Choosing the Best App Attribution Platform for Your Mobile App

Best App Attibution Platforms

It’s time to say goodbye to your gut – at least in the context of your marketing efforts. Today’s marketing is increasingly data-focused, allowing you to make decisions based on cold, hard numbers rather than that illusive “feeling”. This approach wields results, with companies that use data to intensively analyse their customer base 23 times more likely to outperform competitors on customer acquisition.  

App attribution platforms are part of this, designed to bring clarity to the true impact of your marketing spend.  And in this uncertain economic climate, proving Return on Investment (ROI) has never been more important. 

So what is an app attribution platform?

Simply put, an app attribution platform tracks app installs and user engagement. By integrating your marketing campaigns with the attribution platform, you can attribute installs and other in-app events to specific marketing activities, and begin to build a picture of what works – and crucially, what does not. 

Over time, this increases the effectiveness of your marketing budget, as you finetune your spending towards only those activities with real impact. By using an app attribution platform, you base your decisions on facts not feelings.

App attribution is provided through Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs). The MMP is  a more comprehensive tool that offers attribution, analytics and optimisation features to help you maximise the ROI of your larger mobile marketing campaigns. Picking the right one for your business is key – and help with that is just a short scroll down the page.

But first…

Why is an app attribution platform important for your app?

TL;DR? Data.

An app attribution platform provides data on where your clicks and installs are coming from to help you make more informed decisions, more quickly. This means a more effective use of your marketing budget –  mobile apps that use attribution have a 30% higher ROI compared to those that do not. 

Specifically, app attribution:

  1. Informs marketing optimisation

Imagine you’ve increased your installs 100% in one day, but on that day you’ve launched a brand new Google Ads campaign targeting a new audience as well as tweaked the copy on your Facebook advert. To which one do you attribute your success? An app attribution platform allows you to track unique links for each activity, so you can get a clear answer to this problem. 

  1. Makes tracking easier

 The more sophisticated your paid-for marketing, the greater the number of campaigns you’re likely to have in play. An MMP makes it easy to track and analyse each of these, so you can funnel your budget towards what works. 

  1. Increases Return on Investment

By monitoring the whole user journey, through engagement and drop-off rates, you’ll begin to understand what needs improving to reduce churn and increase retention,  increasing your customer Lifetime Value (LTV).

  1. Provides the true picture

Many paid-advertising platforms are self-attributing, which can lead to… less than accurate performance numbers. An app attribution platform is a third-party tool that prevents this, so you can be confident in the data you see. 

  1. Regain iOS visibility

When Apple introduced their privacy-centric aggregated attribution framework SKAdNetwork, app marketers lost valuable insight into user behaviour and campaign performance. App attribution partners have built methods of attributing which provides you with maximum visibility while adhering to Apple privacy requirements, so you can optimise your Apple Search Ads and iOS performance.

What should you consider when picking an MMP?

Here are the questions you should ask yourself before choosing your marketing weapon:

  • How much budget am I willing to devote to attribution? Given the positive impact it can have on your subsequent marketing efforts, it might be more than you initially set out. 
  • How many users do I currently have, and how is this likely to change in the next 6/12/ 24 months? With many platforms you pay per conversion, so you may need to increase your plan as you grow.
  • Which ad networks and marketing channels do I need the tool to integrate with? Is this likely to change in the future? 
  • Does the tool offer fraud detection? Mobile ad fraud can mean paying for clicks that never reach real users which is wasted ad spend.
  • Are the reports easy to understand and useful for my needs? It’s worth considering which team members will be accessing this tool, and how comfortable they are working with data. 
  • Does it support deep linking? This delivers users to specific in-app content from wherever they are. If they already have the app, that happens automatically, or if they don’t have it, they’re brought to the app store so that they install and launch it, after which the relevant in-app content will be displayed.

So what are your options? We’ve outlined some of the most popular tools, detailed below in alphabetical order.

Adjust

Why we like it: Adjust is a comprehensive MMP that provides accurate and reliable mobile app tracking. It has an easy to use user interface and offers a flexible pricing model based on the volume of data you track. 

There are some great new features, such as ‘Assist’, which helps source channels that have assisted with conversions. This can really help marketers add value to their channel mix when the platform data may suggest otherwise. They also have a budget planner with mixed media modelling, which helps you make better decisions when it comes to budget allocation.

Key features:

  • Flexible pricing structure.
  • Easy to use.
  • Market leading new tools available.

Best suited to: The pricing makes it more accessible to smaller businesses than some other MMPs.

Appsflyer

Why we like it: Appsflyer is the market leading MMP, offering an extremely comprehensive service and a large proportion of the market share as a result. In terms of size and scale, Appsflyer invests heavily in R&D so tends to be the first to react to any new developments in the mobile marketing world.

Key features

  • Leading market tool.
  • Most advanced and complete data set up.

Best suited to: Clients with slightly higher budgets due to the fixed pricing structure, which can become somewhat prohibitively expensive to smaller companies.

Branch

Why we like it: Branch is an MMP that is particularly known for its powerful deep linking capabilities, which can be incredibly useful in both engagement and retention, allowing you to drive users to specific app content and engage them with personalised experiences. It’s one of the most recognisable names in the MMP game, focusing on providing a solid offering rather than a constant stream of new features. 

Key features:

  • Deep linking capabilities.
  • Web to App solutions.

Best suited to: Businesses that are looking for a combined measurement and deep linking solution.

Kochava

Why we like it: Kochava is an MMP that provides powerful capabilities on exploring your data in a particularly granular way.  It’s an enterprise-level mobile attribution platform that bills itself as “The Marketers Operating System”, designed to be leveraged across a portfolio of digital properties rather than just one app. 

Key features:

  • Granular attribution.
  • Universal integration – Kochava SDK allows businesses to integrate their mobile app data across multiple platforms.
  • Advanced identity resolution capabilities.

Best suited to: Due to the relatively complicated set up of the platform, Kochava is probably best suited to a team that has a robust technical support side with experience of integrating new platforms into their tech stack.

Singular

Why we like it: Singular is a relatively small, non-legacy MMP that puts a big focus on fraud prevention.  It has integrations with over 2,500 partners, giving you access to a wide range of marketing channels, so you can optimise your advertising spend for maximum ROI.

Key features:

  • Market leading fraud prevention.
  • Machine learning-based predictive analytics.

Best suited to: Companies that are particularly interested in predictive data and automation, while focusing on fraud prevention.

We’re big advocates of data-based decision making here at Yodel, but in order for it to work, the data you use must be robust. Here’s where MMPs shine, allowing you to pull valuable insights so you can confidently plan your marketing based on their behaviour. The range of tools on the market means that there’s something for businesses of every size, making the only remaining question: when are you going to integrate app attribution into your marketing efforts?

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Smokehouse Yard, 44-46, St John Street, London, EC1M 4DF 🇬🇧