ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Mobile CPM measurement standards are essential

By Gary Schwartz

Half-watching a TLC documentary on mathematics (do not ask why), it struck me that 17th-century math and present-day media planning have a lot in common. 

The story goes that Rene Descartes had a vision in a dream that he could build 3D shapes using math formulas. I understand that this was a huge revelation because until then each math discipline was siloed. Descartes realization was that ?all sciences are linked together and that it is easier to learn them all as one than to isolate them from each other.?

When it comes to advertising we seem to be asleep on a canal in 17th century Europe.

There is no question that push media metrics such as cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand (CPM) are valuable measurement tools. But mobile measurement can accurately tackle ?place? of engagement, ?quality? of engagement, ?duration? of engagement, and the Holy Grail of ?conversion? to high ROI destinations. 

Additionally, if mobile is bought correctly, it can add these metrics to other siloed media verticals.

Starting at the CPM
To begin, we have to measure a mobile impression and to do this we have to answer basic questions. What is a mobile impression? Is this measured client-side or server-side? Do we account for the constraints on the existing mobile browser or push for online measurement standards?

Whatever the industry decides we unquestionably need uniform measurement standards. It is essential that the mobile CPM is given the credibly of its mature cousin, the online CPM.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), with the help of the Media Rating Council (MRC), will make this happen. 

The key trade groups are huddled in joint taskforce, holding regular conference calls working out a model to extend online measurement codes to mobile.

When it hits the street sometime next year, buyers will be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief that a click is a click is a click and display and messaging impressions will have an auditable guideline.

The online digital budget will be extended to mobile and money will flow more freely into this emerging buy.

Unquestionably, this is what the market needs: mobile metrics to become part of the planning process. Brands will not simply launch a mobile campaign and figure out how to measure it later. They will plan metrics based on campaign goals.

Indeed, this is exactly what new-generation mobile advertising networks require and, in due, course dollars will flow and CPMs rates will rise.  

Then what?
Traditional media planners have started to acknowledge that their push media is not as effective as billed because it is either not hitting the consumer or it does not have the authenticity of social media to reinforce positive recall. Brands are looking to Dynamic Logic, comScore to validate the spend.

Just as Descartes used algebra to solve geometry, mobile solutions can be used to solve existing problems in out-of-home and retail marketing.

We need to seek benchmarks or norms that are appropriate and relevant to the industry or specific type of campaign, relevant to the mobile consumer?s behavior and relevant to the medium.

Sometime next year, I would expect that we move mobile measurement standards further, beyond online clicks to a world unique to this medium.

As mobile specialist Chetan Sharma accurately advocates, mobile can provide measurement to a wide array of consumer behavior, way beyond the impression. I paraphrase:

1. Mobile delivers the right message to the right consumer

2. Mobile delivers contextual, targeting messaging (location, carrier profile, self selection)

3. Mobile measures the quality and duration of engagement

4. Mobile connects the dots helping with customer conversion to last-mile ROI destinations such as point of sale

Mr. Sharma says, ?Ad networks that are positioned to provide measurements and solution offerings on the above metrics will be able to rise above the noise and offer more compelling value propositions over the long term.?

Standards have to take into account mobile?s unique advertising metrics and its ability to be a ?mobile? consumer measurement.

To track this movement we need to measure more than the impression. As Descartes dreamed, algebra must be used to solve geometry.

Gary Schwartz is president/CEO of Impact Mobile Inc., Toronto and New York. Reach him at .