Tencent is one of the largest investment, internet technology and entertainment companies in the world, with a deep connection to one of the biggest mobile audiences in the world: China. The company is a leading gateway to the massive Chinese user base through multiple channels including the Weixin/WeChat and QQ communication platforms, Qzone for social networking, and the QQ games platform for online games, QQ Music, and much more. For perspective, Weixin/WeChat has over 800 million combined monthly active users while the QQ instant messaging service has nearly 900 million active monthly users.

Today, Tencent and global mobile marketing attribution analytics company AppsFlyer announced a partnership. With it, AppsFlyer becomes the first third-party service to track the effectiveness of app install campaigns on Tencent Social Ads. According to data from AppsFlyer, about 4.4 percent of Chinese app users spend money on in-app purchases (IAP) and spend an average of $12.71 per month. AppsFlyer has tracked over 550 million app installs in China over the past three months alone and found that Asians spend 40 percent more than the rest of the world. Additionally, Chinese networks such as Mobvista, Avazu and others have grown significantly over the past six months.

Ran Avrahamy, marketing VP for AppsFlyer, talks to [a]listdaily about the partnership with Tencent and how it represents a gateway into the massive Chinese market.

Ran Avrahamy, AppsFlyer vice president of marketing
Ran Avrahamy, AppsFlyer vice president of marketing

What led to the partnership between Tencent and AppsFlyer?

Tracking and measurement is a core ingredient of almost every successful mobile ad campaign, and Tencent was looking for a trusted, independent third-party global measurement partner that could provide advertisers throughout the world with objective and accurate tracking across its vast media properties. AppsFlyer and Tencent have been working together in different capacities for years, and as both are market leaders in their respective industries in China, once discussions started they moved pretty fast. AppsFlyer works with the largest brands, developers and advertisers both in China and across the globe, and Tencent’s channels are go-to outlets for nearly a billion mobile users in China, so this partnership is a natural, powerful fit. Advertisers now have access to the channels and data they need to conduct smarter, more informed app marketing campaigns that reach the masses in China.

How does AppsFlyer enhance the Tencent Social Ads platform?

AppsFlyer provides tracking and measurement of ads on the Tencent Social Ads platform, which gives advertisers more confidence in the accuracy of their results on one of the largest ad platforms in the world. This in turn allows them to spend greater ad budgets with more confidence—as well as optimize their activities and compare the quantity and quality of traffic coming from Tencent Social Ads with other media sources. And on the optimization front, by using detailed data on install and post-install activities sent by AppsFlyer will enable Tencent advertisers to further optimize their campaigns.

What are the challenges of tracking mobile install campaign effectiveness on so many different channels (WeChat, QQ, QQ Music, etc.)?

There’s always a challenge in tracking install campaigns across so many sources, but that challenge is largely met by having a proper attribution partner. AppsFlyer now measures across more than 2,000 integrated ad networks, so from an integration standpoint, it’s one more integration that an advertiser can easily access through a single dashboard. But this isn’t “just another” integration—it’s a milestone that benefits everyone involved: the advertisers and the media sources alike. It also represents a gateway into the massive Chinese market.

From an advertiser perspective, they’re able to track their campaigns on Tencent Social Ads on one dashboard at a high, aggregate level, as well as on a more granular level, so our dashboard really makes this easy for them as well, especially to measure and compare activities across the different channels. It’s just a matter of marketers keeping an eye on the numbers so that they can optimize their campaigns accordingly.

With 800 million monthly active users on WeChat alone, and 900 million on QQ, how would you characterize a successful campaign compared to one in Western markets?

With Tencent, they have so many users that there’s really no single platform in the West that can really compare, with the exception of Facebook. So the ability to scale quickly obviously exists in a big way, allowing advertisers to attract both a quantity and quality of users throughout China. But at the end of the day, the benchmarks for advertisers will all be fairly similar in terms of performance on different media sources, with marketers focusing on conversion rates, engagement and monetization—and fine-tuning their campaigns to hit their objectives.

What would you say is the most important thing to keep in mind when launching a new mobile campaign on a platform such as Tencent Social Ads?

Probably the most important thing is to keep a close eye on the numbers, especially early on, because there will likely be some surprises. Any time you start advertising on a new platform, it’s important to see what’s working versus what isn’t working and adjust from there. But for Western developers and marketers looking to advertise on Tencent, it’s especially important to measure the effectiveness of certain campaigns because it may require a different creative spin, timing and messaging in order to achieve the desired results and lifetime value of users.