03/27/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is It Possible to Track ROI in the Mobile Marketing Space?

We've all heard about "the year of mobile" and speculation that it was last year ... or maybe this year ... or maybe next year. We've also heard from skeptics of mobile marketing about the channel's lack of metrics that show true successes in mobile marketing campaigns. Everyone is asking, "Where is the ROI?"

This is obviously a very important question. As many companies scramble to integrate mobile marketing technology into their media mix sans metrics, executives will likely begin calling marketers to the carpet and asking for success metrics.

While 2ergo and many others already have in place various mobile website analytics tools, what's been missing is tracking click-throughs from SMS messages to those mobile websites. Previously, marketers could send out SMS messages and report on the number delivered. But then what? If you're including a link to a mobile website, how do you know if the recipient clicks on it?

It is also important to distinguish where mobile site visitors are coming from. Are they coming from another mobile website, mobile search, direct URL type-in or from an SMS messaging campaign? Especially in large organizations where multiple mobile campaigns are going on concurrently, it's critical for marketers to be able to track and analyze how all channels are performing relative to each other.

This year we will likely see a new wave of tracking mechanisms, similar to the one that 2ergo recently launched, that are (1) specifically formulated for the mobile channel, (2) easily implemented using self-service administration tools, and (3) tracking individual users throughout their visit to a mobile website. These technologies will give marketers a sense of where users are coming from and going to as they make their way from a text message to a mobile website to the call to action on that mobile site.

Based on what we've heard from our clients and other marketers looking for this type of solution, mobile solutions with these tracking features will give marketers the tools to answer the question, "What's my ROI?" Well, at this week's Direct Marketing Association conference in San Diego, we can answer "I know exactly what it will be!"

Chris Brassington
CEO at Starfish Consultants