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Mobile Ad ID (MAID): user identification for mobile ad campaign


Mobile traffic is growing rapidly - more than 50% of all online shoppers now come from mobile devices, and 79% of users made purchases using mobile e-commerce sites during the last 6 months, OuterBox reports. It’s a perfect time for an effective mobile advertising strategy that is based on Mobile Ad ID or mobile browsers data. 

Your mobile targeting campaign can reach users at the same time from the browser and application level, or separately. The most popular and profitable mobile channels currently (mobile browser and in-app), they take data from different sources - a well-known cookie file tracks browser behavior and a Mobile Ad ID - application use. 

Mobile advertising with MAID


Having in mind the latest updates regarding the cookies and their future availability, the industry takes a closer look into mobile ad ID. They see a couple of good benefits that mobile ad ID brings: thanks to mobile user identification and tracking functions they have a complete picture of the mobile target user to drive towards better personalization. This comes to the new monetization opportunities for marketers.

What is a Mobile Ad ID?

Mobile Ad ID is a sequence of random symbols, given by the mobile device’s operating system. It’s shared with the servers of the apps that the user is using to track his customer journey and “remember” his or her choices. 

MAID is hidden within privacy settings and can be limited or reset, which action is similar to clearing the browser cookies from the very beginning and starting history over. 

MAID is a part of Mobile App Data Stream delivery that provides for targeting mobile audiences and operational purposes. Complete or partial, Mobile App Data Stream can be a powerful data source for your mobile campaign.

The Mobile App Data Stream includes information, such as MAID, Language, Frequently Used Apps or Localization. It is used to find and target the right mobile audience. Take a look what types of data can our Mobile App Data Stream include.

MAID in Mobile App Data Stream


Mobile Ad ID vs a cookie

Now, comparing Mobile Ad ID with the browser cookie as identification points, we spot significant differences. 

1. MAID lives much longer than a cookie
While a cookie has rather a short lifetime because it’s session-based, mobile ad ID is persistent so it “lives” much longer. This leads to a much reliable dataset that can successfully feed your targeting programmatic campaign.  

2. MAIDs meet the privacy rules and make cross-matching easier
Another important thing is the nature of the cookies that were an identification solution for targeting advertising many years, now are blocked on a browser level. Detected as a piece of information that needs to be protected for user’s privacy sake, these cookies are created by other than the main site’s domain and their value is transferred for targeting reasons between partners in a programmatic chain. This procedure requires cookiematching process so that the data provider identifies a user as the specific attributes holder.  

It’s a different perspective in terms of Mobile Ad ID, as its value appears to be the same for all the apps that a particular user is using. This makes cross-matching between partners easier and a marketing message much accurate. This is one of the biggest procedural benefits of a mobile advertising campaign comparing with traditional desktop one. 


Discover benefits of mobile advertising

Mobile Ad ID and data privacy

Mobile Data GDPR compliance - OnAudience


Mobile Ad IDs could be treated as personal information if it allows data providers to identify a single person by matching MAID with any other information. If the identification is possible, a data provider has to collect users’ consent for storing and processing their data, according to GDPR and CCPA regulations. 

So, having that agreement signed in your digital pocket, it’s safe to deliver tailored marketing offers to your target audience. Interpretation of data processing may be different depending on the exact goal of Mobile Ad ID usage and its context, as well as its distribution between authorized 3rd parties. 

OnAudience process only anonymous data. We are not able to identify a single person by using MAID and we do not store any other data that after matching with MAID allows us to identify a real person. 

Reach mobile audiences successfully

Identification of your target user among all the internet users is a basic step towards an efficient targeting campaign. Feed your campaign with the rich dataset about your target mobile audience. A portion of high-quality mobile data, delivered from reliable source allows differentiating the users’ devices so your ad budget is directed into the unique target audience. Build a strong data strategy that drives your mobile campaign to the greatest results. 


See how Mobile Apps Data Stream works

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