Focusing On Mobile

According to a recent Forrester report, while mobile usage and purchases on mobile devices continue to increase, companies are still exercising extreme caution when it comes to investing more on mobile.  The reasoning behind the hesitance is due to a lack of measurable results in performance based on antiquated attribution reporting.  The Forrester report goes on to explain “that only 13% of marketers feel confident in their ability to measure cross-channel, and only 18 percent of marketers say they are very confident in their ability to measure the ROI of their mobile efforts.”  When you add cross-device into the attribution mix, the attribution equation becomes even more complicated for marketers. Based on my experience, many retailers are hesitant to adopt any attribution model other than last-click. The old reliable last-click attribution model gives measurable results retailers can rely on for their reporting, and with tools like Google Adwords Search Funnels it can appear that most conversions occur within only one click for some clients.  This is a great tool I use to provide a high level synopsis of my accounts’ attribution performance.  However, what the Google Conversions Search Funnels tool and many analytics and bidding tools lack is the ability to effectively measure attribution results across devices and channels. Let’s say someone is browsing Facebook on their mobile device, and they click on one of the Facebook marketplace ads displaying on their screen.  What if that same person logs in from their personal lap top in a web browser that differs from their mobile device and searches for the company whose Marketplace ad showed up on Facebook?  What if the searcher clicks an organic result only to return to the site to make a purchase after finally clicking on a paid search ad? In a perfect world, across channels and devices for the above scenario, marketers would know which segment of their marketing program assisted in the path to conversion, and the funnel would look like this:

The ideal cross-channel purchase funnel.

The reality is that users cannot be cookied or tracked across devices with multiple browsers/login settings.  The scenario laid out above would then appear as though the FB Marketplace Ad never assisted in the purchase funnel based on a last-click attribution model:

The reality of the cross-channel purchase funnel would leave the FB Marketplace with no attribution.

Based on the easily measurable last click attribution model, a marketer might choose to invest less money in Facebook since it appears there are no conversions associated with their campaign when Facebook actually drives a significant amount of initial interest in the company’s products. In April, I highlighted the future of tracking cookies. The technology is continuing to improve for cookie-less tracking which would bridge the gap for tracking between different devices, browsers, and social media, but until attribution vendors and advertisers are able to convince marketers to invest additional funds for their mobile efforts with accurately attributed results, what can we do to ensure our clients mobile efforts are not falling through the cracks?

  1. Ensure your clients have a mobile optimized site.  A better user experience on a smaller device can affect your bounce rate drastically.
  2. Check your overall mobile device performance within Adwords on a continuous basis.  Demand can fluctuate for numerous reasons.  Adjusting your mobile bid multipliers based on recent performance can ensure you are staying on top of trends and fluctuations within your account.
  3. Check your mobile device performance by day to see if there are any trends in performance.  For example, some retail clients may see an increase in mobile sales on pay day Friday.  Mobile bids should be optimized based on these trends.
  4. Stay abreast of the latest mobile news.  For example, Google recently announced that beginning October 15th, the description line 2 within your ad text may be omitted with sitelinks showing instead.  Advertisers should edit their ad copy to ensure the call to action is in the first line of ad text within their ad text because of this.
  5. Select Mobile Device Preference for sitelinks you would want to appear within your mobile ads.  Sitelinks leading to a more user-friendly mobile landing page should be mobile preferred.
  6. Ensure that your mobile image ads are the correct size for any display campaigns you may be running.  If your image ads are not the correct sizes, they may not show on mobile.
  7. Check your ads on your own mobile device.  By checking your text ads, Facebook ads, or display ads for quality, you can make note of any areas of improvement.

There are many other opportunities to invest additional funds and time in mobile advertising, but with the skepticism of marketers to invest more in this arena, focusing on the list above can ensure you are staying on top of your client’s current mobile efforts.  It can also fuel the conversation for improving their mobile efforts regardless of their attribution concerns.

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