Click-Throughs Useless? Research Says CTRs are Poor Mobile Metric

Click-Throughs Useless Research Says CTRs are Poor Mobile MetricMarketers who want to gauge the true effectiveness of their mobile advertising efforts should move beyond clickthrough rates (CTRs) and “start exploring cross-channel behaviors instead,” according to a recent study.

Several researchers from marketing tech and targeting firm Dstillery have outlined their findings in “Cross-channel Measurement and Optimization,” a paper forming part of the Advertising Research Foundation’s Experiential Learning series of articles.

In a post at Warc, it was noted that the study showed “using clickthroughs to establish the performance of mobile ads, they warn, is little more than a fallacy.”

The researchers are convinced that the idea that clickthroughs offer an insight into brand affinity is “not very likely” to hold true in practice.

The researchers analyzed data covering two weeks of mobile ad impressions for hundreds of brands. That illustrated that “the inventory concerned was a stronger factor at work than brand creative in terms of driving clicks.”

“When taking a qualitative look at some of the inventory, we find that many of the most clicked on mobile apps are flashlights and games that appeal to children,” the authors added. “This begs the question on whether or not many mobile clicks are intentional, and whether or not the clickers are even adults.”

Monitoring app and desktop usage, their analysis suggested, is a more robust way of starting to segment the mobile audience in order to identify those individuals who are positively engaging with brands.

“Prioritizing a category of apps – like weather or navigation – in this way effectively becomes a form of behavioral targeting, and offers a stronger indicator of brand preference than a “proxy” like clickthrough rates, the researchers believe,” the story concluded.