Post by Kevin Fishner
Stop over-thinking mobile traffic. Yes, it’s new. No, it’s not completely different from the user acquisition you do across AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, display, etc. Mobile is still a conversation with the same people you’re reaching on web. Think of it as user acquisition on mobile and not mobile user acquisition. As marketers, we talk about user acquisition on Facebook, user acquisition on Twitter, but rarely Facebook-user acquisition or Twitter-user acquisition. It sounds silly – why would you want to acquire only Facebook users? Why would you want to acquire only mobile users? User acquisition is user acquisition — the same rule applies across all traffic sources.
The one rule is simple — let the data do the talking. A successful acquisition campaign is a campaign where the revenue generated from the user acquisitions is greater than the cost of the user acquisitions. So measure the success or failure of user acquisition on mobile the same way you would user acquisition on web. Although the success metrics are the same, one key difference between mobile and web is that competition on mobile isn’t as fierce. As marketers continue to delay testing mobile traffic, waiting for an app to launch or website to optimize, it keeps prices low.
Mobile usage is rapidly increasing. American’s spend 19.4% of their time with media on mobile. Web accounts for 19.2%. Though Americans spend more leisure time on mobile than web, brands will spend an estimated $16.6B on mobile advertising compared to $101.0B on web advertising in 2013. Roughly equal traffic, but only 16% of the advertising spend.
The discrepancy between time spent on mobile and ad spend greatly reduces the cost of mobile traffic. When supply (users) is greater than demand (ad spend), prices drop. Average effective CPMs on desktop were $3.50 compared to $0.75 on mobile in 2012.
As prices remain low, it’s a golden opportunity to test mobile traffic. Don’t worry about building the perfect mobile-optimized site, or the most beautiful mobile app, just jump in. You can only optimize experiences if you have one to begin with!