Tracking cross-platform ROAS for PC, console, mobile marketing

By John Koetsier February 28, 2024

How can you manage performance marketing in a cross-platform scenario?

One really good option is with Singular’s recently announced cross-platform measurement for PC, console, and (of course) mobile. I recently sat down with the product manager and the product marketing manager for PC/console cross-platform measurement, Gali Housman and Kelsey Lee.

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The cross-platform measurement gap

If you have cross-platform experiences, you know there’s a measurement gap that needs to be closed. When you’re advertising on the web for a console game or marketing on mobile for a desktop experience, it’s easy to end up with siloed marketing: untrackable campaigns, hard-to-sum-up costs, and ROAS numbers that bear almost no relation to reality.

“So what’s hard is tracking the user,” says Singular product manager Gali Housman. “In order to do marketing well, to get the full ROI at the end and optimize and be able to send the data back to the networks you need to be able to track the users and to attribute the users to the correct source and correct ad network.”

The problems are many, including different devices and different identifiers (if you have any identifiers at all).

But they actually start upstream of your click and conversion data: all the way to what you’re spending on each campaign. Which, of course, is essential to generating a return on ad spend figure that is remotely accurate.

Cost collection and cost aggregation: different challenges

“ROAS is ROAS, but a big aspect of that is cost collection,” says product marketing manager Kelsey Lee. “These web cost partners are complicated: they don’t all just have easy APIs to integrate, like our traditional mobile networks … the integrations are a lot more flexible, so you need to be able to read Google Docs. You need to be able to read email reports. You need to be able to read all of these unique different types of cost integrations and standardize all that data.”

Which means that what should be easy — cost collection and aggregation — actually isn’t. And without that solved, getting ROAS is just not in the cards.

Cross-platform optimization is also harder 

Yet another challenge: enabling optimization.

When your ad networks succeed, you want to let them know so they can do more of it. In a cross-platform marketing campaign, that’s not always as easy as it might seem. Not only is connecting a converting user or player to an ad interaction is hard by default, but privacy rights have to be respected.

The solution is a conversion API, Housman says, plus an industry first for MMPs: web postbacks.

“Once you have that, you have the ability to send the data and optimize campaigns accordingly,” Housman says. “It’s a much needed part to the whole tracking and attribution of games.”

The result is a privacy-compliant and cookie-less solution for both web conversions and console conversion: configure it in the Singular user interface, and your ad partners will be able to optimize their campaigns based on the results they generate.

Ultimately: what do you get?

The goal, of course, is good data to accurately measure campaign performance. And that’s exactly what you get, says Housman.

Essentially, it’s exactly what you currently get with mobile.

“If we’re talking to a marketer that’s already familiar with an MMP or specifically Singular, they can expect the full Singular solution,” Housman says. “They can expect all the benefits of our solution, of our cost aggregation, data standardization, ETL, postbacks, attribution, all of including customization to come along.”

That includes integrations with all the partners you need and full ROI. 

Not a brand-new solution

While the solution as a whole is new and just launched, components have been around used for years. As we mentioned in the product announcement, one client has already used parts of this solution for over 2 years to track over $100 million in revenue: it’s been a key component in their transition from a single-platform publisher to a publisher with solutions on mobile and desktop and console.

Which brings up interesting options if you want to measure cross-platform player value.

“Clients can also track the user across different devices,” Housman says. “So they can track the user across several devices and then see the lifetime value and the revenue that they get for this user across all of the devices they use.”

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