Focus on the Consumer–Not the Campaign–to Uncover Ad Effectiveness

As the industry continues its shift to people-based, multi-screen measurement, clients want to know the same thing they’ve always wanted to know: “Did I reach the right people and was my ad effective?”

The question is simple; the answer, not so much. The way we see it, there are three big challenges to answering whether an ad was effective.

  1. Clicks are not reflective of reality. Strictly speaking, the challenge with measuring mobile—or any channel for that matter—is that clicks don’t tell the full story. And in the case of mobile, clicks can be wildly misleading as a surprisingly large number of clicks on mobile devices are unintended or driven by non-human click farms.
  1. Furthermore, users rarely make a beeline path from seeing or clicking on an ad to making a purchase. They meander. They take a multi-point path using a multitude of screens and assets across which there is no common measurement solution at all. So, getting the full picture of a user’s path to purchase simply can’t be done by comparing clicks to sales.
  1. Cross-media measurement is not standardized—yet. Even if you solve the first and second challenges, measuring across screens and devices is disparate at best. You fuse a little of this data with some of that data and, thanks to science and smart people in the industry, you can get a generally good idea of how effective your ad was.

Tracking consumer interaction across multiple screens is fragmented, and without a universal standard to measure campaigns across screens, mobile technology continues to be undervalued—at least when it comes to a large share of ad budget allocation.

As an industry, we know it’s critical that the same metric be applied across all screens. While PC and mobile offer greater possibilities of collecting real-time data on a large scale, there are still large gaps and misalignment of metrics being collected from mobiles and mobile apps.

The obvious way to introduce data consistency and unity is to track the same users across all of their devices. The best way to achieve that is by deploying your own opt-in panel and adopting a media allocation approach built first on the media that most captures users’ attention and interaction: mobile.

Marketers need to dial into the full scope of what mobile tracking gives us. With a carefully curated panel of mobile users, marketers can easily track if someone saw and clicked on their ad, and, even more importantly, capture other correlated actions such as search activities or purchasing intent.

But is it enough? We’d like to know what you think—get in touch: