Thanks To Social, Over Half Of Marketers Now Retargeting On Mobile

“Mobile retargeting” is commonly discussed as a difficult thing for marketers to do, as there is no easy way of targeting the right consumer; mobile devices lack cookies -- a simple, straightforward way of tracking a single consumer.

However, the majority of marketers have now found a way to make it work. According to an AdRoll state of the industry report, issued Tuesday, 57% of B2B marketers and 51% of B2C marketers say they are retargeting on mobile.

Yet the key may be less about mobile and more about social.

“The first place we -- and others -- will look to value mobile the right way is, of course, social. Social engagement was always the missing link, the glue that holds it all together,” Ryan Bonifacino, VP of digital strategy at Alex and Ani, is quoted as saying in AdRoll’s report.



AdRoll, a retargeting firm, asked 1,000 U.S. marketers to name the hottest topic in retargeting, and the majority (54%) said social media retargeting. Another 20% said mobile and cross-device retargeting, making social and mobile the two “hottest topics.”

Social and mobile are so often tied together that they have become virtually synonymous. AdRoll even recommends always thinking of them together. “Even though marketers tend to discuss social and mobile as separate things, customers are less likely to distinguish between them,” the report reads. “[This] means that you should be considering the mobile experience every time you launch a social campaign.”

When asked how important they believe attribution is, 35% of respondents said “critical” while 56% said “somewhat important.” Only 3% said they don’t track attribution, while 5% and 1% called it “not that important” and “unimportant,” respectively.

The majority (58%) use last-touch attribution as their primary model, a method that has been skewered for being up to 64% less accurate than multi-touch attribution. Other studies have shown how last-touch attribution can misrepresent the chain, causing marketers to misallocate budget and lose up to 10% of conversion opportunities.

“[T]here’s a long way to go to attributing the contribution of each touch across multiple channels from social to Web, email, live events, offline, radio -- what is the value of each steps?” Mike Tomita, senior manager of Web marketing at Marketo, is quoted as saying in the report. “This is the Holy Grail, the big challenge for every marketer. Everyone in the online marketing team needs to work together to figure out the best attribution model to use or else they could end up eliminating program(s) that might be playing an important part in capturing leads through their entire buying cycle.”

On the one hand, the report -- which can be found here -- shows that despite the challenges mobile presents retargeters, over half of marketers have found a way to make it work in some capacity. On the other hand, the report also shows that just because marketers are doing it, doesn't mean they are doing it the right way.

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