Author Archives: John Koetsier

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Scaling mobile growth: How smart marketers pay 37% less and get 60% more

The cold hard reality of mobile marketing is that the rich get richer and the smart get smarter. That sounds unfair, but there is a sunny side up: nearly every mobile marketer has a shot at success.

But achieve breakout mobile growth isn’t easy.

Among other things, it requires prioritizing what already know you should be doing, but aren’t.

Cold hard data on mobile growth: what we’re seeing

Over the past year our customers used Singular to optimize more than $10 billion in annual ad spend. That includes over a trillion ad impressions, billions of conversion events, and hundreds of millions of app installs.

Get the full story in my post at Singular’s blog …


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Blockchain For Business: This Startup Thinks It Solves All Of Blockchain’s Worst Problems

It’s likely that you didn’t wake up this morning and think: What the world really needs is yet another blockchain protocol. And, of course, another cryptocurrency.

And yet, look where we are.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are free-falling in value. Proof of work has been exposed as an environmental catastrophe. In spite of numerous efforts to improve blockchain scalability to something approaching Visa’s or Mastercard’s ability to manage transactions, we’ve seen varying levels of success in shipping products.

And while there have been some bright spots of innovation using blockchain in actual real live working applications like this crypto REIT in South Carolina and IBM/Walmart’s food safety project, much of the innovation in the crypto space has been of the financial shell game type, and not the kind lawmakers like.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Jeff Pulver Has Invested In 400 Startups. Here’s His Rock Band Theory Of Entrepreneurs

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA–Vonage co-founder and voice-over-IP pioneer Jeff Pulver has invested in over 400 startups. If the secret of getting good at something is doing it over and over again, he should be pretty good by now.

Today he shared his rock band theory of startup teams at TechBeach Retreatin Jamaica.

“If I take a meeting with an entrepreneur, I’m inclined to invest,” Pulver said. “I know within about three minutes, generally, if I’m going to invest … then they have 17 minutes to convince me not to.”

Then he asks five “rock star” questions.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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How Slack Became The Fastest-Growing Enterprise Software Ever

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA–With $1.2 billion in investment, 8 million active users, and 3 million paid users, Slack went from a failed gaming startup to one of the highest-value startups in the world.

And, unprecedented penetration in enterprise.

How?

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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300 Billion Ads Say We’re Not Marketing When We Should Be (For Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Too)

I just studied 300B ad impressions, 9B clicks, 400M app installs, and $1.1 billion in marketing spend by hundreds of marketers over an entire year.

The key thing I found?

Marketers need to be flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing conditions including cost and consumer interest, because they shift weekly and even daily in the holiday season. A cast-in-stone marketing plan made last quarter just won’t cut it.

And sticking to a plan instead of adapting to conditions is going to cost you money and market share.

My full report is available here (full disclosure: I analyze data patterns for Singular). But the biggest thing I learned is that click-through rate (CTR), a good indicator of consumer interest, is only very loosely related to marketing intensity: the degree to which marketers are pushing rope up a hill.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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MasterCard: 4 Retail Verticals That Will Massively Outperform On Cyber Monday

It’s Cyber Monday, the opposite of “buy nothing” day, and Adobe estimates that we’ll hit about $8 billion in online sales today after a record Black Friday that saw the most mobile sales of any day in U.S. history.

So which categories will be hot today?

According to MasterCard, which processes billions of dollars in sales every day, four areas could see the biggest boost, based on 2017’s results:

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Record Mobile Sales Hit $2B On Biggest Black Friday Ever: ‘BOPIS’ Growing Fast

Mobile sale in the U.S. hit a new record as consumers purchased more than $2 billion straight from their phones — almost a third of all e-commerce sales on the traditional shopping holiday.

Total online revenue hit $6.22 billion, according to Adobe.

That’s up 17% from last year.

The mobile sales are a convincing sign of shift in the retail landscape: integration of offline and online business. And it’s help spawn a new acronym: BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store).

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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The Great Crypto Crash Of 2018

What’s interesting to me about the Great Crypto Crash Of 2018 …

  • everyone should realize that money is a collective fantasy. As soon as we stop believing in it, any kind of currency loses its value
  • decentralization has a complexity cost which is a natural barrier to entry
  • decentralization expands the threat envelope which is why it’s possible for crypto millionaires to become crypto paupers in seconds, thanks to simple, well-known, and existing hacks both social and technological
  • privacy in currency/payments is damaging to governmental desire for visibility, management, and taxation, so governments have a vested interest in seeing independent cryptocurrencies die
  • without an economic use imperative and dead-simple idiot-proof low-or-no-cost means of exchange, currencies don’t get widespread adoption and don’t move past the innovator and early adopter slices of the population
  • excessive hype kills whole sectors
  • obviously greedy and stupid follow-on ICOs and token generation events created by get-rich-quick types have poisoned the well
  • the world does not need 50 million currencies

Ultimately, I think all currencies that survive will be cryptocurrencies. But they’ll be nationalized or even internationalized by governmental or quasi-governmental organizations, and will be at least as easy to trade, use, and exchange as our current dollars and dinars, and most likely much easier.


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Salesforce: 40% Of 2018’s Retail Revenue Will Happen This Week During Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The coming Thanksgiving weekend is going to be huge, says Salesforce. So big that almost half of retailers’ annual revenue will come in this one massive Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday weekend.

Mobile will be key.

So will AI, for perhaps the first time, as smart systems are helping to drive more than a third of all retail revenue.

Salesforce sees a ton of shopping data, because the company manages marketing and sales for giant brands with more than 500 million global shoppers. So I asked Salesforce Head of Consumer Insights Rick Kenney for his take on the coming retail extravaganza.

Get the full interview in my post at Forbes …


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Adobe Analytics Challenge in Lehi, Utah

I had an amazing two-day trip to Lehi, Utah a few weeks ago for Adobe Analytics Challenge.

Essentially, Adobe and T-Mobile set hundreds of MBA student teams loose on real, live, actual T-Mobile analytics in Adobe Experience Cloud, and the top 10 teams vied for a $25,000 top prize at the event. I had the privilege of judging.

Here’s what I thought of the experience:


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257B Ads, 58M Installs Say the Mobile Subscription Economy Is Booming as Costs Drop 50%

It’s getting easier and cheaper to acquire new customers to your mobile subscription-based apps, according to a new study by Liftoff and Leanplum.

How much cheaper?

Think half price. And it’s not even a Black Friday sale.

Last year the average cost of acquiring a new paying subscriber for your mobile-app-driven service was $162.22. Now it’s just $86.99, according to the study, which looked at 257 billion ad impressions, 58.4 million app installs, and 47.4 million post-install events.

“The year-over-year data showcases major momentum for subscriptions,” says Mark Ellis, Liftoff co-founder and CEO. “Now pair that with Apple’s recent report that revenue from subscription-monetized apps is up 95 percent since 2017 … there’s no question that the long-term benefits of the subscription model, in the form of loyal users and stable cash flow, are worth the investment in service quality and marketing spend.”

The biggest opportunity?

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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300 Billion Ads Say We’re Not Marketing When We Should Be (For Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Too)

I just studied 300B ad impressions, 9B clicks, 400M app installs, and $1.1 billion in marketing spend by hundreds of marketers over an entire year.

The key thing I found?

Marketers need to be flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing conditions including cost and consumer interest, because they shift weekly and even daily in the holiday season. A cast-in-stone marketing plan made last quarter just won’t cut it.

And sticking to a plan instead of adapting to conditions is going to cost you money and market share.

Get the full story in my latest column at Inc …


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The New Retail: Showrooming, Webrooming, And Scanswapping Are How Millennials Shop

Millennials don’t shop like their parents.

In the dim mists of time, we went to a store, bought a gift, and brought it home. That’s changed with e-commerce, of course, and I’ve talked about that before: Taps, Clicks, Bricks: How Retail is Changing in America.

But millennials are bringing it to a new level, according to a new study released today by Oath (the former AOL and Yahoo which is now owned by Verizon).

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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My fireside chat on adtech, martech, IoT, automation, AI, and smart rings with Oath (AOL+Yahoo)

Oath (former AOL+Yahoo) runs a regular fireside chat series with “leaders from across the ad industry” sharing their vision for the future.

I was super-pumped to visit Oath’s amazing offices in Los Angeles to do the chat in their unbelievably well-equipped studios. (And yes, it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten my makeup done, professionally or otherwise.)

I had a great conversation with Missy Schnurstein, who runs part of Oath’s ad business. We chatted about adtech, martech, IoT, automation, AI, and smart rings, and a lot more.

Check out the blog post here, and I’ve embedded the video below:

Oath Ad Platforms Fireside Chat with John Koetsier, Singular from Oath on Vimeo.


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$31B, 1B orders, 180K Brands: Alibaba’s Epic 11.11 ‘Single’s Day’ Shopping Festival in China

180,000 brands sold more than $31 billion in product for the Chinese 11/11 shopping festival, often known as “single sticks day.” According to Alibaba, that totals more than one billion separate orders, all processed in less than 24 hours, and the total sold is up 27 percent from last year.

237 of those brands sold more than RMB100 million, or $14 million USD.

Single’s Day is November 11, because the date 11/11 is all ones, or singles. It’s a popular day to celebrate being single, but also a big day for weddings. In e-commerce, it’s also become the biggest shopping day in the world.

Get the full details in my post at Forbes …


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300B ads and 400M app installs say you just might be doing holiday marketing completely wrong

App marketers might be missing some of their best chances to acquire new users and customers by advertising at suboptimal times. Especially during peak holiday marketing seasons.

The cost?

Hundreds of millions in wasted ad dollars. And even more in lost potential revenue.

Singular analyzed over a billion dollars in ad spend to learn when mobile marketers spend the most to acquire users. But we also looked at the results of that advertising to understand when consumers, including gamers, shoppers, and travelers are most receptive.

One example: games.

Get the full story in my post at Singular …


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257 Billion Ads, 58 Million Installs Say the Mobile Subscription Economy Is Booming as Costs Drop 50 Percent

It’s getting easier and cheaper to acquire new customers to your mobile subscription-based apps, according to a new study by Liftoff and Leanplum.

How much cheaper?

Think half price. And it’s not even a Black Friday sale.

Last year the average cost of acquiring a new paying subscriber for your mobile-app-driven service was $162.22. Now it’s just $86.99, according to the study, which looked at 257 billion ad impressions, 58.4 million app installs, and 47.4 million post-install events.

“The year-over-year data showcases major momentum for subscriptions,” says Mark Ellis, Liftoff co-founder and CEO. “Now pair that with Apple’s recent report that revenue from subscription-monetized apps is up 95 percent since 2017 … there’s no question that the long-term benefits of the subscription model, in the form of loyal users and stable cash flow, are worth the investment in service quality and marketing spend.”

The biggest opportunity?

Get the full story in my post at Inc …

 


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Thank you, Ad Age

Ad Age just did a great print feature on marketers’ biggest fears: “WHAT SCARES ME RIGHT NOW … industry insiders on a world of rapid change, false moves, major hype, fake news and more … much more. Welcome to your nightmares.”

It recently hit the website. Here’s what I said:

What if we’re all idiots? What if everything the ad-tech industry has been doing for the past decade has been a cultural Manhattan Project? We’ve fallen in love with an intoxicating meme: that personalization is better than association. This belief has driven advertising from contextual relevance to personal relevance. And that evolution unleashed the biggest data-gathering free-for-all in history.

That’s led to uncounted privacy breaches, sure. But worse, the globe-spanning empires we’ve built on this idea have fueled reality bubbles that isolate us in small groups and provide fertile fields for thought-terrorism: the power of unknown and anonymous people, organizations and countries to change what we collectively hold as true, without accountability. Personalization is here to stay. But the cost has not yet been counted.

Super-pumped that they put a big visual together for a piece of the quote!


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Facebook Launches Attribution Tool For Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger (Finally)

This week Facebook finally launched Facebook Attribution after the tool had been in public beta for over a year.

The new solution aggregates measurement across all your Facebook ecosystem ad campaigns: on Facebook itself, on Facebook’s hottest “new” ad platform, Instagram, on Messenger, and across Audience Network, Facebook’s infrastructure for extending your ad campaigns off of Facebook properties.

Facebook is pitching its attribution tool as a way to give marketers “a more holistic view of the customer journey.”


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Banned Scanner App Back On App Store, Now Charging Instantly For ‘Free Trial’

You gotta give TinyLabs points for trying.

The company ran a scammy subscription app that was banned by Apple for a sneaky user interface that conned people into purchasing expensive subscriptions to its simple utility app: QR Code Scanner. Now, just a few days later it’s back on the App Store.

Has the leopard changed its spots?

Apparently not, because it is still charging customers immediately for access to a supposedly “free” trial. As you can see below in the application flow, tapping on the yellow “Start” button immediately kicks you into payment mode. That free trial? It’s not actually free.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Why you’re losing 50% of your ad effectiveness if you’re not using creative reporting

What really makes ads work?

This simple question is the billion-dollar puzzle that drives the adtech industry. For marketers, finding the answer unlocks the door to optimizing growth.

– who you send your ads to matters
– where people see them matters
– how often people see your ads matter
– the brand attached to them matters

But creative outweighs them all. And not by a little. Combined.

Get the full story in my post on Singular’s blog … 


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Apple Pulling High-Grossing Subscription Apps With Scammy Offers Off The App Store

Apple is systematically combing through the App Store’s subscription apps looking for potentially confusing terms of service and pulling apps that look problematic, according to multiple mobile app developers.

The problem?

Scammy subscription apps charging users hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

I broke the story earlier this month and TechCrunch added more fuel to the fire this week.  Many subscription apps had a large “Free Trial” button with tiny print beneath it detailing the subscription terms, which often totaled hundreds of dollars a year in credit-card charges.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes … 


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Apple Pulls Scammy App Making Up To $14.3M/Year, Questions Remain

Apple pulled Scanner App from the App Store today in response to complaints that it was tricking users into expensive subscriptions.

The app was reportedly making almost $15 million each year, according to SensorTower data, in spite of the fact that its functionality — scanning QR codes — is freely available from multiple places, including the built-in iOS-native camera app.

I highlighted a number of scummy subscription apps a week ago.

They typically use fine print, confusing app functionality flows, and users’ forgetfulness to engineer expensive multi-hundred dollar or even thousand-dollar sign-ups.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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The ‘No BS’ mobile attribution webinar: 27 questions answered (plus yours!)

You’ve heard about mobile attribution. You’ve wondered about mobile attribution. Maybe you even use mobile attribution. But you still have questions.

Like: Why?

Or: Who needs that?

And: Aren’t all mobile attribution solutions basically the same?

We get it. It can be confusing, and it can seem pretty detailed and technical sometimes. That’s why we’re hosting a webinar (with friends from Vungle and Liftoff) on November 6. And we’d like you to attend.

Why? Check out my post on Singular’s blog to find out …


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The Motiv Smart Ring Is The Perfect Casual Fitness Tracker … And An Even Better Sleep Tracker

I have an Apple Watch. I love my Apple Watch, and I’m religious about “closing my rings” and ensuring that I hit my move, exercise, and stand goals as many days as possible.

But I can’t sleep with a watch on my wrist.

Enter the Motiv smart ring.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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App Scams: Sneaky ‘Utility’ Apps Are Stealing $260, $2500, or even $4700 Each Year … Per User

An obscure app that reads bar codes is scamming hundreds of App Store users by automatically initiating an expensive $156 per year subscription. And there are dozens more like it, with some charging users thousands of dollars each month for extremely minimal functionality.

App scams are nothing new.

Last summer Apple deleted an app scamming $80,000/month from iOS users. At the time, Apple promised to pay closer attention to subscription apps to prevent similar schemes in the future. Clearly, however, some are still slipping through.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Grow faster: How ‘Dual Integration’ unlocks vastly more value than vanilla mobile attribution

Peanut butter is just peanut butter. And chocolate is just chocolate. But if you have the creativity and insight to combine them, you create a magical mystery confection that makes your mouth cry out for joy and high-five your stomach. You get, perhaps, dual integration.

Imagine the peanut butter is marketing campaign data.

Imagine the chocolate is attribution.

Put them together, and the result is not magical and not mysterious: it’s marketing science that unlocks ever-increasing but previously hidden value. And that’s just one of the secrets revealed in our No Bullsh!t Guide to Mobile Attribution.

But what exactly is dual integration? And how does it work?

Get the full story in my post on Singular’s blog …


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Apple’s New iPhone XS, XS Max Driving 45% More Market Share Than Last Year’s Models

Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max launches have been almost 50% more successful than its introduction of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, according to new data from mobile analytics service Flurry. In addition, the new models are driving 7% more revenue than the 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X combined from last year.

And that’s even without the low-end X phone, the iPhone XR, which will launch on October 26.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …


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92% Of AI Leaders Now Training Developers In Ethics, But ‘Killer Robots’ Are Already Being Built

The Terminator is not real. Yet.

Most AI-using organizations are working to keep it that way, according to a recent study by SAS, Accenture, and Intel. Almost three quarters of large businesses are now using AI in one way or another, and 92% of the most successful ones are working to ensure their uses of artificial intelligence are pro-social.

Most of them, of course, are not developing weapons systems.

Instead, they’re trying to ensure that their AI systems don’t discriminate against minorities, the disadvantaged, or, frankly, anyone who doesn’t fit the profile of the training data their neural networks are ingesting.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Sexy new campaign analytics: Dynamic totals, drag-and-drop columns, freezing, pinning, and more

Excel is a wonderful tool. But I think we can all agree the less you need to export marketing campaign analytics out of one system, import it into another, and then finally start a deeper analysis, the better.

Especially when, as a digital marketer, you want to make fast but smart decisions.

So Singular released multiple improvements today to our campaign analytics report that automatically collects and standardizes data from all of your sources into one single reporting view for apples-to-apple analysis, says Singular’s senior product marketing manager, Saadi Muslu.

“Asides from having a sleek new look, we’ve added new functionalities for improved viewability,” she says. “Features like freeze/pin columns, drag & drop columns, and edit columns help to customize your reporting view for your needs. One of the most exciting new functionalities is Dynamic Totals, which allow users to filter their table by any attribute, and see the totals recalculated in real-time without needing to run a new query.”

One of my favorites though? Source transparency. (Scroll down to see it.)

Get the full story in my post on Singular’s blog …


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