Using a Mobile Measurement Partner to Track App Installs & Key App User Actions

My journey into App Analytics & Mobile Measurement Partners started early on in my career as a Performance & Programmatic Marketer. Since I’m based in Singapore, located in Southeast Asia – which is an app-heavy region, app-first Clients are quite commonplace.
I recall my initial app-first Client – one of the first things I had to do was to ensure Conversion Tags / Pixels were implemented (these Conversion Tags / Pixels are essential for reporting, attribution, optimization, and audiences) – but I was stumped!
“How do you create Tags on Google Tag Manager to track app installs? How do you measure key conversion actions for app users?”

Naturally, since there was no ChatGPT back in my day (yeah it feels like a lifetime ago 😉), I googled my question and my quest landed me on my first clue – the AdWords (Google Ads) Help Article – and that’s how I learned that I should integrate a Mobile Measurement Partner to my AdWords (Google Ads) Account to track app installs and key app user actions.
Yes, I can finally launch my App Install Campaigns!

Well, no one launches an App or their App Install / App Engagement Campaigns with their fingers crossed. Today, we will attempt to demystify and simplify what goes on behind the scenes for our intrepid Marketers, Analysts, and Data Practitioners.

Demystifying the App Analytics Ecosystem

Broadly speaking, the solutions you choose to use depend on the questions you’re trying to solve. Generally, there are 3 categories of business questions related to App Analytics:

  1. Acquisition: How did you acquire your users? From which Channels & Campaigns?
    a.This is the space Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) occupy (our focus in this article).
  2. Behaviour & Conversion: After your user installed your app, what did they do?
    a. Here’s where you might use Google Analytics 4 via Firebase.
  3. Marketing Automation & Orchestration: Now that I have a strong base of users, how can I automate and orchestrate my marketing to the right users in a relevant manner?

The Rise of Mobile Measurement Partners and Their Use Case

Since our focus is on Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs), it’s important to understand what they are used for.

What are Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs)?

Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) MMPs are third-party platforms that accurately track and attribute app installs and in-app user actions. They bridge the gap between your app and the advertising platforms, ensuring that you can measure the performance of your marketing efforts and understand your users’ behavior.

Simply put, in a space populated by walled gardens (think Advertising & Tech Giants like Google, Meta, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, etc.), who will want to limit their users’ information with others (e.g. Meta won’t send their users’ attribution data to Google since they are competitors)MMPs exist as a neutral ground where they act as a trusted and impartial arbiter for advertising attribution and performance (MMPs do this by becoming Partners with these Walled Gardens via their App Attribution Partner or other similar programs).

Therefore, we can say that MMPs have the following use cases:

  1. Campaign Reporting & Attribution: Figure out the source of app installations/app engagements from which Marketing Channels & Campaigns.
  1. Integration with Media Platforms: To do the above in an automated fashion, MMPs should be able to easily integrate with your Media Platforms.
  2. Audiences: Allows you to segment audiences for analytical or remarketing purposes.
  3. Deep Linking: To improve user experience with your App and App Campaigns.
    a. Deep Links can also be used for tracking Marketing Campaigns depending on the Media Platforms and measurement mechanism you deploy.
  4. Ad Fraud Protection: Detect and prevent fraudulent activities and bad actors that can harm your marketing budgets and performance.

Before we move on to the next section, some of the popular Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) include (in alphabetical order, I will list a few):

Evaluating a Mobile Measurement Partner for Your App Analytics Needs

Now that you have a better understanding of the important role a Mobile Measurement Partner plays, here are some criteria you should look at when evaluating different MMPs for your needs:

  1. Pricing & Budget: Typically, they charge per Inorganic Install.
    a. Basic Tiers?
    b. Enterprise Tiers?
  2. Features (you will want to ensure that the features meet most of the use cases described above):
    a. Basic Features? E.g. App Campaign Reporting will be critical.
    b. Advanced Premium Features? E.g. Deep Linking support or Audience Segmentation will be cool to have. Or downstream linkages to Cloud / Data Warehouses / BI Platforms.
  3. Media Platforms Integration Coverage: Can the MMP integrate with all the Media Platforms you’re running Campaigns on currently and in the future?
  4. Quality of the Documentation: Is their documentation comprehensive as well as easy to understand and use?
  5. Level of Support: Is there a dedicated Support channel where you can raise issues and request technical help?
  6. Data Ownership: Clarify the terms of data ownership and ensure you have control and ownership of your data.

Wrapping Up: Take Your App Analytics Forward

In summary, the role of Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) in the app analytics ecosystem is straightforward: they track where your users come from and what they do in your app. This tracking is essential for knowing which of your marketing efforts are working and which aren’t.

Choosing the right MMP can significantly impact your marketing efficiency and the insights you gather. It all comes down to matching your business needs with the MMP’s capabilities, ensuring you get the most out of your budget, and that the data you collect serves your growth goals.

To wrap up, the takeaway is simple: get acquainted with MMPs if you haven’t already, and if you have, ensure you’re utilizing their full potential. If there are any questions or you need a hand with your app analytics strategy, reach out. And if you found value here, consider passing it on to someone else who could benefit.

Note from the Author

Lee Xuan Rui Photo

Lee Xuan Rui (Ray)

Data & Analytics Director at Annalect Singapore (part of Omnicom Media Group)

Digital Analytics leader with proven experience in Web/Mobile Analytics, Media Buying Platforms, and BI across multiple industries. Previously Data & Analytics Director at Jellyfish Singapore.

Shoutout: This article was made possible thanks to the amazing discussions and collaboration on #Measure Slack (it’s a free and open community plus a Resource for Marketing and Analytics practitioners, if you would like to join, sign up here). Above all, I would like to thank Juliana Jackson for encouraging me and her dedication to all the amazing articles she has written on her blog.

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