Matthew Lord is the Chief Strategy Officer for Adperio, a mobile acquisition company based in Denver.
Data is effective only when it is shared with those who can act on it.
In the blistering pace of mobile advertising, this means it is critical to share data across partnerships. I am generally pleased to see the industry embrace this concept, with analytics central to the discussions I have with smart marketers every day.
Share What You Care About
But every so often, we encounter an advertiser who is not passing us post-install events. There are a variety of reasons this may be:
- The advertiser believes that the data is proprietary
- The app is tracked through a platform that doesn’t support multiple events
- The advertiser lacks resources to set up the post-install tracking correctly
- The app has ill-defined engagement metrics and goals
“We’ll send you our engagement metrics in 7 days,” they might say, that being their cohort. If they are recording source and sub-source IDs correctly (fingers crossed), the campaign can be optimized in a week. Optimizing creatives, CTR, or installs does not make much sense, as positive trends there might not correlate to what the advertiser really wants: the engagement represented by that post-install event.
This is how partnerships fail and budget is wasted. Share the registration, the purchase, or engagement that is the ultimate measure of success and ROI. If hotel and car bookings are more valuable than flights, separate the three and share that insight.
This allows partners to act proactively on your behalf, to shut down tests that are not working and to scale quality sources.
The flip side is that your partners need to provide you with everything you need – a real-time dashboard, scheduled reports, reports that feed into any analytic platform you might use, and the data points that are actionable to you. The first two contact points for data are the tracking and analytics platforms you use and what’s passed in the tracking URL.
Tracking and analytics platforms each have their own SDKs and methodologies, each of which has their own advantages. We’re agnostic as a partner, and are integrated into each and every platform an advertiser brings our way. Features and cost benefits vary by advertiser. Each platform has its advantages, from Appsflyer to Kochava to Tune. That said, one advantage of a platform like Tune (full disclosure, Adperio is a Tune client) is that it connects a pure mobile platform like the Tune Marketing Console with a pure tracking platform like Tune’s HasOffers. This allows server-to-server sharing of data too sensitive to communicate over URLs, like cost data. This is the foundation of their Tune Certified Partner program, a certification that has established best practices regarding the data and the accuracy of data passed back to advertisers.
As far as the tracking URL goes, we have a client that we have been working on a “URL audit” together for seven months, not because we are not making progress, but because we make continual progress, constantly evolving in terms of what data is critical to pass through the link. The options are myriad: source, sub-source, creative, size, promotional method, attribution elements, and so on. A key for advertisers, in my mind, is to collect data but to focus on single points of information at a time for optimization. Tests where too many variables are being analyzed only adds noise and uncertainty as to what made the campaign successful.
The takeaway is that true partnerships, which are defined by shared goals and collaboration, require shared data. Starting the relationship without this foundation sets it up for failure. If a new partner is not insisting on visibility into your goals, then you should be reluctant to launch a campaign with said partner. If a new partner has visibility into your goals and does not take proactive measures to optimize your budgets, you should terminate that relationship. We’re all in this together. With rising CPIs and more distribution options than ever before, advertisers in the crowded mobile ecosystem have steep challenges. Distribution partners have a choice between burning budgets and relationships or offering the expertise and services to establish long term relationships and rolling budgets. The foundation is the same as it was in kindergarten: sharing.