True Value of Mobile Advertising still Hidden

Earlier this month I presented at Facebook’s Mobile Moves Commerce event in Melbourne and Sydney. Each event was packed out showing just how much marketers and the industry value mobile as a channel.

Yet despite all of this enthusiasm, our recent Econsultancy study on media consumption revealed only 7% of marketers worldwide believe customers spend most of their time on mobile and only 27% list mobile as one of top 3 channels in 2016.

cross device marketing

Perhaps not surprisingly, the study also showed that marketers are under spending on the mobile channel. Globally, the majority of the spend (50%) is still put towards offline advertising, followed by internet advertising (30%). In comparison, only 20% of spend is going to mobile, yet marketers believe consumers are spending up to 41% of their time on this channel.

So is all the hype worth it for mobile?

In short, yes it is. We just aren’t measuring the response and sales from the mobile channel accurately. When we’re measuring a consumer’s path to purchase, we are often under reporting mobile touchpoints because we can’t track them accurately across devices. The result of this is shorter customer journeys with missing mobile touchpoint data. This leads to mobile typically being under reported and being misinterpreted as a sub-optimal marketing investment.

cross device journey

How can we measure mobile accurately?

In order to track every mobile touchpoint in a user’s path to purchase, we need to look beyond traditional cookie-based tracking. Cookies are problematic on mobile due to device limitations and consumer’s splitting their time between apps and mobile. In addition to this, 58% of people either delete cookies or switch them off. When looking for the most accurate tracking for mobile we need to look new tracking methods, such as people based tracking.

People based tracking gives us a more robust sample

The concept of this is pretty simple, count the person rather than the device to track a consumer’s path to purchase. As opposed to cookie-based tracking, where we have to track a customer’s ID on conversion in conjunction with other touchpoints to retrospectively ‘stitch’ a converting path back together.

Using people based tracking, we can now identify a person across devices utilising their Facebook ID and track a customer’s path to purchase prior to a conversion. This new method has given us more detailed and complete information about the customer journey. To give you an idea of some initial numbers – we’re looking at tying together 68% of IDs using person based tracking in comparison to 19% using alternate methods. Similarly, Google’s People ID is equally valuable in identifying people across devices due to Google’s ubiquity with personal and business communications (Gmail, Google Apps for Business, etc). As these identifications are now becoming more widely integrated into their various advertising stacks, we’re going to start seeing the benefits of People-based tracking and analytics for m commerce and mobile experience.

Mobile is undervalued as a channel

It’s difficult to get an accurate picture of just how big this problem is, but more and more data teams like Datalicious are starting to plug the mobile touchpoint gaps to get more accurate numbers on mobile performance. In a recent case study, our team established that every 10 mobile display impressions brought an incremental $4.40 in revenue. Whilst this number will vary per market and per industry, it demonstrates that once tracked accurately, mobile is an area worthy of investment and the hype. Most marketers simply aren’t seeing the true value of mobile in their reporting.

The majority of customers in most markets are coming to us from mobile, either mobile web or app but proportionately, mobile marketing is much smaller and further down the conversion funnel. However, we are increasing spend in all markets across mobile, primarily in Facebook which is a great app download platform for us. You have to navigate the complexities of mobile in that it offers both a platform and a channel.
— Barnaby Dawe, Globll CMO, Just Eat

To understand mobile spend and usage in your market, download the Media Budgets Index: Comparing Media Budget Allocation with Media Consumption from Datalicious and Econsultancy.