Facebook mobile ad attribution discrepancies compared to third-party trackers found to be huge for some marketers

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising

October 31, 2016

Conversion discrepancies among Facebook mobile campaigns are costing some marketers over 192% in attributable revenue and return on ad spend (ROAS). That’s according to a new report from tech firm Rakuten Marketing, which examined client campaign performance across Facebook ads on mobile compared to desktop over a month-long period to track conversion performance. It highlights that whilst the discrepancy in conversion tracking on mobile is huge, it’s only an average 3% for desktops.
These discrepancies aren’t exactly small and could be meaningful for some clients. According to one client in the study, Rakuten Marketing estimates that attributable revenue from Facebook could be $4.7m annually compared to $1.9m reported through third-party analytics.
Mobile Facebook ad analytics discrepancy
Source: marketing.rakuten.com
Overall, mobile performs significantly higher than desktop. Among Facebook’s billion-heavy userbase, over half access the platform exclusively from mobile devices. It now has 1.57bn mobile users and 1.03bn of them are accessing Facebook on a daily basis.
Mobile campaigns on Facebook do perform better than desktop ads at an average 63% higher click-through rate. Conversion rate however was found to be 33% lower. That said, cost-per-click for mobile tends to be 70% lower than desktop and hence return on ad spending for mobile is 72% higher than desktop.
Facebook mobile versus desktop ROAS
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Source: marketing.rakuten.com
Rakuten Marketing compared three clients as part of the report and found that all three demonstrated lower attributable revenue on mobile compared to web analytics in Facebook conversion tracking. Mobile achieved up to 122% higher returns compared to desktop ad spending.
Client comparison of mobile versus desktop Facebook revenue
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Source: marketing.rakuten.com

Tony Zito, CEO of Rakuten Marketing, says:

tony zito

“The findings of this report highlight that marketers need to be diligent about gaining transparency into their performance measurement. Innovation is affecting consumer behavior at a pace that does not allow for one-time attribution models that will accurately measure current and future marketing strategies. Our focus is to arm marketers with actionable insights that empower them to capitalize in the rapidly evolving landscape in which they compete.”

With mobile here to stay, Rakuten Marketing advises mobile advertisers to begin measuring the differences in revenue between Facebook conversion tracking and web analytic tools. Mobile revenues then need to be accurately attributed and normalised for any discrepancies. Here’s a nifty little formula Rakuten put together to help marketers achieve better measurement:
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