10 reasons why mobile analytics are mission critical to a sustainable mobile strategy

Analyzing web traffic at the device level is absolutely essential for all businesses willing to understand and properly address their audience. Like it or not, your potential customers will access your website using many types of web-enabled devices. It's an amazing opportunity to properly track and analyze these devices.

Here are 10 simple tips on using mobile analytics as part of your overall mobile strategy by Webtrends' Michael Ricci.

1. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it

Mobile analytics are mission critical to any brand that wishes to operate effectively in the mobile arena. In a very real sense, these data points are crucial to a brand’s ability to establish an effective mobile strategy and prioritize limited resources. In other words, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

2. Not all mobile devices are created equal – one size won't fit all with your mobile strategy

Device detection helps marketers understand what types of devices are most commonly used by visitors to the mobile sites. Armed with this data, marketers can make rational decisions about prioritizing development of mobile apps, mobile Web, SMS, quick-response codes, location-based services etc., according to what are the most appropriate channels to reach the target demographic.

3. Counting app downloads is pointless – app usage is what matters

Mobile analytics provide key customer insights. Marketers need to know that all those people who are downloading their app are actually using it (which is the whole point, right?), rather than simply trying it once and then ignoring or deleting it. Understanding these sorts of interactions – and adjusting tactics accordingly – is the lifeblood of customer engagement.

4. Does your Web customer become anonymous when they switch to a mobile device?

If a marketer chooses an analytics solution that spans digital channels (including mobile, social and Website) then it’s possible to understand consumer behavior, individually and in aggregate, across digital programs. Using this, marketers can create a digital profile for a consumer that allows them to deliver ever more relevant content across digital channels.

5. Can’t prove return on investment (ROI)? Don’t expect any more budget

Implemented correctly, mobile analytics help marketers answer two critical questions: 1) is there an adequate return on investment for mobile marketing programs? and 2) which tactics are reaping the highest returns? If you can’t answer these questions with hard data, then it’s virtually impossible to seek additional investment for the mobile channel or maintain job security for an extended period of time.

6. Real-time relevance is the only thing that matters, analytics is the only way it happens

With mobile analytics, brands can better understand user engagement on site or in application. Monitoring user engagement enables perpetual refinement of the user experience, thus increasing site traffic or improving the number of app downloads. Without analytics verifying what content and elements customers are responding to, marketers are simply engaging in educated guesswork. And “I was just guessing” isn’t really going to cut the mustard as a marketing strategy with the chief marketing officer.

7. Establish which mobile promotional activities work, then do more of them

Analytics data helps brands better understand what marketing programs (SMS, display ads, mobile search, app sponsorship etc.) are funneling traffic back to the mobile site or driving downloads. This knowledge helps in the evaluation of which program justifies future investment.

8. Learn which parts of the mobile site drive sales and which don’t. Make more money

Mobile analytics enable marketers to understand what features on the site are leading to specific conversion behavior and, in turn, helping to maximize sales. They also provide clearer understanding of how much time consumers are spending on site or in the application – and, thus, where the majority of their time is being spent.

9. Customer analysis should start long before they register or purchase

With the correct mobile analytics solution, anonymous behavior can be gathered and housed in a historical data log file of behavior associated with that particular consumer. Once the consumer eventually authenticates (site registration, purchase, social or WWW site authentication), all the behavior that was once anonymous then becomes attributed to that consumer and the brand has a digital footprint for this consumer and can begin the vital process of segmentation.

10. Analyze, personalize, optimize – lather, rinse & repeat

The more data that is collected on the customer, the more the mobile site or application can be optimized towards the specific interests of each consumer. Personalizing the experience improve the brand’s ability to convert visits into sales. PC websites have long-since exploited the benefits of site optimization - now it’s the turn of mobile site to turn this to their advantage.

These top tips on mobile analytics were contributed by Michael Ricci, vice president of mobile at Web analytics company Webtrends. On the mobile analytics side, Webtrends’ client base includes Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Monster.com, Hilton, New York Times, Daily Telegraph and RIM.

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