Author, April Tayson
In an increasingly complex mobile environment, marketers need data they can rely on, and finding the right attribution provider can help you save money and grow your app.
Gone are the days when digital marketers were content with knowing the demographics of their audience and whether they were downloading apps via Android or iOS. Today, the right attribution provider will provide you with a digital trail of breadcrumbs that tells the story of how you got your users, where they came from, how and when they interacted with your app, and—most importantly—the best way to build relationships with more users.
But finding the right attribution provider is not always easy – so let’s explore the path to finding the right attribution provider, starting at the very beginning.
Attribution: The Basics
Stated simply, attribution is about gathering the right information to help you make more informed decisions about how best to market your app — and which acquisition sources prove most fruitful at every stage of the funnel. For example, Indonesia’s largest parenting app Teman Bumil uncovered the aspects of their app and marketing efforts that were drawing users in by tracking all of their touchpoints with users along their journey. The analysed data was shared with the product team, digital marketing and the tech team, which has empowered Teman Bumil to develop features based on knowledge of what keeps users coming back to the app, and optimise the user journey to draw them further into the app for longer sessions. This has also opened new paths for partnerships and monetisation for the company.
To maximise revenue, minimise costs and reduce risk, today’s mobile marketers need attribution providers that can provide breadth and depth in a safe, fraud-free environment. No two providers are the same. Each offers a different combination of options and features. When considering the various options though, this checklist of key considerations should help marketers make an informed choice.
What You Need from an Attribution Provider: A Checklist
Make sure your attribution provider is completely neutral and 100% accurate. An attribution provider that also sells advertising space, sales data or promotes third-party products erodes trust with users. In addition, you want to be able to rely on your mobile attribution data to make sound decisions. That means that each action should be counted once: one data point, per event, per person. This ensures that you are paying only once for each event.
For Southeast Asian tech unicorn Traveloka, this accuracy of attribution data is essential to building a complete view of their users, from which they have been able to “marry different touchpoints of a user’s journey – across mobile and desktop – when creating marketing programs.” The company says that by having a more complete view of their users, they have been able to increase their marketing team’s efficiency by 30%.
Make sure your attribution provider is connected to the major publishers and integrated with your most important ad partners. If you’re spending money on a channel, you want to make sure that your attribution provider can access data on that channel for your campaigns. If you don’t have this access, you’re not going to get full value from the data that will let you know which networks are working best. In addition, marketers considering expanding overseas should be sure to choose a vendor that has a global network and strong partnerships around the world.
Make sure you have ready and frequent access to data, so you can compare past and current campaigns. Data should be stored long enough that you’re able to access it to help you make decisions. The ability to go back to your data also ensures that you’re able to track user journeys and behaviour over time. In addition, make sure your provider delivers all your organic data free of charge and doesn’t limit the number of data queries you can make.
Do your due diligence to make sure the company is able to not only detect but also prevent fraud. If a provider can only detect fraud, then you’re a step behind the fraudsters. You’ll pay for fraudulent traffic and then the onus will be on you to build a case for a refund from your ad network. This can hinder you long-term as well; without active prevention, your data will be skewed and, ultimately, both meaningless and misleading.
Working with a provider that actively prevents fraud has been invaluable to Zalora, the fashion e-commerce platform that serves seven markets across APAC – “It has saved us a lot of time in searching for suspicious activity and also asking for refunds. It’s now a lot more convenient to track suspicious activity and we don’t need to spend days trying to prove something.”
Finally, choose a provider that can ensure data privacy. Attribution providers that are certified by the ePrivacy group in the EU or the Privacy Shield group in the United States offer peace of mind to marketers who must follow privacy regulations or risk major fines.
Take your selection of an attribution provider seriously. Mobile marketing is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years and you need to be able to effectively scale along with that growth. According to the GMSA, the number of unique mobile subscriptions is projected to reach 5.7 billion in 2020 — that’s 73% of the world’s population! The GMSA further indicates that mobile contributions to global GDP are at $3.3 trillion. There’s big money in apps and many players are working hard to get their piece of it — including fraudsters. Partnering with the right attribution provider can help you move forward with confidence, knowing your data is sound and your budget is being spent wisely.
April Tayson is the Director, Southeast Asia at Adjust