For novice mobile marketers, one of the most common impediments to success is learning how to navigate an exceedingly complex ecosystem. The industry’s relative immaturity has created a fragmented landscape, forcing marketers to patch together disparate tools and services: data providers, DMPs, traffic channels, network aggregators, optimisation, retargeting, analytics tools, and tracking and attribution providers, hoping that they all click and lead to a reasonably successful campaign. As you might imagine, with so many moving parts, it’s a daunting task—and one in which a mistake or two is bound to happen.
These mistakes generally fall in one of two categories. Either marketers do their best managing the myriad components, resulting in overly complicated campaigns rife with inefficient spend and ineffective targeting, or they throw their hands up at the idea of overseeing so many different budgets, creatives, and tracking and reporting options and simply wind up using too few tools to see significant marketing impact. Regardless of the path chosen, it all leads to the same point—subpar ROI.
Let’s examine why
First, let’s start with the traffic channel problem: there’s too many of them. Like we said earlier, you have two options to attack this. You can either advertise across the lot of them, or you can take your best shot at picking the ones that work. For now, let’s assume you choose the later, as there isn't enough time in the week to try everything.
In a nutshell, there are five main types of traffic channels:
- Mobile ad networks.
- Social media platforms.
- Real-time bidding exchanges.
- Incentive-based networks or app discovery services.
- Video ad networks.
Each contains multiple players that offer various degrees of effectiveness, depending on your product and marketing goals. Facebook might prove effective for marketing one specific game, whereas a video network might prove the best traffic source for another game from the same publisher. Or it can be more granular than that: for a particular brand app, Facebook might prove ineffective, but Twitter could bring the best results.
The problem is, there’s no way of knowing what combinations will work, so choosing just a few means that your chances of picking the right combination are virtually non-existent. Yes, you could have some success, but it won’t be optimal. And that’s making the assumption that you track and optimise effectively.
But let’s say you recognise that pitfall and choose to advertise across all five types of traffic channels, choosing a couple of likely candidates from each. Suddenly, you have a whole pile of networks to track. That might not seem daunting on the surface, but when you consider how frequently the effectiveness of individual channels changes, and when you realise you may need multiple tracking partners to manage it all—as one might only track on social while another specialises in video—it’s soon apparent that compiling all this information from different sources is cumbersome at best and impossible at worst.
Making the best decisions on how to optimise your spend depends on data from all your traffic channels and tracking providers. But the time it takes to compile data from multiple sources, normalise it, analyse it, and then make changes to your campaigns limits your effectiveness and ability to respond to factors like channel saturation, which can sometimes happen within hours.
Take, for instance, the case of one Fiksu client. They began their campaign advertising on many different ad networks across three main types of traffic channels—social, RTB, and incent. Using Fiksu’s tracking and attribution, they realised that social drove the highest number of loyal users at the lowest cost and pivoted their campaign spend accordingly, resulting in CPIs 27% lower and install volumes 40% higher than their initial goals. This shift away from RTB and incent and towards social wouldn’t have been possible without a cohesive, programmatic platform.
To sum it up, each individual component necessary to a complete mobile marketing campaign introduces its own unique pain point, inviting mobile marketers to make mistakes that ultimately harm ROI.
Working with an outside expert that consolidates that various components necessary to effective mobile marketing can help marketers avoid errors. These experts can help marketers identify the most efficient traffic sources, track and optimise, target precise audiences, strengthen brand recognition, and drive more loyal users and customers—all without the headache of doing it on your own.