Why Marketers Are Wrong to Be Hung Up on Mobile Measurement - eMarketer

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Why Marketers Are Wrong to Be Hung Up on Mobile Measurement

July 31, 2015

Craig Palli
Chief Strategy Officer

Marketers continue to grapple with questions and concerns about mobile measurement. Yet some of those concerns stem from misconceptions about mobile measurement capabilities and data availability. Craig Palli, chief strategy officer at mobile marketing technology provider Fiksu, spoke with eMarketer’s Cathy Boyle about where marketers are getting things wrong with mobile and why several common misconceptions about mobile advertising persist.

eMarketer: What are the top misconceptions with mobile advertising?

Craig Palli: The biggest misconceptions are around data. When you market in apps, you can’t collect good data on results. However, the reality is the measurement capabilities on mobile are at least as good as the measurement capabilities on desktop.

eMarketer: If the capabilities are as good as desktop, why do misconceptions still exist?

Palli: In the desktop world, everything is based on the cookie, and the cookie is not transferable in and out of the app store. Marketers are saying, “I can’t drop a cookie, therefore I can’t measure.” The reality is it’s just as easy, if not easier, to measure in mobile apps, because Apple and Google have given us advertising identifiers. But most of the digital measurement infrastructures are not built around those mobile advertising IDs.

eMarketer: If mobile is highly measurable, are marketers getting stuck on measurement because it’s difficult to benchmark mobile results against desktop results?

Palli: Many brands don’t yet know what to measure mobile against. The reality is they have to look at different metrics. In the desktop world, you’re looking at things like how many total impressions did I get? How many unique visitors went to the website? And how much time was spent on the site?

“Many brands don’t yet know what to measure mobile against. The reality is they have to look at different metrics.”

In mobile, you’re going to replace those metrics with things like, how many downloads do I have? How many unique consumers do I have interacting with my applications? How much time do they spend in the app? How many actions did they take in the app?

There’s a paradigm in mobile that is similar to desktop, but you just have to tweak the metrics slightly to be more mobile-friendly. When you do that, things line up quite nicely.

eMarketer: But there are distinct differences as well, aren’t there?

Palli: Yes, you get a lot more value in mobile because it’s a multievent marketing experience. If I’m Procter & Gamble and I want to show an ad for one of my apps, I might register millions of impressions, many clicks, and those clicks direct people to an app store—so far, so good.

But as a brand marketer, they’re also getting a consumer to land on their app store page where they can be fully immersed in language that pertains to the brand. Then, if the consumer downloads that branded app, the brand has a persistent presence on the consumer’s phone. And once that person starts launching the app, they’re engaging with that brand over and over again.

There’s a ton of value in all of those things from a brand marketing perspective. In fact, the advantages related to apps are so far superior to what you’d get on the desktop. It’s all incredibly measurable.

eMarketer: While we’re on the subject of apps, do you have plans to track the download volumes for the Apple Watch apps, like you do for iPhone and iPad?

Palli: Of course. We’re fully compatible with Apple Watch, we know all these in-app actions that are taking place on it. In general we see Apple Watch usage growing, but it is still slow. Watch users are still just a small percentage of all app users—it’s currently just 5%. However, that figure has been increasing a percentage point every two weeks so far.

eMarketer: Back on the mobile marketing or advertising front, what hurdle do marketers or the industry have yet to overcome?

Palli: The hurdle relates back to the data. Let’s assume the average marketer is bought in to mobile advertising and understands they have to work with Apple advertising identifiers and Android advertising identifiers. The next thing they’re going to say is, “I don’t have the data available to buy audiences, and some third-party data providers don’t have enough information for me to work with.”

The reality is there is a lot of mobile data out there. Marketers just have to be smart enough to say, “OK, what are the good data sources for me to build audiences on?” and then recognize that once they’ve built those audiences, they can reach those audiences in all the best places they’d go to on desktop. Marketers need to seek out different partners than the ones they’ve been working with on desktop.

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