Mobile Marketers Need Cross-Device Attribution To Expose True Marketing ROI

By John Koetsier January 23, 2021

If marketers want accurate results of their mobile marketing campaigns, they need to understand the impact of their campaigns across devices and platforms. Without cross-device attribution to generate true return on ad spend (ROAS) and marketing ROI, marketers simply cannot really know whether they’re doing well or not.

Worse, without a cross-device attribution solution, marketers might erroneously think that one ad campaign is better than another. And that means that companies risk both investing in the wrong channels and campaigns and divesting from the right ones prematurely. That’s literally a worst-case scenario.

As an example, take a look at these two campaigns:

As a mobile app marketer, if you measured the performance of your mobile marketing campaigns only against user behavior in-app, Campaign 2 would appear to be driving higher marketing ROI. In fact, it’d be a no-brainer, and you’d immediately redirectly more ad spend to that channel and media partner.

But, of course, you’d be making a fatal mistake.

In reality when you see the bigger picture of both mobile and web activity taken into account, Campaign 1 returns 2X ROAS compared to 1.5X ROAS and is the much better marketing investment.

The reality is that all too often such crucial data points go unnoticed by companies that either can’t or don’t integrate cross-device data into their marketing analytics ROAS and ROI calculations. Without cross-device — or cross-channel on the same device — insights, marketers just don’t have the tools to accurately evaluate, measure, and optimize performance across marketing channels.

The result is that mobile marketers waste ad spend, lose insights, and worst of all, cost their companies conversions and sales … because they’re turning off channels and partners that are actually working.

Simultaneously, in some cases, marketers are also frustrating users with disjointed cross-device experiences.

The reality is that the cross-device challenge is only becoming more urgent. In the post-COVID world, we are living with a multitude of devices, constantly switching from smartphone to tablet to computer throughout the day in our home offices. People are already using more devices than ever — owning about four on average — and typical conversion paths can wind their way through all of them.

The problem?

Less than a third of marketers use mobile data to identify users across devices. As a result, when consumers engage with a brand across devices, user profiles become fragmented and marketers lose their ability to construct a full view of the buyer journey in order to understand the channels and campaigns driving their highest return.

(And, by the way, there are privacy-safe ways of doing this, using only first-party data.)

Fortunately, a single view of each customer can be created by deterministically matching an organization’s first-party data across all devices and tying it back to each individual customer. This single-view approach can then be leveraged to optimize marketing more effectively. In fact, one study showed that marketers who are able to optimize campaigns based on cross-device attribution insights can reduce Cost Per Action (CPA) by 30-50% and increase mobile app ROI by 50-100%.

Plus, the benefits of optimizing campaigns based on cross-device insights extend beyond ROI measurement and ad spend decisions. Where possible, marketers can automate retargeting campaigns using cross-device information to optimize their messaging — for instance, using desktop creatives that reflect a user’s browsing behavior in-app.

I mentioned it already, but it’s worth reiterating: marketers who leverage cross-device analytics to optimize their marketing return should always do so in a privacy-safe way. Cross-device data can be used to draw sensitive inferences from users and, if not handled securely, can lead to unexpected and unwelcome use of user data. One of the biggest challenges marketers face in generating cross-device insights to optimize their marketing channels is protecting user privacy.

That’s why Singular can enable marketers to integrate cross-device attribution without an SDK by securely passing an identifier during the attribution process via a server-to-server integration. That helps marketers get a full view of their users, using every touchpoint in the conversion path to spot patterns, measure the true performance of their campaigns and, ultimately, hit their marketing goals.

And, it ensures that marketers don’t have to invade customer privacy with third-party data or invasive data-collecting SDKs.

Interested in cross-device measurement?

Request a demo of the Singular solution here.


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