As consumers increasingly adopt mobile search and advertisers optimize Product Listing Ads (PLAs) for delivery on mobile devices, it should surprise no one that the two are converging to drive more clicks (and more revenue) to Google. According to an article in eMarketer, tablets and smartphones grew from 7.8% of PLA clicks in Q1 2013 to 24.3% in Q4. The $1.58 CPC in Q4 was up from the Q1 CPC of $1.18. Although it was $0.06 less than Q3’s $1.64.
So, you’re a digital advertiser and like all advertisers you want to know what your ads are really worth. Not just the someone-clicked-and-bought value, which anyone can calculate, but cross-channel value that can only be measured by finding the impact of an ad in one channel on conversions in another. That, my friends is a harder nut to crack, but it is crackable. Just not in the way most are trying to do it; attribution.
In an article published in The MakeGood, OptiMine CEO Jim Moar shows why attribution is an abject failure at measuring ad value and why the new schemes by Google (AdID), Facebook and Microsoft also can’t deliver. The core of the problem can be summed up in just a few words, “some of the people some of the time.” Regardless of how they’re tracking people across the Web—cookies or one of the new “cookie replacements”—advertisers will never be able to track everybody everywhere [emphasis added]:
If you happen to have an extra $4 million just sitting in your marketing budget—and who doesn’t? —you could drop it on a 30-second spot during TV advertising’s Holy Grail: the Super Bowl. Admit it, if you could, you would. But, most of us don’t have that kind of cash and, for the money we do have, the boss is adamant that we account for the return on any media investment we do make.
Last year Communicus set out to measure the value of ads aired during the 2013 Super Bowl. As we approach this year’s big game, I think it’s worth looking at the results and what’s missing from the equation.