Measuring Mobile Performance: Don’t Rely on CTRs

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A recent study from xAd and Nielson found that Click-Through-Rate is a poor indicator of ad performance on mobile. In fact, Lower CTRs were often associated with the highest offline in-store visitation rates.

The study ran on xAd’s platform and measured 80 campaigns from 12 brands during Q1 and Q2 of 2014. Placed, a local analytics provider, measured in-store visits as a response to ads.

CTR is commonly used as a measurement of engagement for ads on the web. The assumption is that if a viewer clicks on an ad, he or she is probably interested in the product or service advertised. However, the likelihood that a viewer might accidentally click on an ad is much higher in a mobile environment. In its report, xAd said as many as 40% of clicks on mobile devices are accidental.

So how should marketers be measuring ROI in mobile? xAd suggests they should be looking at the full picture, which includes CTR along with SAR (secondary action rate) and SVL (store visitation lift). Because the vast amount of commercial activity still occurs at a physical store location, xAd recommends SVL as the best measurement for mobile ad effectiveness.

The question of how to best measure mobile effectiveness has plagued marketers for years. A recent study by Forrester shows that only 13% of marketers feel very confident in their ability to measure cross-channel, and only 18% are confident in their ability to measure the ROI of mobile efforts.

With over 10 million iPhone 6 phones sold by Apple in one weekend, there’s no question that mobile is a channel to be reckoned with. But marketers will shy away from spending on mobile advertising until the technology can catch up.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

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