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The Best Metrics for Quantifying Mobile Campaign Success

As consumers have migrated from desktop to mobile, the industry has struggled with identifying the best metrics to measure and communicate mobile campaign success. Click Through Rate (CTR) has long been the standard in desktop measurement. But on mobile devices, up to 40% of clicks may be accidental, largely driven by touchscreens. Additionally, Click to Call (CTC) volume has been in steady decline for years.

In order to confront this need to find a new and meaningful measurement for mobile, xAd commissioned Nielsen to design the Mobile Ad Measurement Study, which analyzed nearly 80 campaigns from 12 different major brands to help understand what factors impact mobile ad effectiveness, and the most appropriate ways to measure campaign success across a variety of verticals.

First and foremost, clicks and calls alone are not an adequate indicator of brand awareness or engagement. In fact, they’re often unrelated or negatively correlated to engaged actions, and can be influenced by outside factors. For example, our Mobile Ad Measurement Study found that when CTRs were higher, Secondary Action Rate (SAR) tended to be lower.

One eye-opening stat: every percent increase in CTR led to an even larger percent decrease in engaged secondary actions. Similarly, lower CTRs were often associated with the highest in-store visitation rates, and considering that the vast majority of purchases still happen in-store, driving foot-traffic needs to be a key goal of any campaign.

How should marketers move forward with campaign measurement, knowing that CTR often fails to indicate secondary engagements and store visits? The answer lies in defining the campaign goal and the corresponding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and optimizing towards those KPIs from the very start of the campaign. Marketers should take advantage of different techniques depending on the goal, and optimize towards the metrics that support that goal.

While campaigns vary, there are a few rules to always follow when driving success with mobile display advertising:

  • Consumers prefer to get their information via mobile and then navigate to the location, so drive toward actions such as “Learn More,” “Get Directions” or “Offer Inside” to entice engagement and store visitation;
  • Make it easy for customers to find your location via mobile device. Based on xAd’s Mobile Path to Purchase data, as many as 60% of consumers are looking for businesses within local driving distance (<5 miles), when researching brand information on a mobile device;
  • Reduce the number of clicks it takes to drive toward the information you want to have in front of your customer.

In addition to following these three essential rules, ensure your consumers have choices of how and when they want to connect with advertisers by providing multiple secondary actions. By allowing for various actions, from click to call, visit a map, redeem a coupon, watch a short video, or leading to a short form fill, customers are more likely to see information suited towards their specific needs.

Additionally, post-campaign metrics can reveal meaningful insights. Maybe your consumers are most interested in clicking to a map, and implementing dynamic distance creative could benefit your brand.

Mobile’s role in purchase consideration varies by industry, and therefore the expectations and success metrics must change accordingly. For example, retail purchasers are heavy mobile users, and retail campaigns are the most impacted by optimization. Restaurant consumers convert frequently around meal times, and marketers should optimize around meal times to capture consumer intent. Auto intenders, on the other hand, are infrequent and high consideration purchasers. These mobile campaigns should focus on less immediate metrics and instead provide consumers with information and ultimately drive towards metrics such as lot visitation.

Therefore, it is imperative that the campaign setup, optimization and KPIs all drive toward the right action, which is ultimately a store visit. Understanding the nuances of your customer can mean the difference between actual campaign success and greater revenue for your business, or misleading metrics that can potentially drive ad waste. How do you plan to bring more consumers through your doors? What have you found to be most effective in increasing store traffic?

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