How does incrementality enhance UA prediction and optimization?

February 16, 2022

When COVID-19 hit the world, digitalization skyrocketed. People had to find new ways to communicate, be entertained, and live their life from home. Brands also had to find new ways to survive, grow and interact with their customers. Just like that, the number of apps boomed and so did the competition. It won’t slow down any time soon. That’s why apps need to advertise successfully. Otherwise, it is difficult to differentiate from the competition and acquire new users.

So here’s the secret sauce for successful advertising: innovative UA driven by innovative measurement. Innovative UA provides the ability to make smart, and fast decisions today that outperform the competition tomorrow. This new type of decision-making is powered by prediction. Prediction itself is fueled by innovative measurement that is accurate, unbiased, granular and grounded in scientific methods that have been honed over many years. This type of measurement is known as incrementality.

What is incrementality?

You may have heard about incrementality and wondered what all the fuss is about.  Well, in the post-IDFA world, last touch is certainly a flawed and unreliable form of marketing measurement.  Fortunately, incrementality does not depend on IDFAs or GAIDs, or arbitrary attribution window. It is far more accurate than last touch or SKAN in powering your UA prediction and optimization.


Incrementality is the lift, in terms of any KPI (such as ROAS), over all other media spend plus organic demand. It’s really all that matters. If certain media spend is cannibalizing organic lift or overlapping with other media, true value can be significantly impacted.  

MetricWorks’ incrementality MMP, Polaris automates every step from designing experiments and calculating ground truth to training econometric models and deriving incrementality results. Incrementality is delivered in the form of the KPIs you rely on today including ROAS so that your UA or marketing decision-making processes don’t need to change. Polaris is also designed to offer an easy, turnkey “MMP experience” so that you can get started in 24 hours. No IDFAs or GAIDs. No migrations, no extra SDKs, and no heavy implementation lift. Polaris integrates directly with your last touch MMP to provide a single repository for side-by-side comparisons of your last touch and incrementality data.

Why are traditional MMPs and SKADNetwork not enough anymore?

The general issues with traditional MMPs and SKADNetwork is that they are built on the simplified yet flawed view of the world (see Fig. 2a below) and they ignore the fact that conversions are the product of a cohesive media mix (Fig. 2b below) rather than a single ad.

Last touch attribution ignores this complex reality, producing random results that are skewed toward self-attributing networks and dependent on arbitrary attribution windows. This has major impacts on business value. Due to this, UA optimization and prediction are also affected. 

In simpler terms, an inferior measurement signal results in inferior optimization and prediction. Tempr. is a fantastic prediction and automated optimization solution. However, to get the most out of your investment in Tempr., it is critical that you feed it a superior accurate signal tied to business value, namely incrementality. This ensures that Tempr. will make the best predictions and optimizations for you based on the best measurement inputs from MetricWorks Polaris.

Prediction: today’s decisions, with tomorrow’s data

The focus on the protection of personal information increases, but marketers still need to understand how to run successful ad campaigns. And we’ve great news: with prediction, marketers can get an accurate estimate of how their campaigns will perform, before wasting any budget or time. Even with limited data.

Where does prediction come from?

To be fair, prediction is no novelty for big app studios. Their teams usually design their own internal BIs. Most of them have data scientists working on predictions, because key decisions for the future should never be made blindfolded.

But here’s the thing. Any app studio, no matter the size, the language, the revenues, the structure, the MMP, etc., should have affordable and easy access to predictions. Not just the big guys. That’s why Tempr. – a predictive tool that adapts to each app vertical, and their KPIs – was created. Picture it: one big team helping UA Managers make today’s decisions, based on tomorrow’s data.

How does prediction work?

Prediction gives clarity on what’s going to happen next. The core principle is to use the past to predict the future. 

This marketing approach uses data science to forecast the strategies that are the most likely to succeed. In a simple way, here’s how it works:

1: Historical data mapping
The past is what we call historical data. On the graph below, each black dot represents the revenues made on a specific date.

2: Historical data understanding
The aim is to find trends, seasonality, and any other metrics that affected the past revenues – taking into account bids, budgets, traffic, app verticals, KPIs, etc.

3: Calculation
With machine learning, a mathematical formula that reflects the trends and seasonability of the graph in one curve is calculated. The objective is not to precisely follow each dot but come to a global result like the blue curve on the graph.

4: Data enrichment
The source’s data is enriched with data from MMPs such as MetricWorks for more accurate results.

5: Prediction
The prediction model powered by machine learning create thousands of scenarios with changing parameters and suggests the best bid-, budget-, and creative combination that will achieve the highest results (ROAS or CPE) in the future.

Fig. 3: How predictions work

Fig. 3: How predictions work

Benefits of prediction in UA
Now that the privacy era is on, Attribution and Measurement are more and more limited with SKAdNetwork. To make competitive decisions, mobile marketers need specific data. Not only yesterday or today’s data, but also tomorrow’s. 

UA Managers have to make assumptions on their users journey all the time. How active they will be, what type of events they like, and how much revenue they will generate. And since they don’t exactly know what to expect, they use A/B testing. Experimenting, testing, retesting, deleting. And wait to see what works, and what doesn’t. Which can be very costly.

However, when marketers associate predictions and A/B testing, they limit as much as possible the risks, the time-consuming guesswork and the loss of money along the road. Because prediction shows the successful path to follow, and adapts to the environment every day. And most importantly, Tempr.’s predictions give actionable insights.


More than just prediction: actionable insights

To predict the future is good. To recommend exactly what to do in order to achieve greater results? Even better.

Tempr. recommends campaign optimizations based on the predictions. The algorithms predict the combinations of bid, budget, and creative that will have the highest returns or that will decrease costs to achieve a certain event (first listening, download, etc.).

Marketers can finally drop the doubts and let predictions run the thousands of scenarios for them instead.

Fig. 4: Basics of Tempr.

Key takeaways

With prediction, apps increase their competitiveness, their efficiency, and ad campaign profitability. Mobile marketers can focus on what’s important: design better strategies, expand into new markets, and develop new features and apps. As predictive marketing fills in the information gaps left wide open by privacy rules, it’s now a vital practice to adopt.

How incrementality and prediction can work together

As we mentioned above, inferior measurement signal results in inferior optimization and prediction.  Incrementality’s superiority lies in its ability to model complex reality where media sources do interact, both beneficially and detrimentally, due to high audience overlap. Marketing can also both boost and cannibalize organic demand. Therefore feeding Tempr. with a superior incrementality measurement signal from MetricWorks ensures that your predictions and optimizations are far better than those derived from the SKAdNetwork signal.

In particular, as described in Fig. 5 above, with MetricWorks’ incrementality serving as the measurement signal, Tempr. will be able to more accurately identify situations where you might be underspending on a good media source or overspending on a bad media source.

Fig. 6: MetricWorks x Tempr.

The perfect partnership between Tempr. and MetricWorks

This recent partnership between Tempr. and MetricWorks offers mobile UA teams the best of both worlds with superior prediction and optimization by Tempr. being driven by superior incrementality by MetricWorks. “We’ve seen first hand the impact of poor mobile measurement. Therefore, our goal with MetricWorks Polaris is to provide true-north measurement that innovative UA-focused solutions like Tempr. can count on to deliver excellence to their clients in the post-IDFA era,” said Brian Krebs, CEO of MetricWorks.

To move towards a powerful predictive-data-driven decision model, it is crucial for marketers to have tools that provide an accurate understanding of how users interact with their apps. This partnership provides just that, giving marketers the ability to not only understand their app user behavior but to also take action on that information to improve their efficiency and maximize their ad revenues. “Prediction-driven UA is undoubtedly linked with reliable data to start with. Therefore we are very happy about our partnership with MetricWorks that offers a very promising, and complementary technology to the well-known attribution platforms, helping mobile marketers to take the right decision,” said Cloé Dana, CEO of Tempr.

Together, MetricWorks and Tempr. create the most efficient mobile UA solution on the market today. If you are looking for an edge over your competitors that will elevate your UA performance, contact us today to see how easy it can be:

Vincent Schmiedhausler
Sales Director at Tempr.

Chris Hoyt
Chief Growth Officer at MetricWorks

Got questions for MetricWorks? We have answers.

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