Source: Business Standard | View Online Article
Globally, statistics from various research agencies reveal that more than half (59 per cent) of marketers consider themselves either novices or inexperienced when it comes to measuring their mobile marketing campaigns. In India, the last five years or so have witnessed the mobile being hailed as ‘the medium of the future’. Quite a few years in the past have been referred to as ‘the year of the mobile’. But as is common knowledge, mobile marketing forms less than 1 per cent of the overall advertising spends, and is less than 10 per cent of digital marketing spends. While changing technology is one part of the story, a major hindrance in mobile marketing is the lack of a uniform measurement system.
Bearing this in mind, mobile advertising and marketing agency ad2c (a joint venture between Affle Group and D2C Inc) has launched ad2c campaign, a single-view, mobile campaign management platform to enable better planning and execution on the mobile advertising ecosystem. “Our platform places brands on an equal footing with publishers and tracks data separately not just giving a single view,” says Madan Sanglikar, co-founder and managing director, ad2c.
The issue here is simple: mobile devices are very different from one another and unlike the online medium, the mobile medium does not allow for a cookie-based tracking mechanism. So, analysing mobile marketing campaigns isn’t as easy as analysing online campaigns, at least for now.
Now consider the complexity of sourcing. Some of the key areas that should ordinarily be tracked by agencies include messaging (such as SMS, MMS and email), mobile text ads, mobile video ads, mobile apps, QR codes, mobile searches and mobile payments. Currently, mobile advertising exchanges like InMobi, Vserv.mobi etc have their own tracking mechanisms. But advertiser often lacks a single metric to measure his mobile marketing campaign as a whole.
The next best method is to track consumers by how they click on the ads: the more clicks an ad or app receives, the more information a business owner has to see how successful the campaign is. Click-through also allows business owners to measure how much the ad or app is generating in conversions, as they can optimise the number of clicks a mobile user has to make to purchase a product. Through its mechanism, ad2c campaign can track mobile web advertising as well as the number of app downloads. It also has in-app analytics that can trace how an app is actually being used. “This explores tracking beyond the cost-per-click model,” Sanglikar adds.
The competition this kind of a platform can face is from other mobile marketing agencies that might have similar mobile marketing tracking mechanisms in place. “We will tie up with these agencies as well as publishers in an attempt to provide a holistic view to the advertiser,” Sanglikar sounds hopeful. Such a mechanism could help a publisher change its own inventory or the insights thrown up can help it analyse its own data. Some of the clients ad2c is currently working with include Yahoo!, Samsung and Airtel. This mechanism can aid not only brands but also telecom players and handset manufacturers.
The mobile ad exchanges, on the other hand, have a mixed opinion on this kind of ‘collective’ tracking mechanism. Says Narayan Murthy Ivaturi, general manager, global sales and strategy, Vserv.mobi, “While publishers have their own individual data tracking platforms, there are multiple technology issues pertaining to mobile web and the app environment which require separate tracking.”
Through individual trackers owned by publishers, they are capable of tracking what a client does on their own network/platform. If the client allows for permission, says Ivaturi, it is not rocket science to track his campaign across all platforms. “There are enough technology tools for measurement, all a client has to do is ask and a publisher can provide him with a comprehensive dashboard,” he says.
As things stand, until a uniform measurement system across the mobile marketing industry is released, it is a trial and error game for marketers using the medium.