November 25, 2021
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.
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).
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.
In general, it is low-level, granular data, which includes:
We invite you to take a look at the flow that an ideal mobile measurement partner focuses on, as shown in the chart below:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂