Google seeks to drum up mobile ad sales with new 'Full Value of Mobile' calculation tool

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) today released a new tool the company said will help marketers better understand how their mobile ads can affect overall sales. Google's new "Full Value of Mobile" initiative is geared toward educating advertisers on exactly what they can expect to earn when they spend money on mobile advertisements and is part of a wider effort inside of Google to speed the development of its mobile advertising business.

"The Full Value of Mobile Calculator provides simple equations and benchmarks to help you estimate the value that mobile drives for your business through calls, apps, in-store, mobile site and cross-device," Google noted in a blog post announcing the new tool. "In about 30 minutes, you can follow the step-by-step wizard to upload data from AdWords and your mobile website, and make some key assumptions to create your Full Value of Mobile estimate. Through the exercise, you'll see the total value, value per click and ROI that mobile is driving for your business across all mobile customer paths, not just your mobile website. You'll also see how cost-effective your mobile CPAs are."

Google said shoe company adidas used the calculations to discover that each click on their mobile store locator button was worth $3.20.

In response to questions from FierceMobileContent, Google's Kyle Keogh said that the company has found that nearly three of 10 mobile searches directly result in a "conversion" such as visiting a store, calling a store or making a purchase on a website. He also said that Google's click to call has been one of the company's most successful mobile products with more than 27 million calls a month across all of Google's call products. 

"Most marketers understand from their own experience that mobile drives value in ways beyond their mobile website, but because measurement tools haven't fully caught up yet, it's been difficult to measure that full value across purchase paths," said Keogh, Google's industry director for technology, in explaining the reasons behind Google's launch of its new "Full Value of Mobile" tool. "Mobile doesn't have a conversion problem; it has a measurement problem."

Keogh said Google's calculation tool uses a mix of AdWords information and advertisers' own data about visits to their store and sales. Though Keogh noted the calculator "isn't perfect science," he said it will be able to provide information on five different mobile purchase paths: calls to a business, visits to a store, action taken on a mobile app (if an advertiser has one), how many people visit a website and whether those visits are taking place across devices. Keogh said the tool won't measure in-app ads.

The tool is notable since Google is working to pump up the mobile side of its advertising business. Google's mobile cost-per-click has been falling during the past year, though Google managed to slow that decline in its fourth quarter. Analysts have blamed the plunge on the shift to mobile, where ad rates still lag behind the desktop.

Indeed, the improvement in Google's mobile cost-per-click in the fourth quarter was welcome news to investors. "We come out of the fourth quarter feeling better about Google's mobile transition and segment growth rate going forward," J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a note to clients shortly after the release of Google's fourth quarter results in January. "As the business continues to shift toward mobile and advertisers think holistically about clicks rather than about which devices they're coming from... the Street will as well."

Google's new "Full Value of Mobile" initiative is a further effort by the company to encourage companies to purchase its mobile ad inventory and raise mobile ad prices. But the tool isn't Google's only strategy. The company also recently overhauled its AdWords platform to reach consumers across all device screens, a move advertising industry executives said will increase the company's mobile ad revenues and assuage concerns that the shift from the desktop to smartphones and tablets is damaging its bottom line.

For more:
- see this Google post
- see this Google site

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