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Trendspotting: Brands to optimize mobile affiliate tracking to lure customers

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Trendspotting: Brands to optimize mobile affiliate tracking to lure customers

While targeting customers over multiple channels, brands need to have a complete picture of their customer. They need to know what the consumer is looking for, and how much he/she is willing to pay for the service. Many retailers are now trying to take a single customer view, ensuring that the pieces of their marketing campaign are working more efficiently together.

Mobile phone usage has continued to escalate, with 2014 seeing mobile devices and tablets overtaking desktop computers as the preferred means of browsing on publisher and retailer websites. While the browsing experience is now largely optimized for mobile devices, the same cannot be said for tracking of performance campaigns on mobile devices.

Bridging the gap

Mobile has changed the game by bridging the digital and offline worlds, creating diversity in the way people search. Mobile users have complex, multi-channel paths to purchase that might result in a variety of outcomes; according to a Google study, 73 per cent of mobile searches result in an additional action, like a phone call, store visit or purchase. Because of this diversity, 89 per cent of local mobiles search conversions occur offline, according to a study by comScore, Neustar and 15 miles.

Conversion rates on mobile phones are significantly lower, many mobile browsers do not support cookies, and affiliate tracking technology is still playing catch-up on mobile devices. Next year, we can expect to see retailers work continuously to improve conversion tracking and affiliate payouts in order to satisfy the demands of their increasingly mobile publishers.

These stats clearly state that mobile search tracking matters to marketers. Strategizing about how to track the outcomes of mobile search across online and offline channels is one of the best things business can do in the coming year.

Expert Speak

According to Leroy Alvares, President, Rediffusion Digital, smartphones and other handheld devices are as personal as they are common. Two people with the same kind of smartphone use it very differently, and one media plan may not suit all. With apps poised to outnumber websites, and newer affiliates popping up every day, mobile media can be a nightmare to the uninformed, and yet a powerful tool to brands that have a dynamic mobile media approach.

“Brands will have to look onto the mobile affiliate much more than they did last year, however, it will take much more time for them to get efficient in tracking and understanding the consumer,” said Suresh Eriyat, Founder and Creative Director, Eeksaurus.

“In a country like India, one cannot estimate how much infiltration would be possible as brands would have to interpret data in terms of sales and impact as well. In addition, they will have to understand and utilize the right tool of communication to create a connection with their audience. The ball can be set rolling now, however, I don’t think we can get too far in terms of programmatic targeting of content this year. There is a need for catalysts who can take upon this task and recommend the break-up of niche target audiences to media houses, however, there are no such entities yet,” he pointed out.

According to Shikher Gupta, Head of Marketing, Videocon, mobile as a platform is evolving fast and thus it takes lot of trials to have a perfect environment for affiliate tracking. “Even the leading e-commerce companies in India started mobile affiliate tracking on apps towards the fag end of 2014. Brands will have to keep optimising capabilities and have a platform independent tool for the same,” he said.

With such predictions in mind, 2015 looks like a year in which the online advertising technology market will focus on enterprise and customer data integrations to enrich media buying in order to match the right offer, with the right end user, against the right price.

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