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Better Creative, Analytics and Reporting Needed to Improve Mobile Ad Effectiveness

Marketers consulted by eMarketer gave mobile ads a B-minus for effectiveness

Multiple factors need to be taken into account when gauging the effectiveness of mobile display advertising. All told, marketing and digital advertising experts consulted for a new eMarketer report gave mobile display advertising a B-minus for effectiveness.

Mobile Display Ad Effectiveness Scores Given by US Brand-Side Marketers and Digital Ad Experts, March 2014 (scoring based on A+ through F scale)

eMarketer estimates steep growth (82.3%) in the amount spent on mobile display advertising in the US this year. Still, spending on mobile advertising lags the time spent with mobile devices, so the uptick in expenditure will not necessarily translate into dramatic increases in mobile display CPMs. Supply will likely continue to outpace demand, which will keep CPMs relatively stable. However, eCPMs, which signal the effectiveness of campaigns, are expected to rise further as marketers push agencies for tailored creative assets—ads that leverage mobile device features and take consumers’ mobile behaviors into account—and push the industry for better tools to measure and optimize return on investment (ROI).

When the marketing and digital advertising experts consulted for our report, “Mobile Advertising Scorecard: Marketers Give Mobile Display a B-Minus for Effectiveness,” were asked what it would take for the effectiveness of mobile display advertising to improve further, answers revolved around four key areas:

Standards: Guidelines for creative development, user tracking and results reporting across devices need to be more cohesive. Benchmarks are also needed to enable marketers to compare the effectiveness of mobile display advertising with advertising in other media.

Measurement tools: Better analytics and measurement solutions are needed to gauge ROI and lifetime value. Off-the-rack-type tools that enable marketers to measure ad engagement and attribute investments made in mobile display ads to sales across channels would be ideal.

Improved creative: A migration away from static banners toward interactive formats that make use of all the capabilities on the device and are integrated with the content experience is necessary.

Data integration: The ability to tie mobile users back into other data sets that marketers already own requires significant improvement. Most of these items have been on marketers’ wish lists for several years, and it’s not likely all five items will be checked off this year. However, given the migration of ad dollars to mobile, most expect to at least see improvements in all five areas in 2014, particularly with respect to creative execution and analytics tools.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Mobile Advertising Scorecard: Marketers Give Mobile Display a B-Minus for Effectiveness.”

This report answers these key questions:

  • How have clickthrough rates for mobile display ads changed during the past year?
  • Where are costs headed?
  • How effective is mobile display advertising?
  • What’s working well, and what needs improvement?

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