Mobile advertising poses many challenges when it comes to effective targeting, delivery and measurement, which makes choosing the right ad platform or solution for your advertising campaign difficult.
You have options, and lots of them. Getting beneath the hype to understand what really is possible is a challenge for even the most sophisticated marketers and media planners. So how do you make sure you choose wisely to get the results you need?
When it comes to selecting the right mobile advertising provider or technology platform for your next campaign, start with these five critical questions:
1: Who sees my ad? As basic as this seems, the marketplace tends to overlook the importance of "who" when it comes to the three critical areas of mobile ad targeting, delivery and measurement. Knowing who lets you identify the right target -- based on dependable information from proven third-party household purchase information, loyalty or your own customer data. This data can then be matched to mobile device data for precise audience targeting and ad delivery.
Mobile ad power isn't just about location. Many brands believe the power of mobile is strictly the ability to target based on geographic profiles or proximity to a specific location. But using location only as a proxy for who you target means you don't really know who actually saw your message. All you know is that a person was in a specific location at a given point in time, not really who that person was based on data that truly ties them back to something tangible like offline purchase data.
Clarify with your vendor that they are able to know specifically on which devices your ad is seen. Then ask if they can associate the device to a specific household or individual. If not, then most likely they can only tell you the "segments" to which the recipient belongs.
2: What match key do you use for targeting and measurement? A match key is a common link or identifier for connecting target audiences to campaigns. The most common match keys are email and home address. When evaluating which to use, keep in mind the average person uses six different email addresses for varying purposes, and that they tend to change every 1 to 3 years. However, most people only have one home address. And while households can have multiple inhabitants, home addresses are generally viewed as the more stable match key.
Match keys are an important consideration for both targeting and measurement -- and for doing it at the scale acceptable to most national brands, which often means tens of millions of records.
3: Why should I trust that who you say you are reaching is really who you are reaching? Multiscreen campaigns depend on the accuracy of the match logic to ensure you are reaching the same folks on mobile devices and desktops/laptops.
Don't just assume an algorithm works. Ask your provider what validation of their logic and algorithms is done to ensure they are making accurate matches. Ask specifically about the technology they use to match consumers across screens and validate the accuracy of that match.
4: Where will my ad be seen? It's understood that consumers today engage in numerous activities, using various channels, devices, information and influences as they move to purchase. This cross-channel or multiscreen behavior creates additional challenges for location-based mobile advertising — as this tends to assume a great deal about people based only on proximity. The result is you likely miss opportunities to reach consumers in more relevant ways.
So, where your ad is seen is really a question of not just physical location/geography but also of the various applications, outlets, publications and channels where your ad could be targeted and delivered.
5: How will you measure campaign success? Many mobile ad platforms offer campaign analytics, insights and an ability to show lift in trial, conversion, brand-level preference or store visits -- which can augment more traditional metrics like clicks, taps and page views.
These are all useful metrics for campaign optimization; however, they aren't the meaningful metrics brands say they need to definitively demonstrate campaign success and to justify their overall ad spend.
New Data Shows What Brands Want to Measure
In fact, in a recent survey of 100 large consumer brands, senior marketers within those companies were asked what metrics they need to justify their mobile ad spend? Their answer: In store sales lift (offline) and new accounts opened were identified as the two most beneficial ways to justify their ad spend.
Additionally, 93% said they would run more cross-channel campaigns if they were able to effectively measure their mobile advertising performance, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Acxiom and 4INFO.
Brands see the connection to revenue as an absolute imperative, and they want to stop their over-reliance on traditional campaign metrics and KPIs like click-through rates, app downloads and page views. And for marketers to feel confident in their mobile advertising, they clearly want to see more meaningful metrics.
So ensure the mobile ad platform you are considering is able to meet what the market says is needed: the ability to measure actual sales.
About the sponsor:
Tim Jenkins is CEO of 4INFO and a seasoned Silicon Valley veteran with more than 25 years in senior operational and executive roles at several tech companies, including Apple, Stratacom and Simpata.
4INFO is solving the challenge of mobile attribution for national brand advertisers by combining true purchase-based precision targeting at scale with the ability to track results at the cash register. The company helps major consumer brands with impressive accuracy and results: average sales increases of 7.5%, return on ad spend (ROAS) averaging 382% and as high as 823%; and market share increases at the expense of competitors.