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The monetization quick start guide

Monetization and data collection can be a lot to take in as it is a broad topic so what’s the best way to begin? Over the years we have helped tons of companies with their monetization set up and we’re going to share some of our methods in our simple quickstart guide.

Why monetization?

First things first, we’ll begin with the basics. Why should you monetize the data you collect?

  • You can generate more revenue through segmentation according to things like demography, industry, gender and so on. This way you can target your audience with messages on products they want thus generating more revenue.
  • It’s a great way to offload tons of data you have collected over the years.
  • Data monetization can help you improve your business operation, productivity and efficiency.
  • Data monetization helps you gain a competitive advantage as it helps you offer personalized services and enrich your customer experience at every touchpoint thus giving you a competitive advantage.

The quickstart

There’s a short five step process in the quickstart which involves

       1. Business goals
the first step is to identify your business goals, this helps you place a focus on data collection and a metrics plan that helps you attain these objectives, a few examples of business goals include

  • Standardizing and cleaning up data across different business units and products.
  • Understanding and growing an existing product or business
  • Understanding and improving the business funnel or product-market fit for a new product.

If any of these sound like something you want to do, then you’re ready for data monetization.

       2. Funnel 
Using pirate metrics Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referral AARRR to define the categories of a products funnel is standard but we suggest that as a beginner, you should focus on engagement, acquisition and monetization of a customer’s journey.

Each step in the funnel has three fundamental questions we must ask

  • Acquisition: compare this week’s signups to last weeks. How many more or less were they?
  • Engagement: how many customers re-engage with your app week over week
  • Monetization: how much revenue do you pull in week over week.

We aim to answer each of these questions by the end of the article.

Collect data

To build metrics with a monetization tool, you’ll have to collect behaviour data so the first thing to do is make a tracking plan that is simple and based on your funnel. Using Netflix as an example, getting users to sign up is a core step in acquisition, the number of videos played falls under engagement event and upgrading subscriptions goes under monetization event. With the knowledge of the core events of your funnel, we can now build a tracking plan.

You can keep track of your tracking plans with google spreadsheets and use it as your data specification. When this is done, send your tracking plan to your engineering team to be implemented.

Collecting data

IMonetize’s Data Monetization API uses the monetization track call to create models of user events. You can also use it to send event properties and dynamic events of any shape. When your mobile or web app starts sending data to iMonetize, you can now QA the shape of your data and inspect the details by using the pretty + raw view.


Now it’s time to build your first three metrics

  • New signups: this will show how many new signups you have this week vs last week.
  • Engagement retention cohort: this will show may many users come back to re-engage with your app week after week
  • New revenue: this will show the revenue you are making every week

         1. Signups every week 
First off, we’ll make a metric that shows the number of signups per week. Start by creating an event segmentation chart in your tool then add user sign up as an event series. Another thing you can do is group events according to their properties such as signup types. This helps you understand the nature of your signups like how many are organic or by invitation. You’ll get an actionable graph that shows new signups week after week so you understand the number of users signing up every week.

  2. Retention cohorts 
Next we’ll create a metric for retention cohorts to understand the percentage of users that engage with your product week after week following their first signup. This graph is essential for understanding product-market fit. Using your tool, choose the first event that draws the user into the cohort and then select return events. These show how the user engaged within your current retention window. You can take user sign up as the initial event and subscription upgraded and video played as the next engagement events. You can calculate N-Day-Retention with 7 day windows so you can measure the first cohort’s percentage of users that come back every week. Your chart will show week after week retention for weekly cohorts.

3. Revenue
When it comes to post-monetization, the one metric that truly matter is revenue. With the correct tracking plan, you can easily create this metric. You can make a graph over the subscription upgraded method that is similar to that of Event Segmentation and count all the events instead of expending time counting individual users that perform an action by using the properties aggregation sum of property value. The more complex your business becomes, so will your ARR graph and if you operate more than one business unit then you’ll have multiple sources of truth and payment providers. At this stage your business will need to turn to a business intelligence tool that runs on top a data warehouse.


After creating a truly valuable set of metrics, the next course of action is to make them actionable. Doing it involves putting your goals against the metrics you are focusing on, assigning an owner to every goal/metric and sharing a dashboard that has the goals/metrics

we recommend starting with either of these metric distribution methods.

Investor emails or a shareable realtime dashboard

       Investor emails 

You can practice metric accountability with stakeholder/investor emails. Businesses can share emails to stakeholders/investors containing week after week or month after month metric changes once every month. This gives the business clear accountability for focusing on targeted metrics. This also gives stakeholders the chance to assist against initiatives and programs that the business is using against its metrics.

         Realtime dashboards 

These kinds of dashboards are automatically updated and can be shared between members of a team using URL links. It is one of the most effective tools for helping a team focus on a metric objective and motivating them to accomplish it. Some of the best practices for dashboards include:

Dashboards should be used in emails and All Hands meetings.
Dashboards must be seen as products that require a product market fit. Your team should interact with your dashboards every day as they track KPI’s against their goals. If your dashboard loses views after some time, then it fails the product market fit.

Quickstart finalized

Now your monetization stack has been set up. You’ve identified your business goals, created the first funnel and collected data from mobile/web apps in addition to creating your first metrics and sharing them on your dashboards. A great feat in such a short time. Bravo!

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Intro to Monetization

Next lesson:

lesson 6

When to use SQL for data monetization

This lesson discusses one of the key ways of monetizing raw customer data after successfully getting your hands on them. Using SQL and knowing the right time to use it.

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