What’s missing in the mobile engagement puzzle?

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It is no secret by now that mobile programmatic is indispensable in the advertiser’s media plan today. When accomplished correctly, brands can reach their intended customer in the most receptive moment to convert an intention into a transaction.

Despite the increasing prominence of mobile programmatic, some brands are still on the fence and not yet buying into the promise; especially as the industry continues to be haunted by ad fraud issues. The keys to resolving this continuous dilemma are advertiser confidence and user acceptance, so the industry can finally deliver what it has set out to do and more.

To put the challenge at scale, this year alone, mobile ad spending is set to exceed $100 Billion USD worldwide, taking 54.9% of the global digital ad spending budget. As investments accelerate, the mobile digital industry needs a consensus on how to qualify the ROIs and ensure these budgets align with business objectives and deliver true lifetime value for the end-users. Brands may be able to accept a lean return but it will be much harder to recover from user rejection on their most frequented mobile devices. The onus is on marketers to seek and insist on true engagement metrics within their mobile campaigns and to put the users first.

Measuring mobile campaign impact needs to consider two different smartphone environments, mobile browsers and mobile apps, which require unifying metrics. Within both environments, we are already measuring impression views and clicks but that is not enough, we must have visibility on user actions post-ad. Mobile campaign metrics have to qualify true user engagements for the industry to improve and innovate continuously!

First, an ad impression must only be considered seen by the user when it has fully rendered on the smartphone screen. When counting clicks as engagement metrics, we need assurances that these clicks are net of human traffic and not accidental. Filtration techniques exist today to address the issue of fraud traffic as specified by industry bodies such as the MRC/IAB, where only one click can be attributed to one impression. As marketers, counting impression views and clicks are important to ensure users are not irritated on their smartphones with partly loaded impressions and videos that do not play.

However, as a marketer, you don’t want the users to just see your ad but also engage with the message. At this point, the success indicator must be a fully loaded landing page within the browser to know without a doubt that the message has been received by the user. To achieve even more peace of mind, brands can also measure mobile app opens and active installs to evaluate user acquisitions effectiveness. Being able to follow the user actions post-ad reassures brands that they have engaged with their audience and not just delivered unsolicited ads.

As an industry, mobile programmatic advertising needs to prioritise advertiser confidence and user acceptance. Brands, publishers, technology providers, and users alike, will benefit from true indicators for high-quality mobile engagements. This is also the only way to guarantee sustainable added-value for everyone. In practice, brands have to insist on qualifying engagements with certified metrics such as rendered impressions, clicks net of fraud, fully loaded landing pages, active installs and app opens. By eliminating unreliable measurement and putting the user first, we can finally elevate the industry’s quality standards, bring advertisers peace of mind and deliver the best experience for users.

This article was also published on the IAB UK Blog.

 IAB UK Blog

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