Trends & Insights
Why a Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) is an App Marketing Must-Have
December 16, 2022
Dana Kang

On average, Americans check their phones 344 times a day, or once every 4 minutes. Shocking or relatable? However you feel, this means precisely one thing to mobile app marketers: limitless opportunities. The more often potential users are on their devices, the more likely they are to come across a product and be persuaded to try it out.

In this sense, mobile app marketing may sound like a piece of cake; after all, who could spend a day without using a single app? However, success never comes easy. There is a lot on a mobile app marketer’s plate, from creating engaging content to analyzing target audiences and running paid ad campaigns to reach potential users. And above all, it’s important to always reflect on past performance and develop future strategies.

This is why a mobile measurement partner (MMP) is a must. In this article, we’ll briefly talk about what MMP is and take a closer look at why mobile app marketers need an MMP.

What is a mobile measurement partner?

An MMP is a third-party attribution tool that collects data to determine which touchpoint takes credit for each conversion. By offering an SDK that can be integrated into an app, an MMP collects data across various channels and numerous devices. Then, it uses its attribution logic to tie campaign engagements (e.g. impressions, clicks) with target events (e.g. installs, sign-ups, purchases). This way, an MMP delivers a unified overview of mobile app marketing performance.

There are different frameworks, or attribution models, for analyzing the value of a touchpoint in a conversion path. The last-touch attribution model, which gives 100% of the credit to the single last touchpoint, has been widely accepted as the industry standard. However, because it overlooks the earlier touchpoints that could have had an incremental impact, the multi-touch attribution model has risen in importance.

Why do you need a mobile measurement partner?

Mobile attribution, a ticket to effective marketing

As explained above, an MMP creates a whole picture of app advertising and shows whether marketing efforts are paying off. The ultimate goal of a marketer is to generate revenue and contribute to the profitability of the overall business. For this, two things need to be done: optimizing ad spend and boosting marketing ROI.

Mobile attribution pinpoints the value of specific channels, campaigns, and creatives. Based on this information, marketers can determine where to prioritize and where not to. For instance, if your video ads brought you less users than your display ads with the same budget over the same period, it could be a smarter move to invest more in the latter moving forward. Or else, if you are working with an MMP that provides incrementality measurement, you would be able to identify which specific element of your marketing has caused a conversion to occur. Then, you can reallocate resources accordingly and enhance budget efficiency.

In short, measuring mobile app marketing performance is at the heart of effective marketing. By understanding which channel, campaign, or creative is contributing most to your performance, you can make a better use of your budget. At the same time, an MMP equips you with data-driven insights that give you a higher chance of optimizing your campaigns. By engaging the right audience through the right channel with the right creative, you’ll be able to improve LTV as well as ROI.

Handling the intricacies of mobile attribution

We have seen why marketing measurement is indispensable to attaining business success. However, you might still be wondering why it has to be an MMP that does the job.

While there are many marketing analytics tools available in the market, MMPs stand out in that they are specialized in monitoring the mobile environment. Barely a decade ago, a majority of marketers relied on Google Analytics to capture user behaviors and find top sources of traffic to their websites. Cookies, UTM parameters, and referrers came into play for this kind of web tracking.

By definition, mobile attribution is the same as web attribution. However, the methodologies differ because mobile user journeys are fragmented across platforms. When trying to install an app, a mobile user has to move from mobile web or mobile app to an app market. In this process, user identification is lost because app markets essentially operate as closed ecosystems. Marketers do not have the right to access user data, and consequently, it becomes much trickier to track whether the mobile user has actually installed the app after interacting with an ad.

For this reason, many mobile app marketers implement an MMP, a tool developed specifically for mobile attribution. Fortunately, a reliable attribution tool like Airbridge allows you to look into campaigns without missing out on any relevant data. To put it another way, using an MMP, you can have a comprehensive and accurate analysis of your marketing performance, which is the prerequisite to mobile growth.

An impartial arbitrator in the complicated world of advertising

Let’s go back to the example of video ads and display ads. Assume a mobile user saw your video ad but ignored it. The user then came across a display ad the next day, clicked on it, and installed your app. If your chosen attribution model is the last-touch, the channel where your display ad was on should get all the credit and charge you for the install. The problem is, if you’re not using an MMP, there’s a chance that both channels claim credit because ad networks only see their own touches. You might end up paying double the cost you are accountable for.

Between advertisers and media, an MMP serves as a trusted third-party that conducts a fair assessment of marketing performance. It indicates which touchpoint should receive credit for driving a conversion, and thus, how efficiently you are managing your marketing budget. Independent of all other stakeholders in the advertising world, an attribution provider is the single accurate source of unbiased data that adds confidence to your decisions.

Acting as an objective and authoritative judge, an MMP also helps with distinguishing between right and wrong. According to Interceptd, 25% of Android app installs and 31% of iOS app installs are fraudulent. In addition, ad fraud costs the ad-tech industry billions of dollars annually, and the loss increases as the mobile ad spend grows. Ad fraud is such a pervasive issue that could seriously affect your marketing budget, and you need strong weapons to fight against it.

The good news is that an MMP has the resources and expertise to deal with it. For instance, Airbridge monitors fraudulent activities in real-time to track down suspicious anomalies such as click injection and click spamming. It also provides fraud detection reports so that marketers can evaluate their media sources without bias and without favor. This way, they can pay only for real conversions, avoid double- or triple-charging, and discover true sources of growth.

Securing time and resources for things that matter

Imagine going back and forth between heaps of spreadsheets, sparing countless resources and many hours chasing and downloading data. If this gives you a headache, you need an MMP.

A mobile attribution tool greatly improves marketing efficiency by providing a unified overview of your performance. It collects all your campaign data and combines it into a single dashboard, making it more convenient to analyze results across channels, platforms, and devices. With this streamlined view of data, you can unlock insights to bring better quality users and generate revenue.

All this is possible thanks to universal SDKs. Each MMP provides its own SDK to measure and attribute for all relevant media sources at once. For example, with the Google Ads SDK, you can only measure performance on Google whereas with the Airbridge SDK, you can track performance on Google, TikTok, Apple, etc. Offering just a single SDK, an MMP connects marketers to the entire mobile ecosystem while reducing room for error through automated data import.

Furthermore, mobile app marketers need the single universal SDK to effectively scale their efforts. The process of adding new SDKs for each ad platform and manually implementing postbacks puts burden on mobile apps with unnecessary codes, incurs cost, and drains technical resources. Without an MMP, it would take much longer to review your marketing performance, eventually resulting in negative impacts on your app’s success.

Mobile attribution, reinforced with deep linking

Deep linking, the action of redirecting users to a specific in-app page, is an essential element of the growth strategy today. You can improve user experience by allowing users to directly access the content they are interested in within an app, rather than having to navigate through it themselves. This makes it more likely that users will engage with the app.

Deep linking can also win higher conversion rate and retention rate. By sending users to the right destination instead of uniformly redirecting to the app’s home page, marketers can create seamless user journeys and increase the chances that users will complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service. All of these contribute to enhanced LTV and ROI.

Above all, MMPs have deep linking capabilities to allow marketers to accurately track the source of conversions. Deep links not only drive engagement but also provide rich insights into each campaign’s performance which can be used to optimize future strategy. Mobile attribution and deep linking are deeply intertwined, and thus, you should look for a robust mobile app marketing platform that provides both.

Breaking through iOS 14.5+ and privacy changes

Since the implementation of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, a majority of iOS users have opted out of app tracking. This means that SKAdNetwork (SKAN) has become an integral part of iOS campaign measurement.

While SKAN has been received with both skepticism and applause within the industry, it is indisputable that the approach poses challenges to marketers who are more familiar with the traditional way of measurement. Without access to the user’s IDFA by default, mobile app marketers have to rethink how to measure and optimize their campaigns.

This is where MMPs come into play. The SKAN postback includes 6-bit binary conversion values containing data about installs, reinstalls, and post-install user activities. Using an MMP, you can tie these different pieces of information with numbers between 0 and 63. Airbridge, in addition, provides the most commonly used schemes as presets, making it easier to choose a conversion value mapping option that best fits your app. What’s more, you can view both SKAN and non-SKAN attribution data on one unified dashboard.

Any marketer with an app needs an MMP

A marketing tech stack is incomplete without an MMP because it has so much value to deliver that is critical to effective marketing, revenue generation, and ultimately, mobile growth. By collecting data from multiple sources with just one SDK, an MMP greatly saves the time and resources required to understand your mobile app marketing performance. In addition, there are many other core features that help, from deep linking to audience manager and anti-fraud technologies.

If you would like to learn more about what an MMP can do for you specifically for your app business, or if you’ve got concerns about your marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to our team of marketing experts and have a chat.

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Dana Kang
Product Marketing Manager
Dana is Airbridge’s Product Marketing Manager. Responsible for Airbridge’s blog, social media, and newsletter, she is passionate about building brand visibility through data-driven content.
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