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  • Scott Kaplan

Apple Search Ads & Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs)


Unlike web-based tracking, which uses cookies, attributing results from specific marketing channels is more complex on mobile.


I view this as a good thing as mobile devices makers like iOS and Android have made user privacy a high priority. Search Engine Watch has a great article that delves into the specifics of Mobile App Attribution.


The downside for advertisers is it can be hard to tie down-funnel performance to specific marketing channels. This makes ROI calculations difficult. This is especially the case with Apple Search Ads as you cannot optimize campaigns for post-install events (registrations, opens, purchases, etc.). You can only optimize for impressions, taps, and installs.


Thankfully, there are solutions!


Apple Search Ads & MMPs


Apple Search Ads integrate with several mobile measurement partners (MMPs). MMPs are third-party analytics platforms that track in-app data and can tie ad campaign performance to in-app activity. The metrics that you track via an MMP are up to you. Below are a few examples of the types of events an advertiser may track by vertical:


  • Gaming – levels completed.

  • Retail – purchases & revenue.

  • Automotive – price quotes submitted.

The in-app data can then be tied to granular Search Ads dimensions like campaign, ad group, and keyword. You can then stitch together spend data from Apple with in-app data from MMPs to optimize for ROI.


Below are two hypothetical examples of what can happen when you only optimize for installs/cost per install (CPI) and don’t have visibility into in-app events like revenue.


Example #1: No MMP

Example #2: Has an MMP


If you don’t have an MMP, Keyword 1 would be preferable due to a low CPI. But as you can see, Keyword 2 is really the top performer when you factor in return on ad spend (ROAS).


Who Are the MMPs?

Here’s a list of the top players (listed in alphabetical order):



Adoya & Attribution

Adoya is an integrated partner with Branch but we’ll work with any MMP. Our goal is to ensure you’re getting the best of your Apple Search Ads campaigns & looking beyond the install.


What experience do you have with MMPs? Have you used those on our list or built a custom solution?


Stay tuned for future articles that will delve into Apple Search Ads attribution & optimization.

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1. App Store data from all available countries and regions (excluding China), 2018 (https://searchads.apple.com).
2. Appsflyer 2019 Performance Index (https://www.appsflyer.com/performance-index).

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