Mobile advertising is an incredibly high-performing marketing channel, but we often forget how new it actually is. Most attribution standards have only been established in recent years, partly thanks to companies like Singular — an MMP that started life as a mobile analytics platform.
Tapjoy recently met with Singular co-founder and COO Susan Kuo to discuss how her company successfully merged analytics and attribution into a unified solution and what that means for today’s app developers.
What We Learned:
- Singular transitioned from an analytics platform to a unified MMP solution in order to standardize marketing data sets across the industry.
- Growth marketing is transforming to support more women leaders than ever before.
- Singular expects — and is preparing for — a world where mobile apps are privacy-safe environments for consumers.
Hi, Susan. Can you start by telling us about yourself and your role within Singular?
I’m the COO and co-founder of Singular. In my day-to-day, I oversee business development with our partner ecosystem that spans across a thousand plus publishers, ad networks and other various marketing automation and analytics providers.
Singular started out as an analytics product, but transitioned into mobile attribution. Why was this transition important to Singular?
When we first started Singular, the mission of our platform was very simple: To give marketers a single source of truth to understand their ROI at the most granular level. But we quickly realized that in order to deliver on our mission to advertisers, we were beholden to the standards of existing mobile attribution at the time. No one in the industry was taking ownership to connect marketing channels and attribution solutions in a way that supported standardized data governance. In order to improve the industry standard, this meant that we would need to help marketers manage their data at the user level. This is why we decided to become an MMP, so that we have the foundation to build a best in class unified platform that provides both Analytics and Attribution in a single solution. Today, over 50% of the top 100 global app publishers use Singular.
What separates Singular from the rest of the market as an MMP?
The first three years of our business was dedicated to building our analytics solution. It not only connects to over a thousand ad channels, but the core IP also lays the foundation for understanding the taxonomy and hierarchies within each of these networks. Ultimately, that means that we can standardize marketing data sets across these channels so that marketers can see their ROI at the most granular and accurate level.
Until 2017, when Singular started offering attribution, marketers had to purchase an attribution and analytics solution side-by-side with different vendors. We are the only MMP to integrate all a marketer’s conversion and install data with their overall marketing and campaign data. The result: Context and color around your marketing investments that is essential for optimization and future growth.
Along with Singular, you’re also one of the founders of THRIVE — a professional women’s community for the growth marketing industry. What inspired you to help establish this community, and what do you think of its progress so far?
One of the things that I noticed when we started Singular five years ago was how male dominated this industry was. Thankfully, there are more women in our industry today, in higher-powered roles than ever before. I’ve been very fortunate to have met some of the most amazing group of women in our industry. I can’t count how many times during off hours where we commented on how we would love to ‘get together more’ and learn from each other.
So, this is really the purpose behind THRIVE.
It is a community that is aimed at connecting and empowering women leaders and influencers in growth marketing. The goal is to learn from each other’s mistakes and accomplishments both in and out of the workplace, and most importantly coming together and forming meaningful friendships. If you think about it, the very definition of THRIVE is growing together, and that’s really the objective for this community.
We launched our first event at MAU in Las Vegas in May and I’m incredibly pleased with how the launch went. Not only was it one of the most well attended events across all of the adjacent events going on at MAU, but the overwhelming amount of interest from inspiring women across the industry who were keen on getting involved in the community. We came out of the event with some great topics for follow on events and will be looking to launch our second THRIVE event later this quarter here in the bay area, and more to come after!
What would you say is the biggest industry trend (or trends) within the mobile advertising space right now? Where do you see it headed in the next few years?
There are three primary trends we’re watching unfold in our space:
1. Expanded appetite for marketers to test new ad channels
There is a common misconception about the mobile advertising industry that there are only a few dominant media sources to work with. And yes, a good portion of spend in the market goes to Facebook and Google. But what some marketers aren’t aware of is that there is a considerable amount of good inventory and innovative ad units across other ad networks.
My advice to app marketers who aren’t doing this already is this: If you have the ability to scale beyond five ad networks, I definitely recommend trying this out. What we’ve seen in our data is that marketers who advertised on more than 5 ad networks — scaling efforts past Facebook, Google, and Instagram — had a 37% lower CPI and 60% higher installs with the same exact ad spend.
2. Growth of mobile apps that monetize through in-app advertising
We see that there is an estimated 60% growth in mobile apps that will monetize through in-app advertising. Emerging ad-supported genres like hyper-casual are a big part of why in-app advertising revenue is set to triple from $72 billion to $201 billion. Publishers need to make sure that their UA strategy and measurement vendor has a solid solution in place to factor in the in-app advertising revenue into the equation so that you can understand true ROI across your marketing channels.
3. A continued push for consumer privacy across dominant industry players
We expect to see tightening down of consumer privacy from dominant industry players like Apple. There’s been quite a bit of speculation across the industry that one of the likely outcomes can be the potential deprecation of IDFA.
At Singular, we’ve spent considerable time imagining and planning for a world where mobile apps and marketers would have to survive in a privacy-safe environment without a common device identifier like IDFA on devices. We recently launched an industry working group called MAP, which stands for Mobile Attribution Privacy. MAP is focused on defining the new standards around a privacy-first Mobile Attribution ecosystem.
What’s something that excites you about mobile marketing in 2019, whether it involves Singular or the broader ecosystem?
There has been quite of buzz over the past few years about AI. While I think it’s still very much in its infancy, I think we will start to see some initial advancements within our industry this year. For example, we will be looking to launch our Insights product later this year that will be aimed at surfacing benchmarks and predictive models that will enable marketers to automatically uncover insights that they are having to do manually (or worse, not at all). This is an incredibly exciting move for Singular as this has always been the vision for the company since day one, to build the core foundation and standardization of data centrality and data governance.
And only when this has been achieved, can we harness the ability to provide insights on top of this data and become what we consider the next generation marketing analytics providers, a true marketing intelligence platform.
Tapjoy would like to thank Susan Kuo for taking the time to join us. To learn more about how Singular helps developers grow more while paying less, be sure to download their Scaling Mobile Growth Report and learn how you can unlock breakthrough mobile growth for your mobile portfolio.