Do you want to learn as much as you possibly can about mobile marketing and mobile advertising?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. I wrote extensively about mobile in my Amazon best-selling book, Go Mobile. In addition, 60 Second Communications (the agency behind the 60 Second Marketer) runs mobile campaigns for several global corporations as well as several small- to mid-sized businesses.

Long story short, we know mobile.

Which is why we were so excited to dive into an excellent new mobile advertising study released by xAd, a mobile location ad platform that focuses on driving in-store traffic and sales.

What follows are some insights from the study that I wanted to pass along to you.

Understanding Click-Through Rates, Secondary Action Rates, Store Visitation Lift and Same Store Sales Increases.

60 Second Communications is in the early stages of launching a mobile advertising campaign for a retailer based in a major metropolitan area on the East Coast. We’re excited about the prospects because we’re using rich media to enhance the user experience, which should drive some excellent foot traffic to their retail locations.

Here’s an example of what a rich media experience might be like for someone who clicks on a rich media mobile display ad:

If you were running the mobile display ad campaign above, there would be three important metrics you’d want to measure. Here’s what they are:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is one of the easiest metrics to measure in mobile, but it can also be misleading. The CTR for a desktop ad campaign is usually around 0.05% to 0.1%, which means that 1 out of every 1,000 to 1 out of every 2,000 people who see your desktop display ad will actually click on it. (Yes, the number is that low.) With mobile, the results are typically much better, ranging from 0.5% to 0.8% — almost 10 times better than desktop. But wait! A study by GoldSpot Media reported that nearly 50% of the clicks on mobile banner ads may be accidental clicks. So even though the CTR on mobile banner ads is much higher, the accidental click-through rate reduces the reliability of using CTR as a key metric. Which brings us to Secondary Action Rate.
  • Secondary Action Rate (SAR): The SAR is a better indicator of purchase intent. As an example, if 10 people click on a mobile ad, and 5 of them take a secondary action such as scrolling through the product images (as in the example above) or clicking a map for directions, then those 5 people can be considered much more likely candidates for a final sale. If you only have two metrics — CTR and SAR — then we’d recommend focusing most of your attention on SAR, since that’s a much better indicator of intent to purchase. Of course, there are two other important indicators we’d encourage you to analyze the next time you’re running a mobile ad campaign. (Speaking of which, if you need help with your mobile ad campaign, send me an email — we’re all over this stuff.)
  • Store Visitation Lift (SVL): Store Visitation Lift is one of the best indicators of purchase intent since it measures a real intent to purchase. Of course, in order to get a good read on your data, you’ll need to compare store visits this year to same-store visits from the exact same period the year before. And don’t forget — even if you see an increase in SLV, there can be other factors that drive same-store visits (such as better weather and an improving economy). Also, don’t forget that SVL doesn’t track e-commerce sales. But overall, SVL is an important metric when it comes to measuring the success of your mobile ad campaign. Which leads us to the most important metric, which is same store sales increases.
  • Same Store Sales Increases (SSSI): In the end, the success of any campaign comes down to same store sales increases. You can measure this by taking the store sales from each of your locations during your mobile ad campaign and comparing them to the same store sales from the year before. If the only change in your marketing was the mobile campaign and you see a lift in sales, you’re golden, assuming the lift in sales more than paid for the mobile ad campaign.

Action Steps for You:

Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re measuring all the right things in your next mobile display ad campaign.

  1. Use Your Best Offer: When we run mobile tests for our clients, we always like to use the client’s very best offer. Is that a 25% off coupon? A free car wash? Or a Starbucks gift card? You want to give your campaign every opportunity for success, so use the best offer available to you.
  2. Establish Your Key Peformance Indicators: As mentioned in the post above, CTR is okay for directional information about your campaign, but it shouldn’t be used as a definitive metric. Use SAR, SVL and, most importantly, SSSI for those metrics.
  3. Track Results Past the End of Your Campaign: If we’re running a 4 week mobile display promotion for one of our clients, we want to track results for the 4 weeks of the campaign plus a few weeks after the campaign. After all, there’s residual value to a mobile campaign that hangs around after the campaign ends, so don’t cut off your metrics right away — keep tracking them for a few weeks after the campaign finishes. That should give you a more accurate read on the success of the campaign.

I hope all this is of some value to you. We’re doing some amazing things on the mobile advertising front and we’ll continue to share our findings as we track the results of our campaigns.
Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.