Singular achieves AWS Retail Competency status

We’re excited to announce we’ve achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Retail Competency status. So what exactly does that mean? As an AWS Retail Competency Partner, we’ve demonstrated technical expertise and proven success with our retail customers including StitchFix, Wish, Warby Parker, Minted, Souq, Atom Tickets, Snapdeal, Tophatter, plus several other Fortune 500 brands (we can’t list publicly).

Singular is built to provide a single source of truth for marketing performance – a challenge marketers & BI teams everywhere desperately need to solve for with today’s complex ecosystem.  We simplify marketing data by automatically combining your most important datasets including marketing campaign data, user-behavior/attribution data and BI data for accurate insights needed to grow at scale.  As experts in AWS technologies and as a certified Advanced Technology Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN), we consult our customers on how to build advanced marketing tech stacks. We’ve become the de facto solution to power the internal BI of the top growth marketing teams in the world. 

Check out some recent resources on how we’re helping retail brands:

[Blog] Experts from Airbnb, Stitch Fix, and Bark Box on multi-touch attribution & incrementality 

[Guide] Ecommerce Playbook: Growth Loops and Scaling Profitable Growth

“We’re excited to have achieved the AWS Retail Competency,” Eran Friedman, our CTO & Co-founder reflects. “Our team has been dedicated to helping growth teams of top global brands scale their businesses by better leveraging their marketing data, which is especially important for retail companies where customer engagement is a critical component of their overall strategy.  And with the agility, breadth of services and pace of innovation that AWS provides, we’ve been able to make marketing data more accessible than ever to BI teams.”

AWS enables scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions for startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these, AWS established the AWS Competency Program to help customers identify Technology APN Partners with deep industry experience and expertise.

Our retail customers see huge returns after investing in Singular to streamline their growth marketing data.  South Korea’s largest retail app, Home & Shopping, saw a 73% increase in ROI after Singular automatically collected and unified campaign data from 30+ sources with our native attribution to understand and optimize marketing performance.

Home & Shopping Success with Singular
With Singular, Home & Shopping sees 73% increase in ROI

Interested in how you can achieve the same results? Sign up for a free trial of Singular now.

 

7 Things Retailers are Doing to Crank Their Mobile Shopping

Introduction

People are definitely shopping a lot with smartphones. But buying? Not as much, at least not today. According to comScore’s 2016 Future in Focus report, people spend 60% of their digital shopping time on smartphones, yet spend 16% of their digital commerce dollars via mobile.
That leaves a gigantic gap – one that merchants are anxious to close. That’s why retailers are taking lots of steps to boost their mobile commerce revenue. Here are seven of the most common approaches they’re taking.

1. Speeding Up Sites for Easier Mobile Shopping

Whether they leverage responsive design, adaptive design, or separate mobile and PC sites, most retailers know that site speed and frictionless buying experiences are critical to driving their m-commerce growth. In the early days of mobile shopping, many retailers created an m.brand.com site to keep the “core” PC experience optimized for the dominant screen type. But when six shopping minutes out of ten take place on a handset, it’s clear that the core experience is now on the mobile screen.
And major retail sites are getting better at delivering to that core every day. Part of this improvement has come from a refocus on optimization metrics other than page weight. A couple of years ago, “time to Interaction” (TTI) enjoyed some popularity as a better alternative. It focused on the amount of time it takes for the user to be able to interact with a still-loading page.
These days, many retailers focus on a somewhat higher bar: the time it takes to render a decent looking and behaving web experience. Google’s algorithms emphasize the time it takes for above-the-fold content to load. Content farther down the page, or “heavy” plug-ins, can still be loading, but the consumer already has a decent experience with which to interact.

2. Launching and Growing mCommerce Apps

US merchants are adopting a strategy that’s very common internationally – focusing on building their app-based mcommerce. Apps enable shopping experiences tailored specifically to a phone and provide more experiential control. They also enable richer personalization. And people just plain like them better than mobile websites.
Latest figures show that almost 90% of connected mobile time takes place in apps versus the mobile web. Apps also make a variety of improved merchandising strategies and tactics possible. Push notifications, for example, enjoy open and interaction rates FAR more than email metrics. Then there are the thousands of mobile-only and app-mostly retailers that have sprung up worldwide. In developing markets, the success of these businesses reflects the massive role that mobile connectivity plays in the lives of their consumers.
Singular enables data-oriented marketers to connect, measure, and optimize siloed marketing data, giving them the most vital insights they need to drive ROI. The unified analytics platform tracks over $7 billion in digital marketing spend to revenue and lifetime value across industries including commerce, travel, gaming,entertainment and on-demand services.For more information, click here.

3. Beefing Up Companion Apps

Many brick and mortar sellers are also expanding distribution of apps that enhance the in-store shopping experience. Companion apps in retail provide special offers, access to reviews and content, pair messaging to a user’s location in a store, and the like.
Macy’s, for example, is working hard to improve its already strong companion app cred. They offer rewards points account management, store-location-triggered content and offers, scan and learn content, and exclusive discounts for app users when they shop the store.
Another fitting example is Chico’s the women’s apparel retailer. Chico’s views personal relationships between customers and associates as integral to their success and growth. Smartphones enable associates to recall and leverage customer preferences for a more tailored and personal in-store experience.
Apps can also help retailers better leverage unique mobile capabilities, like geolocation. Finally, apps are great for making loyalty programs easier. All the shopper data from such programs can help personalize app content to a specific user. And as we all know, more personal almost always means more profitable.

4. Streamlining Content

Mobile shopping often begins with a different mindset than desktop shopping. Users want to get to the goods faster and are often willing to transact more if the content available to them is succinct and focused.
Shorter headlines. Little or no body copy. An emphasis on optimized imagery. These are the watchwords of mobile commerce and shopping apps in 2019. And they are all implemented to appeal to mobile shoppers and how their preferences are different when surfing the small screen.

5. Improving Business Processes

Many retailers are working diligently to reduce the friction that can impede purchases. Here are some of the most common ways they are doing this:
  • Requiring Registration: This one can seem counterintuitive because the need to register is consistently rated a top reason for cart abandonment. But if you can get a user to register in a mobile app (or on a website) early, then you can auto-populate forms and steps later. Lost first-time sales can be more than made up for with repeat sales to registered users. Requiring registration is also proving invaluable as a strategy to reduce fraud – so much so that many retailers are reconsidering whether they should have a guest checkout path at all.
  • Fairly Distributing Coupon Codes: Have you ever gotten to a checkout page that asked for a coupon code that you didn’t have? It can be frustrating to realize that you are not getting the best deal. My strategy is to fill a cart and then Google for coupon codes – tens of millions of other shoppers do the same. But research also shows that many shoppers abandon carts they feel cheated out of getting the best possible deal. Sneaky coupon distribution can also be a profound way of turning off your best customers if you focus your discounts on new users only. Many retailers are moving to distributing codes on their own sites instead of (just) shopping comparison sites. Others are doing away with codes altogether, or making coupon code blanks less prominent – findable, but not front and center.
  • Showcasing Shopping Carted Items: Lots of people want to look over the items in their shopping carts before they transact. Retailers that make that task easy – and provide strong visuals of the goods on offer – tend to convert mobile shoppers better.
  • Requiring Fewer Pages and Steps: Amazon 1-Click is the best example of this. But many other retailers are also working hard to reduce the number of steps and amount of data entry required to make a purchase.
  • Providing Security Assurance: Many people still view mobile as less secure for transactions than PC. By providing verbal and visual assurance of strong security, retailers can mitigate some of the risk of losing wary would-be mobile transactors.
  • Ensuring Cost Transparency: Lots of people drop off when they get surprised by high shipping and handling fees. Brands that make shipping information and costs clearer seem to convert more mobile shopper.

6. Encouraging Mobile Payments

We’re all familiar with the optimized mobile experience for retail sales like Apple Pay – “proximity mobile payments” in the vernacular. Lots of retailers are experimenting in this area, with a broad range of success rates to increase conversion rates from the hassle of adding credit card information. In the US, Starbucks is widely believed to be the best at transitioning shopper behavior to mobile payment. 21% of their transactions now take place via mobile phone – something that also simplifies user participation in their loyalty program. The explosion of payment services is driving increases in penetration – but it also appears to be contributing to a bit of consumer confusion as shoppers try to identify services with the broadest reach and best features. In addition, in-aisle checkout options that leverage smartphones are also growing in popularity – both using kiosks and leveraging UPC readers on the devices themselves.

7. Making Mobile-Exclusive Offers

To grow m-commerce, retailers need users to buy more and buy more often, and therefore need a user experience optimized for mobile. Many retailers are implementing mobile-exclusive offers to both drive more app launches mobile site visits and motivate incremental purchases. Lots of such merchants emphasize discounts in their mobile offers and we’ll continue to see this spike during holiday shopping, especially on Black Friday. But an increasing number are also testing and implementing approaches in which unique, upmarket goods and experiences are made available only to mobile shoppers. Fashion house Zegna was an early mover here, offering live streaming and exclusive merchandise way back in 2012. But a variety of other online retailers has followed suit.

The Stores, They are a Changin’

Retail is a category in tremendous transition, and mobile is a key pillar as they chase new mobile and online sales opportunities and adapt to be more relevant to today’s shoppers. From the big box discounters to couture emporia, most retailer leaders know that success today requires flexibility. And a robust mobile marketing plan.

UNIFY 2019: The growth marketing summit of the season is back!

The room was full of friends, the words exchanged were real, meaningful, and carried lasting impact. At the end of the day, the intimate gathering cheered. As the sun went down in the beautiful Napa sky, the evening came alive with laughter, flowing drinks, exquisite food and energizing music. Memories were created.

I know what you’re thinking… no, I’m not reminiscing on a spectacular wedding (although some did describe it as such), I’m talking about UNIFY by Singular, the growth marketing summit of the season you can’t afford to miss.

After our inaugural summit sold out last summer, we’re ecstatic to announce that UNIFY by Singular is returning for its second year on June 4, 2019 at the highly-acclaimed Estate Yountville – with a completely fresh experience! New discussions, new strategies, new memories, and new friends await you.

Don’t just take it from me, leading growth executives agree:

UNIFY has been really great. I like the fact that it’s an invite-only conference. It’s not super packed, and you can talk to all the other industry professionals. The panels are very, very informative and interesting…. And let’s not forget to mention Napa. It’s beautiful here.” – Nebo Radovic, N3TWORK

“I loved the intimacy of the conference. It feels like we’re almost at a little wedding, which just removes the barriers a little bit. We can talk and gab and have a lot of fun.” – Jake Bailey, LinkedIn

“I enjoyed the event very much and it had the best learning and networking, bar none. I hope to make it to the next UNIFY, definitely a new industry ‘must-attend’.” – An Vu, Small Giant Games

Our opening speakers include:

UNIFY is designed to be an exclusive and immersive experience. You’ll leave refreshed with a rich, new outlook on the future of growth marketing, and feeling inspired by the real tactics and strategy you’ll bring back to your team.

Your all-inclusive ticket gets you access to the sessions and incredible moments throughout the day: from the food to the drinks to the music, the free transportation to/from Yountville, and your overnight accommodations at Hotel Villagio & Vintage House ($579 value) – it’s all built in to your ticket.

It’s a no-brainer. We will sell out again, so grab your ticket before they run out!

And if you’re still not convinced, just ask your friends who attended last year:

 

Get your ticket now!

See you in Yountville!

35 Tips to Increase Marketing ROI for mCommerce Apps

Apps have become a central part of e-commerce and m-commerce go-to-market plans. And for lots of good reasons. Not only do apps now command more than half of connected consumer time, but they also enable brands to deliver a uniquely rich user experience tailor-made to the “always-on” lifestyle. That makes them great potential drivers of app marketing ROI.
But with all this marketing ROI opportunity comes a tremendous challenge – how to launch a successful app that drives a profitable long-term relationship with a customer and drives high in-app purchases. Every element of your app marketing strategy needs to align to that goal.

Massive Competition – Massive Marketing ROI Challenges

There are many challenges to your driving maximum marketing ROI through a shopping experience on mobile. Your app will be competing for attention with a tremendous number of other apps. 2.5M on the Android side and 2.4 million on iOS. Even some of the more niche app stores offer consumers more than 100,000 apps. Standing out in that sort of an environment requires both brand awareness and a compelling brand story.
Game apps often focus a great deal of attention hitting the top of the popularity charts in the App Store and Google Play. By “gaming” the charts, these entertainment apps can go a long way toward sealing their fates as a popular application. The challenge, of course, is that the most well-funded games are using the same tactics as other games to crank their popularity. That can sometimes create a lot of noise without a lot of result.
Online retailers don’t need to crack the Apple and Android top 10 to be successful. What matters in m-commerce apps even more than download popularity is staying power and frequency of use on smartphones and tablets.

eCommerce App Rankings

Retailers do compete to be at the top of m-commerce rankings, like Google Play’s Shopping category, but the number of app downloads is often at least an order of magnitude smaller than for gaming apps. For an m-commerce app to be successful, it needs to get downloaded by a critical mass of customers and then used with a reasonable frequency so it can generate strong revenue per customer with strong customer loyalty.
While most of those apps are not focused on transacting and m-commerce, your offering is still competing with a tremendous number of choices. In fact, according to Nielsen, the average smartphone in the US has more than 90 apps on it, but less than a quarter of those are regularly used. So how do you ensure that your app is regularly used and a strong marketing ROI driver?
There are 1,001 online tutorials on how to get a game into the top ten. But the m-commerce app side of the category is far less well-served regarding tips and advice. That’s what this post is all about.

Without further ado, here are 35 tips for more effectively marketing m-commerce apps to drive maximum marketing ROI.

TIPS 1-6: APP MARKETING PLANNING

1. Codify the App Business Objectives

There is a slang term among digital marketers – GMOOT. It’s short for “give me one of those,” a phrase many have heard when new shiny objects have appeared in the digital space. The most common GMOOOT? When your boss runs into your office with the revelation that a competitor has launched something shiny, and demands that you create the same sort of shiny object immediately.

GMOOT makes people pursue actions that are reactive rather than strategic. That can be a significant hindrance when it comes time to measure the marketing ROI of your app marketing efforts. By codifying a business objective BEFORE you begin working on app marketing plans, you go a long way toward ensuring that GMOOT doesn’t result in a lot of wasted, non strategic effort.

One example here would be if the purpose of your app is primarily as a companion experience versus a transactional one, such as with an airline passenger app. In such a case, it would be important to remind the team of this BEFORE your organization spent a great deal on acquisition under the assumption that those investments would drive profitable ticket sales.

2. Spell Out the Real Value Proposition

You developed your app to be something unique, powerful and different. Before you go any further in crafting your marketing campaign for it, make sure you write down exactly what makes your app so special and different. Here are a few questions that may help you get that process focused:

If you already have an e-commerce site, catalog, retail outlets or another means of buying from you: Identify what is different about the buying experience of your app that helps to ensure that it will grow your business.

Is it all about new buying occasions, or reaching and connecting with the next generation of customers, or a new way to showcase your offerings?

Whatever your app’s value proposition is, that’s a key part of what makes it an asset to your brand and business. Assess the advantages (and disadvantages) that your app offers over competing app experiences. This assessment may help you define what you emphasize in your marketing messages and materials.

3. Distill Your Elevator Pitch

Think succinct, clear, intriguing and inspiring. Something that really sets your brand apart. Boil your story down to its essence. Spend some time here, as this statement will form the backbone of all your future communications.

4. Carefully Research Your Target Audience

Even before work began on your app, your team chose (or should have chosen) a target audience for your app. That’s because understanding both the value the app offers…and to whom that value is most relevant…should have been key drivers in its development.

As you plan your marketing efforts and set your marketing ROI goals, it’s important to align all marketing strategy and tactics to attracting that desirable target audience. It should guide your digital marketing messaging, app store page content, creative, media programs and more. Also, carefully communicate your target to all your media partners so they can plan and optimize quickly and easily.

5. Recognize  m-Commerce App Marketing is a Marathon

When people think of app marketing, their minds usually go to the hype tactics that gaming companies use to get their offerings to the top of the App Store and Google Play popularity lists. For an m-commerce app to be successful, it needs to get downloaded by a critical mass of customers AND used with a reasonable frequency to generate strong revenue/marketing ROI per customer. Doing that calls for an entirely different set of strategies and tactics than for game or utility app marketing.

For m-commerce, one needs to focus first on how many quality users you are attracting, versus focusing solely on raw install numbers. That’s because success in m-commerce metrics like revenue and marketing ROI comes from optimizing toward those objectives, not simply maximizing your total installed base.

It’s also important to understand how the app rankings work. Recognizing that rank matters less for m-commerce apps than games, learn more about the inputs that drive app ranking so that you focus your effort in the most productive places.

6. Take a Data-Driven Approach to App Marketing

The vast majority of downloads and usage go to the apps in the top few slots of the rankings. We’ve repeatedly seen in our clients’ metrics and data that one of the big differences between leaders and also-rans is their interest and investment in the entire buyer journey, not just the install. Here are a couple of ways that brands make that investment:

Measurement and Attribution: Make sure you have the data to evaluate your various marketing partners on their ability to drive quality users and engagements for your marketing campaigns. When you and your brand take the time to fully measure marketing — including uncovering rich marketing roi insights, you take an important leap into driving maximum value from the marketing channel.

In-App Engagement: Also ensure that you are tracking all the critical customer actions (“events”) that take place in your apps so you can optimize your customer experience over time and identify customer trends and characteristics that yield better return/marketing ROI.

TIPS 7-9: ADVERTISING AND MARKETING SPEND DECISIONS

7. Right-Size Your Acquisition Spend

You need to balance your marketing investment between acquisition goals and post-install metric KPIs to drive maximum total return on investment.

As recently as a year ago, many of our clients were spending 90-100% of their budgets on acquisition. But that has changed as better measurement and analytics have shown that downloads and installs are only the first steps in a longer customer engagement process. Post-install sales are what really drive marketing ROI.

8. Apportion Your Budget Against 3-4 Critical Tasks

Our marketing analytic data have shown that there are four significant hurdles that brands must clear with each user for them to become a high-value customer:

  • Go to the app store and download the app
  • Launch and engage with the app
  • Make a purchase
  • Make subsequent purchases

Not all your customers will require four distinct efforts to convert and become regular buyers, but it can be useful to think about the challenge of establishing a regular customer in the context of these four tasks.

9. Include a Website in Your Planning

Your app needs a web presence beyond its store pages to thrive. If your app is an extension of an online commerce business, create content specifically about your app and develop a destination on your site to feature it. If your business is a standalone app business, invest in an attractive web presence to tell your story and attract new users. And festoon those presences with links to your download pages.

TIPS 10-17: APP STORE IDEAS AND SOCIAL MARKETING

10. Tell Your App Story in Very Human Terms

In your marketing messages, “speak” directly to the prospective downloader and explain why the app can help them/is worth downloading. Avoid silicon speak and focus instead on words and claims that will be most relevant to your target audience. How will the app improve THEIR daily experience?

11. Invest the Time to Deliver Effective App Store Pages

Your app store page is like a shop window – a key driver for purchase/download. Make sure you spend enough time making it as strong as you possibly can. Use Google AdWords tools (make sure you first set the Keyword Tool to Mobile) to identify the most popular search terms in your category. Include exciting and appealing screen shots. And consider video – more and more app developers are creating and including video content in their pages to bring the features and benefits to life.

12. Optimize Your App Store Pages Over Time

As you learn more about customers, what they like, how they use your app, etc., make changes to your download pages to clarify communication and enhance appeal. Make sure, for example, that if you give the app a facelift, that you update your screenshots with the most appealing images possible.

13. Claim and Establish Your Social Media Pages

With the amount of time people spend in environments like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, it would be crazy not to create and leverage social accounts specifically for your app. It may make sense to establish these pages long before your launch to begin to build buzz for your offering.

For brick and mortar companies, leverage your pre-existing brand pages to hype the app to your follower/believers.

14. Tap Your Team’s Networks

You’d be amazed at how many people can be reached in social media if everyone on your team gets behind publicizing an app. Ask your team to promote the app on their personal brand presences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Snapchat, Pinterest and more!

15. Consider Specialty Store Apps

While Google Play and the Apple App Store are the largest libraries of available apps, it may also make sense to feature the Android version of your app in other specialty app stores if there are ones that are appropriate to your offering. While all iPhone apps must be installed from the App Store, Android allows apps to be downloaded from other locations online. Do some searches for specialty stores that attract your target audience or are relevant to your category.

16. STRONGLY Encourage User Reviews

Use your in-app and CRM experiences to request reviews from users. More and more positive reviews can significantly improve your download rate over time.

Target notifications to your most loyal users at moments when they are likely to be excited about the app and anxious to evangelize.

17. Monitor User Feedback

Customer comments and reviews provide an amazing set of in-market information that can help you refine your message and improve your offering. Make sure you monitor the stores, social media presences and leverage social listening tools to keep abreast of what your users are saying about your app.

TIPS 18-20: LEVERAGING THE PRESS

18. Craft a Great Press Kit and Pitch

Online, print and even television outlets can be very helpful to promote your app if you have a good story to tell. Start by thinking about the kinds of media that are popular with your target. Include both traditional media and popular blogs in this evaluation. Create a press kit containing the core information about your app, and include some great high-resolution screenshots. Provide promo codes so journalists can install and use the app easily. Personalize your pitch to each leading media outlet based on the kinds of stories that they cover.

Where possible, present your app as an extension of a recent story idea or topic that the journalist has covered. Above all, make it easy for them to try and then write about your app.

19. Spread the Word About the Press You Get

When you succeed in driving coverage of your app, use your web presences/social media/etc. to publicize a link to the coverage. Journalists and bloggers live and die by the traffic their stories attract. Make it worth the person’s while to have covered you.

20. Reach Out to App Review Sites for Coverage

The more people that have been exposed to your app and message, the greater your potential audience. The effectiveness of this strategy will ultimately relate to the innovativeness of your app. Many sites are focused primarily on games, though you can find quite a few that cover interesting m-commerce apps, especially those with unique buying experiences.

TIPS 21-25: CHOOSING MEDIA PROGRAMS AND PARTNERS

21. Remember that All Installs are Not the Same

If you think that most people who install an app do so because they wanted the app, you may have another think coming. A substantial portion of app installs is paid for on a CPI (cost per install) basis, meaning that media vendors are incentivized to get as many people to download the offering as they can, regardless of the actual level of interest “in the app itself.”

CPI tends to have a very poor correlation with average revenue per user, but strong media vendors can attract great users with that model. It just depends, and that’s why having an attribution platform from the outset of your app launch is so important. By ensuring you have the attribution data from the outset, you can compare your vendors based on their ability to generate revenue, marketing ROI and long-term engagement.

Also, you can work with your winning vendors to improve CPI campaign metrics based upon downstream customer activity.

22. Unlock the Power of Social Media Advertising

Social media consistently proves itself to be highly effective at driving quality customers for e-commerce businesses. Test a variety of paid advertising approaches across the leading social platforms to determine which work well for your brand.

23. Optimize to the Metric that Matters – Marketing ROI

Getting downloads and installs is great, but what’s most important to an e-commerce app is attracting paying customers. While individuals need to download your app to transact on it, download counts alone may not be the best way to compare the results delivered by different media vendors. Instead, focus on their ability to deliver people who transact, or who take actions like putting items into their carts that demonstrate a likelihood to transact in the future.

24. Be Aware of Incentivized Downloads

Incentivized downloads refer to situations where people are rewarded to download an app they may or may not have an interest in. Often, the person is given some virtual good, like gold in a game, in exchange for downloading. As you can imagine, the percentage of people who use an app that they downloaded because of an incentive tends to be rather low, though it varies considerably.

Reputable vendors can deliver great potential customers this way, but this segment of the media business also contains some bottom feeders. Again, the key to using CPI vendors effectively is having data that enables you to understand the value of the installs they bring you.

In short, there are no hard and fast rules about CPI and user quality, only correlations.

25. Insist on 3rd-Party Attribution/Reporting

Third-party reporting reduces or eliminates the likelihood of double-counting of marketing results, thereby saving you time and money. Third-party reporting creates peace of mind among all parties.

There are at least two other benefits here as well.

Third parties usually have extensive sets of existing partnerships with media vendors, so there won’t be a need to install an APK every time you test a new vendor.

The best measurement companies also provide enhanced, enterprise-grade security for your data.

Independent third-party reporting for downloads and re-engagements helps ensure a level playing field for all media vendors and apples-to-apples performance comparisons.

TIPS 26-28: DOWNLOAD, INSTALL AND BUYING EXPERIENCE

26. Make Registration Easy

Most m-commerce apps have a registration process, either when you first install or when the user transacts. Mobile retail tends to lose more people during this process than PC-based retail because data entry is more difficult on a phone. Take proactive steps to make registration and transacting as easy as possible.

Consider registration via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Then, be sure and offer to remember the person’s details for subsequent transactions. That will reduce friction for future purchases.

27. Create a CRM Program for Your App Users

Don’t overlook any opportunity to communicate with people who download your app. An opt-in email program helps you deliver targeted communications to your install base – messages that can drive them to launch and transact.

28. Deliver Push Notifications

Being able to deliver push communications to apps helps remind the user of why they downloaded the app in the first place and keeps it more top of mind. It also offers the opportunity to deliver important product news to those who might not opt-in for emails.

Custom or personalized push notices can also be a powerful tool to drive individuals to take specific actions. A marketing automation platform can make a tremendous level of personalization possible here.

TIPS 29-35: LEVERAGE VIRAL DISTRIBUTION AND WORD OF MOUTH

29. Bake Virality into Your App Experience

Your customer base can be an outstanding means through which to spread the word about your app on social. Baking in social media features in the experience can dramatically increase the potential audience of your app. Other features like the ability to create and share wish lists and message other users can be incredibly helpful here.

30. Brick and Mortar Retailers: Unlock the Power of Your Real-World Touch Points

Brick and mortar stores have tremendous potential awareness and marketing advantages when it comes to publicizing apps. Consider adding references to your app on receipts, signage, roto circulars, catalogs, website, estore, bags and anywhere else that offers a little real estate for a “download the app” message.

In some organizations, it can be a challenge to unleash these touch points because of logistical issues. But remember how free email platforms Yahoo and

Hotmail brought themselves to preeminence? By appending little “get an account” messages to all the emails emanating from their platforms. Using receipts and the like for driving your app business relies on the same principle.

Remember also that apps can enhance retail experiences, so the benefits can and should go both ways. By incorporating features like store maps, product scanning and an easy way to collect and use coupons, the retail experience can be enhanced.

31. Cross-Promote Your App

If your business already has an app, look at the user base as a natural set of people to attract with your new app. Cross-promotion is free and very powerful.

32. Create a Referral Program

Friends and family of m-commerce app users are more likely than the average person to appreciate the same app. By creating a referral program, you can leverage those networks while rewarding loyalists for evangelism. Just make sure you reward behavior related specifically to a core KPI. For instance, rewarding users for recruiting people who make a purchase versus a referral program that rewards a download/install is far more likely to drive meaningful revenue growth.

33. Leverage Retargeting to Close Sales

As we discussed in the budgeting section, your job is far from over when a customer installs an app. To create long-term customer relationships, you need to constantly think of ways to engage app users and bring them back to your app. Retargeting advertising can be extremely effective here.

It’s also great for incenting lapsed users or converting those with demonstrated product interests.

34 Analyze and Speak Directly to Your High-Value Users to Define

We all know that more personal messages tend to drive better results than mass blasts. That’s why it’s so important for you to collect rich customer purchase information – so that you can deliver precise, personalized messages at the perfect moment to drive maximum sales.

To get this kind of customer insight, you will need to leverage both a robust mobile app measurement solution and a mobile-first data management platform to collect, manage, enhance, segment and export customer audiences and data. Get more information on these topics in the Singular website resources section.

35. Use App Customer Data  for Cross-Device Marketing

Apps represent the majority of connected consumer time, but they are by no means the only places people spend their time. By collecting in-app customer data and using it as the foundation for customer profiles in a mobile-first DMP, you can define and export audiences. Your audiences can also provide critical insights for look-alike targeting, which can help you acquire more high-quality customers to your app.

Download The Singular ROI Index to see the world’s first ranking of ad networks by app ROI.

You Call THAT a Buying Funnel? How to Grow Retail App Profitability with App ROI Analytics

Introduction

More and more marketers are waking up to the fact that it’s a mobile-first world. And increasingly, that means an app-centric world, too! In most countries, the majority of connected time takes place on smartphones versus PCs, and most of that smartphone time is spent in mobile apps. With all that time spent, it is incumbent on marketers to best leverage apps for profit.
ComScore research shows that mobile and tablet connected time is edging toward 2/3 of total connected time in the US. 87% of mobile and tablet takes place in apps.
These statistics are driving thousands of companies, especially companies that rely on e-commerce for a sizable portion of their sales vs in-store shopping, to quickly develop and introduce m-commerce apps. And once those apps are launched, to leverage return on investment (ROI) analytics to improve revenue and profit.

App Engagement and ROI Analytics

The revenue performance of shopping apps runs the gamut. Some perform poorly when it comes to driving revenue and profitability, while others fare much better. Either way, most businesses with an e-commerce app are leaning hard on their app marketing campaigns to grow these businesses faster and more efficiently via ads, brand awareness campaigns, and loyalty programs.
Easier demanded than done. To deliver on these increasingly challenging goals, brand leaders need real insight into the key issues that face app marketers in general and their own app businesses in particular. ROI analytics can help provide that insight so that marketers have the learnings necessary to deliver on their KPIs and deliver cost savings in the process. This requires sophisticated technology built to unify marketing data for a single source of truth.

Singular’s Unique Visibility into the m-Commerce App Space

As the leader in providing app attribution and ROI analytics services for the e-commerce space, we have unique visibility into the programs of dozens of m-commerce app businesses. We can, therefore, comment with authority on the key issues that face many app businesses as they work to meet increasingly high KPI goals.
We’ve spent a great deal of time analyzing aggregated data across clients, trying to identify the most common problems and the solutions to those problems. While every app business has unique elements, it is plain from our research that app businesses have a lot of commonalities when it comes to user flow and bottlenecks that limit it.
This blog summarizes the four most common app buying funnel challenges, along with five tactics that are demonstrated to recraft the size and shape of buying funnels and drive outstanding growth. Our examination of the buyer flow across hundreds of m-commerce apps revealed that there are four common problematic buyer funnel flows. The following pages provide a summary of each of these iconic buyer flows.

The Four Most Common Buying Funnel Issues

The “Blown-Out Umbrella” Funnel

The most common buying funnel we see, the “Blown-Out Umbrella” is what happens when brands spend most or all their marketing campaigns budget on driving installs. The funnel is extremely broad at the installs stage, but quickly narrows due to a low conversion rate to a sliver when it comes to customer experience, user engagement and purchases.

One of the key reasons why many app marketing campaign analytics focus on installs is to establish a leadership position before a competitor can. Certainly, it is important to build a big base of users, but you need to have some balance in your spending.
Just because someone installs an app doesn’t mean they’ll be very prone to making purchases. At least without a little marketing encouragement. By balancing your acquisition spending with efforts to drive your users to engage, you can markedly improve the success of an app.

The “Where is It?” Funnel

Most common among apps launched for North America and the EU, the “Where is It?” reflects a good overall set of ratios between installs, engagement and purchases, but not enough scale. The principal cause here is a marketing team that spends the clear majority of their total investment building a gorgeous app, but don’t have enough money to drive high click-through rates to install and trial at scale.

Retailers don’t fall into this trap very often; rather, this pattern is most common among “tier-one” consumer brands that focus a tremendous amount of attention on a gorgeous in-app experience. Aesthetics are critical for a successful app, but brands need to be prudent about the tradeoffs between what they spend building an app and what they can spend marketing it.
Recently a massive global advertiser told us that they had soured on apps because the marketing teams always spent the vast majority of the budget on app design and production. , they took a Field of Dreams approach and found that ‘they will NOT come’ just because you build it.

The “Bulging” Funnel

The “Bulging Funnel” reflects good install and engagement rates, but poor purchase rates. It is particularly common for brands that require customers to leave the app to buy and don’t manage the transition seamlessly, or that have complex and clunky buying processes.

When brands don’t deliver a smooth, integrated experience in these circumstances, conversions suffer. Some brands also don’t focus enough attention on usability, so that making a purchase can be difficult.

We also see many instances in which much of the engagement takes place in an app, but purchases continue to occur on websites. It’s not that the apps don’t have built-in buying but rather that for whatever reason consumers are conditioned to visit websites for transacting. This is particularly common in the travel/OTA business, where purchases are well-considered.

When people leave your app to transact, or get frustrated and just abandon a purchase, your entire business loses. While some of your customers may decide to transact on your site, others will likely forgo the purchase entirely, or get intercepted by competitors.

The “Python” Funnel

This funnel shows excellent install to engagement and purchase ratios but fails to achieve the breadth of usage necessary for scale. Here the issue isn’t necessarily budget but rather how the brands spend their money – using scattergun media that wastes dollars and impressions on the wrong people.

Often, there are three big advertising waste culprits here:

Spending money on reaching the same sort of audience that buys on your website, without first ensuring that your app buyers ARE the same sorts of people.

Using demo-targeted media to drive installs and purchases instead of user audiences and robust lookalike modeling.

Failure to expand your target audience beyond its “bull’s-eye.” Here, you just aren’t aiming broadly enough.

Fixing Your Funnel: Five Proven Tactics

Now that we have established the four most common funnel challenges facing app marketers, let’s focus on five key tactics that have been demonstrated to address issues in one or more of these problem scenarios.

1. Right-Sizing App Development Costs

Brand dress and rich experiences are critical parts of differentiating yourself and should play a part in your m-commerce app. But with an app, and especially with a retail or companion app, utility is paramount. The app needs to provide clear answers to the magic questions: A) Why would I bother with this kind of app? And B) Is what it offers unique?

Here’s where we may get in a little trouble with some advertising agencies. People who usually focus on developing strong paid media experiences tend not to produce great apps. App development is best left to app dev experts, who understand the utility or entertainment goals of an app and reflect those in every aspect of what they build.

Brands often leave the development of an app to their agencies, which can be a great way of delivering a good finished product, provided the agency has or contracts out to app dev experts. And provided that the markup on managing the project is reasonable.

I am sure that someone reading this will be able to provide an example of a m-commerce app that broke these general guidelines and succeeded. But recognize that no matter how good your app, it faces 2,400,000 competitors in the Apple App Store, and 2,500,000 in Google Play. Some gaming apps are poised to spend more than $50M to drive installs this year. Do you think your m-commerce gorgeousness can break through in an environment like that? Can you drive ROI if you spend all of your money on development?Without marketing support and plenty of it – you’ll get lost in the clutter.

If you are a bricks-and-clicks retailer, you can overcome some of the need for marketing spend by leveraging your people and in-store materials – signage, CRM, receipts, bags etc.-to drive app awareness. But you will still need to spend significantly to get a strong foothold on which to build. What’s key here is to use mobile analytics to identify the most profitable mix of tactics.

How This Tactic Fixes Your Funnel

Since overspending on app dev is the principal cause of having a “Where is it?” funnel, this tactic offers the greatest benefits in that use case. But freeing up cash for working media can help any app business grow larger.

2. Invest in Mobile App Analytics

Understanding which of your media partners are most effective, and what your users do in your app, is critical to optimizing your buying funnel. Costs for measurement are consistently a tiny fraction of the economic benefits you can derive from it. With mobile app attribution, you can score some immediate benefits, including:

  • Optimize Media Vendor Allocations. App attribution can help you improve the way you allocate your media dollars. When it comes to spending precious marketing resources, you should be focusing on vendors that deliver better results. By uncovering which vendors are best at driving your install and re-engagement KPIs, we have seen media efficiency gains of 5-40% for m-commerce brands
  • Eliminate Double-Counting of Installs. Many media companies will likely touch someone before they install. Typically, it takes dozens of clicks – or more – to drive an install. If you don’t have a way of attributing a new install or re-engagement event to a single vendor, you may be paying twice – or more – for any CPI based installs that you drive. We routinely see client cost per installs drop over 20% when they implement attribution and use our third-party verification to attribute each install only to one vendor
  • Measure and Optimize to Install Quality. Over and over we see companies try to use the quantity of installs per dollar invested as a surrogate metric for vendor quality and investment worthiness.

But install quality varies. Incentivized, side load and APK-based installs tend not to convert as well as other types of installs. In fact, the lowest cost per install vendors often drive the lowest quality installs, yet brands mistakenly invest more and more money with them. Even vendors buying with CPM-based contracts often vary markedly in the extent to which they drive eventual CUSTOMERS. Use an analytics platform to optimize to cost per buyer rather than installer and radically improve the metrics of your business. We’ve seen improved media allocations that drive 10-30% more BUYERS per dollar invested in install media

Leverage Pre-Built Integrations for Faster Tests and Greater Data Security: App attribution platforms tend to have a broad range of pre-established integrations with leading media companies.

With these in place, you don’t need to incorporate all those publisher SDKs into your app. That improves your security, helps protect you against data loss, and drives media efficiency by enabling you to test and implement with new vendors faster

How This Tactic Fixes Your Funnel

Better understanding your business is essential to identifying the barriers that are impeding your growth. It helps at all levels of the funnel, improving install quantity and quality as well as providing the data necessary to engage and activate users. This tactic is probably most useful for “Python” and “Bulge” funnels but can offer significant benefits in all four use cases.

3. Retarget to Re-Engage

A huge portion of apps are used only once. Another huge portion are NEVER USED AT ALL. This is especially true of APK-installed apps and “side loads,” where users agree to download an app in exchange for free WIFI access and the like. Same thing with incentivized downloads like getting free gold for a game in exchange for an install. All these tactics tend to drive lower quality installs. Targeting your app users specifically with the help of user data and roi analytics versus using demo- or lifestyle based targeting can be many times more efficient.

Once someone installs an app, the battle is only half over. Tools now exist to enable you to deliver targeted messages specifically to people who have installed your app. First, leverage channels like emails and push notifications to incent and or drive usage. Then, develop targeted app ad campaigns using your collection of device ids as the targeting base. Many ad networks and the leading social networks can do this if your app install base has reasonable scale.

Note that doing this right requires accurate data, which is why we so strongly recommend having reliable third-party measurement and attribution data available.

In addition, numerous industry studies show that it costs 80-90% less to drive a purchase from a buyer as it does to make someone a buyer. Businesses need a constant inflow of new users. But most don’t spend enough time and energy working to maximize revenue and purchase occasions from the buyers they already have.

You can also use your attribution and measurement platform to identify your install or buyer base so that media companies can do precision lookalike targeting and dramatically sharpen the effectiveness of your acquisition media.

How This Tactic Fixes Your Funnel

The best use case is if you have a “Blown-Out Umbrella” because this tactic can improve user flow through to purchase. But it can also improve install efficiency, so it does have benefits for all four use cases.

4. Create and Export High-Performing Audiences of Your Users

The key to making the most of retargeting and re-engagement efforts is to take a more personal approach to messaging. While completely individualized messaging often isn’t all that efficient, you can get precise in the ways that you segment your user base, and deliver targeted creative designed to motivate them to take the next action. Here are some examples of how segmenting users into high-performing audiences can make an enormous difference for your business metrics:

    • Drive First Purchases: Package users who have installed the app but not yet made a purchase
    • Close Sales in Progress: Export a list of cart abandoners to bring them back to buy
    • Encourage Incremental Purchases: Deliver reminders and offers to past buyers/past category purchasers
    • Reactivate Lapsed Users: Create an audience of people who have not used the app in N days
    • Deliver Promotions and News: Create a super list of all your app users for broad-based messaging

How This Fixes Your Funnel

Because its benefits are concentrated in driving more effective and efficient re-engagement, it’s the tactic for you if you have “Blown-Out Umbrella.” It can also improve engagement and close rates, which can help in each use case. The millions quickly add up. The percentage improvements we’ve outlined above have been achieved by more than a few brands that have focused more of their efforts on precision targeting and messaging.

5. Leverage Mobile Marketing Automation

App customer relationships don’t come through advertising alone. Mobile now offers a vast array of potential communications paths that marketing automation platforms can leverage to reach and engage users. Here are some of the most commonly used:

  • Push notifications
  • Emails
  • SMS/texts
  • Message center communications
  • mWallet offers
  • Mobile site personalization
  • Landing page personalization

The Singular DMP helps make data, profiles and audiences available to marketing automation tools more quickly and easily. By measuring in-app customer events and combining that data with mobile-web and other first-party data sets, we create incredibly rich 360 profiles and can deliver real-time data to an automation tool in batches or real-time. Most DMPs have little or no visibility into customer events inside apps. Singular enables you to measure any consumer event, for rich insight and granular marketing automation programs.

How This Tactic Fixes Your Funnel

By automating the deployment processes, an automation platform can use any or all these tools to automatically create a personalized experience for the user. Marketing automation and the personalized experiences it creates have been shown to drive big increases in revenue and accountability for app businesses. For a more concrete measure of potential ROI, we suggest you contact some vendors in the space.

Automation primarily offers post-install benefits, so it is great for “Blown-Out Umbrella” funnels. It has some relevance in the other scenarios as well, though least for the “Where is It?” because the key issue with the “Where is It?” is a lack of installs.

Parting Thought

We’ll be the first ones to admit that the benefits you see from taking these actions may be larger or smaller than our estimates. Our figures relate to an aggregation of what we see across clients and categories. But, even with this qualification, it seems prudent for any app marketer to explore these sorts of steps if they have reason to believe that there are issues with the size, shape and flow of their buyer funnel. Ultimately, all the tactics described in this document are about consumer-centricity, which is surely of benefit to any app business.

Download The Singular ROI Index to see the world’s first ranking of ad networks by app ROI.

 

7 critical criteria to include in your mobile attribution RFP

According to eMarketer, mobile advertising in the United States is expected to reach over $70 billion this year and account for a whopping 75% of all digital ad spend.

As mobile advertising budgets continue to climb, so does the demand for tools and services to measure and optimize these investments. This surge in demand has led to a proliferation of mobile attribution companies and the commoditization of attribution technologies.

As a result, many mobile attribution providers rely heavily on inflated claims and marketing jargon as a means to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market. Even if you’re an attribution expert, researching mobile measurement providers can be a confusing and frustrating experience for marketers.

To help you feel more confident re-evaluating your current provider or choosing a new one, we’ve written an attribution RFP guide to help you wade through the jargon and find the right provider.

Download our No Bullsh!t Guide to Mobile Attribution now.

Here’s a snapshot of of the seven key criteria we cover in the guide to help you build the best mobile attribution RFP.

1. Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP)

A mobile attribution provider will only be effective if it’s integrated with the media sources you buy from, period. This is particularly crucial if you spend (and you most likely are) on any of the self-attributing networks (such as Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Twitter, and Apple).

2. Data combining

There are two main types of integrations marketers need to be aware of in order to understand the complexity of mapping their data. The first is an attribution integration (which delivers user-behavior data) and the second is an ad network integration (which delivers marketing data). To truly understand ROI across your mobile campaigns, creatives and publishers, you need to collect and combine both sets of data. However, the ability to do this is entirely dependent on the provider’s technological capabilities, and almost all providers (except Singular) cannot do both today. We’ll dig deeper into each data integration and demonstrate why it’s necessary for both to be connected.

3. Granularity

Ensuring accuracy and completeness when combining and connecting your data is the greatest challenge to granularity. No two sources are the same and even when it is accurate, complete, and attributed, you still need to ensure your marketing campaign data matches your user-level data to unlock ROI at the campaign, publisher, keyword, and creative-levels.

4. Reporting

Another area where attribution providers are heavily differentiated is reporting. While many providers will provide some way of accessing raw data, for the system to be truly impactful, the reporting interface must be designed in a way for insights to be derived quickly and efficiently. We’ll review a few report types that have proven to be indispensable to mobile marketers.

5. Fraud prevention

No matter where you advertise or how much you spend, your mobile campaigns will likely be impacted by fraud. Even if a provider says they offer “fraud protection,” make sure you read the fine print. Actual prevention, custom rules, reporting and insights, cost savings and alignment of incentives are a few specifics to pay attention to.

6. Data retention & accessibility

This is an area where this is a huge difference between providers, where some offer decent APIs, and some offer rather useless means to export your data, that will make the entire exercise extremely painful. We’ll dive into the four different options available for downloading and sharing more robust data with your internal teams and systems in this guide.

7. Pricing

While pricing may be one of the most obvious points of consideration when evaluating attribution providers, it’s far more useful to weigh value over price. Hidden costs and feature charges can add up quickly. So, before you are lured by a low-cost solution, make sure you know what you’re paying for.

We’ll help you understand the different pricing models in the attribution market today.

So what are you waiting for? Cut the bullsh!t and get the complete facts on mobile attribution providers now.

MAU Game Plan: How marketers can make the most of Grow.co Mobile Apps Unlocked 2018

We’re one week away from what we at Singular like to call the Super Bowl for mobile marketers: Grow.co’s Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU). This year, the event is stacked up to be massive, complete with multiple content tracks, a huge expo floor, crazy parties and of course the best and brightest marketers in the country. No doubt this event is the largest opportunity of the year to learn new strategies and understand how to fuel your marketing stack for bigger and better things.

We’ve seen conference attendees fail to make the most of their days in Vegas time and time again by not preparing a game plan in advance of the big event. So, we’ve put together a complete list of places to be and people to talk to so you can leave Vegas more knowledgeable on how to build a next generation marketing tech stack, and of course… a bit hungover.

 

If you’re looking to improve your measurement…

  • 4-25 @ 9:20 AM: The Modern Mobile Marketing Stack featuring PicsArt, Women in Wireless, Kongregate, Scopely, N3TWORK
  • 4-25 @ 3:50 PM: How to Win in Marketing with Data Granularity featuring Singular

Who to meet with: Singular! Singular combines marketing analytics and attribution in one platform providing a single source of truth for marketing campaign performance

If you’re looking to acquire new users on high performing, low fraud channels…

  • 4-25 @ 2:00 PM: Driving Performance on Snapchat featuring Snapchat
  • 4-26 @ 10:00 AM, Growth Track: Inside Mobile Ad Fraud: A DSP’s View into the Programmatic Ecosystem featuring Liftoff
  • 4-26 @ 10:20 AM Growth Track: Awed by Fraud? Get Clarity With Transparency featuring AdColony, Camelot, Intuit
  • 4-26 @ 2:20 PM, Growth Track: Scaling Facebook & Instagram in 2018 featuring Priceline, Freshly, Smartly.io, Unique Influence, Quidd, Seriously

Who to meet with: Check out the Singular ROI Index for a complete list of media sources you should meet up with at MAU

 

If you’re looking to retain existing users & re-engage past users…

  • 4-25 @ 10:10AM: Notifications @ Scale featuring Pinterest
  • 4-25 @ 3:50 PM: Avoiding “Garbage In, Garbage Out”: The Power and Promise of Human-First AI featuring Braze and Smule
  • 4-26 @ 10:40 AM, CRM/Retention Track: App Retargeting in the Mobile Age featuring Remerge and DraftKings
  • 4-26 @ 1:30 PM, CRM/Retention Track: A live ops approach to CRM featuring NBC Universal, Playstudios, Headspace, FabFitFun

Who to meet with:
Sumee Oh, Sr. Director, Marketing at NBC Universal
Siberia Su, Sr. Manager, Acquisition Marketing at DraftKings
Jeet Niyogi, Marketing Director at Playtika

 

And if you’re just looking for a good time…

  • 4-25 @ 7:00 PM: Keep in on the Download. The most exclusive party at MAU hosted by Singular & Applovin. Get access to the largest penthouse suite at the MGM Grand. Invite-only, but you can request to get added to the list by emailing mau@singular.net
  • 4-26 @ 12:00 PM: Mobile Fempire Lunch – Join the leading women in the advertising industry for networking, drinks, and lunch.  Invite-only, so request an invite at mau@singular.net
  • 4-26 @ 9:00 PM: MAU’s Official After Party

 

With so many incredible sessions, dozens of technology vendors, a hot lineup of parties every night, how do you plan to make the most of your 48 hours in Vegas?

P.S. Be sure to swing by Booth 311 to say hi to the Singular team!

Singular’s ROI Index Ranks the Top Mobile Media Sources

We’re excited to announce the second edition of the The Singular ROI Index, ranking the top-performing ad channels driving the highest quality ROI for mobile marketers on iOS and Android. This is the largest study of its kind with over $1B in revenue, 315M installs, 1.7K+ apps, and 1.2K+ mobile media partners analyzed. The rankings account for three factors:

  • Quality Factor (based on ROI or revenue divided by cost)
  • Scale Factor (total ad spend)
  • Fraud Factor (penalty based on the percentage of fraudulent installs driven by a media source)

You asked, we answered: We’re bringing you even more granular insights. This year’s edition includes vertical and regional breakdowns of the Top 15 ranking mobile media sources. Singular is uniquely positioned to offer the most comprehensive set of ROI data as the leading mobile attribution and campaign analytics platform used by top marketers at Lyft, Yelp, Rovio, Postmates, Airbnb, and Blizzard.

Comparing Singular’s ROI Index 2016 to 2017, many movers and shakers appeared. In terms of platform ROI, iOS held its lead for the Gaming category; however, Android made significant headway in closing the gap. A number of other players achieved considerable growth in both volume and return as newcomers burst onto the scene, big names increased their game, and video-focused media sources continued to climb the ranks.

Movers and shakers include:

  • Snapchat Enters the Scene on iOS: Snapchat debuts in the rankings as marketers increased their spend on iOS driving the 6th highest ROI for the Non-Gaming category and the 15th highest ROI across all verticals
  • Apple Search Ads Accelerates into the Top 5: Apple Search Ads captured a larger share of digital marketing budgets, rising from the 23rd rank to the 6th highest-volume media source on iOS from 2016 to 2017
  • AdWords Takes Back the Top Spot on Android: While Facebook surged to the top spot in 2016, AdWords took back control as the top leader on Android in 2017
  • Facebook Edges Out AdWords in EMEA: AdWords held the top spot in Americas and APAC on Android, but Facebook beat out AdWords in EMEA
  • Twitter on the Rise: Twitter delivered the 2nd highest ROI across both Android and iOS in the Non-Gaming category
  • Top Video Media Sources Keep Climbing: Video media sources – Vungle, Unity Ads and AdColony – climb into the Top 5 on Android and iOS
  • iOS Dominates in Gaming: iOS drove 1.2X higher ROI in the Gaming category, however Android is quickly closing that gap driving 8% annual growth in ROI

For the complete list of rankings including the Top 15 on Android vs. iOS, download The Singular ROI Index now.

Singular & Grow.co Release State of the Industry: Digital Marketing Measurement

Digital ad spending continued to swell in 2017, increasing 16% to reach $224 billion worldwide, with mobile ad spending accounting for a record 63% of total spend, according to estimates by eMarketer.

As the cost and demand for digital ads grow, so too does the importance of digital marketing analytics. Yet the amount of data sources funneling information into the modern-day marketing stack is continuing to expand, placing a heavy burden on marketing teams to effectively ingest, analyze and optimize increasingly large and diversified sets of marketing data.

In Singular & Grow.co’s State of the Industry: Digital Marketing Measurement, we set out to understand how marketers are handling today’s marketing data deluge. Survey results highlight a host of fascinating trends in the digital marketing world and reveal where leading digital marketers are making their largest investments in terms of ad partners, infrastructure and analytics providers.

Produced in partnership with Grow.co, the world’s leading community for growth-focused mobile apps, the State of the Industry survey drew responses from Singular customers including StitchFix, Kabam, Lyft, NexonM, Yelp and Ibotta as well as non-Singular customers.

Respondents represent a broad array of verticals, geos, team sizes, budgets and revenue streams, with more than three-quarters of respondents identifying their businesses as “mobile-first” companies whose primary touchpoint is a mobile app.

Below is a snapshot of findings from the survey. For a complete list of findings and analysis, download the full report here.

  • Media Sources Surging: The average digital marketer spends across 12 different media sources at any given time, but in 2018, 51% of marketers say they plan to increase the number of media sources they use.
  • MarTech Complexity: On average, marketers utilize 17 marketing tools and services to run their digital marketing campaigns.
  • Analytics Woes: Notably, only 13% of marketers are confident in the accuracy and completeness of their data, while just 8% of marketers are confident they’re attributing campaigns across devices and platforms.

Average number of media sources, 2017

 

With this wealth of new data comes major analytics challenges. In 2018, as marketers increase the media sources they use, go deeper on specific platforms, and advance their analytics toolset to support both efforts, the size and diversity of the data they can collect is constantly growing and evolving.

To remain competitive in 2018, mobile marketers understand they must meet these challenges head-on with automated solutions that unlock granularity, quickly expose data inaccuracies and fraud and, above all, centralize the full gamut of marketing data in a single platform. Call it the Catch-22 of modern-day marketing: an ever-increasing need for crystal-clear analytics amid an ever-increasing flood of data.

It’s no surprise, then, that 98% of marketers prefer a single platform for measuring marketing performance.

A single source of truth for marketing data allows marketers to analyze, optimize and automate marketing data with far greater precision and far better results. These are the capabilities that will allow growth-focused apps in 2018 to distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive digital economy.

So how do you stack up against the competition? Download the report now.

LoseIt Taps Singular’s Unified Product To Expose A Complete View of Users – From Acquisition Through Engagement

We’re excited to announce that Lose It!, one of the world’s most popular health and wellness apps, has partnered with Singular to strengthen its marketing attribution and analytics.

The Lose It! team will leverage all aspects of the unified analytics solution resulting from the recent merger of Singular and Apsalar. With this fully integrated offering, Lose It! will be able to connect, measure, and optimize its acquisition and lifecycle marketing data across paid and organic sources from a single platform.

“We didn’t want to work with multiple vendors to get the data we need,” says Eliza Jonathan, Growth Manager at Lose It!. “Singular’s unified product lets us retrieve and measure as much information as possible to discover the KPIs that are most valuable for our app. Now we can optimize towards these KPIs across every part of our app’s growth funnel – from acquisition to engagement through premium upgrade.”

Their Story
Lose It! was founded in 2008 to help real people achieve real weight loss by delivering an easy, personalized, app-based program. Since then, Lose It! has attracted more than 30 million downloads, and has consistently been ranked among the top apps in the Apple app store’s fitness and wellness category, and for good reason: Lose It! has helped its members lose over 50 million pounds.

Their Goals
In choosing a marketing analytics platform, the Lose It! team had several goals in mind:

  • Integrate analytics across all marketing channels
    “It’s essential for us to see beyond front-end acquisition data and expose what our users do further down funnel, so marketing can be optimized for downstream activity.”
  • Reduce reporting bottlenecks & operational overhead
    “Manual collection and analysis of marketing data in Excel wasn’t sustainable as it took hours to collate. In searching for a way to automate the process, we didn’t want to work with multiple vendors to get the attribution and analytics data we needed.”
  • Reduce reliance on Engineering
    “When onboarding a new channel, mapping events to our data warehouse required the help of engineers, which prevented us from easily testing and setting up analytics for new channels.”
  • Access deeper analytics
    “Network dashboards and internal reports weren’t meeting our analytics needs. In some cases, segmentation by date, ad group and cohort was limited. Or, we could only see conversions by campaign, not the sum of conversions by Geo or across the entire channel.”

Their Solution
After integrating Singular, the Lose It! team is already seeing the value of centralizing its acquisition and attribution data, with Singular’s powerful analytics tools layered on top.

Lose It! connected its ad channels and lifecycle management tools to Singular, giving Lose It! the ability to see if users coming from a specific channel or campaign are highly engaged with the app and are taking high-value actions. “The value of Singular is not just the users we obtain, but also what we learn about those users through other marketing channels like in-app messaging and email marketing,” says Jonathan.

Insights are derived from highly accurate and flexible ROI and CPA data, which the team can analyze on a channel, campaign, creative and publisher-level.

While platform integrations with new ad channels previously required assistance from engineering, now integrations are streamlined. “When I set up a new advertising channel, I can go into Singular and select which events I want to map to that channel on my own, without engineering help.”

“Singular will make it really easy to test and optimize new channels and see an apples-to-apples comparison between channels all in one place.”

Download The Singular ROI Index to see the world’s first ranking of ad networks by app ROI.