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Nearly all marketers increased their mobile ad budget in 2014—93% worldwide, according to a June 2014 study by Forrester Research for Acxiom and 4INFO. But more spending means more measurement to prove that increased investments are worth it, and the research found that marketers hadn’t quite mastered this part yet.
Among digital marketers worldwide, fewer than 18% said they were very confident in their ability to measure mobile ad return on investment (ROI). And while an additional 62% of respondents were somewhat confident in determining mobile’s ROI, “somewhat” doesn’t always stack up when presenting to the C-suite. Still, that a very impressive 80% had some level of confidence indicates that marketers are figuring out how to prove mobile ads’ value.
Mobile is just one part of the consumer journey, as people today jump from mobile to other digital and offline channels, so measuring ROI requires tracking consumers’ actions on other channels after they see a mobile ad. Here, just 8% of digital marketers were able to connect mobile ad viewers across online and offline channels with no limitations.
But once again, there was a sign of hope, as 43% of respondents could track those who saw a mobile ad across online and offline channels with limitations—something that the adoption and integration of data-gathering technology could help fix.
eMarketer expects mobile internet ad spending worldwide to hit $36.46 billion this year—nearly doubling (91.7%) over 2013. Next year, growth will come in at 55.2% to push the total to $56.60 billion, and double-digit gains will continue through at least 2018, when spending on mobile ads will reach $124.87 billion globally.
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