Measuring & Tracking Mobile Advertising Campaigns

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  • 0:04 What is the Campaign's…
  • 0:23 Setting Conversion…
  • 1:30 Click Through Rates…
  • 2:17 Viewability is Tricky
  • 3:07 Overcoming Obstacles
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Alexis Rhodes

With nearly a decade of experience at agencies and in tech, Alexis Rhodes is a native of digital marketing. As the owner of her consultancy, Understudy Marketing, Alexis seeks to educate marketers on the pros and cons of ever-more granular data and tracking in a digitally-driven world.

Measuring and tracking mobile advertising campaigns presents a unique set of challenges to other forms of Internet advertising. However, with clear expectations set about goals and metrics at the beginning, mobile advertising can be a valuable tool in any campaign.

What Is the Campaign's End Goal?

Your client is upset - sales of his pet toy product driven from mobile devices on his website are down, and he needs to pull them back up. He fears his competitors are stealing his market share by running mobile advertising, so he wants to be in those spaces as well and steal his sales back. What should he do?

Setting Conversion Expectations

With any mobile advertising initiative, it is vital for a marketer to set a client's expectations up front about what is typically trackable as far as sales performance in a mobile environment. Advertising online is usually served through a third-party ad server, a tool used for serving and tracking ads wherever they may run online.

Third-party ad servers work well for non-mobile tactics but have a harder time tracking conversions (sales) in mobile environments. This is because most mobile advertising is unable to track view-through conversions, or sales resulting from a user viewing an ad and returning later to buy the product. The only conversions most mobile advertising can track in an ad server is a click-through conversion (a conversion resulting from an ad being clicked on) that happens in session (the click immediately results in a sale rather than the user clicking and returning later to purchase). Your client should be aware that many of the conversions that he's used to seeing from desktop campaigns will be invisible in mobile.

Click-Through Rates Are Unreliable

Once your client understands that conversions are tracked at a much smaller rate on mobile than on desktop, it is also important to set his expectations that click-through rates (the rate of clicks compared to the number of ad views) in mobile are going to appear inflated when compared to a desktop campaign. This is due to the rate of accidental clicks that happen on mobile, generally due to the size of the screen a person is using.

This can make click-through rates look incredible on mobile and tablet devices, but the true click-through rate of intended clicks may actually be much lower. Before your client gets excited and thinks 5% of people who saw his pet toy ad clicked on it, temper expectations to let him know that it's reasonable to assume some of those clicks were accidental.

Viewability Is Tricky

Another topic to discuss with your client is viewability. Viewability refers to the percentage of users who actually see the ad served to them (the Internet Advertising Bureau standard of desktop banner viewability is at least 50% of the ad's pixels must be viewable for at least 1 second). In desktop advertising, typical viewability rates are around 70% of advertising served.

However, in mobile, this standard is harder to pin down because tracking code functions differently in a mobile environment. Often, pieces of code must be stripped from tags (the code an ad server supplies for tracking) to allow the ad to serve correctly, making viewability in mobile challenging to verify. Darn it - your client won't even know how many people successfully viewed his ad in the first place!

Overcoming Obstacles

Your client may be discouraged at the challenges you've presented to him about mobile marketing, but this doesn't mean he should be deterred. There are tactics to overcome some of these challenges and help your client drive his sales away from competitors.

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