Marketer's Greatest Challenges with Mobile Measurement

A firend of my asked me the other day "What are mobile measurement's greatest challenges and what needs to happen for marketers to jump this hurdle?".  
 
This is a great question.   I thought about it for a while and this is what a I came up with. 
 
 
 

There is an old adage in business, often attributed to the management guru Peter Drucker, "What gets measured, gets managed.”  

 
 
In other words those items that are measured, and in this case consciously measured, are important to the business.  They are given attention, wrapped by strategy and allocated resources (people and money) so that they can contribute to success and customer value. 
 
 
Long-term effective measurement requires:
 
  • A plan:
    • pre-established goal(s)/objective(s) and success/failure metrics
    • defined variables to be measured and aligned to the metrics
    • clear boundaries 
    • defined time frame(s)
    • data collection, storage and reporting roadmaps
  • A diverse team
  • Technology/tools:
    • The qualitative and quantitative data collection tools for each traditional and digital media or sales channel that mobile will be deployed in
  • Industry maturity
  • Policy and regulatory adherence:
    • Corporate policy
    • Industry self-regulation
    • Governmental legislation 
  • Individual and corporate spirit
    • passion, curiosity, creativity and bravery
    • commitment to truth 
    • executive champions 
 
 
For the marketer to reliably and consistently measure mobile’s impact in marketing, each and every one of these elements needs to be uniquely considered for each and every media path used in a campaign.  
 
 
In mobile there are over eight unique media paths that can be loosely organized in to four buckets: messaging, voice/audio, browsing and apps. Each of these buckets in turn has 3~4 discrete engagement channels, which can then be augmented by a number of monetization and context enhancers: advertising, commerce, location, cloud services and data. Moreover, the expectations (often real-time) of consumers will vary based on where they are along the path-to-purchase and the context of their personal situation. 
 
 
We must also remember that mobile is young; each of the elements above are all simultaneously under development. They’re not fully developed to work standalone - not to mention in concert with all other media. In turn, this requires the marketer to compensate and adjust. 
 
 
The state of mobile measurement will come as no surprise to many. Just think, the Internet is 20 years old and we’re still struggling with Internet attribution.  Now think about mobile, it is not just a standalone direct channel but it also is also an enabler of all media and surfaces.  Mobile is so much more complex than the Internet.  
 
 
Finally, if simply attending to mobile were not enough, marketers are overwhelmed by data. But not just the data that they may collect from their own initiative, but by the mountains external data that may or may not be useful for what they’re trying to accomplish (a.k.a. “big data”). 
 
 
To over come the hurdles of measurement of mobile and its application through and with digital and traditional marketing, marketers must:
 
  • Be patient, groups like the MMA and its cross media study efforts are working on creating new measurement methodologies for mobile. 
  • Be collaborative, lean forward and actively engage, or at least lurk, in industry efforts and groups like the Mobile Marketing Association or the IAB
  • Establish commercial partners
  • Invest in their own education and that of their team members and partners, marketing is driven by data and we all must become conversant in the science of data 
 
 
There is so much opportunity out there. Success can be had today and even more tomorrow. However, remember this, you’ll never cross the finish line if you don’t start the race. The most important thing a marketer can do today is to start adopting mobile -- it is not going anywhere. 
 

 

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