ROI360—cost aggregation overview

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At a glance: Learn about methods for advertisers to aggregate and view marketing cost data.

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Cost aggregation

ROI360:

  • Provides aggregate advertising cost data, and cost-related LTV performance metrics. These are available via dashboards and performance reports. The cost-related metrics available include ROI, ROAS, clicks, impressions, campaign ROI, and average effective cost per installation (eCPI) over time.
  • Supports different cost models used by the partner, for example, CPI, CPA, CPC, and CPM.
  • Records advertising cost by API, ad spend ingestion (CSV file upload), and cost by click.
  • Agencies can access ROI360 cost data for advertisers with an ROI360 subscription.

The following metrics are available to advertisers without an ROI360 subscription:

  • Cost data by click.
  • SRN clicks and impressions data, configured via the SRN integrated partner Cost tab.

Principles of cost data aggregation

This section describes the main principles of campaign cost data aggregation. 

Cost aggregation methods

Cost data is obtained from partners using one or more methods. If cost is reported by more than one method, then the cost prioritization mechanism determines which data is used. This ensures that cost data is not inflated.

After AppsFlyer processes the data, it displays in UTC timezone (default) or as per your app-specific timezone settings.

Cost aggregation method Cost models supported Data granularity Data freshness Remarks
API* All

Level depends on the integration

Intraday Data may change after the cost event as we try to receive data up to 7 days back (depending on the ad network). This enables us to take into account retroactive changes made by the ad network. 
Ad Spend Ingestion (file upload) All Level depends on the file uploaded  Up to 4 hours after ingestion Cost reported can be reverted and corrected data submitted for up to 90 days.
Clicks (attribution link) CPI User-level

Minimum: realtime

Maximum: Up to 4 hours after click

No change possible
* API integrations between partners and AppsFlyer are by either Cost API or InCost API (never both). The API used and data granularity provided is partner-dependent.

Cost data availability and reports

The following table indicates where cost data is available.

For the purposes of understanding the table, the following explanations apply, unless otherwise indicated in the table remarks:

  • UA: Cost data for user acquisition campaigns with at least 1 recently-recorded (non-SKAN attributed) install (meaning in the past approximately 7 days).
  • Unified: Cost data of all campaigns of the selected app, including those without any recently-recorded installs (meaning in the past approximately 7 days). The table indicates when data is only available for campaigns with at least 1 recently-recorded install.
  • If campaign name changes are not supported, both campaign names display, one with attribution data, and one with cost data. Neither campaign name displayed will include the complete data picture.

Cost data availability and reports

Reporting method View/data type Campaign name change support Remarks
Overview dashboard
  • UA
  • Unified
Yes Retargeting view doesn't display cost. Cost for retargeting displays in the unified view.
Activity dashboard UA Yes  

Cohort dashboard

  • UA
  • Unified
Yes
  • Retargeting view doesn't display cost
  • This unified data is only for campaigns with at least 1 recently-recorded install.

Cohort API

  • UA
  • Unified
Yes This unified data is only for campaigns with at least 1 recently-recorded install.

SKAN dashboard

SKAN No SKAN installs display, along with cost data for all installs (including non-SKAN installs).

SKAN Aggregated Performance API

SKAN No SKAN installs display, along with cost data for all installs (including non-SKAN installs).

Pivot dashboard

UA No

 

Master API UA No

 

Custom dashboard UA No  
Cost ETL Unified Yes

All available cost data displays.

Aggregated Pull API UA No  

 

Push API

Raw click data (not aggregated)

Not relevant

 

Raw data Pull API

Raw click data (not aggregated)

Not relevant

 

Data Locker

Raw click data (not aggregated)

Not relevant

Data Locker Cohort doesn’t support cost.

Note:

  • Data granularity can differ based on dashboard/report type. The Cost ETL reporting tool contains the complete set of data. This includes campaign hierarchy details (media source, campaign name, adset, and the dimensions made available by the ad network, including geo, channel. site ID, and keywords).

  • Click cost data is available in raw-data reports. 

Cost prioritization mechanism

For a given media source, cost can be provided by more than one method. To avoid cost inflation, a campaign cost prioritization mechanism decides which cost data is made available in the platform. Priority is given according to the aggregation method. The priority from lowest to highest is: Click > Cost API > Ad Spend Ingestion.

The cost prioritization mechanism impacts aggregate data reports and dashboards. Click cost data available in raw data reports are not impacted by the prioritization mechanism.

Considerations:

  • On any day Cost API is enabled, click cost is ignored. 
  • If you change cost aggregation methods, the change has a retroactive impact. Historical aggregate cost data can change.
  • Change to the cost aggregation method affects agency-generated traffic in the same manner. This includes both transparent and non-transparent agencies. 
  • The priority mechanism works at the campaign levels. This means that if you get 2 cost inputs for one campaign via different mechanisms, then they compete and the higher priority wins for the entire campaign.

Campaign cost method prioritization

 Example

Scenario: An ad network reports cost per click, but you decide to enable the ad network's Cost API.

Result: Cost is aggregated by both click and Cost API. Since Cost API has priority, click costs are ignored.

Additional information

List of ad networks supporting Cost API

The following table lists all ad networks supporting Cost API, with the data granularity available for each:

  • Dimensions
  • Supported features and their characteristics
  • Metrics (as reported by the ad networks)

Download file: CSVXLS

Changing campaign names

AppsFlyer displays campaigns using the campaign ID as the key.

To avoid display anomalies ensure that:

  • Campaigns have a unique campaign ID assigned to them.
  • You don't use the same campaign name with different campaign IDs.

Learn more about campaign name changes

Costs without installs

Why do I see cost data with no installs? This occurs when cost is provided at an upper-level hierarchy (e.g. campaign level), but the performance information (clicks and installs) is provided at a lower level in the advertising hierarchy (e.g. adset).

AppsFlyer completes the cost data for missing dimensions from an upper-level hierarchy. This guarantees a full view of the cost data at any level and minimizes internal discrepancies.

 Example

An advertiser runs a campaign. The advertising hierarchy is as follows:

  • Media source: media_eg
  • Campaign: campaign_eg 
  • Adsetsadset1, adset2

The following information relating to the media source is displayed.

Hierarchy: All Media Sources > media_eg

Campaign Cost Installs
campaign_eg $100 100
campaign_yy $200 1000
campaign_zz $300 2000

Drilling down into campaign_eg, the adset level is shown. 

Hierarchy: All Media Sources > media_eg > campaign_eg 

Adset Cost Installs
None $100  
adset_1 N/A 30
adset_2 N/A 70

In this case, the cost of campaign_eg is $100 and is provided at the campaign level. When drilling down to the adset level, which in this case is the component level, the cost cannot be broken down by adset. 

To overcome this, AppsFlyer carries down the cost from the campaign level and displays it in a separate row. In this case, the adset is shown as none and the installs field left blank

Cost currency conversion

If the campaign cost currency provided by the ad network differs from that of the app-defined currency set on the platform, the cost is converted to the app-defined currency as follows:

  • AppsFlyer gets the rates from openexchangerates.org
  • Exchange rates are updated hourly
  • Currency conversions are performed using the last known rate

Traits and limitations

Trait

Remarks

Agencies

  • Agencies can access ROI360 cost data for advertisers with an ROI360 subscription.
  • When transparent agencies run campaigns, advertisers can see the cost displayed in dashboards and reports that support unified view. Learn more
  • If an advertiser ends their relationship with an agency, and disables the agency permissions at the app level, if the agency has cost configured for the app, cost data is still pulled. If the advertiser wants to stop this data being pulled, they must ask the agency to disable their cost integration in AppsFlyer.
  • For some ad networks, agencies must contact the advertiser to activate the integration and are prompted in the AppsFlyer UI to do so. For these networks, agencies and advertisers must ensure that when the ad network sends data it includes the af_prt parameter, required for agency cost attribution.

API data freshness

  • Intraday (except for Moloco)
  • Mintegral data is available via API by the following day, approximately 4 hours after the previous day ended (depending on your Mintegral timezone settings). Meaning, if the event occurred on Day 1, cost data is available by Day 2, at approximately 4:00.

Campaign name changes

Ad spend data displays using the most recent campaign name reported. Note: This is for the display of aggregate data; not the raw data itself.

Timezone

If an ad network supports just one timezone, and there is a discrepancy between the timezone the ad network supports and the timezone set in your app settings, the timezone that the ad network supports is used.

CTV, PC, and console platforms

For apps on these platforms, cost data must be sent via Ad Spend Ingestion using the upload file by email method.

Out-of-store apps

Cost data from Mintegral isn't available for out-of-store apps (apps from platforms other than Google Play and App Store).