Women in Mobile. Meet Susan Kuo, One of the Women Game Changers in the Mobile Industry

Susan Kuo, COO & Co-Founder at Singular at Aarki's Women in Mobile series

Many women are now building a strong industry presence and taking leadership roles as the gender gap in tech industry leadership roles decreases.

To acknowledge and recognize their contribution and get to know them better, we continue our blog series featuring women game changers in the mobile industry. 

Susan Kuo
COO & Co-Founder, Singular

  • How did you come up with the idea of founding a company?
    The idea of Singular was actually formed at our last company, Onavo, a mobile insights company that was acquired by Facebook. Back at Onavo, we were working with some of the largest performance advertisers in the space, from Uber, Expedia, Trulia, Zynga, you name it. And we witnessed first hand just how painful the day to day operations were for a marketer, having to connect their data across a myriad of different solutions from their ad networks, to their attribution providers, to their agencies, only to unveil very limited insights on their ROI.

    Not only was the data explosion happening right before our eyes, but the lack of data standardization in terms of having the right data to connect two pieces of the puzzle together from your upper funnel data to your lower funnel data was completely missing from the equation. This was an imperative challenge to solve and Singular’s goal from day one (and still is today) has been to give marketers a single source of truth on their ROI across all their marketing efforts.

  • What is your favorite feature of Singular’s unified platform and why?
    Our Creative Optimization Tool. I’ve always been a visual person and was bewildered by the fact that there wasn’t (and still isn’t) a solution like this that exists in the industry. This reporting tool enables marketers to see how their ad creatives are performing across all their media channels and gives them the most robust analysis view to understand ROI across different countries, publishers, creative types, themes, you name it.

  • What are the top trends that will shape the mobile space in the coming 1-2 years?
    There have been many talks about AI in the last couple years in our space and while it’s still in it’s infancy, I think there is massive potential here to be unleashed in the coming years. But I think we are talking post 2-year mark as I still see some very fundamental infrastructure impediments that need to be resolved on both the marketer and solution providers front.

    Having said that, I do think we will see some advancements in terms of early AI that will take shape in the next year or two. This will largely come by way of solution providers in the marketing analytics and media buying space. Some of the initial types of intelligence may be ways for solution providers to harness more of their proprietary data sets to apply real-life qualitative learnings of growth marketers, and then using this to formulate predictive models that enable marketers to automatically uncover insights that they are currently doing manually. This is an area that we feel very passionately about at Singular and something that speaks to the core of our DNA from both a founder and technology standpoint. Will look forward to sharing more when the time comes.

  • What is the biggest misconception about the mobile advertising industry?
    That there are only a few dominant media channels to work with. Yes, of course you have the media giants like Facebook and Google that control a large portion of spend in market, but what some marketers aren’t aware of is that there is a considerable amount of good inventory and innovative ad units that exists out there across other ad networks. My advice to app marketers who aren’t doing this already is this: If you have the ability to scale beyond 5 ad networks, I definitely recommend trying this out. We ran a recent analysis on our data and found that the vast majority of marketers who scaled beyond 5 ad networks continued to grow and diversify their share of wallet to new ad networks over time. And the primary reason fueling their growth in share of wallet beyond the Top 5 is that they are actually seeing good ROI from these ad networks. 

  • What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
    One of the biggest challenges for me is finding a good work/life balance. Being a co-founder of fast-paced start-up and having two young children is not easy. It took me a while to find a good balance and it ultimately involved me not agreeing to take on as much as I used to and to only focus the time I had on doing the most critical things to the company really well.

    I think many females with families (or women who are thinking about having one) can probably relate to this challenge so I guess my words of wisdom are the following: don’t take on more than you can chew and surround yourself by an amazing support group. The support group can mean anyone from your husband, your manager, your team, your childcare, from the parking attendant that greets you with a smile every day. Those little bits of support and positivity throughout your day-to-day are what will collectively bolster you to be a stronger person in all facets of life.

  • What words do you live by? Susan Kuo, COO & Co-Founder at Singular
    Quality, not quantity.

  • What causes are important to you?
    I’m an animal lover, dogs specifically. Any causes that go towards their well-being and rightful treatment, I’m all over it. I’m also a big advocate for leadership and entrepreneurial groups that help promote empowerment for females in tech.  

  • What is something only a few people know about you?
    I’m slightly obsessed with real estate. My idea of fun is tearing down a house and building it back up to its max potential.

  • What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
    Surround yourself by people who love you and people you love.

  • What is your most overused app?


Topics: Women in Mobile