Study: Many Brands May Be Overestimating Their Digital Reach

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New research by global marketing data specialists Datalicious in conjunction with Facebook Australia has revealed a huge rise in the importance of mobile browsing for online shopping, as well as a need for new tools to understand consumers’ behaviour online.

Gabriella Hooper
Posted by Gabriella Hooper

The study, titled The Cookie Crumbles, used anonymised data collected through Atlas tracking tags that measured usage across devices, browsers and apps. The data included media consumption as well as online behavioural data, including any conversions.

According to the study, mobile directly impacts 52 per cent of conversions – a rate 1.8 times greater than previously thought. Datalicious estimates that smarter marketing could allow businesses to deliver the same number of sales while saving between 10 to 30 per cent of their advertising budget, while also providing a better user experience for the customer.

The study analysed over 1.2 million conversions and 87 million purchase paths, and revealed big gaps in data currently being used for measurement. The data revealed that the average person used three cookies, meaning many companies may therefore be overestimating their digital reach by this proportion.

Key findings from the study:

  • Each participant had on average three distinct cookies on their path to conversion, indicating three different devices or browser combinations.
  • On average, there were 22 paid touch points prior to a conversion.
  • Cookie-only measurement missed 38 per cent of unique touch points per person.
  • 72.5 per cent) of all the missing touch points happened on a mobile device.
  • Close to 40 per cent of all touch points in the journey to conversion are lost through cookie-only tracking.
  • 45 per cent of all customer journeys had exposure to advertisements that were across two or more devices.
  • In a cookie-only approach, only 29 per cent of conversions are attributed to mobile devices, compared to 52 per cent attributed to mobile devices in the people-based measurement. That’s on average a 1.8 times increase in credit given to mobile.
  • Mobile was the best platform for creating consumer awareness, whilst desktop computers provided the most effective way to close the customer journey.