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What’s Next For Mobile Attribution in The Digital Marketing World

At Harben Marketing, we have found over the last year that customers love what mobile marketing can do for them, but they do not always understand how to track the usage or analyze their ROI numbers. Examining ROI (Return on Investment) for mobile marketing is much the same as any other platform. A company has to link new, incoming revenue to the dollars it took to acquire every paying user.

It is a common problem for many mobile marketers. A survey in March from Forrester showed that over 65 percent of them cannot figure it out or simply do not bother doing it as long as enough money is coming back into the company.

There is a lot of money out there too. Consumers used mobile apps to generate over $52 Billion in sales last year. That is expected to double by 2020. Those are great numbers, of course, but they are much smaller than you think.

Those consumers represent only five percent of the actual users of the app. The other 95 percent move on to other pages just as many people change the station in their car or the channel at home when the commercial does not immediately grab their attention. Because of that, the ROI for in-app advertising needs close examination just like it is for radio and television.

Unfortunately, with that much money on the table, the fraudulent marketing firms are out in full. These new scammers have figured out that it is not enough to show a chart full of users. They generate fake accounts to show good, initial ROI numbers, so the marketer spends more advertising dollars. By the time the marketer figures out what has happened, the scammer has moved on with another phony company and website.

So what is next? Multi-platform connections that allow users to move across devices with little or no interruption to their experience. The idea is known as a Cross-Device or Omnichannel measurement. It is something that is just beginning now with entertainment, and it is going to be necessary for advertisers and marketing companies to master quickly.

Multi-touch attribution lets marketers and advertisers follow the path users take once they download and use each app on an individual device. It is the same direction that we want take Omnichannel marketing. The technology has not caught up with our demand just yet, so if you see anyone advertising that they can offer you complete access to a user’s online profile across multiple devices; run.

Another idea catching on now is Fractional Attribution. The plan is to change current multi-touch technology that simply offers options and insights (book recommendations for example) to a platform that gives partial ‘credit’ to various touch points. It is a more precise method of measuring user actions than multi-touch attribution. The restriction against adopting this idea is finding the right standardization of process acceptable industry-wide.

Eventually, what we want to see is a combination of these ideas. It gives Harben and other marketing agencies the ability to examine user data at a level we cannot come close to right now without a costly customer feedback campaign. We can pinpoint where advertising is working and allow us to spend the marketers budget with much better precision. We are not there yet, but we do have the tools now to build better campaigns and help our customers make smarter marketing decisions.

Harvey Turner

An experienced Digital Marketing Evangelist with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Advertising, Entrepreneurship, Customer Service, and Strategic Planning. Harvey educates industry professionals on the ever-changing challenges of SEM and SEO marketing.