What’s New in Mobile Growth [2019]

An insight from Kyle Kearney, Associate Director – Business Development

From webinars, to conferences, to client insight, we are constantly learning how the mobile landscape is adapting and evolving. Here are the key areas of mobile growth you need to be aware of.

Incrementality is Important

A buzzword for 2019 is certainly shaping up to be Incrementality. This term is all about getting to the bottom of effectiveness, what it looks like, and where is it coming from. Getting teams on board with incrementality can often be a challenging but is the crucial first step in understanding how well ad spends are being used. The cultures of many companies are not yet flexible enough to take on the challenge of rigorously interrogating and deftly altering their processes. Looking forward, the industry must push harder for this culture than ever before to achieve true data-grounded understandings of ad performance.

At our agency, an ethos of data curiosity leads us to seek out incrementality. We are constantly looking to improve upon ourselves and add further levels of meaning and understanding to our results. Nominal data is not enough, it needs to be continually contextualized. Teams have to work closely together to better understand the data, testing and learning to best reach client’s goals. As this process becomes normalized, the entire ecosystem will transition to an incrementality-oriented mindset.

Ad Fraud: A Beast of Many Heads

As ever, ad fraud is front of mind within the mobile community. At the most recent Mobile Growth Summit, Liftoff hosted a panel entitled, “Inside Mobile Ad Fraud: Separating Fact from Fiction,” discussing the brass tacks of fighting fraud. Fraud can be categorized into either technical fraud, which involves manipulation of any part of tracking/attribution in the user journey, or non-compliance fraud, which entails intentional or unintentional breaches of campaign rules. In 2019, the four biggest fraud categories fall under the former category, dividing into SDK spoofing, click injection, click spam, and fake installs, with a majority of mobile ad fraud taking place in the e-commerce, gaming, and games categories.

Liftoff also spoke more concretely about tools they are implementing to help their partners. One new focus introduced at MGS was “click signing.” This process, once rolled out, will append a specific time stamp to a URL when it is sent to the MMP, allowing transparency into whether or not modifications have occurred in the process.

Overall, the panel made a point to remind its audience of a few main best practices of tackling this pervasive issue:

  • Ask until you understand.
  • Work with strong, trusted partners.
  • Very explicitly define fraud.
  • Demand Transparency.
  • Fact check.
  • Avoid relying solely on blacklists or on removing all traffic from certain exchanges as wholesale ways to prevent fraud.

Finally, as with the discussion of incrementality, a stress was placed on the importance of being nimble. Ad fraud is always changing, and forms of fraud that were non-existent mere months ago could suddenly account for a lion’s share of trouble. At M&C Saatchi Performance, we always take steps to evaluate our partners and offer our own transparency, as well as work to constantly update our fraud definitions, making sure not to rely too heavily on broad strokes so that bad players are unable to surprise our teams.

As bots become more sophisticated, we continue to use partners to drill into data, to understand when the fraudulent activity occurs. And to automate these processes to save our clients’ money.


M&C Saatchi Performance is an award-winning performance marketing agency focused on driving measurable results for organisations in all industries. For more on our testing culture and fighting fraud, get in touch today