Custom Dimensions: How to easily customize marketing analytics to your unique business

Recently, Singular updated the flexibility of our Custom Dimensions functionality, enabling marketers to personalize their analytical views and group data by any metric that matters to their unique business. But what does that mean exactly?

Well, maybe you want specific ways of looking at your business, your KPIs, and your marketing campaigns.

Something beyond apps, sources, and operating systems.

Something way, way, way beyond.

Custom Dimensions: how clients use them

Custom Dimensions allow you to set up and save unique ways of slicing and dicing your data … without requiring a data scientist, a BI team, or a developer. And without requiring that you spend hours in Excel grinding through data (as fun as that sounds).

Saving time is saving money, DoorDash says:

As an on-demand food platform with unique geographic markets, it’s critical for us to be able to break out our views by different cities and custom market definitions. Previously, we’d spend many hours each week manually breaking out reporting. With Singular’s Custom Dimensions, we’ve automated this process fully and are able to create completely custom reports that meet our specific analytical needs.

Just as importantly, Custom Dimensions enable targeted granularity: deep insight into very specific parts of your unique business, as 3Q Digital has found,

“Each one of our clients has distinct reporting needs, and out-the-box reporting just doesn’t cut it,” says Paul Bloom, Senior Account Manager at 3Q Digital. “With Custom Dimensions, we’re able to report by parameters that matter to our clients’ particular business, such as custom geographic regions, languages and business units. We’re even able to see creative performance broken down by different stages in the funnel, enabling precise optimizations to maximize results.”

How do Custom Dimensions work, exactly?

To answer the question, I caught up with Singular’s product marketing manager, Saadi Muslu.

Digging deeper: creating and using Custom Dimensions

Koetsier: What are Custom Dimensions?

Muslu: Custom Dimensions are a way for you to translate, segment, and organize data coming from marketing analytics datastreams. Customers create Custom Dimensions so that they can break out data views that are customized to their businesses.

For example, most analytics solutions allow you to break down your data by country, but you may have regionalized the way you’re looking at your campaigns. Maybe you need city-to-city data versus state-to-state or country-to-country.

Custom Dimensions enable you to do that out of the box every time, after you’ve set them up.

Koetsier: Sounds good, but why do people need them? How do they use them?

Muslu: It’s probably easier to understand with some examples.

One client in a sports vertical breaks out campaigns by type of sport. Another buckets campaigns by custom channels that fit their marketing, such as offline, agency, direct digital, search, and social.

A client in an on-demand vertical uses Custom Dimensions for both city-level targeting and characterizing the type of campaign, such as branding, retargeting, or offline. A different client sells unique products within multiple apps, and they use Custom Dimensions to separate each one out for additional levels of granularity in cost reporting.

 

 

One real estate client breaks out data by date when they entered a certain market, like Philadelphia or San Diego. And some of our clients use Custom Dimensions to break out reporting by user acquisition manager … comparing Anna’s campaigns to Dan’s campaigns, for instance.

A client that’s a bit more in the B2B space breaks out data by funnel stage: TOFU, MOFU, BOFU. (That’s top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel.)

There are basically as many ways to use Custom Dimensions as there are companies.

You can even build strategy dimensions or objective dimensions. One example is bundling up all your re-engagement campaigns in order to compare their ROI, clickthrough rate, or conversion rate to prospecting or branding campaigns.

Honestly, I know it’s a cliché but really, the sky is the limit.

Koetsier: What kind of “queries” can you build?

Muslu: It’s pretty simple, actually. You build queries with AND and OR operators.

Here are a couple of examples:

((Campaign Name Includes US OR Campaign Name Includes UK)
AND (Source = Facebook))
OR
((Campaign Name Includes IL OR Campaign Name Includes DE)
AND (Source = Adwords))

You can also do much simpler custom dimensions, of course, with just a few conditions:

(A AND B) OR C
(A OR B) AND C
(A AND B AND C)

Koetsier: How many rules can you have per Custom Dimension?

Muslu: You can set up 70 different rules per custom dimension, so quite a few!

As always, since we serve very sophisticated enterprise-level clients, we’re giving them the flexibility to get as deep and granular as they need to.

Koetsier: Any other examples of how customers use them?

Muslu: DGN Games does something really interesting. They created Custom Dimensions for campaigns that were run on desktop web to compare them to campaigns that are purely on mobile … and now they can see the difference in conversion rates. Another client is using Custom Dimensions to compare organic versus non-organic attribution.

Ultimately, you can do Custom Dimensions on marketing analytics, on attribution data, on conversion data, or on ROI/CPI.

Koetsier: What’s the big benefit of custom dimensions?

Muslu: Ultimately, it’s understanding that modern marketers don’t fit into one-size-fits-all tools. They need to be able to report on their efforts and performance the same way they benchmark internally.

Now without having to tap into a BI or take up data analyst time, they can see the data exactly the way they need it.

Next steps

Learn more about Singular analytics here. Get a demo of the Singular platform to see how Custom Dimensions could work for you. 

CEO insights: Why creative fatigue isn’t as simple as it sounds

CEO Insights is a new column by Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv focusing on some of the most challenging issues in scientific marketing.

Most sophisticated growth organizations we’re working with are placing an enormous importance on creatives. These companies usually have in-house design teams dedicated for making creatives, plus processes and metrics around the production and launch process.

All of it is designed to ensure optimized results.

These companies understand the power of creative optimization, and distribute shared responsibility for amazing creative throughout the organization. Designers have been educated about performance metrics, and they’re savvy enough to combine their art with science in the form of cold, hard metrics.

These top brands also have periodic meetings (bi-weekly or more) where the design team sits down with the marketing team. Together they carefully examine the performance of various assets, and find a balance between introducing new winning concepts, sustaining proven concepts, and eliminating bad ones.

More advanced marketers also apply particular conventions to how assets are managed and tagged, so that tens of thousands of creative variations can be grouped by a handful of key concepts, which helps identify key trends.

All of these workflows and analysis capabilities are available out of the box for our customers through Singular’s creative optimization suite, and it gives our customers an enormous edge. Click here if you want to learn more about that, or email me if you’d like to see a demo.

So: what is the right process?

One area that was of interest to me was the pace at which companies swap out creative assets.

When asking various companies, I got a range of answers from: “we don’t have bandwidth for that at all” to “we have a constant refresh rate.” Some companies update on a fixed period of time (every two weeks or a month), while others update their creative “whenever design creates a new one.”

Obviously, not all creative costs the same to produce, and some creative is super expensive to produce in time and money like playables and videos. Other assets, however, can be produced quickly and efficiently, and when infused with time-specific context (such as a big concert, or a particular live event in a game) they can produce great results.

A common theme I’ve heard is the following way to run analysis on your creatives:

  • Cadence
    • Weekly or bi-weekly
  • Data input
    • Creative asset performance from all channels (Singular does that out of the box: check out our API)
    • Campaign targeting option data, particularly around the major self-attributing networks, to identify targeting methodology (value optimization, bid optimization, etc. …)
    • Channel, country, region, plus any other breakdowns that makes sense to you
    • Four weeks of data
      • Period A: first 2 weeks of data
      • Period B: second 2 weeks of data
  • Two simple data outputs
    • Check the trend of currently running creatives to detect big drops that might suggest these creatives should be cycled.
      • The drops could be in clicks, installs, eCPM, or any other metrics that make sense
      • For customers using Singular’s attribution, we enable ROI granularity all the way down to the creative level, so you can check for a drop in your main KPI (which is often what the ad engines optimize against)
    • Isolate the creatives that did not exist in Period A, but existed in Period B, and identify how they are trending. Learn from new concepts that are succeeding well, and some that are failing to ramp up.

One example:

CreativePeriod APeriod B
  CTR    Conversions    eCPM    CTR    Conversions    eCPM  
Creative 1    3%7,500$9.501.5%3,300$11.75
Creative 2n/an/an/a3.5%15,000$11
Creative 3n/an/an/a1.5%3,400$9
Creative 41%2,200$3.402.3%4,300$4.23

Creative fatigue and time

As I look at all this data, the questions I keep asking myself are:

  • When is the right time to swap creatives?
  • Do companies know those times?
  • Can they even figure them out?

The answers to those questions, as I found out, are very complex. After dozens of talks with top tier marketers I got literally dozens of answers, and none of them was the silver bullet I was hoping for.

(Mostly likely, there isn’t any one single silver bullet. The techniques that work for one app are different than those that work for another brand.)

The one common thread in all these conversations was the favorite topic of creative fatigue detection. The formal definition of creative fatigue is that consumers/users/customers do not even see your ad anymore. They’ve become so used to it, that it is now just part of the default background for them.

Traditionally, the first thing people think about fatigue is that CTRs drop over time, because people have seen your ad again and again, and those who wanted to click have done that already.

But when I started researching some data, that naive assumption quickly surfaced as being incorrect.

When dealing with optimizing algorithms like Facebook’s and others, they will track the number of exposures each user had seen (frequency) and will cap that at a certain point, because their algorithm understands that it’ll be a waste of an impression, and also lead to a bad user experience.

So FB simply chooses another ad to show.

You can quickly see this phenomenon in the chart below.

In the first chart, CTR does not drop appreciably throughout the campaign. A campaign manager who looks only at this probably thinks that all is well with her ads.

CTR over time: no creative fatigue?

But there is actually a significant problem.

What’s actually happening behind the scenes is that Facebook knows that it has exhausted your chosen audience, and the number of people it is showing the ad to has dropped precipitously:

Creative fatigue … sometimes, Facebook is smarter than you

It’s important to say ads will not always behave that way. That’s why when analyzing fatigue you need to not only know what assets you’re using, but also what ad channels you’re running on, what bidding methodology is being used, and what their algorithms do.

(For example: due to saturation, the algorithm could also start increasing the CPM bid to generate more impressions, which will decrease your ROAS).

In general, even if these algorithms are smart enough to avoid audience fatigue, it is still the responsibility of the marketer to identify it and remedy the situation. You can find new audiences, add new creatives, and so on.

But there can be more going on

Sometimes when you’re looking for creative fatigue you’ll see data that doesn’t make sense at first. For instance, you might have a click-through rate chart like this one, which shows creative gaining strength over time:

Creative fatigue: can ads gain in CTR and conversions over time?

All looks well at first glance. But … if you check impressions, there’s clearly something else going on. The number of impressions is skyrocketing:

Creative fatigue: Oops, impressions are skyrocketing

Something very different is going on here.

Hint: this behavior can be related to changes in bids and budgets … another key thing to think about when testing for creative fatigue. Changing the bid (even if it’s a CPI/CPA bid) will directly impact the amount of money you’re willing to spend on a certain impression, therefore creating more impressions that were not accessible before at your previous bid.

In short: creative fatigue is one of those concepts that seems easy to understand and easy to diagnose … but actually isn’t. To find out if creative fatigue is actually happening, you need to dig deeper into the data than most can or will.

Fortunately, that’s where Singular can help

What’s next

That’s it for this post. In the next post, I’ll look more at how bids and budgets impact click-through rate, impressions, and conversions.

 

Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv on chief growth officers and the rise of marketing intelligence [video]

Over the past decade we’ve seen the rise of the marketing technologist, who has one foot in the marketing department and another in engineering. And we’ve seen the data scientist role jump from almost nonexistent to being one of the fastest-growing jobs in just a decade.

Increasingly, as marketing is changing, technology is central to how marketers perform. Growth is now a key unifying function in brands and enterprise, and we’re also seeing the rise of the Chief Growth Officer.

We’re releasing a report on that in about a month.

But … our CEO Gadi Eliashiv gave a sneak peak at some of the results recently at Mobile Apps Unlocked in Las Vegas.

The rise of chief growth officers

Ultimately, the way chief growth officers lead their organizations is by using data-driven insights. Some of the most successful leaders drive those insights via marketing intelligence platforms like Singular.

The primary function of a marketing intelligence platform?

To provide insights for growth by connecting effort with outcome at granular and aggregate levels.

Ultimately, that’s how CGOs and other growth leaders get the score. Understand if they’re winning or losing. And know at both as high level and as granular as they want: how successful are our marketing, our campaigns, our ads, our creative.

Knowing that — and getting smart insights for optimization — powers breakthrough improvement in conversions and ROI. And that’s exactly what most brands, enterprises, and companies need.

Finished the video?

Click here to get a demo. See how Singular enables unprecedented growth for the most sophisticated marketers on the planet.

The next generation of user-level ad monetization: Introducing support for impression-level revenue data from MoPub

Without complete and accurate ad monetization data, app marketers can’t optimize growth decisions. Today, that means they need to include ad monetization data as well as in-app purchase data in their ROI calculations.

App marketers need to measure ad revenue on two distinct levels: aggregate and granular.

Granular ad revenue

Mobile app marketers need the ability to see user-level ad revenue so that they can accurately understand their return on ad spend for user acquisition. Without granularity you won’t know which users are ad whales … and which are ad duds.

Plus, you’re not sure where they came from. Or where to get more of them.

“Granularity is critical in mobile ad monetization,” says Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv. “Understanding the relative value of their ad impressions helps mobile publishers optimize their apps for maximum revenue. It also helps them improve user experience by making decisions that can minimize irrelevant and wasted ads.”

Aggregate ad revenue analytics

You also need aggregated data so that you know exactly where you stand with ad-based revenue across all partners, plus of course IAP and product/service purchase data. Only then can you get a full picture of your growth efforts.

You also need to understand ad requests and fill rates.

“Smart companies check the fill rate all the time to optimize their waterfall,” says Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv.

MoPub’s new impression-level revenue data

Singular has been providing ad monetization services for almost a year with a variety of partners, including IronSource. Now, MoPub is providing revenue information to mobile app publishers for every single ad impression. Not only that, MoPub is also surfacing what supported demand source was able to fill the ad slot and what country the user is in.

This is extremely powerful.

With this data, you can understand ad-based life-time value of your users. That’s increasingly important, because just 2% of mobile app users are converting to paying customers via in-app purchases.

Ads are one of the key drivers of monetizing the other 98% of your users, so it’s no shock that ad monetization is increasingly critical for app marketers. In fact, 60% more apps are monetizing through ads in 2019 compared to last year, and ad revenue now represents more than half of many app publishers’ total revenue.

Available today

Starting today, Singular supports MoPub’s impression-level revenue data product, enabling marketers to measure granular ad revenue.

The result is better data precision, more accurate and complete LTV models, superior user acquisition and monetization strategies, and ultimately, the potential to earn more revenue.

And all of it, of course, right inside your Singular dashboard, providing a single pane of glass to understand your cost and revenue.

Learn more about Singular’s Ad Monetization solution here, and set up a demo to go deeper with one of our specialists.

Personalizing your fraud prevention strategy with Singular’s custom fraud rules

Mobile ad fraud is an ever-growing threat to marketers, with fraudsters continuously evolving attack techniques. The exact figures for how much ad fraud costs marketers is highly debated, but eMarketer’s Digital Ad Fraud 2019 states that the estimated impact ranges from $6.5 – $19 billion annually.

To navigate this complex problem and effectively prevent ad fraud, marketers need to have an understanding of the techniques used by fraudsters and employ an always-on fraud prevention strategy that proactively rejects fraud. Otherwise, ad fraud can be detrimental to marketers in two key ways: one is the wasted ad dollars on installs that are either fake or hijacked, and the other is dirty data that is inaccurately skewed towards fraudulent networks instead of high-value networks or organic traffic.

Fraud prevention that adapts and reacts

Singular’s industry-leading Fraud Prevention Suite is built and maintained by a highly-skilled set of scientists that are dedicated to staying one step ahead of ad fraudsters and their attack methods. The Fraud Prevention Suite provides a proactive approach to detecting and combating ad fraud at scale.

Singular’s fraud prevention dashboard

With Singular’s rules-based fraud prevention, marketers can automatically apply deterministic rules in real-time to block installs before they are attributed to a fraudulent ad partner, or flag activity that is suspicious for further investigation. Automatic fraud rejection gives marketers peace of mind from knowing their ad dollars are always protected and eliminates the need to spend time reconciling ad network invoices.

Singular’s Fraud Prevention Suite not only comes pre-packaged with industry-leading Fraud Prevention Rules but also offers marketers the flexibility to define their own rules, what we call Custom Fraud Rules.

Personalizing with Custom Fraud Rules

With Singular’s Custom Fraud Rules, marketers can personalize their fraud prevention strategy to meet their brand or apps unique needs. For example, they may want to have a more aggressive approach to combating fraud if they’re advertising in markets that are more susceptible to ad fraud, or even if they’re testing new networks, each with varying levels of fraud.

Marketers can create Custom Fraud Rules by defining the conditions and rules that trigger automatic rejection of attributions or flagging of suspicious activity. The flexible rule builder allows the marketer to define multiple conditions that need to be set for the rule to trigger on a touchpoint, enabling them to implement a variety of personalized fraud-fighting rules.

Some examples of Custom Fraud Rules marketers have implemented include:

  • Publisher Blacklisting
    Select specific sites to blacklist from your campaigns. While you will also want to confirm your site blacklists directly with your partner, this rule gives you the power to reject traffic that comes from unreliable or underperforming sites.
  • Fingerprinted Traffic Whitelist
    Define and whitelist traffic sources that are trusted enough to send fingerprinted installs. Automatically reject or flag fingerprinted installs from install sources that are less reliable.
  • Block Unauthorized Store Installs
    Most Android apps are only published on the official Google Play Store. Automatically reject Android installs that came from an unauthorized store.

The flexibility of the Fraud Prevention Suite also allows you to add additional fraud checkpoints. These rules take known characteristics of your apps and campaigns, and allow you to quickly filter out traffic that doesn’t meet your standards.

  • Country Mismatch
    Use this rule to automatically reject or flag installs that take place in a country that your campaigns are not targeting.
  • App Version
    As you update your app version, it becomes impossible for new users to click and install deprecated versions. Fraudsters can struggle to update their attack to include the newest app version from the traffic they send, so blocking deprecated app versions can eliminate a source of fraud.
  • Time-to-install
    When the amount of time between an ad click and the resulting install is unusually small, it can be a sign that the install was hijacked by fraudsters. Similarly, when the time between a click and an install is too long, click spamming might be taking place. Set a custom time-to-install threshold based on the size and usage of your app to automatically reject or flag installs with unrealistically short or long install times.

Savvy marketers from top brands are already taking advantage of this personalized approach to fraud protection, which is paying off in significant cost savings.

Recently, a leading e-commerce app in the APAC region implemented a rule to prevent non-approved publishers and sites from sending fingerprinted traffic. After implementing the rule, 16% of the traffic sent from these sources was automatically flagged and rejected.

Another client, a global giant of gaming, set their iOS receipt validation rule on. When testing a new source, they found that 100% of the 11,000 installs were flagged and rejected for fraud. An additional benefit: no make-good negotiation was required … since the fraud prevention did not allow these installs to be attributed!

When fraud strikes, the marketers that leverage Singular’s Fraud Prevention strike back with high-tech fraud detection and prevention. But this is just the beginning. We’re dedicated to further innovating our Fraud Prevention to keep up with the changing face of ad fraud.

Want to see how much you could be saving with next-level fraud prevention?Reach out to your Customer Success Manager for a complimentary fraud audit.

THRIVE: Helping women in growth to connect, share, learn…and grow!

Earlier this month at MAU Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to officially launch THRIVE, a community dedicated towards connecting and empowering women in growth marketing. This has been an initiative that has been close to my heart for some time now and I’m truly excited to see it come to life.

One of the things that I noticed when we started Singular five years ago was how male dominated the marketing industry was. Most key decision makers at that time in our industry were men and I have to say that as a female founder, I wish that I had more women executives within our industry to consult and collaborate with.

Over the years, I’ve personally witnessed an exciting transformation take place.

Singular COO Susan Kuo speaking at THRIVE

There are more women today in our industry today than ever before. Women are now holding roles as key decision-makers. This is true across our customers and partners, some of which are among the largest F500 companies in the market.

Women in growth

But there’s still room to grow. And there’s room for women in growth to help each other to achieve their goals. Don’t get me wrong, the gentlemen in our industry are amazing, but there is something inherently different when women in the industry come together. The barriers go away and we just have a great time hanging out with each other. Through these bonds and relationships, we actually end up helping each other out in work and in life.

THRIVE participants making new contacts

That’s why we started THRIVE.

THRIVE is a community that is focused on connecting and empowering women influencers in growth marketing. The goal is to learn from each other’s accomplishments both in and out of the workplace, and — most importantly — to come together and form meaningful friendships.

When we came up with the name THRIVE, it was really important that we chose a word that represents success but also embodied the action of succeeding together. That’s really the objective behind this community: to come together as women in the industry and help each other out through mentorship, knowledge sharing, and succeeding together.

Our first event happened at an exclusive residence at MGM called The Mansion during MAU 2019. The venue was simply amazing, however, it was the people who made the event truly special.

Our goals were pretty simple:

  • Hold a fun networking event
  • Talk about key issues in our industry
  • Provide opportunities for learning and leadership
  • Open the door for successful women in growth to engage in mentoring others

Ultimately, the event was a huge success.

We received far more requests for tickets than we had space to accommodate. We had amazing sponsors and female leadership from Tapjoy, Adikteev and Motive step up and help Singular host the event. We had twice the number of people attend than we expected. And over a dozen additional requests to sponsor upcoming events.

Women networking at THRIVE

A BIG thank you to Carly Leviant and Kat Cooper from Singular as well as Katrina Bush from Tapjoy, Ariel Neidermeier from Motive, and Nai Saeturn from Adikteev for making this happen!

So now we’re thinking about where this grows and expands.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some remarkable women throughout my career and I have personally seen the things that we can accomplish together. We want to extend this to other women in our industry and make sure that we are growing and THRIVE-ing together. We intend to do more follow on events and initiatives and will likely start mostly in US cities, but hope to expand it to have a global presence down the road.

Join THRIVE

If you’re interesting in joining THRIVE, or being notified about the next THRIVE event, please let us know by filling out this form!

Singular adds former Gartner, Adobe, IBM, Kenshoo exec Vince Cortese as new Chief Revenue Officer

SAN FRANCISCO — May 7, 2019 — Marketing intelligence platform Singular is pleased to announce the hire of Vince Cortese as the company’s new Chief Revenue Officer.

Singular helps 50% of the top 100 apps on the iOS App Store and Google Play accelerate growth. Its marketing intelligence platform unifies marketing data, automates key components of marketers’ growth cycle, and provides intelligent insights for future opportunities.

Singular CRO Vince Cortese

 

Cortese comes from Kenshoo, the adtech platform that manages over $6 billion in annual ad spend. Prior to that he led sales at various levels in the marketing analytics industry at companies such as Adobe, IBM, Gartner, and Brandcast.

“Singular is scaling faster right now than any time in our history,” says Gadi Eliashiv, Singular CEO. “We’re excited to see Vince help us accelerate even more as we grow with global brands like Disney, LinkedIn, Wish, and AirBnB.”

Cortese will lead Singular’s global sales team, with offices in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Seoul, London, Tokyo, and Bangalore. He’ll help expand the sales force domestically and internationally, and he’ll join a Singular leadership team that includes COO Susan Kuo, CTO Eran Friedman, and another recent addition, CFO Sam Wolff.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Singular at this time as we are at the forefront of innovation in the marketing intelligence space,” says Cortese. “Singular not only has the best in class solution to help growth marketers meet their top line growth goals but our focus on customer centricity has been a major contributor to accelerating growth over the last few years. I am excited to be part of the team and help build out the company globally.”

“The timing couldn’t be better to bring on a world-class executive like Vince here at Singular,” said Scott Beechuk, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners and Singular board member. “Our customers understand that driving top line growth has become a data intelligence and automation problem. Vince has the experience building top-performing global sales organizations in the marketing data industry, and with our new mobile and web unified product line, Singular is uniquely positioned to lead this rapidly expanding market.”

About Singular 
Singular is a Marketing Intelligence Platform that transforms marketing data into accurate, granular and actionable insights to drive growth. By unifying marketing campaign data with attribution data, marketers can measure ROI from every touchpoint across multiple channels for a single source of truth. Singular currently tracks over $10 billion in digital marketing spend to revenue and lifetime value across industries including retail, finance, travel, gaming, entertainment, media, and on-demand services. Singular customers include companies like Lyft, Yelp, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Symantec, Zynga, Match, and Twitter. Singular is backed by Norwest Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Thomvest Ventures, Method Capital, Translink Capital, DCM and Telstra Ventures. Visit www.singular.net to learn more.

Why Singular Is The Only MMP Integrated To Twitter’s Ads API

Intelligent data that drives insights for growth requires three key ingredients:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Granularity
  3. Actionability

In order to obtain all three ingredients, you need to ensure the reliability of API integrations with each of your marketing platforms. This is where you find the Singular difference. Singular is the only measurement partner to have two separate API integrations with Twitter, along with over 1,000 additional marketing platforms, providing you the most comprehensive solution for ROI down to the creative level.

This is what we call “dual integration.”

WTH is the Dual Integration approach?

Before you can understand the importance of API integrations (and dual integrations) you first should understand the type of data you need to collect in order to have anything meaningful for your campaign optimization efforts. Simply put, there are two key data sets you need to collect from your marketing platform, whether that is from Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, Google, Vungle, Unity, Amazon: you name it.

First, you need your campaign analytics data (aka pre-install data) to answer questions like:

  • “How much did I spend on this campaign?”
  • “How many impressions did that creative get?”
  • “How many clicks came from each publisher?”

Second, you need your attribution data (aka post-install data) to answer questions like:

  • “How many installs did that campaign generate?”
  • “What was the revenue on this creative asset?”
  • “How many people went to level two as a result of this keyword?”

Only by combining these two datasets can you really know your ROI by campaign, by creative, by keyword, and by individual ad. This gives you the power to optimize at the most granular as well as aggregate levels, providing your best opportunity to maximize profitability.

dual integration singular

Singular’s dual integration visualized

To do this manually, you would need to standardize the hierarchies (some sources offer only campaign and ad level, while others go right down to the keyword) and the taxonomies (names and terms differ) across every source, and then calculate your ROI by each dimension … every single time you need it.

Sounds like a pain in the @$$?

Good thing Singular has already done it for you!

This is the dual integration approach

Singular has spent years building API integrations for both sides of the puzzle across over 1,000 additional marketing platforms, and automatically combines this data to show you ROI at the most granular levels.

Unlike other analytics platforms who are only accountable for your “pre-install data” or other attribution providers who are only accountable for your “post-install data,” Singular is accountable for both. Which is why we are the only Twitter measurement partner to have integrations that collect BOTH datasets, just as we do for hundreds of other marketing platforms: so we can do dual integration for you, out of the box.

Inherent flaws with tracking links

You might be asking: So why can’t I just use tracking links to collect this data? My attribution provider uses tracking links and says they can do campaign ROI.

Great question! While the tracking link is the easiest way to collect the necessary macros for a given network, this method has some inherent flaws.

  1. It is not retroactive
    You are only receiving data at the time of the click, therefore if the numbers reconcile after the time of the click, this will not be reflected in your reporting.
  2. Not all networks support passing all macros
    For example, you might be able to receive campaign cost and clicks, but you may not get site ID or publisher ID.
  3. No creative assets!
    Singular is the only solution on the market to provide you the most complete reporting of your creative asset ROI across the most visual networks. However, creative assets and their performance can only be reported by an API integration.
  4. Data loss and discrepancy is HIGH
    In a recent study, we compared a number of customers who were using Singular along with a third-party attribution provider. In observing their “campaign data” collected via our API integration against the same data set collected via the tracking link by the third-party attribution provider, we saw a 31% discrepancy … with the numbers reported from our API integration matching identically to the number on the final bill.

Of course, we too sometimes rely on the tracking link for those marketing platforms that do not offer an API to collect campaign analytics. However, in the rare case that we cannot collect data via an API, we will also rely on alternate integration methods to ensure accuracy of the data.

For example, a daily email report, or a CSV file upload to an S3 bucket.

We understand every marketer is different, and how you look at your data may be completely different from your competitors. We are flexible and here to ensure the data you see in Singular matches your internal systems.

Heck, we even have a bi-directional API to push and pull data to your source of truth.

To learn more about Singular’s “Dual Integration Approach” and the Singular difference, contact us to request a demo today.

Already a Singular customer and looking to take advantage of our dual integration with Twitter? Check out the help center for details on how to configure your Twitter integration.

Singular’s updated user permissions functionality: granular control for enterprise users

If you’re spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars advertising your app, brand, or services annually, you’re not doing it alone. You’re doing it with a team of people.

More than that, you have a team of people looking over your shoulder.

And why not? You might be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. It’s kind of a big deal.

That’s why Singular has extremely granular user permissions that you can tune exactly how you need to give stakeholders precisely the access to your data that they need — and no more. Without this kind of capability, you simply lack the ability to properly manage your team.

User permissions: three kinds of users

You can define three kinds of users for your Singular account:

  1. Admin users:
    User has stunning godlike powers (possible slight overstatement)
  2. Standard users:
    User can do everything but add and manage users
  3. Restricted users:
    User can only do what you allow them to do

You’ll probably have a couple of admins, a bunch of standard users for the user acquisition managers and marketing managers on your team, and a number of restricted users.

Maybe BI needs a window into spend and ROI. Maybe the CFO wants to see what’s going on. Maybe the creative team wants to be able to track clickthrough and ROI per image, or per ad or group of ads. Or maybe an engineer needs to set up a new integration, or data routing to Amazon or an on-prem database.

All of that is possible.

Restricted users: three kinds of restrictions

new user permissionsFor restricted users, you’ll be able to limit capabilities and access in any of three ways:

  1. Metrics permissions
    User can only view the metrics you allow, even in saved reports or the dashboard
  2. Data permissions
    Users can only see the data you want them to, such as for a particular app or data source
  3. Feature permissions
    Users can only see the screens you want them to see

Now you can create users who can only see data from one or several apps, but not all your apps. Or you can create users who can only see data from search media sources, or data from only one ad partner.

Of course, it’s not always about restriction.

Sometimes it’s just about simplicity.

If there’s someone who needs access to just a small slice of data, offering the entire world of possibilities might be overwhelming. It might be counterproductive. In other words, simplifying what they see might be the best way to streamlining their workflow.

You’re enterprise. Your software should be too

If you’re growing fast and spending tens of millions on paid and organic growth, you’re enterprise. And your tools should be too. That’s why we have fine-grained, granular control over user permissions built into Singular.

Any questions?

Feel free to contact us or request a demo.

5 massive factors changing the future of games: social, platforms, technology, monetization, and app stores

What is the future of games?

One thing we know: it’s going to be lucrative. The top 25 public game companies generated over $100 billion in revenue last year, according to a recent story on VentureBeat featuring data from Newzoo.

The largest, Tencent, had almost $20 billion in estimated game revenue. Sony, Microsoft, Apple, and Google are on the list. Activision hauled in almost $7 billion, and names like France’s Ubisoft, Korea’s Netmarble, and Japan’s Square Enix all generated more than a billion in 2018 revenue.

To state the obvious, games are a big deal.

But what’s changing in gaming?

At Singular we recently had a chance to review our business with a major gaming client. To prepare for that, a number of us internally including Elizabeth Lauer-Lopez, Victor Savath, and Ligita Kneitaite spent some time consulting our crystal balls (and data) on the future of gaming in general, and mobile gaming.

Here are the results:

Future of games: Social at scale

We’re seeing more and more games with social experiences at scale. HQ Triviashowed us that a year ago in a non-traditional category. Fortnite, which has hit an astonishing total player count of over 250 million people, has hit almost 11 million concurrent players.

That’s social, and that’s scale.

Future of games https://pixabay.com/photos/fortnite-workplace-video-game-pc-4077483/

A few weeks ago I chatted with Unity’s chief marketing officer Clive Downie. Unity powers half of the games on the planet, and it’s building tech to scale to 50 million concurrent users. In a few years, that’s likely to be hundreds of millions, and eventually, it will be planet scale.

The massive benefit of social at scale?


See how N3TWORK, makers of Legendary: Game of Heroes uses Singular as its marketing stack.


When a game succeeds, it becomes a social phenomenon. That has huge new user acquisition benefits, thanks to incessant coverage in the media and in social media conversations, but it also has huge player retention benefits: friends who game together, stay together, you might say.

And they often stick to the same game, too.

Future of games: Connected platforms

In Ready Player One, Wade Watts (AKA Parzival) didn’t need to enter different apps to join other gunters in a racing game, or dance in a club, or chat with his huge robotic friend Aech in a first-person shooter. He just entered different experiences in the Oasis, a global VR universe.

future of games

We’re not going to see the Oasis anytime soon.

But we might see some components of it.

Think: why do you have different identities in every game, even games by the same publisher? Why can’t you have a shared wallet, maybe transferable XP between games, and shared friend groups? To go a little crazier and cross game publisher boundaries, why can’t you take your friends from Fortnite to PUBG?

For players, there’s huge potential rewards: faster on boarding, richer experiences, more fun in more environments, and a more social gaming session.


Check out how Jam City uses Singular to optimize performance of its creatives.


For publishers, there’s easier cross-promotion, faster player onboarding, and potentially longer engagement via more owned platforms, leading to increased brand connection and better monetization opportunities.

Of course, there are caveats.

Game publishers still need to enable super-fast on-demand experiences for the minute-to-kill, I’m just waiting-in-a-line-at-the-coffee-store moment. Anything that increases login and set-up time is a risk.

But if publishers can find a find a way to mitigate that, they have the opportunity to build connected universes inside mobile apps, and with coming smartglasses and 5G, the possibilities are incredible to imagine.

Future of games: Technology driving everything, everywhere, in real-time

We’re seeing that hit games are increasingly multi-platform: mobile, console, desktop, even web.

That might be native versions like Minecraft or Fortnite, or it might be via emulated technology like Bluestacks, which showed up in Singular’s recent ROI Index. And they might even migrate from console to mobile, like Call of Duty.

Increasingly, we’re seeing noise around streaming too.

future of gaming is not a box

Thanks to Google Stadia, streaming console-level games is now possible with sub 25-millisecond lag even for titles like Assassin’s Creed. (Note: here’s the required grain of salt.) Competitors are legion and massive: Microsoft xCloud, Nvidia GeForce Now, Valve Link Anywhere, PlayStation Now, plus a rumored Amazon product.

In other words: there’s a lot of money and big-company corporate cred jumping into streaming, so something very interesting is likely to happen here.


Read how Singular “was key” to helping DGN Games become the fastest growing social casino.


Possible downsides include that the costs of computation for games might now fall much more heavily on the game publisher, since instead of the lion’s share of computational cost falling on a distributed network of millions of devices (gamer’s own phones, consoles, computers), it all falls on a server farm.

And someone has to keep those lights on.

On the upside, gaming experts have told me there’s a higher monetization opportunity because there are now lower risks of trying a game, thanks to there being no large upfront cost. That leads to a larger userbase, potentially. And of course streaming is custom-made for a subscription model, which means a longer payback period.

(Frankly, an ad-supported model makes a ton of sense here too.)

Future of games: Monetization evolution

Game monetization is changing quickly.

A few years ago, it was all in-app purchases. In 2016, for instance, 94% of the revenue generated on the U.S. iOS App Store came from the top 1% of publishers who had paid apps or IAPs … and IAPs generated 20 times more revenue than paid apps.

future of games monetization

More recently, in-app advertising has moved into the leadership position in terms of mobile app monetization.

But subscriptions are just starting to grow as well. GameMine is having success with this model, offering access to its entire portfolio for one price. And some streaming games will likely be subscription-based.

eSports is also also offering new monetization opportunities.

It’ll cost you a cool $25 million to buy a franchise in the new Call of Duty professional league, and then you’ll be able to sell tickets, viewing, ads against viewing, sponsorships, broadcast rights, and maybe even new models of joining, helping, or learning from your on-screen heroes.

Future of games: Decreasing power of app stores

App stores like Apple’s and Google’s are tremendously important and will continue to be so. At the same time, however, we’re seeing ways in which their power is being reduced.

The first visible crack in the wall might have been Fortnite moving off Google Play for Android.

Since Fortnite is a global phenomenon on consoles, mobile (including iOS), and desktop, Epic Games could do what most game publishers couldn’t. Clearly, massive games with their own marketing momentum can save the 15-30% store cut of in-app purchases and subscription revenue by moving off-platform. Just as clearly, that’s much harder for new, unknown games.

Also, this works on Android, where you can side-load apps. Not so much on iOS.

In addition, new technology such as streaming, which we’ve already talked about, also reduces our overall dependence on app stores.


Learn how Singular helps Zynga efficiently get more accurate, granular data


If I can just stream a game to my mobile or desktop browser, I don’t need a native app from a platform landlord. That opens up all kinds of possibilities — and dangers — because Google and particularly Apple closely police what games and apps are allowed on their platforms.

It also means marketing a game just changed significantly.

There are also regulatory challenges to the way that app stores operate as bouncers at the app nightclub. Apple, for instance, is facing three separate antitrust actions in Europe from Spotify, Kaspersky, and The Netherlands.

Whether those cases have merit or not is an open question, but we have seen the EU take a leading role in limiting the power that larger U.S.-based multinationals have. And any judgements might impact how Apple polices its App Store and what third-party game publishers can produce, offer, and monetize.

Summing up

Games are an increasingly large part of our lives, thanks largely to mobile. But how we making, distributing, and monetizing them is changing.

Smart publishers will continue to find ways to out-grow the competition. And Singular will be there to help them … on mobile, on web, on IoT, on streaming media, or wherever the industry moves.

Talk to us today about a demo.