3 reasons why sharing your data with an ad network is a beautiful thing

by Tom Lemrond on Jan 26, 2017

The mobile marketing industry is too often dominated by a tug-of-war between platforms and advertisers over bids and goals, when the reality is that these relationships are best treated as partnerships. Outcomes are the best for everyone when advertisers regard the platform as an extension of their marketing team, and when platforms don’t promise the advertiser low-balled CPU targets or unrealistic return goals.

The key to that kind of healthy (and profitable!) relationship is making data available, on both sides. Here are three reasons why:  

Shared data enhances KPI evaluation and comparison.

When you provide an ad network with your internal KPIs and any other data points that are important to you, you’re essentially giving it the tools it needs to bring you the best possible return. Armed with that information, a good ad network can then provide you with genuine feedback and evaluate whether or not a campaign will be successful. When an ad network knows your KPIs, it can offer rough comparisons, giving you a better understanding of your vertical and what the rest of the industry is seeing.

Put another way, when you share things like your internal KPIs, a good ad network can let you know why a CPU target or return goal makes sense. Your network can’t share the data of other advertisers, of course, but it should be able to let you know in broad strokes what strategies have been successful, and what pockets of inventory can tend to be more fruitful for your vertical. The best way to leverage that knowledge is to share your KPIs with them so that smart decisions are made together.


A shared suppression list can help you lock in the highest quality traffic.

A suppression list allows a network to bypass users the advertiser already reaches. If your ad is being shown to users who already have your application, your CTR (click-through rate) is going to be much lower than exclusively showing it to new users.

From an ad network’s perspective, if every campaign were a mountain, getting a suppression list from an advertiser is like climbing the last 400 feet of Half Dome. And while we understand why that’s the case — since you can be skeptical when a platform asks for data file of all your users — advertisers actually do really well to share it with their ad network.

For example, the AppLovin ad network uses algorithms that leverage several different data points to determine which ad will be served next, and one of those data points is expected CPM. As an advertiser you want your CPM to come in at its highest possible point in an auction environment, and you want to do all you can to get to the top of the ad serving rotation (also called “the waterfall”) and lock in the highest quality impression. Sharing your suppression list does this, and can really help a campaign in the long run.  

Shared category level data can save advertisers money.

When you share category-level data (e.g. game types that have been successful for your campaigns) with your ad network, you give it valuable information that can determine how to jumpstart your campaign, which is of course critical to any campaign’s success. If your partners at an ad network understand what has worked historically, no matter what the context, they will be better able to make your campaign convert well. Sharing category-level data saves the ad network time and an advertiser money — money that can the be channeled back into acquiring more users and the app itself.

Taking the time to share data between an advertiser and a platform goes a long way toward making, achieving, and improving your KPIs. Remember to make your suppression list an asset, and leverage your category-level data. By taking these initial steps, you’ll not only improve the success of your campaigns, but also grow your partnership with your ad network.


Tom Lemrond is AppLovin’s director of sales.

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