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3Q’s Takeaways from Singular’s 2019 Unify Conference

Published: June 17, 2019

Author: Sophia Fen

Last week, I traveled to Napa Valley for the second annual Unify conference, put on by mobile attribution and analytics partner Singular. The goal of Unify is “bringing together the biggest innovators in growth marketing for thought-provoking conversations.” The speakers certainly hailed from innovative and impressive companies, including Airbnb, Nike, 20th Century Fox, Stitch Fix, DraftKings, Lyft and BarkBox.

Source: Singular

Last year we broke out the conference takeaways into two separate blog posts (see here and here), but this year we are going to try to save you some time and bring you only the most important learnings and takeaways in a more snackable format and in one singular (haha, get it??) blog post. Here we go…
Below are some of the key challenges growth marketers face today, identified by Unify attendees. Let us know in the comments if you agree or are seeing others!

  • Managing scale
  • Cross-platform tracking, multi-touch attribution, and incrementality
  • Fraud detection and prevention
  • Creative optimization
  • Re-engagement and retention
  • Cross-functional team alignment

Based on these challenges, let’s start with five key trends the industry is seeing and why they matter:

  • Trend 1: Convergence into a single platform
    • Takeaway: Consolidation is important to have a single source of truth, data consistency, granularity and accuracy, and a single vendor contact and contracts
  • Trend 2: The rise of the CGO (Chief Growth Officer)
    • Takeaway: This role needs to be cross functional, utilizing smart tech to understand, model and grow business
  • Trend 3: Cross-platform and cross-device matter
    • Challenge: Incomplete and incompatible data sets make it difficult to unlock granularity across the funnel and track cross device attribution and ROI
    • Takeaway: Unify your data – extend connectors and tracking across platforms and sources, standardize links, combine tracking and reporting at the deepest level (i.e. keyword, creative), and invest in cross device attribution (including app, web, console, PC, etc.)
  • Trend 4: Ad monetization is doubling down
    • Takeaway: In-app advertising is set to almost triple, growing from a $72 billion to $201 billion business
  • Trend 5: Ad fraud is still a pain
    • Takeaway: No one channel is protected. Fraud prevention and detection requires a dedicated security/fraud team and innovative research to stay ahead

Next, we’ll give you the “need to know” takeaways from some of the major sessions/topics:

Seeing Cross-Platform in 2020


  1. Bottom of funnel marketing (paid search, affiliate) is important but as business expands, so does the saturation in these channels. Don’t ignore medium and top of funnel channels – these non-traditional channels lead to better experiences and conversions down funnel.
  2. Many businesses are equal parts web and app. Let the customer decide which route they want to take – this creates a need for cross-channel multi-touch attribution. Some companies are starting to solve for this via unique User IDs.
  3. Run incrementality tests across every channel you can, including SANs (self-attributing networks like Google and Facebook). Assign dedicated analytics resources that really understand the space and know what questions to ask (i.e. framework, test set-up, etc.).
  4. Incorporate both multi-touch attribution and incrementality testing if you can – they should co-exist; it’s not just one or the other. You will see some channels begin to look better than others, but this doesn’t make the overall “pie” bigger. The ideal state is to understand what channels are working best and then use those to “make the pie bigger.”
  5. Consumers don’t see brand vs. performance campaigns, or first touch vs. last touch. They see your brand speaking to them across all touchpoints and advertisers need to remember that, and plan/align messages accordingly.

Building a Data-Driven Creatives Engine


  1. Invest in world class animation – this leads to longer view time and more active engagement.
  2. Create a nimble testing and execution strategy. Find your winners and iterate on them quickly, test everything (buttons, copy, actors, elements, voiceover), and allow room for failure.
  3. Build and test playable ads. These give users a chance to play or try your app before installing.
  4. Personalize and localize:
    • Use heat mapping to analyze and improve ads – look at failed close attempts, accidental interactions, etc.
    • Different countries demand a different approach – consider the characters/models in the ad. Someone recognized in the US will likely need to be different for ads running in Japan, the UK, etc.
    • Hyper-localize based on seasonal events – utilize specific end cards to incorporate cultural relevance, such as Chinese New Year.
    • Source: Singular
  5. Even if you aren’t in gaming, you can gamify elements of your app. Get creative!

Unexpected Effects of Fraud on Your Business


  1. Incrementality – Some channels are purposely fraudulent, others are just low intent and not necessarily fraudulent
  2. Creative Insights – Decisions are being made based on false data
  3. Hidden cost of paid UA – Know and master attribution logic (attribution windows, fingerprinting, when channels fire an impression or click, etc.), otherwise you are making yourself more vulnerable to fraudsters
  4. Implementing anti-fraud tools – Do your due diligence and understand the incentive of each tool, if the tool is in real time and proactive or reactive, if it impacts overall campaign performance, and what you can put in place to cover any blind zones
  5. Do your homework and research

Automation – Intelligent Tech Stacks and Fundamentals of Growth Marketing


  1. Automate your UA program. Three secret weapons to help you do this:
    • Segment SDK: Flip on/off 100+ analytics and marketing tools without additional SDKs or APIs – send the same events to FB, Google, Braze, etc.
    • Singular: Joins cost, conversion, and revenue data together in one place
    • Retool: A configurable front-end UI that you connect to your data, providing streamlined campaign and creative management
  2. Prioritize automation based on urgency. Look at what repetitive tasks marketers are doing daily then use that to decide what to automate.
  3. Not everything can or should be automated. What shouldn’t you automate?
    • Creative strategy
    • Well-thought out experiments and tests
    • New ideas

I know that was a LOT of content and it wasn’t even the full rundown, but I hope you found it helpful to hear what challenges others in the industry are facing and now have some ideas on how to tackle them. Reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about how 3Q can help grow your business and mobile user acquisition programs. Cheers to that!

Source: Singular

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