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UK marketers 'unsure' of mobile ROI

News, 21 December 2015

LONDON: Almost three-quarters (65%) of senior marketers in the UK have said they find it "quite hard" to show a clear return on investment from their mobile adspend, according to a recent report.

When mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks and research firm Censuswide polled 100 senior UK marketers with more than 11 years' industry experience, it found 40% of them were "not comfortable" using mobile as an advertising channel.

As reported by Marketing Week, this was a view shared by about half (51%) of marketers with less than five years' experience, although 41% of these younger marketers said it was "extremely easy" to show ROI on mobile adspend.

And in a further sign that attitudes to mobile are not necessarily generational, the survey found that marketers with less than five years' experience invest less (29%) of their adspend in mobile than colleagues with six to ten years' experience (34%).

However, senior marketers with more than 11 years' experience invest just 11% of their campaign budget on mobile – perhaps reflecting their unease with the format.

"It is telling that 65% of those who have more than 11 years' experience find it 'quite hard' to show ROI but 41% of those with less than five years' experience found it 'extremely easy'," said Ilicco Elia, head of mobile at DigitasLBI, the marketing and technology agency.

"If we equate experience with age, does this prove that being a digital native marketer impacts on campaigns?" he asked.

"As with all new technology, the biggest challenge is never the technology, it's the lack of incentives and the vested interests standing in its way," he added.

Meanwhile, Julie Roberts, digital planning director at J. Walter Thompson, concluded that brands and agencies must improve their understanding of mobile if they hope to prove ROI from the channel.

"Confusion comes from the fact that mobile advertising covers so many formats, which are all evolving at different rates," she said.

"To gain confidence, marketers need to become more familiar with the formats, to test and learn. And as an industry we have a very important part to play in all of this, including improving ROI measurements."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff