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Getting started with Mobile: What Marketers Need to Know

2 minute read | April 2014

Mobile matters. Already a powerful presence, it continues to grow. But it is a new medium, and many of the measures brand marketers have come to rely on to guide their investments in other media are not present or not mature inmobile. Marketers must, however, resist the temptation to measure what is easy to measure, and stick with their core principles: focus on measurement they can compare across media and tie to performance, seek agency and media partners with similar philosophies, and rely on proven metrics for determining results.

Right now, mobile is hot. Few devices – indeed, few products – have increased their penetration of any market at the kind of speed with which smartphones have proliferated. This ought to be a godsend for brand marketers: a new device on which they can reach consumers practically any time of day, and one adding users by the millions annually in the U.S. alone.

Instead, marketers have struggled to find the best way to integrate thisevolving technology into their strategies. A key aspect of this quandaryis the need to understand the extent to which the mobile medium cangenerate brand lift – and ultimately sales lift – with a desired audience, both in absolute terms and compared to investments in other media such as television and online. Because of the importance of these measures, marketers should be very cautious about metrics such as click-through rates unique to mobile (or digital) – however granular they may be – that monitor media activity more than business performance, and that cannotbe used in cross-media comparisons. They are not viable substitutesfor proven ways to measure a media campaign’s effect on one’s brand and business.

While mobile advertising spending will surely grow in the near term regardless of how it is measured, only sound, comparable performance metrics will lead marketers to invest in the medium to its full potential, and capitalize on the full opportunity this new medium affords. This is not a matter of enabling a simple either/or choice between different media. Comparable metrics allow you to determine the combination of media that will produce the best results, taking all direct effects, interactions and interdependencies into account.

In what follows, we look at the explosive growth of mobile media consumption among consumers and discuss how marketers have wrestled with different aspects of the mobile experience. We also look at the evolution of advertising in the medium, focusing specifically on measurement strategies that allow brand marketers to evaluate the degree to which mobile advertising fits their overall mix, and on technical challenges to implementing these strategies. We close with advice for brand marketers on how to move forward today.

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