Mobile Advertising Metrics Beyond Sales
What is your business hoping to accomplish by buying mobile ads? Chances are, the first word that comes to mind is “sales”, either in the form of app downloads or the sale of actual products. While it’s true that making more sales is the ultimate goal of advertising, there are other ways to measure the success of a mobile advertising campaign that go beyond sales.
Mobile advertising can generate immediate sales, depending on what you are selling – especially when you are offering a download of a free app or game. However, many mobile advertisers use mobile ads to deepen customer relationships, build a bigger audience, and lay the groundwork for an eventual sale.
Depending on your long-term goals, your mobile ad campaign might need to focus on achieving an outcome other than sales – rather than “selling” directly to your customers, your mobile ads might need to be used to make it easier to close the sale in the future.
Here are a few ways that mobile advertisers can think about strategically appropriate metrics for their mobile ad campaigns:
- Downloads: If you’re using in-app mobile advertising, often the goal of an in-app ad is to get people to download one of your other apps. If you’re giving your apps away for free, this metric doesn’t count as a “sale,” but it is valuable for you because it shows how fast your audience is growing.
- Clicks: If you’re using cost-per-click mobile advertising, you can gauge the success of your campaign by the click through rate (CTR), measuring how many people are clicking on your mobile banner ads. The question then becomes, what happens after people click on your ad? What needs to happen to get them to convert from a click to a sale?
- Awareness: This metric often applies more to large brands that use mobile advertising as part of a broader brand awareness campaign, but mobile ads have shown to be more effective than online ads in generating overall brand awareness – aided awareness, unaided awareness, and ad awareness. Mobile ads can make an impact on winning the “mindshare” of your target audience, even if each individual mobile ad isn’t set up to close the deal and make a sale.
- Signups: What is it worth to you to get additional customers to sign up for your e-mail list? Mobile advertising can help you achieve this one highly specific (but highly profitable) goal. You could also use mobile ads to recruit testers to try the new version of your app or game, ask people to sign up for free text message updates about your products, or sign up for special virtual events or conferences. Mobile ads, because of their added level of closeness and intimacy on people’s mobile devices, are ideal for engaging on a personal level and rallying an audience to support your brand.
- New followers on Twitter/Facebook: Mobile advertising is an ideal complement to social media marketing – both by using social media to promote your app, and by using mobile ads to drive more traffic to your social media sites. Find out how much an extra 1,000 Twitter followers or Facebook fans are worth to your business, and then see how many new followers you get as a result of your next mobile ad campaign.
Depending on the goals of your company, mobile ads can be targeted to get people to follow you, engage with you, be part of your audience, and deepen their relationship with you. All of these results are valuable, even if they don’t immediately equate to sales. Mobile advertising can create sales, but sometimes your overall marketing strategy requires that mobile ads contribute in a different way – by building awareness for your company, product or brand, by expanding your audience, or by deepening customer relationships so that people are ready to buy from you again in the future.
What’s your take on this? When you create a mobile ad campaign, how do you measure the results?