The ABCs of Mobile Analytics

ABC's of Mobile AnalyticsUnderstanding the basics of mobile analytics is as easy as learning your ABC’s:

A: What is it?

Mobile analytics refers to the solutions and resulting metrics specific to all things mobile such as SMS messaging, Quick Response codes, mobile apps and smartphone web data. It also covers the adoption, engagement and effectiveness of mobile marketing campaigns and web activity originating from a mobile device.

Application-based analytics give you insight into the number of downloads, how users are interacting with different parts of apps and the ever-popular crash data. Used by app developers who wish to increase downloads, app-based data is also useful to OEMs and carriers on gaining intelligence around subscriber behavior.

Ad execs and marketing pros can benefit from mobile advertising analytics, which include click-thrus, response rates and conversion rates on campaigns. This data helps marketers quantify the ROI on campaigns including mobile search buys, click-to-call and SMS campaigns, QR codes and in-app ads.

Mobile web analytics are centered around tracking on-the-phone analytics from mobile phone and smart phone browsers. You’ll see number of page views, bounce rates, click behavior and the types of devices consumers are using to access information on your company. This data is useful in optimizing websites for a growing mobile user base.

Challenges & Opportunities with Mobile Analytics

Companies looking to leverage mobile analytics are faced with some unique challenges and opportunities. On one hand, data collection can be more difficult. For example, some devices do not accept cookies or use Javascript, which is the most common way to track web data.  On the other hand, mobile analytics provide an opportunity to truly segment your customer base on attributes such as location, type of device, network access and interests. This creates multiple opportunities for not only marketers but also the product strategy team.

B: Why does it matter?

While it may be new data, is it important data? The answer is yes and it’s becoming more important every single day as mobile devices edge out PCs and laptops in the eyes of consumers for many of their daily tasks. Deloitte predicts mobile devices will reach almost 50% of the total computing market size by the end of 2011. And InternetRetailer found that one-third of mobile phone users in the U.S. access the mobile internet at least once a week.

The bottom line is that if companies don’t embrace the visibility mobile analytics provide, they may be at a huge disadvantage in the years ahead.

C: What’s next?

Although many mobile analytics vendors exist, the best way to begin may be to try out Google’s free analytics solution for iOS, Android and mobile web traffic, which you can integrate into your existing Google Analytics setup. If you want a solution that is more specialized, PercentMobile is an analytics vendor who focuses on the mobile web, while Flurry specializes in mobile applications, and Bango does a little bit of both. You can also check out this whitepaper for guidance on mobile analytics. Stay tuned for more info in the months to come on mobile analytics.

Madeleine Moss Funes