How To Choose A Mobile Attribution Platform

appsflyer, adjust, tuneGreetings everyone!

My name is Olga and I am a Business Development Manager at Tapgerine. As I mainly work with direct advertisers — app developers — so far I’ve had plenty of experience with tools that measure the effectiveness of various marketing activities. In this article, I’d like to share some of my own insights.

Being mobile app marketers, we know that user acquisition is one of the most important aspects of promotion. The ability to control and measure marketing effectiveness is a key ingredient in understanding which marketing activities and campaigns are the most profitable ones.

Mobile attribution platform and tracking tools allow you to control data point for each action a user takes on their journey from clicking on an ad to making any following actions within the app.

How does tracking of mobile app work and how to get started?

 

There are some basic things you need to know before you go public with an app.

In order to track the installation and opening of an app, you will need to insert a conversion pixel. As soon as the user conducts desired actions, the pixel is fired and notifies the tracking system.

SDK (Software Development Kit).

Although there are many forms of these kits with different functions, in our case it is a piece of code that allows the application to communicate with attribution provider servers. This is how you can get attribution data in real time.

mobile attribution platform setup
A part of the AppsFlyer SDK guide for iOS

Mostly SDKs are open-source and available for free. Moreover, you can edit, modify and improve it to meet your app’s needs. Take a look at SDKs of the most popular tracking systems at GitHub.

Once you’ve made all the adjustments you need you can get access to the whole pipeline measuring post-install events like registrations, in-app purchases, tutorial completion or level achievements.

Overall, it will give you all necessary information about:

  • How many users have installed and which no less important uninstalled the app
  • How many of these users are really active
  • How do users interact and engage within the app
  • Which channel generates the most active and payable users
mobile attribution platform report
A section of TUNE’s guide

 

Don’t try to track everything.

Choose the most important actions that could give you an insight on how users interact with your app. This will allow you to evaluate the efficiency of each marketing channel and be smart and consistent about optimizing the processes.

Third-party mobile attribution services

Although there are many mobile attribution platform and services that have all the essential functions, I’ve chosen the most popular ones with years of proven record and hundreds of clients, as well as supported ad-networks. To be honest, these companies’ tools go far beyond traffic attribution, covering in-app analytics, app store analytics, mobile fraud prevention systems and furthermore.

To get the idea of what mobile analytics companies can do for your advertising needs, let’s take a look at their main features.

AppsFlyer
Adjust
Tune
Kochava

fraud prevention

+++ +++ + ++

tech support

+++ +++ +++ +++

sharable analytics

no no yes

yes

Certified Mobile Measurement Partner Cheetah Mobile, Gett, Skyscanner, The Weather Channel Spotify, Zynga, Rovio, Miniclip Uber, Lyft, Supercell

Disney, MZ, Big Fish

cost data&ROI yes yes yes

yes

revenue

yes yes yes yes

DAU&MAU

yes yes yes

yes

retention rate yes yes yes

yes

LTV

yes yes yes

yes

real-time traffic verification

yes yes no

yes

audience builder

yes yes yes

yes

raw data

yes yes yes

yes

pricing

ranges from $0.03 to $0.05 non-organic installs/month n/a free

has free and additional paid features

demo 30 days free trial yes yes

yes


If you want to get a more detailed comparison, there’s no need to invent a bicycle. Saikala Sultanova — Director of User Acquisition at Ubisoft and Co-Founder of the UA Society — has shared a comprehensive checklist of 40+requirements for attribution partners. You can check it here.

Final Thoughts

Employing these tools, you can always keep an eye on your campaign performance, react timely and prevent many problems.

When making a choice between popular software, be sure to concentrate on the particular KPIs you need to track. These tools, however handy they may be, can’t guarantee your success and will still require you to be very attentive with your in-house analytics.

Track your KPIs, be patient and choose reliable partners to eliminate most issues that come with the app marketing processes.

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