Digital Ad Benchmarks Reveal Mobile Conversion Attribution as Sticking Point for Advertisers

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It’s no secret that mobile has been steadily overtaking desktop as the premiere channel for paid search. In fact, this year local mobile search will outpace desktop searches for the first time ever (eMarketer). In order to truly wield the awesome power that mobile advertising has to offer, an understanding of consumer actions and behavior is absolutely necessary. A recent report on Q4 2014 online advertising by Marin Software helps to shine some light on how mobile advertising stacks up to desktop.. The report was based on data from over $6 billion worth of spend on the Marin platform, mostly from enterprise class marketers.

Mobile was the king of the click-through rate for the last quarter of 2014. Across search, social, and display, smartphones dominated the arena. Year-over-year, desktops have lost 6.3% of click share, and the majority of that share has gone to smartphones, which grew 4.8%. Consumer engagement is increasingly shifting towards smartphone and away from desktop. The incredible click-through rate of mobile search emphasizes the biggest growth area for mobile advertising.

Conversion Rates


While click-through rate for mobile has outpaced that of desktop and tablets, smartphones are still behind in conversion rates. Consumers are still more willing to take actions like making a purchase or filling out a form while on their desktop computers, mostly because these online conversions aren’t always easy on a smartphone. Smartphone usage behavior skews towards browsing, research, or looking for a specific product. This type of activity often leads to conversions, just not always typical online conversions. The Marin report states that “attribution on mobile devices remains much more difficult for marketers to quantify and track, and thus, has remained a challenge for many.” All too often, marketers solely track mobile with online conversions, missing a huge part of the puzzle. For mobile advertising, online conversions cannot capture an extraordinarily impactful conversion: phone calls.

Tracking Call Conversions from Mobile Advertising


Solely tracking online conversions for mobile advertising leaves a lot to be desired in the data. It will never be as easy for consumers to convert online while on a smartphone as it is on a desktop. However, smartphone advertising leads to a much more impactful type of conversion: making a phone call. Calling a business signals much higher purchase intent, making phone calls the golden conversion path. The ability to track phone calls as conversions from your online advertising can fill the void that is mobile conversion attribution. By combining a call tracking solution with a bid management solution like Marin Software, Kenshoo, Acquisio, or DoubleClick, you can gain insight into which ads, which channels, and which devices are truly driving the most conversions for your business.

Interested in learning more about how call tracking can take your mobile advertising to the next level? Check out our eBook, The Marketer’s Guide to Call Tracking for Local Search.

This article was written by Andrew Sheridan from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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