The Critical Questions Every Successful User Acquisition Manager Should Consider

The goal of any successful User Acquisition (UA) Manager is to spend smarter, faster, and more wisely than their competition. To get there, UA Managers need to have substantial experience in pulling data and generating advanced Excel reports. They need high attention to detail and exude expert analytical skills with the ability to make data-driven decisions. Not to mention, they should have proven experience in testing and optimization, lifetime value modeling, budget forecasting, and budget management.

So, it is clearly an understatement to say that UA Managers have to work in a world with a lot of moving parts. A world that comes with many questions for consideration before even taking a single step.

In this series, we have gathered some of the most important questions and considerations that UA Managers ask themselves daily. All with a mind to shed light on how you can keep ahead of your competitors and deliver against your core KPIs.

Where and How is Data Collected?

Singular’s marketers are collecting data daily through their dashboards from 4–5 different formats between API integrations, web dashboards, email, excel.

With so many moving parts there is a lot of room for error. This can include a network not entering a spend cap and running through monthly budgets in a day. Or a developer accidentally updating the SDK and suddenly causing campaigns to no longer pass back information. Additionally, many UA Managers are relying on “copy and paste” of install and spend data into massive Google Docs and manually creating pivot tables of their KPIs broken down by App, OS, Network. To protect against errors like this, consider monitoring all your campaigns across all your sources often. This will help prevent errors, blowing through budgets, ruining tests, or simply failing to adjust bids competitively.

How often do you collect data from each network?
What sources do you collect data from?
How many hours do you spend in Excel manipulating data?
How many campaigns are you running on each network at any given time?
How often are your making optimizations on each network?

The average marketer using Singular is spending on 16+ networks at any given time and testing at least 2 new networks each month.

Your future users are interacting with dozens of different networks everyday across Facebook, Twitter, Tapjoy, Chartboost, and hundreds of others (see the best performing networks by ROI), so you should be too. This is not only to be everywhere your customers are but to ensure maximum reach across your segments as each network addresses a different audience.

How many networks do you currently advertise on?
How often are you testing new networks?

How Are You Ensuring Data Integrity?

Singular’s proprietary technology auto-detects dozens of discrepancies every day for each customer as a result of integration errors, network updates, false manual inputs, and failed data combining.

When collecting and analyzing data manually from multiple sources, mistakes and mismatched data are inevitable. This is in addition to the hours of daily work it takes to manually manipulate Excel sheets and auditing data. UA Managers are only human after all.

If you are relying on cost-tracking links, for example, there are many downfalls. For one, it is an extremely manual requirement to update the tracking link every time a change is made to the campaign — which can be as often as daily. Another downfall to cost-tracking links is the networks tend to report different cost information (and potentially lower cost data) due to install postback drop-off. Without connecting to your direct source of cost, you are likely not receiving your true data. Adding insult to injury, the data is typically passed from a lookback window of up to 30 days. This in itself is not a problem, but if the data is altered after that window, either because of an update made by the network or the account manager, for example, the data you are receiving may not be retroactively updated.

How are you QAing data for anomalies, human error, and mismatched or missing data?
How often do you find errors in your data?
Does your data retroactively reflect updates past 30 days?

Singular’s Thoughts

As a UA Manager, it’s crucial that you are collecting all data from all sources in all formats, checking for accuracy and completeness. All while analyzing regularly for trends, quality assurance, and scale. This is not an easy feat, and with more apps, more networks, and more spend reported in different formats you inevitably need more supporting resources from marketing, engineering, and business intelligence; especially without a reliable tool for unifying data, ensuring data integrity, and automating workflow.

During our next post we will discuss considerations as it relates to acting on this data, including testing, analysis, optimization, and strategy. In the meantime, please comment below with additional questions you need to address as a successful UA Manager.

For more information about how Singular can alleviate some of the pain in the day of the life of a user acquisition manager, contact us today!