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Growth marketing: 5 trends to watch from Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv

By John Koetsier October 23, 2019

Growth marketing is going through a major transition, especially in mobile marketing.

It’s not the growth hacking of a few years ago, with tips and tricks to juice user acquisition. And it’s not just about social media or a limited set of marketing channels. Rather, it’s a set of holistic marketing efforts based on a complete growth strategy, built with data-driven scientific marketing via tracking/measuring tools and incrementality data.

Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv spoke about five key trends impacting the state of growth marketing at our recent UNIFY conference in Napa Valley. You can see his entire presentation — and almost all of the presentations at the conference — at UNIFY @ Home right here.

Or, watch it right here, starting at about 5:30 after our co-founder Susan Kuo’s intro to the conference:

So what are these key trends in growth marketing?

Trend 1: Convergence into a single platform

You’re using too many marketing analytics and other martech tools: maybe as many as 91 across your larger enterprise. And that’s a massive problem.

With so many different systems, you’ve got non-matching datasets and no clear way to combine the data together. So much for a single source of marketing truth!

The result is a new focus for marketing teams:

“People want to establish a single source of truth. They want to have one system with numbers they can count on,” Eliashiv says. “People want consistency … being able to consolidate your stack to the right platform really helps do that.”

That’s why Singular has evolved so much from its founding.

Where at the beginning Singular started with a single simple idea — data is at the core of marketing — the company has added analytics, automation, data governance, deep links, and deterministic fraud prevention. And that’s not all: Singular now also does audience management, bids and budgets, creative analytics, web measurement, automation, and (of course!) mobile measurement as an MMP.

Singular remains vendor agnostic, Eliashiv says. Marketers can plug different components in and out. And, they can use third-party vendors to complement what Singular does.

Still, people are consolidating their vendors:

“60% of our customers are streamlining their stack with us,” Eliashiv says.

Trend 2: Rise of the CGO (or growth organizations)

Marketing teams aren’t what they used to be. They’re not just awareness-generating machines, though they’re also not exactly sales teams. Nor are they simply silo-focused only on user acquisition or customer acquisition.

Instead, they’re growth teams, often led by Chief Growth Officers, VPs of Growth, or a growth manager. (Not, you’ll notice, growth hackers.)

Their focus, Eliashiv says?

These experts in digital marketing build a marketing team that can catalyze growth across the company.

“They are cross-functional by nature,” Eliashiv says. “They can deal with product, data science, with finance, with engineering, and with marketing of course … when these functions become successful, they take on more and more responsibility around the company, and that trend is very positive to companies being aware of their data.”

That means they pay attention to product-market fit. To the overall business. To product itself. To content marketing, where appropriate. And, of course, to some instances of growth hacking strategy and other elements of digital marketing … where they can be applied to long-term growth.

Interestingly, according research we recently did, growth-focused organizations tend to have bigger teams — twice the size of typical companies. And a big component of what they do is data science and artificial intelligence.

Trend 3: Cross-platform and cross-device

We don’t just live on one digital platform anymore. Instead, we access services and information across a wide range of devices and platforms … and brands need to be able to serve people intelligently wherever that contact happens.

And adapt marketing strategies accordingly.

“Cross-platform is picking up steam really fast,” Eliashiv says. “In the past, a lot of products were built for a single platform: web, mobile, console. Now, a lot of products are really holistic across platforms.”

A growth marketer knows that the marketing funnel is actually multiple funnels, and the customer journey is perhaps a many journeys as there are customers.

That leads to a new set of challenges: incomplete and incompatible datasets across multiple marketing channels including web, mobile, and other platforms. Getting consistency of communication and customer state across platforms is a major challenge. Plus, measuring customer activity and conversion rate across multiple devices is hard, making ROI calculation difficult or impossible.

Ultimately, your strategy and your marketing campaigns need to adapt. Traditional marketing won’t cut it any more.

The solution, Eliashiv says, is that Singular expanded data collection across about 500 new platforms.

“We are empowering unified data,” Eliashiv says, which enables cross-device attribution. “Often we receive customer data across platforms and do the stitching together on the back end … the key idea here is to be flexible.”

Trend 4: Doubling down on ad monetization

Ad monetization is not just about hyper-casual games.

“You can build quite a unique business model based entirely on ads,” Eliashiv said, hinting at the monetization model behind literally some of the biggest companies on the planet today.

But in traditional mobile publisher structures, that creates challenges for growth marketing teams: divided loyalties, or at least different goals.

The user acquisition team wants to do what it has always done: grow new users or customers. The monetization team wants to do what it has always done: maximize revenue. But now, the datasets are colliding.

Monetization teams need to look at in-app purchase (IAP) revenue plus ad monetization revenue (and any other way they’re building revenue). And they need that data consolidated, not separate. UA teams, in contrast, need to see ad revenue in ROI calculations so they can accurately understand return on ad spend (ROAS) and profitability for each new cohort of users.

Fortunately, Singular has a solution:

“To be able to see all the data in a single place, we worked on an analytics capability to aggregate, normalize, and provide all the key metrics that monetization teams care about,” Eliashiv says. “Like, what is my eCPM? What is my fill rate? That’s not necessarily tied to user acquisition but tied to my monetization. What kind of instances do I have, or placements?”

In addition, Singular has tied ad monetization into the ROI formula so that acquisition teams can get good data on their returns from their efforts.

Trend 5: Ad fraud

Ad fraud is still a “pain in the ass,” Eliashiv said. It’s a hidden cancer that both takes your money and destroys your optimization … because you don’t know what is true anymore.

That seriously cuts into your growth rate, brings in fake users, and stymies digital marketing campaigns.

But there’s a bigger problem in the fight against ad fraud:

“Two years ago … there was a lot of buzz,” Eliashiv says. “But then afterwards there pretty much was stagnation. There wasn’t any key innovation in the space. And what happened is that fraudsters got more and more sophisticated, to the point where people feel secure when they have ‘something’ that prevents fraud, but it doesn’t mean that it’s 100%. It doesn’t mean that it’s capturing what they need to capture. It doesn’t mean it’s even staying up to date.”

Attacks today are much more sophisticated, and growth teams might not even know that they’re losing money because their tools just are not intelligent enough or aware enough to block or identify new forms of fraud.

Singular took a different path and has been looking for 10X solutions to ad fraud, Eliashiv says.

That’s resulted in next-generation iOS fraud prevention and an industry-first: deterministic Android install validation, which we formally released in August of this year and has been saving companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There are a lot of misconceptions about fraud in the market.

“Not all solutions are alike,” Eliashiv says. “That’s probably the biggest misconception. People think: ‘I have a solution,’ but it doesn’t always mean that you truly are protected. People often think it’s a specific bad channel that you should avoid. We found fraud even in the biggest channels.”

That is why Singular now offers a complimentary “fraudit” … a fraud audit courtesy of our cybersecurity specialists. Solving fraud will kickstart user acquisition and customer acquisition by providing much better returns on marketing investments.

Next steps

The full video is available above, and all of the UNIFY videos are available at UNIFY @ Home.

In addition, if you’d like to see how Singular is addressing these issues in person, or if you’d like to have a fraud audit, talk to us about a private demo.

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