How Can Marketers Improve Mobile Advertising ROI?

return on investmentIn a recent eMarketer piece, Jeremy Kressman interviewed Jeremy Hull about why the return on investment (ROI) from mobile campaigns still remains low.

Hull, who is director of bought media at iProspect, identified several challenges associated with optimizing mobile campaigns as well as in measuring performance.

For one thing, notes Hull, mobile ad ROI hasn’t caught up to desktop yet.

“The number of people converting on smartphones is high and continues to rise,” Hull explained. “But even with the lower cost per click (CPC), mobile advertising ROI has not caught up to desktop advertising ROI. This is partly because people aren’t just looking to make a purchase on mobile. Rather, they’re looking for information or are trying to place a call. Those actions are just as valuable, but if you’re operating purely on a last-click ROI sampling, you’re not factoring that value in.”

Part of the problem?

“Brands are not differentiating their mobile campaigns,” asserted Hull. “When people search on their smartphones, they should see different ad copy, different site links, different messages and different extensions. Instead, many advertisers just turn their desktop campaign into a mobile campaign with the same messaging.”

When eMarketer asks if Google’s recently introduced AdWords Enhanced Campaigns boost ROI on mobile advertising spending — or just pushed many marketers into mobile before they were ready, Hull notes the complications.

“It served as a wake-up call for brands that haven’t yet embraced mobile, but it hasn’t changed the ROI of mobile; it just made advertisers pay more attention to it,” said Hull. The problem that Google, Bing, and Yahoo still need to solve is that there’s less real estate on mobile screens for paid search ads. On a mobile search results page, your ad is either in the top two positions or it’s not seen, and search engines are hoping that these top two positions become more coveted. Instead, advertisers look at the CPC of those top two positions, weigh that against the direct ROI they’re getting from mobile and decide not to advertise at all.”

That is why, contends Hull, “everyone is trying to develop new tools to measure the performance of mobile outside of the last click.”

There’s much of interest to mobile marketers in this excellent interview. To read it all, click here.


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