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Mobile measurement partner (MMP)

A mobile measurement partner, or MMP, is a company that helps apps measure campaign performance across advertising marketing channels, media sources, and ad networks.

What is an MMP?

A mobile measurement partner 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 has since become synonymous with a mobile attribution provider. 

Drawing an analogy from sports, an MMP acts as a trusted and impartial referee to rule on attribution.

It’s a mission-critical component in a mobile marketer’s tech stack. Being the only party with an unbiased view of the entire consumer journey, an MMP enables marketers to understand which media source deserves credit for driving a conversion. This makes mobile attribution the only solution that empowers marketers to make informed decisions regarding their budget allocation.  

In other words, an MMP is a marketers’ best friend. 

How does it work?

In basic terms, an MMP matches campaign engagements with installs and post-intall in-app actions.

This is done using a combination of device IDs for user level attribution, probabilistic modeling, or SKAdNetwork in iOS 14 for deterministic aggregated level attribution.

By implementing a software development kit (SDK), which is a piece of code that collects measurement and attribution data, the app enables the MMP to associate ad engagements with app installs and in-app events (such as game levels, registrations completed in a FinTech app, placed purchases etc).

This enables marketers to know exactly which marketing activities deliver high-quality users at scale, and equally important – which do not.

MMPs can also collect data from apps through a server-to-server integration, in case the app doesn’t support an SDK implementation.

Who needs an MMP? 

The short answer: Any marketer with an app. 

The most essential growth hack in your marketing stack

Mobile is the most data-rich marketing channel in existence. However, when it comes to assessing campaign performance, the sheer amount of media data that needs to be analyzed can be overwhelming and hard to gauge. 

If you’re not working with an MMP, you’re probably spending countless resources and man hours trying to make sense of way too many dashboards and spreadsheets. And unless you’re a computer, this manual analysis is a recipe for errors and plenty of missed opportunities for optimizing lifetime value (LTV) and return on ad spend (ROAS).

But when managed by a reliable, unbiased provider, mobile attribution can pinpoint the value of specific channels, media sources, publishers, campaigns, and even creatives, while allowing you to constantly optimize your app’s performance and ensure strategic growth. 

A mobile campaign can deliver great ROAS, but to achieve this, every consumer interaction must be analyzed and attributed properly. As a result, the vast majority of marketers turn to MMPs to enhance their offering to advertisers, maximize LTV and understand exactly where they should, and shouldn’t, spend their budget.

SDK – the good, the bad and the ultimate solution

Mobile attribution begins and ends with SDKs. However, SDKs can also pose a few daunting challenges for mobile marketers, especially when partnering with multiple ad networks. As marketers scale their efforts, the delay, cost and manual labor associated with adding a new SDK for each new ad network, drains technical resources and negatively impacts app’s performance. 

That is why MMPs offer a universal SDK. A more economical solution, a universal SDK connects advertisers to the entire mobile ecosystem of 1000s of ad networks, without having to rely on costly, time-intensive development resources.

How to choose an MMP?

There are four key factors to keep in mind when selecting a mission-critical solution such as your MMP:

1. Security and privacy

These three are nothing short of critical, and should be treated with extreme care in the form of comprehensive and ongoing due diligence processes, with any vendor that has access to your most valued asset – your customers’ data. Specifically, you have to make sure that your attribution partner is truly independent and unbiased, and isn’t trading your data as part of their business model.

2. Fraud prevention

Working with an established, mature platform that holds a significant market share, enables you to leverage exhaustive market intelligence when it comes to preventing fraud. Choose an MMP that is committed to maintaining a fraud-free ecosystem, that removes bad players from the platform to ensure its integrity, and that partners only with ad networks who take fraud prevention just as seriously.

3. Data accuracy and a comprehensive set of features

According to an internal study, 20%-50% of the marketing budgets of some MMPs’ clients are wasted because they lack deep granularity and multi-touch attribution (MTA). 

Lack of granular data and MTA means you don’t really understand your customer journey, which will eventually lead to wrong decisions. Advanced capabilities such as deep-linking, real-time data, omni-channel LTV and cross-channel attribution, all deliver a wealth of invaluable, razor-sharp insights, that remain inaccessible or extremely difficult to maintain without the right MMP by your side.

4. Experience

Experience isn’t just nice to have. As with any integral component, partnering with a seasoned, trustworthy MMP is key. Mobile attribution technology is highly complex to set up and maintain, and requires major heavy lifting to build a robust, scalable, stable, and accurate platform.

To make things even more complex, attribution platforms are a sticky product by nature.

Any decision you make today will impact your business for many years to come, for better or worse. That’s why it’s imperative to always choose an MMP with outstanding reputation, a solid platform, a happy & loyal customer base, and the resources to fully support your growing business needs.

Recent privacy-driven developments that affect MMPs

Privacy has taken center stage in mobile app marketing and iOS in particular, impacting attribution models, campaign optimization, monetization methods, remarketing, fraud, and more. 

On the one hand, measurement and attribution on iOS will fundamentally change, as the new AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework requires users to opt-in to allow third party advertisers to collect their user-level data. On the other hand, existing capabilities still apply to the much larger Android platform and the segment of opted-in iOS users.

What we do know for sure, is that the industry is clearly embracing innovative ways to adapt to the age of privacy (e.g. incrementality measurement solutions, predictive modeling, and web-to-app flows), and ensure that accurate measurability is not going anywhere.  

Key takeaways

If you’re still not entirely convinced, here are the top 5 reasons for incorporating an MMP into your marketing arsenal: 

  1. Empowering you to make smarter, data-driven decisions. A mobile attribution equips you with authoritative, indisputable data, enables you to allocate your budgets, and optimize your app’s performance, ROAS, and LTV. 
  1. Universal SDK – One ring to rule them all. Don’t waste your precious time and resources. Let a universal SDK do the grind work, measure, and attribute all of your ad networks through a single SDK. 
  1. Stop paying double or triple for attribution. As you scale campaigns across several ad networks, instead of paying double or triple the cost, let an impartial MMP connect all the dots and pinpoint exactly where credit is due.
  1. Single dashboard – One go-to performance overview. One dashboard, consolidating all your raw and aggregated data for both paid media sources and organic activities, will save you heaps of time while allowing you to get a holistic picture of your complete user funnel.
  1. Leave mobile attribution to the experts. The mobile landscape is a fragmented jungle, and MMPs are best equipped to have the resources, expertise, and cross-network scale to meet your demand for marketing insights. 

The bottom line: Partner with a reliable, unbiased MMP with a solid, secured and scalable attribution platform that will do the heavy lifting for you, so you can focus on pure marketing strategy and building a stronger, higher LTV user base.

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