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Home > English > Your Marin Account > Grids, Tabs & Columns > How To Articles: Grids, Tabs & Columns > Custom Columns Advanced Guide

Custom Columns Advanced Guide

What are custom columns?

Create a new column based on any metric column available in the application using the Custom Columns feature. Custom Columns are available on all grid pages, including History pages. In the calculation definition, column names are indicated using [ ]. Custom Columns can use + - * / and group operations using ( ). For example: ([Impressions] + [Pub. Cost]) / [Clicks].

Creating a Custom Column

Custom Columns are created and managed on the Custom Columns tab in the Admin section. Click Create to define a new Custom Column. The columns that can be used in the definition are listed in the search box on the right. This list can be filtered by typing in the name of the column. Clicking a column in the list will add that column to the end of the calculation. 


  • Custom Columns cannot contain hyphens in any of the values. For example, if any of your conversion types include hyphens in their name, you may receive an error similar to the following:
Column Name: Non_space__dash__space_Revenue_space__dash__space_Conversion_space__dash__space_MT_space_Conv_dot_ not valid for this client.


  • Please ensure that al of the conversion types you add to the calculated columns are valid. This means they cannot be deleted, spelled incorrectly, and so on).

How to change columns in Calculated Columns

Change columns can be used in calculated columns by appending either 'Change' or 'Change %' to the name of the column. The change in Clicks would be: [Clicks Change].

Conversion types in Custom Columns

Conversion Types can be used as an input to calculated columns. Custom Columns that use Conversion Types tracking both Date of Click and Date of Conversion will calculate both scenarios. When viewing this column in the grid, the data displayed depends on whether you're toggled to view Date of Click or Date of Conversion data.

If you are experiencing calculation errors with your custom columns, take a look at our Help article.

Using Custom Columns in Custom Columns

Custom Columns​ can use other Custom Columns within their definition. 

Depending on the length and number of calculated columns being used, you may experience performance issues when generating this column in the grid and when running reports. See below for more information.

Example uses of Custom Columns

Lifetime Value

Track customer lifetime value as a % of revenue. For example, if your customer lifetime value is 2.5x, their initial order creates the following column: Lifetime Value = [Revenue] * 2.5.

Room Nights per Conversion

If you have a Conversion Type called Room Nights, and want to know the average number of Room Nights per Order, create the following column: Avg. Room Nights = [Room Nights Conversions] / [Conversions].

Valid Columns for use in Custom Column Definitions

Pub. Cost
Avg. CPC
Avg. Bid
Headroom %
Avg. Pos.
Conv. Rate %
Gross Profit
Margin %
Ad Serving Fee Chg. %
Agency Fee
Agency Fee Chg.
Assist Adj.
Assist Rev.

Note: If your Conversion Type name contains an '&', you will not be able to use this Conversion Type in the column definition.

Errors with custom columns

  • If you are having issues when creating or editing Custom Columns​, please see the help article Unable to Parse Formula Definition.
  • If you encounter the error Could not execute JDBC batch update, please read our help article on that subject.
  • Reports with '0' in the Custom Column formulas may cause discrepancies in metric data over a given period.

Important notes

  • Using certain special characters, including ampersands '&', dashes '-', dollar signs '$' and colons ':' in the Conversion Type name may result in an error when creating Custom Columns . We therefore recommend using plain text only names where possible.

    To resolve this issue, please remove the special character from the Conversion Type and Col Header names. Do not edit the ID, since this is already hard-coded into the tracking pixel.
  • When naming Custom Columns, please do not use any name that is already in use as a column in the Platform, as this will cause confusion when running calculations.
  • You can also include device level conversion type into Custom Columns , but data will be only available at the Devices sub-tab.
  • You may experience slower page loads when including Custom Columns in the grid view, depending on the complexity of the columns calculation. This usually occurs when using existing Custom Column  definitions to calculate new Custom Columns, i.e. having a Custom Column within a Custom Column definition. One way to alleviate this is to lay out the calculation in its most raw format.
  • If your Custom Column data is not appearing, make sure that all appropriate information is available to the Platform. For example, if your Custom Column is for ROI or Multiclick Conversion, make sure your Tracker Revenue has been uploaded or nothing will appear in your custom column.
  • We do not currently support the creation of custom columns that calculate metrics spanning multiple Marin Client IDs.
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