’t a product we developed on the side; it’s our bread and butter. We’ve spent years figuring out how to track, measure, and display your campaign ad performance in a single dashboard. Our interface gives you quicker, easier access to a view of all of your data than any single network dashboard with plenty of performance reports giving you the deepest insight into what’s happening with your user base.
- You control how much data you share. We care about privacy, so we built tools to help you keep your data safe, regardless of the partners you want to work with. With Audience Builder, you build your own segments. Find the device identifiers you want to retarget, send that list (and only that list) to your preferred partner, and keep the rest of your data to yourself.
- We fight fraud (so you don’t have to). Our Fraud Prevention Suite knocks out fake installs from the most common types of mobile ad fraud. You’ll never accidentally end up paying for your own organic users. You deserve to only pay for real users. Consider us quality insurance.
- We unify your data. We take all of your data and put it one place. We deduplicate users coming from different sources; you won’t pay for anyone twice. We align the rules and standards of attribution and give you unparalleled access to all of your raw data.
- You make the rules. Want to change an attribution window to better fit your ad campaign goals? Do it. Want reporting in your time zone? We’ve got a toggle for that. Campaign Wizard puts you in control over the campaign logic of each and every campaign you run right down to the adgroup level — manage your redirects, fallbacks and deep links right in the dashboard.
- When you’re ready to scale up, we’re here. When your marketing takes off, we’ll help you take the next step. Everything you need to try out new networks is already set up and waiting for you. We’ll integrate you with any of our over 3,000+ partners with a couple of clicks. It’s never been easier to step outside your comfort zone. When mobile companies are ready to scale, a single network is often no longer enough for user acquisition. One network can only provide so many quality installs from new users. When you’re in hyper-growth mode, the supply is simply outpaced by the demands of a rapidly growing audience. This is why when an app expands, one of their marketing team’s first tasks is to look for new users on new platforms, with the help of trustworthy networks.
- We work in real time. Though it’s not a unified trait among attribution providers, Adjust works in real time, providing marketers with the data they need to act in the moment. For apps that tie their bids around crucial events, or who need to react quickly to changing headwinds, there’s a real need for real-time data — and Adjust provides this, knowing it to be essential for many businesses.
Do you want to learn more about what attribution providers — and, what specifically Adjust — can do? Reach out to us today. We’d be happy to tell you more about how we can fit your exact needs, and what we can offer that you might not have thought of.