Mobile measurement partners

JustControl.it and Mobile Measurement Partners – what is the difference?

Preface:

 

Many of our clients (or potential clients) are indie studios, publishers, or agencies that are developing or marketing mobile apps and they turn to us because they think we are an MMP. This is partly because we are included on some lists of app analysis tools (like this one), and partly because JustControl.it is not shy in declaring its enjoyment of app analysis, backing it up with numerous case studies.

Upon realising that we are a different kind of platform, potential clients often ask us: why do we need JustControl.it if we already have an MMP that we are fully satisfied with?

To address these questions, it is important to provide some background. First and foremost, we need a correct definition of an MMP.



What is a Mobile Measurement Partner?

 

According to Appsflyer, an MMP is a platform provider that attributes, collects, and organizes app data to deliver a uniform assessment of campaign performance metrics. The term was originally coined by Facebook to describe partners vetted by the social network to measure its campaigns, but it has subsequently become synonymous with mobile attribution providers.

It is a third-party company that integrates its SDK (software development kit, an app within an app) into a client’s app and attributes it to various traffic sources. It also provides the client with additional information about events that take place after installation.

It often includes additional features such as fraud prevention and ad spend tracking (we will come back to this later).

 

How does it work?

 

When a user lands in an app store (any app store), the website receives a click ID (any unique identifier) from the ad platform which is then obtained by the MMP upon installation.

For this to happen, the advertising partner must be supported by MMP and enabled for that particular client.

The data from organic installations is also received by an MMP; no permissions or integrations are necessary for this.

The purpose of this is to create a conversion (installation) ID that connects the “outer world” (advertisement) with what happens inside the app.

This allows clients to see the full user journey picture, from the initial click on a single ad to the last repeated conversion.

Another feature of MMP is its lack of affiliation to either party (advertiser and client), making it an obvious and impartial provider of final statistics and dispute settlement.

A Mobile Measurement Partner therefore becomes “a single source of truth” for all parties. 


What kind of information can you see in an MMP?

 

In general, it is low-level, granular data, which includes:

  • The number of clicks
  • The number of impressions
  • Click to install time (vital for fraud detection)
  • The number of installations
  • The total number of integrated in-app events (an MMP SDK does not decide what in-app events to track, you set them up during the integration, and they must correspond to existing events), including conversions and even their monetary value
  • The GEOs, device models, and other user attributes.

We invite you to take a look at the flow that an ideal mobile measurement partner focuses on, as shown in the chart below:

What are the perks?

 

MMPs are specifically built to aid mobile user acquisition and enable the swift and easy tracking of analytics. Their dashboards provide all of the information that a typical marketer needs.

This means that they have standard integrations and cabinets for other parties participating in the process (agencies, ad networks, and even influencers).
So, for instance, an agency sees a number of apps they promote, while an app owner sees all of their traffic sources, including organic traffic (the integrated ones, because that is how it works).

Basic plans are extremely affordable for all types of users, especially when you consider the default comfort they provide.


What are the limitations?



When showing ad campaign data, MMPs often provide a high degree of granularity, but their accessibility is restricted by dashboard settings.

It is only possible to see the standard metrics in their usual configurations, and they cannot be amended.

The access to raw data is also limited: you may download dashboard reports through CSV, but if you wish to retrieve data from the platform using the API interface, you are likely to be limited to one query every 24 hours, or 120 requests per account per 24 hours with premium plans. In addition, each CSV report can only include a limited number of rows


While they do gather your data in many helpful ways, MMPs do not furnish you with all accessible data as doing so would significantly increase server load (and hence operation costs), even if you are subscribed to a premium plan. 

As an advertiser, the only tools you have available are your integrations, attribution, and in-app settings. What is left, you would ask?

Let us give you an example:

Even though an MMP is a third-party tool, discrepancies still exist, and the difference between Google Play’s number of installs and a mobile measurement partner’s number of installs can sometimes be dramatic. There are various reasons for this discrepancy, but if you know the reason and wish to amend it, it is not allowed through an MMP. The data cannot be modified, nor can the data display rules be changed. For example, if you want your report to include the Google Play install number, MMP in-app events, and CRM conversion statistics, you will be unable to do so.

 

What about the existing MMP addons?

 

Some of the existing platforms have ETL (extract-transform-load) solutions at an additional cost.

Some of them are designed to collect your marketing spend information to display your ROI, ROAS, LTV and the corresponding metrics using the imported data.

Such solutions are a step ahead (compared to a standard MMP pack) in terms of helping you understand your performance. However, you still end up confronting the same constraints, albeit in lesser doses. The most significant limitation is that they only support marketing data.

 

Okay, let us now take a recap of what’s important.


All MMPs have one thing in common: they need an SDK implemented into the app of their client.

So an MMP sends all in-app events information to its servers and analyzes it (for example, for fraud detection) using the built-in presets.
The access to raw data is limited – even the enterprise plans have limitations, such as request frequency, and non-customizable dashboards.

 

What is JustControl.it, and how is it different from mobile measurement partners?

 

JustControl.it is a general data analytics platform. Initially it was built to meet the analytics needs of mobile marketers, but it can also be used to fulfil many other business demands.

 

  • It does not come with built-in analytics scenarios, but rather embodies all kinds of scenarios, however complicated they may be.
  • The same thing can be said about the data sources: you can integrate and import almost anything in the world. 

Imagine you have a widely-used educational app that is particularly popular among public school students, and you need to import specific usage logs collected by a school’s custom database operator. While an MMP would do a great job estimating your marketing effort, it is likely you will get stuck at the “import and analyze the rest” stage.

  • You can also customize your data access levels: share it with your colleagues and business partners without compromising its safety. Again, you have to set the access level for yourself (you can, say, have 20 different scenarios for 20 partners, not including your team).
  • JustControl.it has an out-of-the-box marketing spend analytics tool! It helps you gather all your spend data and analyze it in 3 short steps, without the need to create rules and formulae or ponder over “your perfect dashboard”: everything you need is ready to use.
  • Last but not least, there is no SDK to implement! This means that there is zero coding required (although you will have to collect your app data somehow)

    So, again, MMPs and their SDKs create (and display) data. JustControl.it collects it, merges it with other kinds of data and displays it.

 

Can MMPs and JustControl work together as a team?

 

Absolutely! It usually happens when you have several acquisition partners of each sort (ad network, ad agency, referral, etc.) and wish to consolidate all of your marketing and product data, as well as any extras, in one location.

You can see how it works on the picture below.

Mobile measurement partners funnel

Do you want to measure your support team’s efficiency statistics against your user retention statistics? 100% doable! Do you need to compare e-сommerce offline returns data to in-app purchases? Easy!

JustControl.it is the perfect solution for:

  • Mobile games/publishers
  • Advertising agencies (web/mobile)
  • Entertainment/Streaming services
  • Social apps/Dating
  • eCommerce

 

Furthermore, JustControl.It is compatible with mobile product analytics platforms, but that is a whole different tale that we hope to tell you about shortly, so stay tuned! 🙂