"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Hilit Mioduser Ames, vice president of growth, reengagement, at YouAppi.
The great benefit of digital marketing is that we can measure everything, or so the experts said in the 1990s. And at a time when banner ads generated 20% click-through rates, that was both promising and exciting.
Today in our mobile-centric world, we now understand that measuring and attributing each customer touch point to a KPI is challenging.
When trying to integrate mobile attribution data into the marketing organization’s CRM system, marketers face many obstacles. First, mobile marketing is younger than desktop and other device channels, so there has been less time and resources invested in creating a seamless integration.
Second, the leading CRM vendors, most notably Salesforce, Oracle and Hubspot, have not acquired a mobile attribution vendor. With leading attribution vendor AppsFlyer having raised $83.1 million and Adjust raising $255.9 million, including a $227 million round in June, an acquisition wouldn’t be cheap. And most significantly, integrating attribution data properly to account for the full funnel, including app retargeting and reengagement, is difficult.
But with mobile growing in importance for all marketers, even becoming the leading channel for many, it’s necessary to improve the integration of mobile attribution data into CRM systems.
There is also a second mobile-specific challenge when accounting for attribution in the customer journey: combining user acquisition data and retention-focused data from app retargeting (reaching users who installed an app but didn’t make a purchase) and reengagement (targeting formerly active users who have become dormant).
In mobile marketing, attribution has historically focused on user acquisition. But today, only 6% of apps retain their users after 30 days, according to data from Adjust, and most users already have smartphones with apps they want. It’s therefore critical to include app retargeting and reengagement with user acquisition data as two parts of the same user journey, and not as separate actions and efforts within the overall marketing strategy.
It’s also important to align user acquisition and retention solutions with each marketer’s attribution and KPI evaluation. Consequently, all marketing actions should have the same windows for attribution, view-through and inactivity to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison.
Once compiling both UA and retargeting and reengagement attribution data, it’s important to integrate it with the marketer’s predictive modeling to gain the most value.
To ensure that predictive models are performing, they should incorporate a control group that is not exposed to marketing messages and at least one test group that is exposed to the marketing tactics. Comparing the results from the control and test group data can help determine which marketing actions to pursue. Unfortunately, much of this must be done manually today.
To start bridging the gap between attribution and CRM in mobile marketing, we need to work with a reporting API like Singular’s and ensure that audience creation and measurement are aligned with full-funnel KPIs. The industry also needs to work together to ensure that we’re developing robust tools that can fairly attribute mobile marketing actions as part of the customer journey.