Measurement, the key to modern mobile marketing
Your guide to the importance of mobile measurement marketing and how to do it
7.1 Billion = Human Population
7.7 Billion = Number of mobile devices
Year-on-year, consumers are increasing their time spent accessing digital media via their mobile phones. ComScore argue in their Cross-Platform ‘future in focus’ 2017 report that smartphone usage has doubled in the past three years and since 2014, it has driven significant growth in the amount of time spent accessing online media. Furthermore, their research suggests that nearly 1 in 8 U.S internet users are now mobile-only.
On average, mobile-only customers cost 23% more than web-only customers to convert. But, they are twice as active after conversion and likely to re-convert. It is imperative therefore that marketers are fully informed on what this means for mobile marketing and more significantly – how to approach measuring these interactions.
The importance of mobile in marketing strategy
– How mobile marketing relates to the broader organisational strategy
Over half of UK smartphone users purchased products via their mobile phones in 2017, according to an Ofcom survey.
In 2012 Facebook – the second most popular destination on mobile after Google – changed its marketing strategy to ‘mobile-first’ and now accredits 88% of its advertising revenue from mobile interactions.
Research by Googles VP of marketing, Lisa Gevelber, found that 70% of smartphone users research a product on their mobiles before making a purchase in-store. Bain & Company suggest that consumers, and particularly millennials, use their smartphones for most steps involved in making a purchase, thus highlighting the importance of measuring these steps.
A recent report, ‘master mobile measurement to transform customer relationship’ by Forrester Consulting, emonstrated how much of a priority mobile marketing is for marketers today. For example, ‘acquiring new customers’ was considered critical for 87% of marketers. Mobile was also considered as playing an important role in achieving this objective by 86%. 75% of marketers considered ‘increasing customer loyalty’ as their second highest overall marketing priority with 77% believing mobile could help them achieve this goal.
However, the report also found that although mobile marketing adoption is high, marketers continue to use insufficient measurement practices. Mobile is still not measured across the whole life cycle and only 14% of marketers measure mobile at all phases of the customer journey. Furthermore, 32% face challenges with managing data quality due to incorrect data sources hindering sufficient measurability and subsequent optimization.
The few marketers that do employ mobile measurement at multiple points across the customer life cycle have the upper hand in building a holistic picture of their customers. Sufficient measurement technique of the whole picture will avoid misguided investment only into devices that provided the last conversion.
However, measuring mobile is not always straightforward. Many marketers are still not following the consumer journey across devices and are not measuring advertising exposure across mobile websites and mobile applications.
The fragmented customer journey
80% of internet users own a smart phone. A consumer switches between their 4.5 devices frequently while interacting with both apps and mobile websites.
This means that customer journeys are no longer the linear experience that they once were. To be able to even begin to try and understand a consumer journey via multiple touchpoints, you need to utilise new multi-touch attribution models – the traditional sales funnel can no longer predict this journey. The forester study argues that 20% of marketers find it a challenge to uncover acquisition channels that are a success, arguably this is due to the new pathway that consumers take.
Here is an example of the type of journey that we recently tracked for an online retailer. The journey consisted of 20 touchpoints across 7 channels in one month – which resulted in one sale. Measurement is complex and its little surprise that we’ve seen more than 31 mobile measurement KPIs being used by our clients.
Customer Lifecyle phases – the more the merrier
The Forrester report perfectly surmises the key foundations to mobile measurement – ‘a fragmented approach to mobile measurement results in a fragmented view of the customer.’
By adopting a holistic approach that is inclusive of all aspects of the customer journey, marketers can fuel their understanding of customer behaviour. This understanding will subsequently help them to locate and create loyal customers and develop life-time value (LTV).
As per Figure 1, the Forrester conducted study suggests that the ‘marketing master’ category that includes those tracking more phases of the customer life cycle are the most satisfied with mobile measurement efforts.
83% of marketers who were studied, (looking at 4 phases) are happy with their mobile measurement and 58% of skimmers (those only tracking between 0-3 phases of their customers life cycle) are satisfied.
Masters (who track between 5-6 of phases) reported to be 100% satisfied with this tracking method. Furthermore, they also report that they are less likely to face challenges with connecting metrics to their company’s financials.
The key to developing a successful mobile measurement is more specific monitoring across the cycle.
The more thoroughly you can segment your customers the closer you are to understanding which actions trigger loyalty status.
There is a bit of a myth vs. reality problem with cross-device attribution. Businesses often fall into the trap of thinking the baseline requirement is to solve the most difficult problems first (like trying to tie mobile geo-location data to online marketing activities). From our experience, there is an enormous amount of value and opportunity for optimisation by just joining the stuff that can be deterministically matched and start there.
Looking at an increased range of phases within the mobile lifecycle should not necessarily mean an increase in the amount of metrics used.
Too many KPIs is one of the main reasons that they struggle with mobile measurement and 22% struggle due to the metrics being fragmented. By juggling between 3-9 metrics per customer life-cycle, the data becomes inadequate as too much of it blurs the understanding on what is driving the business value.
To combat the issue of overcomplication, a healthy balance of short and long-term metrics is what is needed. The short-term revenue-based metrics include sales conversions will help marketers to measure revenue goals. By targeting long term metrics that strive for loyalty from consumers creates balance within your mobile-based marketing. Leveraging model-specific analytical models will help in promoting further mobile investments.
Some companies are misled by their own metrics. Forbes argues that marketers are making the mistake of bringing the expectations, measurements and rules that they have employed in their existing online advertising into mobile. They argue that instead, mobile needs to now be considered as part of its own medium with new rules. Furthermore, part of these new rules should be the approach to measuring mobile. By being consistent in measurement, you can create a combined perspective. The Forrester study suggests that 31% of marketers measure mobile channels independently, 26% measure them across each other and 36% in conjunction with other digital platforms. However, 45% want to move away from looking at mobile by itself and create a unified view.
Bain & Company suggest that marketers who go beyond their own conventional metrics while investing in mobile-first campaigns have an opportunity to push ahead of their competitors.
With the incorporation of mobile measurement into the marketing mix – marketers still need to endeavour to focus on key metrics. Mobile is critically important (of course) but needs to be considered as part of the whole, with measurement and metrics to support. There is not one formula for successful mobile marketing measurement but there are goals that the Forrester report suggests that marketers should aim for. These are:
- Having a consistent approach to mobile measurement
Creating a unified platform develops the ability to track customer loyalty. It is also important to review your existing strategy and consider if the data you are measuring is specific and useful to mobile. The analytics should be able to identify the areas that need improvement. Marketers can take steps to then reach consumers at the moment they are most susceptible to a conversion.
- Trying to avoid stitching together inconsistent data sources
The study suggests that to combat the measurement challenge across sources is to conduct audits to help identify data leakage.
- Consistent measurement across phases within the customer lifecycle
As previously mentioned, only 14% of marketers measure all six phases. By not having that consistent measurement, relationships with existing customers are hard to develop. The data suggests that becoming ‘masters’ of multiple phases, you overall satisfaction of measurement will increase.
- Rely on important metrics
Balance short and long-term metrics to drive revenue goals and tie in organisational strategies.
There is no quick way to become a master at mobile measurement but by having a deeper understanding of what the customer journey looks like and your metrics, phases and analytics, is a start. It is important to review what your data is telling you but try not to get ‘bogged down’ with the metrics that aren’t really contributing to your analysis. We recommend by evolving past just looking at last-click attribution in mobile measurement, marketers can look at what value each source represents from both an ROI perspective but also a KPI perspective. By harnessing your mobile measurement, you will be one step closer in the ability to reach consumers when it really matters – the moment before a potential conversion.