As I mentioned in my first Apptopia post, there are four key things that advertisers need today from their performance partners: differentiated supply, unique data assets, effective measurement and tracking and the right creatives. I’ve already covered creatives here, so today I want to dive into measurement and tracking.
In 2020, marketers are under pressure to measure. Measure ROI, and the direct impact of advertising efforts on every channel of business, be it online or offline.
What makes this challenging is that the typical metrics and tracking mechanisms associated with performance advertising are not usually associated with business success. Luckily, new ways of monitoring and measuring marketing are emerging.
Cross-Channel Nature of Today’s Mobile Businesses
What does it mean to be a mobile-first business today? In the past, there was a clear distinction between media budgets. Certain audiences were only or primarily available through one type of media (television, apps, etc.) and so brands would direct their budgets accordingly.
This kind of approach no longer cuts it, as today’s consumers are increasingly media agnostic, spending time engaging with brands through a variety of channels - offline, web, mobile.
For example, consider all of the media and advertising I engage with throughout the day. In the morning, as I get ready for work, I may use a smart speaker to play pump-up music (nothing like some Judas Priest to get the morning going) while also using my smartphone to check the weather, reply to urgent work messages, etc. I drive to the train station, where I listen to the radio and see billboards along the route. While on the train, I listen to podcasts, check my favorite apps, glance at the ads inside the train and read the billboards along the route. While at work, I’m likely viewing dozens of sites that contain ads. And, after commuting home, I may wind down with a little television or streaming video before bed. Somewhere along the day, I might order in some food or buy some new shoes, either on the phone, or the web or by simply walking into a store.
So what’s the best way to measure the impact of advertising on someone like me? My behavior is hardly unique, after all. I may spend more time on my mobile device over any other, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t engage with a brand or make transactions through these other modes. As consumers look across many media throughout the day, brands need to track the impact of mobile on their consumers’ actions across all channels (offline, web, in app, etc.) in order to keep up.
Using Mobile to Drive Impact Everywhere
There’s also been a marked difference in expectations for advertising. In particular, in the mobile space, the prevailing expectation was that mobile ad efforts were just for mobile-only actions like signups, app installs, etc. But as mobile has proliferated, this siloing just doesn’t make sense.
After all, as my day in the life story from earlier illustrates, I have my phone with me and in use just about everywhere I go. As mobile further infiltrates our lives, it opens up opportunities for marketers to drive offline and online web-based actions through mobile advertising. For businesses with limited or no mobile revenue, these kinds of campaigns are the clearest way they can leverage mobile in advertising.
A classic example of this in action is location-based targeting. If you, as a marketer, know that someone is physically located near one of your brick-and-mortar stores, you can offer them a unique coupon to validate in store, and even feature interactive, customized maps within your ad units to show someone how to get to the nearest location.
Limitations in Tracking and Measurements
Mobile to web and offline advertising and marketing across different media is the goal. But, it’s just not a reality yet. There are many reasons why, but issues around tracking and measuring success may be the biggest barrier.
Most mobile demand-side platforms (DSPs) don't provide measurement and tracking of business impact outside of mobile in-app, which constrains advertisers. Advertisers need a clean measurement of business outcomes/impact of in-app advertising (and indeed, all digital advertising) on offline, web, app channels, etc.
Unfortunately, many of today’s leading DSPs are just not there yet.
What Mobile Businesses Need for Success Today
To overcome this, advertisers should work with platforms that support deep measurement, multi-touch attribution and support for a variety of third-party tracking solutions.
Only when brands work with platforms that are able to credibly offer all of this will they be able to effectively reach their target audiences across a wide variety of media - and drive business-critical actions from advertising in a variety of ways.
Srinivas KC is the VP and GM of InMobi DSP. He heads the global performance business for InMobi. He is based in San Francisco, and has been at InMobi since 2011. Prior to this role, Srinivas led strategy and business finance for InMobi’s global publisher business. Before InMobi, Srinivas was part of the leadership team at Capillary Technologies, an Indian SaaS startup, and a consultant in the Technology Sector at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. Srinivas is a global citizen, having traveled to over 30 countries, and worked in over 10 countries including the U.S., South/Southeast Asia and China. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.