There comes a point in the evolution of every app where marketing is required to expand beyond the monopoly of Facebook and Google. At this critical stage, you need to select and implement a mobile attribution tool. Choosing the right platform and partner can save you significant time and resources – putting you on the path to success.
This guide is for app developers looking to reach more users and measure their lifetime value to optimize the ROI of their campaigns.
The Big 4
The Mobile Measurement Partners market can include typical faces: Appsflyer, Adjust, Kochava, Branch. Singular is also a character that should be mentioned. However, that will be in another analysis article.
With any MMP application, there are basic features:
- Measure initial click yield
- Behavior from click to installation;
- Notify partners about installs and events via postback mechanism.
AppsFlyer is a mobile app analytics & marketing software that allows businesses to track and optimize their conversion funnel. It's a simple tool that helps you see where your conversions come from, i.e. their source. What's great is that you can view the entire user journey across all channels and devices, while protecting user privacy.
- The platform is primarily developed for marketing professionals who use data for decision making to provide all the necessary tools to make the most of their activities.
- It provides flexible reporting, in-depth analytics and performance metrics.
- With external integrations set up, campaigns can be attributed from a variety of media sources, including TV shows.
- Raw data is available for a fee as well as a free one-month trial
- It provides insights into which campaigns and channels are performing best and gives you the best ROI.
- Features like Protect 360 and Audience Builder enable users to run audience-based UA campaigns. Appsflyer claims you don't have to worry about fraudulent installations.
- You definitely won't go wrong with this choice. The price of such a tool may not be as appealing as its functionality, so we understand why the smaller companies out there are looking for better deals.
- Zero – This is a free lifetime plan that includes 12k conversions and other basic features
- Growth – This plan costs 6 cents per conversion and is great for small businesses. You get everything in the Zero plan plus mobile attribution, group and retention reporting, LTV analysis, and many other cool features.
- Enterprise – This is a custom pricing plan where you get all the features that AppsF disaggregation has to offer and is geared towards larger companies with more marketing needs.
Adjust is a tool for tracking mobile app events that can be used as both an analytics and app analytics platform.
- Adjust is one of the leaders in the industry with customers like Zynga and Tencent, as well as giants like Booking, SoundCloud, Duolingo and Spotify mainly due to the high data protection and privacy policies that Adjust launched previously as a German company.
- It is a tool for mobile attribution, app analytics, store statistics data, campaign tracking, fleet analytics, and app KPIs, etc.
- They support a large number of different communication channels (including non-digital ones).
- After acquiring Acquired.io and Unbotify in late 2018 – early 2019, the company gained strong automation and anti-fraud capabilities.
- Raw data is available at the second tier and above as well as a one-month free trial
- Adjust is using its own cloud infrastructure, rather than a third-party solution (for example, AppsFlyer uses AWS). As a result, they have the most security certifications among their competitors.
- Another solid solution for teams of all sizes. Especially useful for projects that want to test the viability of a UA acquisition and do not want to sign an annual contract. Very flexible, but again, prices can add up quickly. See how it compares to the others below.
Price of Adjust
- Base- With the basic plan, you get up to 1,500 monthly allocations, which is perfect for small mobile businesses and independent developers. This plan is free.
- Core – Offers 250,000 allocations annually, which makes it great for medium businesses. For pricing, you need to contact Adjustments.
- Enterprise – With this plan, you get over 250,000 annual allocations and are geared towards larger companies. For prices, you need to contact Adjust.
Kochava provides a comprehensive and objective analytics platform that helps marketers in all stages of their work: from research to campaign optimization.
- Kochava enables data integration with a wide selection of third-party tools, complementing a unique analytics stack for each company.
- Kochava collects engagement information including impressions, clicks, installs and events, which is then attributed to the right source.
- When it comes to impressions and clicks, Kochava uses everything from unique device identifiers to IP addresses. If there is no device identifier, Kochava uses fingerprinting logic accurate to 90%.
- Raw data is available for free users as well as a free trial
- Kochava offers the full version for free if you agree to share your data. If you are an indie developer, you may appreciate having access to such a tool.
- Devoted OS is an omnichannel platform that unifies all the disparate solutions and goes beyond mobile attribution. In other words, it allows you to manage every aspect of your marketing efforts in one place.
- This is a solid tool that works well for companies of all sizes or those just starting to learn about attribution and marketing analytics. It's cost-effective, organic data is provided for free, and has all the integrations needed to get up and running with UA.
- Please note that Kochava is a US based company with a support team located there. In our experience, while their support is really good, it can take a while for them to get back to you if you're on another continent.
- Free – Kochava's free plan includes App Analytics, Attribution, etc. along with many useful features. We recommend this plan for smaller companies, startups, and those wanting to try Kochava's m/OS.
- Foundation – This plan helps you get 10k conversions per month for $100/month. It includes everything from the free plan, plus additional features like configurable attribution by app and partner.
- Enterprise – This plan includes 5k monthly active users and starts at $100/month. You get everything from the Foundation plan and premium features like tracker-level configurable attribution
Branch helps mobile apps grow with deep links powering paid conversion and re-engagement campaigns, referral programs, content sharing, deep linked emails , smart banners, custom user onboarding, etc
- Branch is fundamentally different from all other attribution partners because it primarily focuses on people-based attribution.
- The tool claims to provide complete data, helping you understand the fragmented user journeys occurring across multiple platforms by connecting all the dots. Unlike some platforms that consider each segment as a different user.
- Branch uses automatic cross-platform identifiers to help marketers recognize users on both web and apps to retarget them on both platforms.
- Raw data for paid users is available.
- Some outstanding features of Branch are configurable attribution windows, view-through attribution, cross-channel insights, data freedom, and fraud protection.
- It touts itself as extremely beneficial for e-commerce companies who have truly interconnected customer journeys, allowing them to see all the channels a user has interacted with before moving on. change.
- Unfortunately, we have very little experience with this MMP to date and we rarely recommend it to our clients due to the pricing model.
- The pricing model is based on MAUs, rather than acquired installs, and in that way it doesn't work for our customers.
Price of Branch
- Launch – This is a free plan that includes up to 10k monthly active users and it is perfect for small businesses. It offers all the basic features, including cross-platform attribution.
- Enterprise – This custom pricing plan for 10K+ monthly active users is ideal for larger companies requiring complex attribution solutions.
Compare mobile attribution providers
Here's a quick rundown of what these attribution providers have to offer.
The final point for comparison is the number of ad networks. Whenever you decide to proceed with one of these, don't forget to check that all your major networks are connected to the selected MMP.
Below is AppAgent's decision tree built for our customers that will help you quickly decide which solution is best for you.
Choose the best Mobile Attribution Tools
Obviously, being able to deliver the most effective mobile attribution is the most important requirement. The main types of attribution that you want to decide on for choosing a platform are user acquisition, multi-touch, user retargeting attribution. All the platforms mentioned above offer these provisions. Note, however, that Kochava only provides reports for multi-touch recordings, you can't view the entire journey. The branch has great people-based attribution.
Over-attribution and data fraud are some of the problems you are most likely to encounter. Therefore, it is important to choose a mobile attribution tool that addresses them comprehensively. All the platforms mentioned above have excellent fraud detection capabilities. That said, in our view, Adjust has the best ecosystem for both fraud detection and prevention.
Cohorts and retention reports are available in all mobile attribution platforms. Tools like AppsFlyer and Kochava provide dashboards to get a summary view of your data and have a very user-friendly interface. Some tools also have audience building functionality in their dashboards, which is pretty important for many businesses.
Security and Privacy
Data breaches are a potentially dangerous issue when handling user data – affecting the privacy of your users. Therefore, your attribution platform needs to pay utmost attention to the security of your data. Tools like Adjust and AppsFlyer have a great layer of security.
Integrate with platforms
The ability to integrate with external applications is important in mobile attribution platforms, as a tool or application may not have all the features you want for your use case.
Some attribution tools like Adjust use their own cloud infrastructure, while some use third-party cloud infrastructure like AWS. Again, this is an important consideration when choosing an attribution platform, given the data privacy and security aspects discussed earlier.
Some attribution platforms offer free plans with limited features.
Some examples of Appagent
A recruitment and career platform that makes job searching easier by having private casual conversations between job seekers and employers. It's based on the same idea of matching as Tinder, where your skills are being evaluated and compared to the employer's desired skill set.
Medium sized application
Board of Budgetbakers
A mobile-first business management platform that combines business planning, sales tracking, and cash flow management. Board enables sales tracking, due date tracking, profit planning, and allows entrepreneurs to stay on top of their business with its powerful automated reporting feature.
Cheap flight booking engine with extensive database of cheap flights in Europe. Its most distinctive feature – Nomad – allows travelers to plan an entire trip by searching routes to multiple cities from several starting points, or finding destinations within a specific radius . In addition, the company also works with a wide range of partners to offer special services such as car rental, travel insurance and hotels.
As you can see in this article, choosing the right attribution platform is significantly influenced by your application's demand, timeframe, expected UA volume, and MAU. We hope that our examples will enable you to make the best decisions in a timely manner.