It’s a question that sits top of mind for every mobile marketer – “How do I know if adding another mobile network will actually drive additional value, or if the same partners are on each network and driving up my cost?”  For every dollar you put into your app’s CPI campaign, are you getting a dollar’s worth of value? Or are you simply bidding against yourself and cannibalizing your marketing efforts?

Thankfully, there’s a solution to identify cannibalization within your mobile marketing mix. When executed correctly, it allows brands to more clearly identify duplicative partners between mobile networks that are not driving additional value. Once these duplicates are removed, brands can enjoy a more efficient marketing spend throughout their campaigns.

Partner Cannibalization & Why It Matters

On the most basic level, partner cannibalization is the idea that adding additional partners to a marketing mix may take away traffic from the existing partner base. By decreasing cannibalization between partners, advertisers can more clearly show the amount of lift that can be attributed back to each mobile partner and reduce unnecessary costs associated with this duplicative traffic. When partners run in multiple networks, it often causes brands to bid against themselves and drive up the CPI or CPE costs.

Identifying Partner Cannibalization

The last thing you want to do is waste more dollars on duplicative traffic, so being able to identify and remove partner cannibalization quickly is important. At Ignite OPM, the confidence in our ability to indicate when there is overlapping traffic between partners comes down to our advanced compliance team. Our compliance solution combines our proprietary, ML-technology with our experienced compliance specialists to monitor partners across all sources to help reduce cannibalization. The most common ways to identify cannibalization include:

Shift in Partner Installs

The most obvious identifier of cannibalization is when a new partner joins a mobile program and you see an existing partner’s traffic decrease at the same rate that the new partner’s traffic increases. If these two partners are in different networks, it most likely means that it is the same partner and you are bidding against yourself in the marketplace. In the rare case that these partners are in the same network and showing this behavior, it most likely means the two different partners are buying from the same source, bidding against each other and driving up each other’s costs. When they drive up each other’s cost, it ultimately will drive up your cost for that traffic. By layering on partners in a deliberate and strategic manner, you can identify and remove this behavior quickly.

Publisher Fingerprinting

Ignite’s proprietary ML-technology analyzes thousands of non PII data points that create a digital signature of each partner. These digital signatures allow our compliance team to identify partners that utilize multiple networks and then remove them to reduce overlapping traffic.

Sudden Decrease in Conversion Rate

When a brand sees a sudden decrease in conversion rate across the board, that could mean saturation in the marketplace. This may occur when a brand is working with too many mobile networks, which may be cannibalizing each others’ efforts. When this occurs, it may be time to scale back the number of networks. At Ignite OPM, we generally recommend clients work with no more than 3-5 quality mobile networks at a time to reach 99% of the mobile eco-system, while minimizing overlap and saturation.

Click Spamming/ Click Flooding

When high clicks with elongated, erratic CTIT (click-to install-time) and low conversion rates occur, click spamming or click flooding is most likely the culprit. This fraud will directly cannibalize both paid and organic traffic. Although these are real conversions, they are stealing traffic from legitimate partners.

Click Injection

Only occurring on Androids, click injection is when a fraudulent app puts fake clicks on a phone and proceeds to steal organic or paid traffic. To identify click injection, our fraud protection technology looks at click-to-install-times that occur significantly faster than normal, typically less than 10 seconds.

Although the above list includes reactive ways to combat cannibalization, brands can also proactively reduce this behavior by finding mobile publishers that offer vastly different traffic sources than their existing publisher mix. At Ignite OPM, we’ve created relationships with mobile performance partners that drive display, programmatic, in-app, direct carrier, social, content, loyalty, and search on a CPI or CPE basis. Having a balance of different types of traffic allows brands to reach users in different ways, expand their mobile net, and minimize the potential for cannibalization.

Consolidating Your Mobile Performance Efforts

Consistently, we’ve seen through accurate and swift identification of cannibalization, paid CPI/CPE campaigns prove their value and are key to driving quality and scalable traffic. To help identify cannibalization in the complex mobile ecosystem, consolidating your CPI management under one roof is a huge asset. An experienced mobile Account Manager can take your various partners, scale them while monitoring baselines and behavior, address partners cannibalizing traffic, compare KPIs between partners, then direct and scale traffic to drive the highest quality sources among partners. 

Consolidating the management of your CPI/CPE efforts with a trusted provider means you get clean, valuable traffic faster, which means you can devote more of your time to revenue generating activities like UI, user experience, and retention.

Wrapping Up

Understanding how to identify and reduce cannibalization of your mobile advertising efforts is invaluable to scale and optimize your mobile ad spend in the most meaningful way possible. 

As the industry shifts towards accountability, the advertisers that stay ahead of the curve will have a leg up on maximizing their growth. 

For any questions you have about partner cannibalization, or how to consolidate your mobile efforts, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Ignite OPM team.