Mobile advertising is growing, but how are marketers measuring it? At the Mobile Insider Summit in Tahoe, Calif., a group of panelists noted that mobile marketers don’t have an “attribution story.” In other words, they can’t ooh and ahh their c-suites with mobile advertising as an additive to existing campaigns because they don’t have the numbers to back it up.
“You have to start off slowly,” said Lauren Moores, VP of analytics at Dstillery, an audience targeting firm. “Do a small test with mobile. Run a test of desktop versus. desktop/mobile,” she suggested. Then you can take it back to the marketing team and easily “prove” its effectiveness.
She said it reminds her of when “we had to convince marketers that online was important.”
“The first step is to start small and run a campaign and see what those numbers look like,” agreed Rahul Bafna, VP of product at Drawbridge, a cross-device ad targeting firm.
Mike McMeekin, director of advertising analytics and insights at Bing, had an interesting take on the data problem. Mobile attribution companies exist, but McMeekin pointed out that the industry has “all of this infrastructure built around managing … online media in real-time, and if the [mobile] data isn’t pumped into that,” then people won’t too much stock into it.
That is to say, it's a fragmented industry, which makes it harder -- though not impossible -- for marketers to mesh everything together. And in classic adland fashion, marketers may be their own worst enemy here by being slaves to
“We’re so dependent on these technologies, that if the data isn’t there -- if it’s not being plumbed into predictive algorithms [telling us] where value is -- then it’s going to be tougher [to change],” said McKeekin.
Essentially, if marketers can’t plug hard mobile data into their predictive algorithms, then it’ll be hard for them to incorporate mobile into campaigns, even if their “gut feeling” -- to use McMeekin’s phrase -- or intuition suggests they should.
"Algorithm" image from Shutterstock.