We live in a mobile-first world.
Consumers have shifted their eyes away from desktop and TV screens, now dedicating up to 3 hours and 35 minutes of attention per day to their mobile devices. But these devices aren’t just alternative distractions — they’re companions, carried everywhere the consumer goes and integrated into myriad daily activities.
As a result, mobile is the most data-rich marketing channel in existence. However, when it comes to assessing campaign performance, the superabundance of data can be ungainly and hard to leverage. That’s why accurate mobile measurement tools are critical to the modern marketing arsenal. A mobile-first campaign can deliver a huge return on ad spend (ROAS), but to achieve this, every consumer interaction must be analyzed and attributed properly. As a result, many publishers turn to mobile measurement partners to enhance their offering to advertisers.
A mobile measurement partner, or MMP, is a platform that collects, organizes, and standardizes app data to deliver a uniform assessment of campaign performance metrics. This is typically accomplished via the implementation of a software development kit (SDK) which allows the measurement partner to collect signals around viewability, time in view, non-human traffic, and user behaviors (such as click-throughs, installs, and purchases). As an independent third party, the MMP verifies performance and fosters trust between mobile publishers and their advertising partners through a standardized set of universally applicable metrics. Marketers can use these metrics to evaluate and optimize their campaigns and compare performance across various networks.
With that in mind, here are five essential tips for choosing a mobile measurement partner:
Transparency has been a hot topic in digital marketing for the last few years. A handful of public scandals, coupled with a call-to-action from leading global CMOs, have put transparency in the spotlight. Today, providing a transparent marketing ecosystem is required across most digital channels, and mobile is no exception. Fortunately, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and some of today’s leading technology partners have spearheaded an initiative to bring an appropriate level of transparency to the mobile side of the digital supply chain.
The IAB Tech Lab’s The Open Measurement SDK is a ready-made tool that enables universal standardized third-party measurement in mobile app environments. Measurement partners that have adopted the OMSDK guarantee that marketers receive standardized metrics, enabling them to make an apples-to-apples comparison of campaign performance.
As advertising becomes increasingly data-driven, marketers must strive to connect the dots between channels and platforms. To build truly omnichannel campaigns, marketers must stitch together data from multiple sources to glean a complete picture of their desired consumer. The vast array of mobile environments adds an additional layer of complication to omnichannel campaigns. A quality MMP will provide consistent measurement across a variety of mobile devices and platforms, ensuring that mobile data is uniform enough to support omnichannel efforts.
As advertising becomes increasingly driven by lifetime value (LTV), marketers have placed a premium on channels that offer metrics segmented by phases of the consumer lifecycle. Understanding how consumers move through each phase of the customer lifecycle, from consideration to purchase, is a critical part of building an omnichannel campaign.
Marketers will look for metrics that enable them to understand consumer behavior at every phase. A strong mobile measurement partner will support lifecycle marketing and provide metrics that can be segmented accordingly. By identifying key moments for conversion and upselling, mobile publishers can help marketers to better understand the lifetime value of a consumer. Such insights also prove the value of their campaign investment, helping publishers capture more premium marketer dollars.
Many of the same metrics on which marketers rely to assess digital campaign performance are relevant in mobile environments. However, mobile also offers some unique data insights that require equally unique measurement capabilities. It’s important to select a partner that can measure the types of interactions that really matter most to mobile marketers.
A decent mobile measurement partner should be able to provide reporting on standard digital metrics, such as video completion and ad engagement. However, the most effective partners will also report on mobile-specific metrics, like in-app purchases (a KPI for many mobile campaigns) and long-term user retention (which is key to understanding customer LTV).
While measurement is a key part of a successful mobile monetization strategy, it’s also important to maintain perspective. The bigger and more robust your measurement integration is, the more likely it is to increase the weight of your app and increase latency. User experience is particularly important in mobile, where a few additional seconds of loading time may be all it takes to lose a user for good. Look for a partner with comprehensive measurement capabilities and a lightweight SDK — one that won’t compromise critical app functions are create unnecessary lag.
For mobile publishers, meeting marketer needs is key. As mobile becomes a larger part of the media mix, expectations for measurement transparency and consistency will continue to grow. However, providing a seamless, high-quality user experience is also a critical consideration. Balancing user needs and marketer expectations will allow you to capture a bigger slice of that growing pie, increase your bottom line, and maximize ROAS for marketing partners.