Sexy new campaign analytics: Dynamic totals, drag-and-drop columns, freezing, pinning, and more

Excel is a wonderful tool. But I think we can all agree the less you need to export marketing campaign analytics out of one system, import it into another, and then finally start a deeper analysis, the better.

Especially when, as a digital marketer, you want to make fast but smart decisions.

So Singular released multiple improvements today to our campaign analytics report that automatically collects and standardizes data from all of your sources into one single reporting view for apples-to-apple analysis, says Singular’s senior product marketing manager, Saadi Muslu.

“Asides from having a sleek new look, we’ve added new functionalities for improved viewability,” she says. “Features like freeze/pin columns, drag & drop columns, and edit columns help to customize your reporting view for your needs. One of the most exciting new functionalities is Dynamic Totals, which allow users to filter their table by any attribute, and see the totals recalculated in real-time without needing to run a new query.”

One of my favorites though? Source transparency. (Scroll down to see it.)

The goal here is allowing you to dig deeper into campaign analytics insights without having to run a new report query every. single. time.

VP of product Alon Nafta provided an overview of the new functionality with — of course — animated GIFs showing the updated features.

Multiple curve charts

Now you can layer multiple metrics on the same chart to visualize trends and correlations, says Nafta:

Dynamic totals

Filtering a table? Now the totals are recalculated in real-time, in your browser. No need to run a new query.

Drag and drop columns for reordering

Need to see a metric more clearly in context with another measurement? No problem. Simply drag and drop the column headers.

Edit and/or hide columns

Want to customize a generated results table? Easily edit and/or hide a column.

Freeze columns and rows

Data tables get big. Freezing columns allows you to keep the data you need visible, while scrolling through the rest of the table.

Pin columns and rows

Similar functionality, but a little different. Nafta explains it like this: “Pin any column to the left and the selected column will shift to the far left, next to the dimension columns. You can also pin a selected column to the right to further customize the table view.”

Source transparency

As I mentioned above, my favorite might be source transparency, which enables you to see the source for the data you’re looking at right in the table. As Alon puts it, hovering over a cell will show you where the data comes from: an ad network, or an attribution provider.

Then, clicking the transparency icon will further show a drill-down into the actual statistics pulled from each data source.

What does that do for you?

In a phrase, we hope it helps you grow faster. And easier.

“We’re dedicated to powering our users to uncover the insights that drive their growth, in a faster and easier way,” says Muslu.

We likely have some work yet to do on campaign analytics, however. At least if you still need to export data elsewhere.

“The larger story is that we want the Singular UI to be the only tool customers need to use, and we continue to make steps towards that goal,” says Nafta. “So as long as users still export to Excel, it’s our signal we still have improvements to do!”

Ad Spend Measurement: 3 Ways Marketers Tackle One of Mobile’s Biggest Analytics Challenges

Mobile marketers across the globe recognize the massive importance of ad spend measurement. The ability to effectively collect ad spend data from media providers directly affects a marketer’s success on mobile.

Yet various events can skew your ad spend data as it travels from your ad networks into your analytics, distorting metrics and destroying the ability to target your most profitable audiences. As a result, collection of accurate and detailed spend data from ad partners is a non-trivial task that trips many marketing teams up.

It is a problem that Singular set out to solve for marketers more than four years ago and in that time we’ve pioneered technologies to automate the collection of accurate and detailed ad spend data from media providers.

As the industry matures, and other analytics platforms start to recognize the importance of ad spend and ROI analysis, we felt the time was right to review the various spend collection methods being utilized in the mobile marketing industry and highlight the advantages as well as the limitations of each method.

In doing so, we hope to advance the growing dialogue on ad spend collection in the analytics ecosystem and continue pushing the industry to improve the handoff of marketing data from media providers to advertisers.

Overview of spend collection methods

Currently there are three main types of methods for collecting ad spend:

  • Platform Integrations
  • Passing Spend Data in Tracking Link Parameters (i.e. Cost “Macros”)
  • Passing Spend Data in Server-To-Server Postbacks

Platform Integrations

In this method, media providers (e.g., mobile ad networks) report rich metadata and performance information through some form of programmatic data reporting, commonly a Reporting API. In many cases, networks have multiple API endpoints that may serve different granularities, breakdowns or formats. There are also cases where networks send data in Email reports to complement some form of reporting that the API lacks. There are other cases in which dashboards and various types of exports (e.g., via Amazon S3) complement reporting where an API is not available.

Advantages
  • Gives marketers the ability to accurately match the media provider numbers, including cases in which data changes retroactively.
  • Gives marketers access to a wealth of information beyond ad spend, such as additional performance metrics, creative data, targeting options and more.
  • Are the only way to integrate with the Self-attributing Networks (SANs): Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Apple Search Ads and others.
  • Sensitive Data is securely passed Server-to-Server.
Limitations
  • Platform Integrations are harder to build and maintain.
  • Platform Integrations must map media provider identifiers to user data, requiring coordination between tracking links and data collected.
  • Platform Integrations can limit data update frequency – while some networks offer near real-time updates, others offer hourly or daily updates.

Passing Spend Data in Tracking Link Parameters

With this method, marketers attach a few additional macros for cost data to the tracking links they create in their attribution platform (e.g., cost={...}&cost_model={...}). These links are built such that additional cost information is appended on top of every ad click (and ad impression, when view tags are supported).

While most larger networks support passing spend data through tracking links, many networks do not support this method. In addition, we’ve found that relying solely on tracking links to transmit cost data frequently leads to inaccuracies, which is why we recommend marketers complement data from tracking links with data from Platform Integrations, side-by-side, to ensure 100% accuracy and consistency.

Advantages
  • Delivers a built-in capability to attach cost to individual user data.
  • Data is updated in near real-time.
  • Simpler technology as attribution integrations are relatively easy to maintain.
Limitations
  • Inherent discrepancies with media providers – tracking links don’t ensure a 100% match with the network’s spend figures, and spend could differ from the actual invoices marketers receive.
  • Difficult to support cost reconciliations, retroactive data updates and discounts.
  • Method is not applicable for Self-Attributing Networks (like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snap and others) as Tracking Links aren’t supported in these networks.
  • It’s challenging to support CPM & CPA campaigns:
    • CPM requires impression tags, which aren’t globally support yet, and due to sheer volume/inaccuracies will only increase discrepancies.
    • CPA is harder to support as cost is determined by a downstream metric or a set of downstream metrics, and there isn’t a clear way to define that at the link level.

Passing Spend Data in Postbacks

This method is similar to the Tracking Link method, however instead of using tracking link parameters, media providers are beginning to send cost data through postbacks, directly to the attribution provider. While we expect postbacks to deliver improvements over the tracking link method, other challenges (listed below) still remain unresolved. Because this method is relatively new, postbacks as a source of cost data still require additional testing by the industry in order to determine where they can be used most effectively.

Advantages
  • Delivers a built-in capability to attach cost to individual user data.
  • Data is updated in near real-time.
  • Support for all campaign types as opposed to Tracking Link Parameters.
Limitations
  • Inherent discrepancies with media providers – this method doesn’t ensure a 100% match with the network’s spend figures, and spend could differ from the actual invoices marketers receive.
  • Difficult to support cost reconciliations, retroactive data updates and discounts.
  • Not currently applicable for Self-Attributing Networks like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snap and others.
  • Requires development from the network – not all networks have the resources or ability to change their ad server to fit these requirements, and as a result, coverage is still limited.

Summary

As pioneers in this field, we are excited to see the increased awareness of the problem of marketing data collection. This is a problem we have been solving for our customers for over four years, and along the way we have seen the impact of our work: better collection techniques, new interfaces with media providers, and overall increases in granularity, speed and accuracy.

Our fundamental belief is that the best solution to the problem is the most comprehensive one. One that combines all available methods of ad spend and marketing data collection into a hybrid approach. Singular’s customers are some of the largest marketers in the world, and as such, we are held to the highest standards of delivery: accuracy, coverage, speed and granularity.

Our promise to our customers and our ecosystem is to keep innovating, and tackling the problems to come. In fact, we have some groundbreaking innovations we are excited to share with the world in the upcoming months, and we can’t wait to tell you more about them.

To learn how Singular can solve for marketing data collection in your business, request a demo now.

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

Postmates Partners with Singular to Scale its Growth Marketing with Deeper Insights

Postmates, the on-demand delivery logistics company that defined the food and delivery industry as we know it today, has partnered with Singular to scale its company’s growth marketing with deeper insights across mobile and desktop.

Postmates is a company that operates the largest on-­demand delivery fleet in 44 major metropolitan markets in the US.

Postmates’ mission is to power the logistics behind fast deliveries from any type of merchant at scale. So when Postmates decided it was time to take a fresh, data-driven approach to its marketing strategy, it was all but necessary to find a platform that aligned with this mission; to allow the marketing team to make fast decisions at scale.

Postmates’ Growth Team has some ambitious goals ahead of them for 2017, including reducing its cost per acquisition for fleet and new customers by 50%, while still hitting its growth targets. In order to achieve this, Dan Dumitru, Head of Paid Acquisition at Postmates, knew the foundation of the team’s reporting process was critical to the on-demand delivery company’s success.

Our team is focused on two major initiatives: driving new customers and increasing the size of our fleet. In order to scale our efforts while also cutting costs, we needed a full picture of our app user acquisition performance and to close the gaps in the data that result from manual reporting,” says Dumitru, who is leading the charge. “The manual reporting we’ve been doing in Excel couldn’t give us the level of granularity we needed, not to mention the accuracy we were looking for, to make strategic decisions.

Singular will power the Postmates growth marketing stack to support the acquisition of customers and fleet drivers. Initially, Singular will track and analyze performance across over a dozen different ad networks driving users to become Postmates customers as well as over ten different sources driving new fleet applications and will allow Postmates to easily add and remove networks as they are tested. Day-to-day, Singular’s Custom Reports will empower the Growth Team to uncover granular insights into events down the funnel, post install while allowing the Executive Team to keep a pulse on how these efforts are tracking towards goals.

Importantly for Postmates, they will also rely on Creative Reports to view costs for acquiring new app customers broken out at the creative level to better optimize towards their goals. The Postmates Growth Team will also benefit from Workflow Automation to react in real-time when app marketing performance metrics dip or exceed preset thresholds.

We’ll be utilizing the full Singular platform to drive insights into prior and current campaigns, to then devise a strategy, like testing new sources and finding new inventory, shifting budgets to where our pockets of profitability are, optimizing creatives based on historical performance — we couldn’t do this before in an efficient or effective way” says Dumitru.

Susan Kuo, COO and Co-Founder of Singular, is thrilled to begin this partnership.

After meeting the Postmates team who has proven to be as ambitious as we are to bring innovation to a historically unmanageable group of tools and data sets, we couldn’t wait to get them on-boarded. We look forward to helping Postmates take full advantage of the Singular platform to grow its business in the future.

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

Why Mobile App Uninstalls are Far More Prevalent in Developing Countries

As a mobile app attribution and data management services provider for a host of countries around the world, we see both commonalities and differences between the mobile app markets in different regions. One such difference is the frequency of uninstalls in developing versus developed economies.

Specifically, reported uninstall rates are higher in developing economies like India, China Brazil and Southeast Asia than in the EU or the US. Why? There are likely a variety of factors, including:

Phone Storage Size

The most popular phones in developing markets tend to have much smaller memories than those in developed economies. Many of the most popular phones, for example, have 1GB of memory, versus 16GB for the smallest iPhone 6. When a phone has a smaller memory, consumers must choose their apps carefully, or periodically uninstall apps they are not currently using in order to make room for other applications. They may choose to reinstall an app at a later date when the value proposition is more timely and urgent. But there are no guarantees that this will happen, which ultimately limits lifetime value. Further, it means a customer must be won over and over through marketing efforts and the Apple App Store and Google Play.

More Incentivized Mobile App Downloads

Many more app installs come via incentivized download programs in the developing world. App developers tend to use these platforms more in developing economies for different reasons, but it is clear that they have an impact. Free wifi for app download, free virtual goods for app download, and piggyback app downloads are quite common in developing markets. While some incentivized mobile app install programs attract high quality users, others drive installs with people who may ultimately have little interest in an app. Naturally, those  installs are much less likely to stick.

Network Issues That Appear to Be Product Issues

In markets where data service is spotty, it’s possible that a consumer will misinterpret network issues for app product issues. In those instances, uninstalls may be driven up even though the app itself is not faulty.

Lower Percentage of Paid Apps

Owing to greater price sensitivity as well as lower incidence of credit card usage, paid app penetration in the developing world tends to be lower. Paid apps, perhaps not surprisingly, have lower uninstall rates than free apps.

Whatever the reasons, it is clear that app uninstalls tend to be higher in places like India, China and Latin America than in the US or EU. But  uninstalls are an issue for a large proportion of apps across all regions, and marketers would be wise to better understand their uninstall rates, their sources of greater uninstalls, and the strategies to combat them.

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

 

 

Mobile App Tracking: Here’s What You Should You Track

Most of us understand intuitively that getting customer event data from our mobile apps is important and can help drive improved marketing effectiveness. But what specifically should we measure? How do we turn the good idea of measuring marketing activity into something that is both clear, focused and actionable?

For some, this post may feel a little “in the weeds.” But I am a big believer in helping marketers create a solid data foundation for everything that they do. Without mobile phone app attribution, many marketers have told us that they felt like they were flying blind. Once people see the value of app attribution, it’s critical to unlock its full power with an event measurement strategy that is robust, comprehensive, and clear.

I hope that by laying out a lot of specifics here with regard to the data to collect for iPhone and Android app tracking, that marketers who are considering app attribution solutions will be able to more fully grasp the importance of this unique set of data and ensure that they take full advantage of the data collection power of their attribution toolset.

Recommendations Based on Hundreds of Implementations

As a big player in marketing attribution across the cell phone app ecosystem,, Singular has worked with many companies to set up their marketing attribution instances. Singular’s very low account churn rate attests to our success at helping clients create measurement plans that meet real business needs and drive significant improvement in ROI.

Getting started defining what you will measure with your Android and iPhone app tracking can feel like the hardest part of implementing an attribution solution like Singular’s. But trust me, that “difficulty” is more psychological than real. My goal with this post is to get rid of some of that discomfiture, so you can get up and running with your iOS and Android app tracking  much faster.

Actions and Events

When you are just getting started with a measurement and attribution offering like that which is part of the Singular unified platform, the most important things you need to decide are which consumer actions you want to track. In the iPhone and Android device app  industry, we call consumer actions “events”. By tracking events, we gather the data necessary to:

  • Understand the effectiveness of your marketing programs
  • Gain a genuine view into what consumers are doing in your apps

That’s mission-critical knowledge!

Different platforms allow their customers to track different numbers of events. Some allow only a handful of trackable event types, while others allow dozens – or more.  Singular allows advertisers to track up to 400 unique events per app version – an extremely large number for the category and one that makes us the choice of many of the most sophisticated mcommerce companies globally. These are businesses that understand the importance of complete and granular data.

It’s actually pretty simple to identify the kinds of events you need to track for mobile app tracking and analytics. At Singular, we advocate for tracking as many germane events as possible in order to facilitate richer understanding of your business and its key drivers. In fact, we actually created a pricing model that encourages this — by not charging marketers based upon the number of events that they track. That is an important difference for a mcommerce brand because it ensures that you don’t have to jack up your attribution fees for more granular data.

Types of Events That You Should Track

The first step in choosing the in-app actions to track is to identify the different types of events that every marketer should be tracking. Singular categorizes important marketing events into four categories.

Authentication Events– Events that help identify the user (anonymously, of course) so we can attribute an install to a device ID after your app has been installed in an app store.

Engagement Events– Actions that consumer takes that indicate involvement in the app and presage long-term usage over time.

Intent Events– Actions that indicate that the user is considering and preparing for a purchase. In other words, that making a purchase is on a metaphorical to-do list.

Purchase Events– Actions and information that are communicated after a purchase takes place. These conversion tracking metrics include characteristics of what was purchased. These help us get a richer and more comprehensive understanding of each individual anonymized customer.

Let’s dig into each of these event types:

Authentication Events

Authentication events allow the iOS or Android phone app marketer to gather user-level information that can be used for a variety of actions. Your primary goal with authentication events is to better understand the characteristics of the people that are using those specific instances of your app on their devices. These data points also help us – and other third party solutions providers – connect the actions that the customer takes in a mobile phone app with actions that they perform in other digital environments.

These cross-device connections build a more complete view of the customer and enable us to understand the interplay between different consumer touchpoints.

Some examples here include:

  • DEVICE ADVERTISING ID
  • CUSTOM ADVERTISER ID
  • AGE AND GENDER
  • LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE (IF RELEVANT)

Engagement Events

Engagement events provide the business owner insight into the extent to which the user has availed themselves of the app.These provide initial signals that a person is actively using the app. These events are helpful in identifying the quality users, both before and after a conversion takes place.

That matters even more than you might think when it comes to a mobile tracker. In certain mobile phone app verticals, a purchase might not happen for six to eight weeks after an install. In this case, tracking a user’s engagement within your app on their mobile device lets the marketer accurately optimize a network’s performance within days instead of waiting weeks. You simply optimize to engagement events rather than conversion events.

Engagement events vary by the category in which you compete. Here are a few examples:

  • TUTORIAL VIEWED?
  • FILLED OUT SHOPPING PROFILE?
  • PRODUCT SEARCHES
  • WISH LISTING
  • WATCHED A PRODUCT VIDEO?
  • RATING SOMETHING IN THE APP
  • REVIEWING SOMETHING IN THE APP
  • RATING THE APP
  • SEND CONTENT TO A FRIEND/RECOMMEND APP
  • APP UPDATE INSTALLS

Intent Events

Intent events are useful in identifying users who are planning on making purchases (or taking other end actions) in the application. Like engagement events, the intent events can be used to identify quality users before a KPI occurs.

Perhaps more importantly, intent events can be used to remarket to users who have performed intent events but have yet to complete a purchase event. Including these events in your measurement plan will greatly increase the effectiveness of using remarketing ad network specialist Services. .

Singular’s ability to send data to both re-marketing networks (via postbacks) and marketing automation tools through our Audiences offering gives the marketer complete discretion on how to use the data for re-marketing.

Here are a couple of examples of intent events:

  • ADD VIRTUAL GOOD TO CART
  • BEGIN CHECKOUT
  • INPUT CREDIT CARD INFO?

Purchase Events

Purchase or conversion events are obvious events to track, but capturing key attributes of the purchase events is also critical. In other words, you don’t simply want to know that someone bought but rather what they bought, how much they spent, and what contributed to the transaction. Tracking revenue at a user level allows the marketer to determine key metrics like Average Revenue Per User, Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) or Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for a specific marketing campaign.

Some examples:

  • TOTAL REVENUE
  • CATEGORY(S) OF ITEMS
  • QUANTITY OF ITEMS
  • NAME OF ITEMS
  • QUANTITY OF EACH ITEM
  • SKU OR OTHER ITEM NUMBERS
  • PRICE PAID PER ITEM
  • TAXES LEVIED
  • COLOR/SIZE OF ITEM
  • BOUGHT ON DISCOUNT?
  • SIZE OF DISCOUNT
  • GIFT?
  • LONGITUDE/LATITUDE

Conclusions

As I mentioned at the outset of this document, the key to taking those important first steps in mobile app measurement and attribution is to use a methodical and strategic approach to identifying the types of data that will help drive better decision-making. As you have seen, identifying events for tracking isn’t so difficult when you begin with a construct like:

  • Authentication Events
  • Engagement Events
  • Intent Events
  • Purchase or Conversion Events

With that in place, identifying the right events for your mobile attribution should be far easier. Naturally, every business is unique, and there is no substitute for expert advice. Singular clients can get additional assistance on defining the right set of events to track from their implementation and account management teams. Our people are product experts who can help speed the implementation process and ensure that you gather the right data – right from the beginning.