Tuesday, 7 August 2007


In mobile and internet advertising, if you want to know how well your campaigns are working and be able to fine tune them to perfection, what do you need to measure?

You need to take a whole-process view from ad wording to country/channel/device placement to impressions to clicks to visits to registrations to loyal returning users. And to track this you need to put in place measures that link your mobile advertising agents' statistics to your own server-side stats - no mean task, given that the way they break down the information isn't the same as yours.

Mobile advertising agents typically provide some basic stats like CTR, CPM and CPC. But they don't provide enough breakdowns to enable you to properly measure the quality of their publisher network. Why should they? Their incentive is to sell you clicks, not customers. The value-added part is left to you sitting in your dark room with your poor server to help work out the rest.

The classic measures offered by most mobile advertising agencies are:
- How many people see the advertisement and for what price: Impressions / day & CPM (Cost per thousand views = Spend / 000 Impressions)
- What is the level of interest in what the advert is promising: CTR (Click-through-rate = clicks / impressions)?
- How much does it cost on average to bring a visitor to your site: CPC (Spend / Clicks)

Unfortunately these measures are practically useless without an appreciation for the impact on your registered - and more importantly, active - user base. So you need to know:
- What is the registration rate for your service? Registrations / Visitors per day
- How much does it cost per acquired registration? CPA (Cost per Acquisition)
- How much does it cost per returning loyal user? CPLU (Cost per Loyal User)

And if you want to know how best to target your advertising you need to measure this whole-process 'funnel' (Impressions/day, CPM, CTR, CPC, Registration Rate, CPA, CPLU) in terms of - ie broken down by - the advert wording, presentation method (banner or text or in-game insert…), timing (Sat, Sun or weekday…), publication channel (portals, communities, search, games, downloads, adult...), target country, target manufacturer / device / platform, visitor demographics, and so on …

No mobile advertising agent gives you enough information to work this stuff out. So you need to be clever in how you set up your advertising campaigns with these companies. Try out different combinations of ad wording, country / channel / device targeting and track the results. Find ways to link server visit stats to the agencies’ click stats and give them a hard time when the figures don’t stack up.

And really make sure that server-side you’re doing your best to track the source and behaviour of your visitors, registrations and returning users. It will pay off in the long term.

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