Mastering the art of real-time: Leveraging instant attribution data

By Minnie Katzen Mayer

One of my favorite things to do after publishing a marketing campaign is to watch the activity unfold, live: Checking engagements on social media channels, activity in our marketing automation platform, in our sales enablement platform, wherever I can get it.

Aside from the satisfaction I get from seeing the results of my efforts materialize, it provides real insight as to whether or not the campaign is working.

Real-time insight extends to mobile marketing as well. You can get instant feedback on your campaigns to measure real-time user engagement.

How many users are in your app right now? How does this number shift 5 minutes after you send a push notification or email?

There’s no need to wait and see. Advertisers nowadays can watch the fruits of their labors ripen like one of those time-lapse videos of flowers blooming.

Minimizing oopses with instant insights and rapid iteration

The purpose of real-time data, however, isn’t just to provide advertisers and marketers with warm, fuzzy self-satisfaction; it’s a crucial tool for ensuring the health of your creatives, your bidding, audience segmentation logic, and ultimately your bottom line.

Consider the following example: If you noticed an anomaly in the audience performing certain activities (e.g. far lower-than-expected activity from a certain audience or higher-than-expected activity from a different audience), it could very well be that an error was made when you segmented the audience.

With optimal data freshness, you’re likely to take note of the anomaly in a timely fashion and reassign your costly remarketing campaign to the correct segment.

It’s not just about catching mistakes

Even when things are set up perfectly, entirely devoid of human error, there are no guarantees that your campaign will be successful.

The best laid plans…you know how the saying goes.

When a campaign, especially an expensive one, isn’t performing as well as you were expecting, every minute that it remains live is costing you precious advertising dollars. Dollars you could be spending more efficiently.

If you’ve invested a fair amount of funds in a certain media source, and that media source isn’t delivering the results that you expected it to, the sooner you recognize this, the better. Optimizing on-the-go, with minimum waste and maximum revenue, is possible thanks to real-time attribution.

Getting insights as they happen, means that you can trash what isn’t working and shift funds to what is.

Stronger campaigns drive higher engagement, higher in-app and higher spend, pushing end-users through the funnel more effectively and further increasing ROI.

The real-time world around us

Until this point, we’ve explored how your own marketing efforts are affecting user activity.

But what about external circumstances? How can you leverage things out of your own control?

Travel app marketers with real-time data could analyze how news of an unexpected airport worker strike impacts in-app activity. This information can be used to encourage hesitant buyers to complete a purchase, or to replace sensitive campaigns and analyze the real-time impact of the shifts.

Ride hailing app marketers likely notice a surge in user activity for certain regions when the weather takes a turn for the worse. This is a supreme opportunity for a push notification or coupon offer, increasing the chances that users will choose your app over the competition.

How fresh is your attribution data?

Real-time data is critical for success, no matter what kind of app you’re running.

We live in the age of here-and-now and agility is the name of the game.

AppsFlyer recently rolled out real-time data in Activity Dashboard, providing marketers with real-time insight on app usage as close as possible to campaign launches.

When evaluating your current or potential attribution provider, one of the things to consider is whether or not they’re built upon a real-time analytics architecture.

The difference in impact for your app performance can be substantial when you’re relying on real-time analytics vs. batch processing analytics; it’s what makes brands outperform their competition, with the power to make important decisions based on constantly-changing datasets.

Minnie Katzen Mayer

Minnie is a marketing strategist with over a decade of experience in content and product marketing. Before joining AppsFlyer, Minnie led content marketing initiatives at Payoneer and several startups.
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