Mobile marketers still struggle to track customer behavior across devices
Mobile ad spending in the US will jump 50.0% this year to reach $28.72 billion, or 49.0% of digital ad spending, eMarketer estimates. And with more dollars comes more demand for measurement—and a better ability to act on insights gleaned from such measurement. However, client-side marketers polled in March 2015 by Econsultancy in association with Adobe still struggled with mobile measurement. Just 51% measured user engagement and return on investment from mobile efforts.
Tracking users and results across screens was an even bigger issue. Fewer than three in 10 marketers used cross-channel tracking or visitor stitching (identifying the same user across desktop/apps as a single user) for mobile marketing.
As a result, marketers were often stuck with a limited understanding of their mobile customers. About two-thirds said they knew what proportion of their traffic came via mobile devices, and seven in 10 knew what devices their customers used. Beyond these basic metrics, marketers lagged. Just half of respondents understood how mobile fit into the customer journey across devices and channels, only 35% could track customers across different devices when they chose to authenticate and log in to the experience, and a similar percentage understood the nuances of how customers used tablets and smartphones differently—issues that can all hold back targeting and personalization throughout the customer experience.
Other research points to similar issues with tracking customers across screens. In a March 2015 study by Signal, 51% of marketers worldwide reported that they did not have a single view of customers/prospects across devices and touchpoints. In comparison, just 6% said their current solution provided an adequate single view of their customers. And Econsultancy polling in association with ResponseTap in March 2015 found that only 5% of client-side marketers worldwide had a seamless integration of customer touchpoints across channels that allowed for exploitation of opportunities. Just under a quarter had integrated channels but were channel-focused, not customer-focused.
As marketers place a greater emphasis on targeting people, not devices, going beyond simple mobile measurement and understanding customer behaviors across screens is a must.