Overcoming Measurement Challenges in a Mobile World

April 07, 2016

In 2016 mobile ad spending growth worldwide is estimated at $102.57 billion from $70.45 billion in 2015, an increase of 45.6%.

Despite this massive investment, the continued evolution of the sales and marketing funnel combined with the desire to offer more opportunities for engagement means marketers face an ongoing measurement challenge, and those who strive to create a unified customer view are increasingly concerned with cross-channel measurement.

The average person now spends roughly three hours online per day; 40% of which  is on mobile. As a result, keeping track of consumers is a persistent pain point for marketers.  The more connected they become the more elusive they seem; shoppers today move seamlessly between channels and devices, abandoning searches on mobile while on the train travelling to work, only to finalize a purchase via laptop at home, nine hours later.

This reality translates to the fact that mobile drives more than 50% of top publishers’ traffic. In effect, mobile measurement is a top priority for marketers. In fact, the IAB UK Mobile Advertiser Snapshot Study 2015 stated that difficulties in tracking and measuring mobile campaigns is seen as a barrier to mobile growth by one in three advertisers.

The fact is brands and agencies alike are still getting to grips with measuring their cross-channel marketing efforts. And, being able to measure and justify allocated media spend is of vital importance in today’s mobile world.

Here are five starting points companies should consider to help solve the mobile measurement challenge:

1. Review Current Marketing Investments

Marketers must identify where they are cookie-dependent, and thus, where they might have blind spots in the customer journey. Marketers need to shift away from tactics that are cookie-based or device-centric, toward people-based strategies that leverage a company’s own first-party data to identify customers.

2. Understand Blind Spots

Running ads on Google or Facebook will not provide all the data needed to close the loop on marketing attribution.  Marketers need to be able to get the benefit of both reach in terms of targeting known users/customers and the data associated with those actions.

3. Map Out Customer Touchpoints

Use these to determine the data received from those channels and how it is being tied together into a single identity for each customer. By discovering the different steps that a customer takes on their path to conversion, marketers can deploy the right messaging at the right stage in the journey.

4. Start a Dialogue with Technology Partners

It should be of key importance that marketers understand the options available to leverage customer data in the mobile-first world. Forward-looking tech partners will provide solutions that aren’t dependent on browser-based cookies. Ask questions like:

  • How are you preparing for a connected, cross-channel world where cookies are increasingly irrelevant?
  • What new approaches are included in your technology roadmap?
  • What opportunities are there for collaboration beyond traditional co-op model approaches?

5. Recognize Customers All the Time

Understand the customer completely by using a platform that connects all marketing data into unique customer profiles.  An identity solution should be always-on, like customers, giving a unified view within milliseconds of an interaction at any touchpoint.  Batch processing and campaign-based identification just won’t cut it any more.

The ability to connect cross-channel data means marketers can see how customers move from an email to a website to a mobile app before completing the purchase in store. With a complete view of this process and its many variants, marketers can segment and optimize for different audiences and guide behaviors that lead to conversion.

It’s a complex and fast changing landscape out there, with new touchpoints constantly emerging that require tracking and measurement. This is a reality today’s marketers must be fully equipped to deal with, as the need to stay ahead of the curve, justify resources to investment, impact and return on ad spend increasingly become hot topics in the boardroom.

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Neil Joyce

Neil leads Signal’s global sales and business development efforts. Based in Chicago, Joyce has 15 years of experience spanning the digital marketing ecosystem in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. Neil has held key management positions at IBM, Acxiom and BrightEdge.