Yes, But Why?

Mobile phone evolution

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There’s a study out from Mojiva, a mobile ad network which says, unsurprisingly, that consumers click on mobile ads. I know – shocking coming from a company that has a vested interest in having marketers use the mobile ad environment. However, I can tell you from first hand experience with my clients that the click-through rates on mobile are pretty high. I’m not sure if it’s a function of presentation or exploration, but it’s less important than what happens (or doesn’t) next and that’s what I’d like to chat about.
This is the gist of the study:

In March and April 2011, Mojiva and InsightExpress, a digital marketing research firm, polled more than 100 users who indicated that mobile ads relating to retail stores, weather, dining and sports resonated well.

In general, the study showed that more than 60% of users click on mobile ads at least one a week. When seeing an ad, half of users indicated that they would play a game, download an application, or visit a Web site after seeing an ad – but only 22% said they would make a purchase, and only 40% would download a coupon.

I believe all of this based on first-hand experience.  Mobile ads tend to run one at a time so they’re very front and center, unlike a web experience where they tend to run as one among many.  I think there’s also a “newness” factor.  Remember that clicks on web banners used to be many times what they are today – consumers were just seeing this form for the first time and were curious.

The real challenge I found with my clients was tracking.  We could see the mobile clicks and even trace the user coming to either the mobile or web site.  However, that’s where we ran into problems, particularly when the mobile ad created an awareness and the web was used later on to convert.  Frankly, we saw almost no conversion from mobile despite the high click rates.  We all suspected that this was because the campaign was for something that needed to be transacted via a web site and that users access the web from a computer and not their phone – no way to track that via cookies (although obviously if they register via phone and come back to transact via web, it’s not an issue).

My point is that there is a lot of talk about cross-platform measurement and I’m a big fan of improving what’s out there now to do so.  It’s nice when conversions and sales are up but it’s even nicer to know the answer to “why?” when you begin to dig.  Right?

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