The Full Value of Mobile – Mobile Justified?

Enhanced Campaigns have magnified the impact of mobile on paid search. Advertisers are seriously evaluating how profitable mobile searches are to their industry. Those who once opted out of targeting mobile devices must now decide what percent (if any) of their budget to allocate to mobile searches. Some may even opt out completely because mobile doesn’t convert well for them.

“Mobile doesn’t have a conversion problem, it has a measurement problem,” according to Jason Spero, Google head of mobile strategy. Perhaps it’s a valid point, but several other studies have shown that tablet shoppers heavily fuel mobile commerce.

Within Enhanced Campaigns, Google is defining ‘mobile’ as ‘mobile devices with a full browser’ (as opposed to tablets or desktops). Currently, there is no way to isolate ad text, extensions or bid adjustments towards tablet shoppers who make up as much as 75% of m-commerce conversions based on a survey by SeeWhy. A second study by Telmetrics and xAd show as much as 46% of searchers use their mobile device to research only.

Enhanced campaigns have several mobile targeted controls that give retailers flexibility in reaching mobile searchers. With mobile bid adjustments, retailers can control their cost on mobile. Mobile device preference can be applied to ad text and certain extensions to control relevant mobile calls-to-action. But beyond that, retailers must decide how much mobile searchers are worth to them.

In an effort to reshape the way retailers think about mobile ad effectiveness, Google has launched a new tool that tells you how well your mobile ads are working. The “Full Value of Mobile” is a suite of tools that assess mobile search ad effectiveness in terms of key performance indicators – cost per acquisition and overall dollar value across 5 consumer action categories: phone conversions, app downloads, mobile website visits, or in-store shopping.

The tool attempts to calculate values across different consumer action categories based on data input by the user. This is a step in the right direction for mobile attribution. With plans to better integrate this calculator with AdWords in the future, Google admits they are all still learning.

There is no doubt that searchers are more mobile than ever before. The mobile value calculator is perhaps a stretch to justify the forced inclusion of mobile, but if retailers want to remain relevant in their paid search efforts, then adapting to the new Enhanced Campaigns is necessary.