The Mobile Audience Measurement Challenge: How Much Do You Know about Your Mobile Customer?

 In Audience Measurement

Brands and publishers spend millions even billions to acquire and retain customers and users. But gaining customers (and getting ROI on that marketing spend) requires knowing the best time and place to engage customers. And these hard-won relationships are becoming complicated to establish and maintain because consumers use a plethora of mobile devices and platforms. Many companies find it nearly impossible to track and follow all that activity.

According to our data, today’s digital, mobile consumer accesses 10-15 apps using three or four different screens in a 24-hour period. How can you base budgets on reaching people when you don’t know what they’re doing and where they are?

Yesterday, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) hosted a webcast to explore how brands, publishers and advertisers are navigating the complex mobile app landscape and using data to inform media buying, media sales, market sizing, competitive intelligence and new monetization opportunities. Following are some of the key points and statistics from the experts (including Paul Neto, Research Director, YuMe; T.S. Kelly, CEO & Chief Strategist, The Media Strategist; and Bob Hooven, SVP of Sales, Verto Analytics) that help explain why and how mobile audience measurement is evolving. And, if you want to (re)watch the webcast, please contact us and we will send you the link as soon as it’s available.

The Mobile Market Landscape

  • 15% of the US population is “mobile only” and that number is only going up.
  • There are 680 mobile apps that have at least one million users each. Six years ago, there were just 10 apps that could claim that many users.
  • And it’s not just apps or the mobile web, but how the two mobile environments will merge and be accessed by multiple devices in a 24-hour period. That’s why daily data has become a measurement imperative.
  • 5G will really change the game for brands and publishers, and they will need new brand strategies that take into account instantaneous connections to just about everything available online.

A “Day-in-the-Life” of the Mobile User

  • Understanding consumer behavior on mobile now has never been more important.
  • 80% of users used a device while watching TV and 90% of Millennials accessed information related to content that they were watching.
  • Heavy video users access at least 11 hours of video per week, every single day.

Mobile vs. “Online Only”

  • Mobile outperforms “online only” at the rate of 3 times the level of traditional digital.
  • Multi-platform usage influences consumers and generates greater lifts in brand ratings – 26% multi-screen vs. 4% online only.
  • When users are multitasking, they’re paying more attention to digital devices than to their TVs and laptops.
  • Retailers face particular challenges when tracking the customer’s path-to-purchase, which can be highly complex. For example, a user 1) sees an ad, 2) goes to the store to look at that product, 3) researches prices online, 4) and purchased it from Amazon.
  • Almost everyone wants to know how exactly their customers are watching their ads in videos. Verto Analytics customers, for example, want to know how long customers are watching videos, when exactly interest tends to drop, which devices customers are using to watch videos, etc. Although video is highly popular, leveraging it correctly to raise brand awareness requires a deep dive into the particulars of engagement.
  • Many brands are now using custom KPIs to track engagement and activity. This means that a single view of your mobile usage is no longer enough.

One of the final questions posed to the panel was this: Why has it taken so long for measurement companies to come up with a viable measurement solution? The cycle of change is extremely short – just look at what’s happened in less than 10 years (some stat). It used to be primetime plus TV plus PC, but now, the number of touchpoints is not at all linear, nor do they exist in isolation. These standards of means of measurement were built when the multi-screen experience didn’t exist. Many companies and marketing teams still lack coherent data around how their customers are actually using mobile devices. The absence of a cookie (the traditional and reliable way to track usage and engagement) means that advertisers, brands, and publishers are making strategic decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate customer-usage data.

Verto Analytics, by comparison, takes the guesswork out of finding and tracking mobile activity. How? Our data comes from mobile users who have installed our proprietary meters on all of their devices. We collect all data in real time, at the user’s point-of-interaction. This enables us to do a “day-in-the-life” analysis; we can see all details about when, where, and how they’re using their devices.
To get access to the webcast, please contact us, and we will send you the link as soon as it’s available. To learn more about the mobile app user — who they are and how they use apps — check out our App Report. And, we will be speaking at Re!Think on March 15 in a session called the The Metrics of Mobile Advertising.” We’d love to see you there!
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