Two-thirds of marketers can’t measure ROI on mobile

Just 27% of marketers say their mobile marketing campaigns are profitable, while 67% say they simply can’t measure ROI, according to a new report, but are marketers doing all they can to overcome the issue?


Two-thirds of marketers say they can’t measure ROI on mobile, according to a recent report from research firm Forrester. The majority (67%) put this down to the fact they don’t believe it can be measured.

Despite marketer’s doubts the report also suggests marketer’s problems with measuring profitable ROI through mobile is a “misunderstanding” and marketers aren’t measuring their data in the correct way as they are “missing the mobile offline opportunity”.

47% of marketers admitted that mobile is either a nice-to-have or only a subset of their digital approach and not yet a part of the mix, while the research highlights most marketers do not measure the impact of mobile offline, with only 15% of marketers measuring mobile-influenced sales and 9% measuring traffic to their physical locations.

“The main reason why marketers struggle to measure the ROI of mobile is that they do not align their marketing objectives with the KPIs they measure

Thomas Husson, Forrester

Similarly, 83% of UK online adults use mobile in-store, though only 19% of marketers track mobile users across offline channels.

Ad spend grew 56.1% in the first half of the year, to reach £1.723bn and now accounts for 51% of digital display advertising, according to the Internet advertising Bureau (IAB). With this in mind, the IAB’s chief strategy officer Tim Elkington believes ROI on mobile can in fact be measured and does prove profitable.

Following a recent study, the IAB found that across five FMCG campaigns there was an average ROI of £1.47 in a single retailer where they were able to track purchases using loyalty card data. Elkington believes this “does prove that digital display across mobile campaigns, does have a positive ROI uplift and can be measured”.

Thomas Husson agrees and puts the concern from marketers down to the fact too many of them are focusing on measuring downloads, clicks and views rather than customer satisfaction and incremental sales.

READ MORE: Mobile innovation powers ad spend growth

“The main reason why marketers struggle to measure the ROI of mobile is that they do not align their marketing objectives with the KPIs they measure,” Husson says.

“Too many of them have a narrow-minded approach of mobile as a channel, instead of thinking of how mobile can help develop brand awareness, improve the customer experience – offline and online- and increase sales.”

In order to overcome the problem Husson says marketers should link mobile to offline and start measuring attribution on the now. He believes marketers must rethink the total impact of mobile ads, use mobile to augment traditional marketing campaigns and apply mobile data to “improve overall marketing effectiveness”.

“It is time to think big about mobile and to move away from last-click attribution. The role of mobile in the customer life-cycle is way too important to reduce mobile to a sub-digital channel,” Husson adds.