And the result is that they can't fully optimize their marketing to take advantage of what's working, or stop what's not.
But here's the big secret about cross-device measurement.
It's not just about measurement of the journey.
Instead, it's about deeply understanding how each marketing and advertising input (dollar spent) results in a sales or conversion output (dollar received) ... no matter where that happens, or how convoluted the customer journey gets.
That's what marketing intelligence platform Singular is announcing today: a cross-device and cross-platform ROI analytics product (full disclosure: I consult with Singular). According to the product lead, Moran Lechtman, the technology connects marketing spend data to conversion results across devices and platforms.
First, Singular ingests spend and marketing data from thousands of sources, like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Snapchat. Then it connects that spend data -- marketing inputs -- with conversion and revenue data from web and app SDKs, plus customer data platforms and internal BI systems.
The result is a complete view of what's working down to the most granular levels.
"Being able to measure marketing performance and ROI across platforms and devices with Singular is valuable for Lyft," Sherry Lin, Growth Marketing Operations Lead at Lyft, said recently at a event in San Francisco. "This ability enables us to intelligently optimize our marketing efforts and grow our business."
Lyft is an early user of the technology, using it to help understand their marketing results from web to mobile and back.
Here's the marketer's challenge they are trying to resolve:
Imagine a person clicking on a Facebook ad for a retailer, going to their website, and making a $100 purchase. Then a month later, that same person installs the retailer's mobile app and makes a $100 purchase in-app. In the past, the marketer would say that Facebook revenue was $100 and organic app install revenue was $100, and make future spend decisions based on that assumption.
Now, marketers can actually know that their Facebook revenue was $200, and that the mobile app channel was a helper or enabler.
That means brands can know actual, true ROI, and can double down on optimization on the right channels ... as well as have accurate customer acquisition cost numbers.
I asked Lechtman for more details.
Koetsier: Why do marketers need cross-device and cross-platform measurement?
Lechtman: We're seeing two big shifts in the recent years. The first is the explosion of devices and screens users interact with. Mobile was first, but OTT, wearables, and other devices are in every household as well. Second, we see an explosion of platforms being used. It's not just "mainly email," but also many new ecommerce and social platforms. Not only do you have more-than-ever ways to market to your customers, now you also need to maintain one customer journey across all devices. For any marketer, this is not an era they can scale and grow in without strong platforms that measure cross-device and cross-platform efforts.
Koetsier: There are a number of cross-device measurement solutions in the market ... how is this different?
Lechtman: In the past, marketers assessed attribution solutions based on feature-based checklists, such as attribution windows, deep linking, and real-time data. Singular was the first to change this approach from "how much do you cover of my checklist" to "what new visibility do you get that you didn't get before?" So instead of looking at conversions, we push our customers to look at ROI, CPA, and other top KPIs critical for their business.
Our ability to connect attribution with large sets of data from different marketing sources and measure campaigns, creatives, and publishers is a key game-changer. Today we're bring this same unique approach to the cross-device measurement space also, and that's what's so exciting. Beyond that, Singular is a privacy-safe solution, which is not a trivial thing in the market.
Koetsier: How are you calculating ROI? What's the process?
Lechtman: Return on investment is the ratio between two key metrics in a specific time frame -- the revenue customers generated and the cost to acquire customers or obtain that revenue.
While the math is simple, obtaining the cost and revenue metrics is not an easy task. First, you have to decide what you are measuring ROI for ... your business? A specific ad network? One campaign? A single piece of creative?
Then, you need to surface the right cost and revenue metrics. Revenue will usually be acquired by processing purchase event streams for users attributed to an ad network, marketing campaign, or creative, while spend will be obtained from the media buying platforms. One of the challenges is connecting the two: how do you know that a specific revenue for user, for example, is correlated to a specific creative?
That's where advanced high performance algorithmic based platforms like Singular come into the picture.
Koetsier: You say the new solution offers granular ROI at various levels, like campaigns, creative, and so on. Can you provide some more details?
Lechtman: A modern marketer is making decisions on multiple levels every single day. They need to choose what campaign to build, which creative to use, what publisher to use, who to target, what bid to place, and many other decisions.
Each of these decisions needs to be optimized to achieve growth at scale.
We at Singular are aware of that and make sure that our platform can connect data points in all of those levels: we call it granularity. User acquisition managers would like to look at a set of campaigns she ran across all networks to see where she gets positive ROI versus negative ROI. A creative director would like to see all creatives based on their graphics to check which ones perform the best.
We provide access to all of those granularities through our platform.
Koetsier: Can you talk about what clients are doing with the solution currently?
Lechtman: Our early adopters are already getting visibility they never had before into their web and mobile efforts.
For example, one leading brand in the on-demand services field is getting for the first time clear and accurate analytics for their different campaigns across web and mobile. This is a key for them in their increasing effort to improve their creative and messaging. Overall we see the impact of granular, accurate and accessible data for marketers to drive growth decisions and start seeing how our solution helps great marketers to rise above the noise.
Koetsier: Thank you for your time!