AppsFlyer cost reporting solution: Solving one of the biggest digital marketing problems

By Gal Brill
AppsFlyer cost reporting solution: Solving one of the biggest digital marketing problems - featured
AppsFlyer cost reporting solution: Solving one of the biggest digital marketing problems - featured

Unsurprisingly, the market today is facing a serious challenge around the standardization of data.

Without being able to report properly and holistically on key performance indicators (KPI’s), marketers are making serious budget and optimization decisions based on incorrect or partial information.

Cost reporting is a zero-sum game.

Obtaining inaccurate and partial data is equal to not having the data to begin with. Without it, marketers struggle with assessing the true ROI of their campaigns, optimizing efficiently and deciding how to allocate their budget.

This is not an acceptable status quo.

Every performance marketer should be able to have complete and accurate cost data side-by-side with their trusted attribution data.

In an ideal scenario, any partner or network could report accurate cost data regularly, and at the same granularity and dimension throughout, so that both sides (networks and advertisers) could benefit from an optimized marketing plan. In reality, extracting, gathering, funneling, and analyzing the data from every source and at any dimension is a daunting challenge, to say the least.

Luckily, we like challenges here at AppsFlyer.

We have set out to solve this major pain point and are proud to provide a single-vendor solution.

Ideal cost reporting solution

Extracting your cost data from any source

First and foremost, there is a need to extract data from hundreds of sources. The second part involves the method; there are multiple different methods of extraction cost, and all must be supported.

No two sources report data in the same way, at the same level of granularity and frequency; which means extracting what you need at the right time, is no simple task.

As such, there is no accepted standard for campaign naming conventions, click URL structures or types of dimensions; therefore, comparing hundreds of networks’ performance and cost side-by-side is not easy.

For example, each network has different types of metrics associated with cost: Twitter has tweets, Facebook has page likes, Snapchat has swipe ups, and so on.

Building upon thousands of existing partnerships and integrations allows AppsFlyer to provide a strong starting point for any advertiser to extract the data they need using various methods such as click, API or our Ad Spend Ingestion feature.

Cost data extraction can be further complicated if campaigns are reported on different dimensions that cannot be processed by your system. For example, if your campaign is reporting cost based on geographic location, but you are unable to process data based on that dimension, the insight becomes irrelevant to you.

In addition, some networks report cost data on the campaign level, while others provide it at any structural level, which is why a good cost reporting solution should be flexible.

AppsFlyer is able to support cost data at any dimension or level made available by the partner network

Using the Ad Spend Ingestion feature, advertisers can reprocess incomplete or incorrect data and also have the flexibility to ingest additional sources of data (influencer channels, email marketing, push notifications, etc.).

Our main mission is to ensure that as the preferred single-vendor solution, our clients will be able to view the data from any source, at any granularity, tied to AppsFlyer attribution even if data was missing, lagging or inconsistent in the past.

Owning the data management flow

AppsFlyer allows advertisers to own every element of their data pass, no matter the source or method of extraction.

Relying on other networks, partners, or channels to pass data regularly, and in time for advertisers to make critical decisions is nearly impossible today. Even if the process is improving over time, the advertisers benefit from owning not only the permissions to access the data, but also benefit from joint collaboration between the network, publisher, and measurement provider.

With AppsFlyer’s dedicated partner access permissions, teams can collaborate on identifying gaps, lags, and inconsistencies, easily allowing them to correct the data on the go.

Take for example a scenario where a network has issued a rebate, and an advertiser wants to now reflect the true cost for that channel in reports and ROI calculation for a given period of time.

Now, think about how much time is lost to communicate the gap, then process the data correction.

With AppsFlyer’s cost reporting solution, in one easy step, the true numbers can be updated and reflected in the UI instantly.

ROI optimization: Going from insights to actions

Being able to rely on your data ushers in much-needed peace of mind for marketers because now they can calculate the true ROI of their performance and make strategic optimization decisions they can trust.

AppsFlyer provides ROI reporting to help app marketers measure the effectiveness of their app campaigns. By combining in-app activity and lifetime value data with ad cost and other campaign details, AppsFlyer can deliver real-time ROI reports on app installs.

This data is also available in various places including the Overview Dashboard, Cohort Dashboard, Pull API, and Pivot and Custom Dashboards to name a few…

In conclusion

The solution is two-fold, to build the most reliable app attribution platform that can collect, organize, and standardize all cost reporting using different methods of collection; and to do so under one roof.

The second is to leverage powerful insights and take immediate action, ensuring that you are always ahead of the game when it comes to performance optimization.

Since AppsFlyer is the leader in attribution with an unprecedented number of connected partners, we provide a unique position to glue the missing pieces together and report on ROI tied to attribution as a single vendor solution.

If calculating true ROI is the holy grail for marketers, then we are proud to say that we have come one giant step closer to achieving just that.

Gal Brill

Gal Brill is a serial entrepreneur who founded several tech companies and led them to successful acquisitions. He is now the general manager of AppsFlyer’s Cost Reporting and Ad Revenue products group.
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