How to Justify Higher Mobile Ad Spend in 2017| By |Blair Symes

It’s no secret that we live in a mobile-first world. Consumers today spend more time running searches, interacting with social media, and engaging with digital content and email on mobile devices than on desktops and laptops.

According to Google, more than 50 percent of all searches and web traffic globally now comes from smartphones and tablets. And those numbers are expected to increase in 2017.

To target smartphone users and mobile consumers, marketers are shifting ad spend to mobile.

According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending in the US grew 45 percent this year to 64 percent of all digital advertising.

The demand is there. But if you’re planning to increase spend on mobile advertising in 2017, you will be under increased pressure to prove its effectiveness and impact on the business. You should have the right processes and technology in place to get full intelligence and attribution for every conversion and customer your mobile marketing generates.

Here are three tips to help.

Don’t Ignore Phone Call Conversions

Smartphones and click-to-call have changed the way consumers shop and convert online. When smartphone users engage with mobile ads and website content, they often convert by calling – it’s the easiest and most natural conversion path on a smartphone. According to research by analyst firm BIA/Kelsey:

  • Mobile advertising will drive 130 billion call conversions to US businesses in 2017
  • Search advertising alone will drive nearly 50 billion call conversions in the US in 2017
  • Calls convert to revenue 10 times more than web leads and will influence over $1 trillion in US commerce this year

For many businesses, call conversions will make up 50 percent or more of their mobile conversions.

Taking the necessary steps to ensure you get full attribution and intelligence for these calls is an important step in proving ROI from mobile channels. Call conversion data marketers should capture includes:

  • Marketing source that drove the call: Knowing the channel, ad, keyword search, email, and/or campaign that drove each call is critical to knowing how to optimize spending and messaging to drive more.
  • The caller’s path through your website: If a lead visited your site after running a search or engaging with your mobile marketing, you should know that person’s entry page, the content he or she viewed on your site and in what order, and the page they eventually called from.
  • Caller data: You should capture who the caller is, the phone number, the geographic location, and the day and time of the call. This data is helpful when fine-tuning ad targeting and bidding.
  • What happened on the call: Knowing who answered the call, how long the call lasted, and what was said can help you judge lead quality, gain insights into your customers, and ensure callers receive a quality call experience.
  • The value of the call: You need to know if a call is “good” or “bad,” based on your business’s definition of a quality lead. That often means knowing if the call resulted in an appointment, opportunity, or sale, and how much revenue it was worth.

Integrate Marketing Stack Tools for Attribution

It’s important that you have the right tools in place to measure mobile advertising return on investment (ROI). While there are many technologies that marketers find useful, the three core pillars of a successful marketing stack for mobile includes:

  • An online analytics platform to capture attribution data on online conversions and measure website and mobile app interaction
  • A call attribution platform to connect call conversions from your mobile advertising back to the specific channel, ad, keyword, and website behavior that originated or influenced them
  • A CRM system to track those online and offline conversions through the sales funnel to revenue

These three tools should integrate and share data seamlessly with one another, while also connecting to the other tools in your stack (DMP, marketing automation, etc.).

Credit Mobile Channels Influencing Conversions

Marketers investing significant budget on mobile in 2017 should not leave their ROI to chance. It’s important to actively monitor results and make continual optimization, targeting, and budget allocation adjustments.

Knowing which channels, ads, and keywords drive the most quality sales leads, customers, and revenue is critical to making the right optimization decisions. But it’s also important to adopt an attribution model that gives credit to mobile channels that might only influence conversions, not drive them directly.

For example, most conversions from mobile display advertising do not occur when a lead sees the ad, but later through a channel like paid search or SEO.

It would be a mistake to pull spending on those mobile display or Facebook ad campaigns that do the brand-building work needed so SEM/SEO can have more impressive conversion rates.

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