I’ve been a long time user of the RIM Black­berry mobile devices– dat­ing back to 1998 with some of their first 3-line LCD devices like the Bell­South Inter@ctive Pager. These early mes­sen­ger devices were truly just that– lit­tle brick key­boards with small screens only usable for instant push email mes­sag­ing as a 2-way pager. They were great lit­tle devices, but didn’t offer much com­pared to what we have today. The mobile device mar­ket has cer­tainly come a long way with Apple bring­ing us the iPhone 3G, which I picked up this past sum­mer fol­low­ing a stint on the Black­berry Curve and have thor­oughly enjoyed. One of the fan­tas­tic things about the iPhone is the great breadth of appli­ca­tions that are being devel­oped and are avail­able for free down­load or pur­chase on the App Store. Given the “flood” of apps now hit­ting the App Store, it will be inter­est­ing to see which apps end up per­form­ing well ver­sus their competition.

With so many com­pa­nies, both large and small, jump­ing into the “app game” it has led me to won­der how they are mea­sur­ing their invest­ment in these efforts. Sure, hav­ing a cool app can drive aware­ness of your prod­uct or ser­vice but how can you really mea­sure the effec­tive­ness of these apps. As you will often hear-don’t mar­ket it unless you mea­sure it. It was with this idea in mind that Omni­ture devel­oped and recently announced the iPhone for App Mea­sure­ment soft­ware toolkit to help devel­op­ers and mar­keters bet­ter under­stand the effec­tive­ness of these apps. Think about an iPhone app in the same sense as a cam­paign, in that in may prove to be an effec­tive source for dri­ving desired con­ver­sion such as prod­uct pur­chases or ad views.

By mea­sur­ing how users are inter­act­ing within a native iPhone app, the devel­op­ers and mar­keters pub­lish­ing them can under­stand how they per­form com­pared to other mar­ket­ing invest­ments like paid search, dis­play ads, or video. Think about what this might reveal-like cus­tomer loy­alty based on app opens and views, or con­ver­sion rates for in-app ads (like an inter­sti­tial ad between lev­els of a game) as com­pared to your dis­play ads. Now, app devel­op­ers and mar­keters can gain first-hand insight on their apps ver­sus hav­ing to rely on the much less infor­ma­tive app rat­ing sys­tem on the App Store.

In any case, iPhone app devel­op­ers and mar­keters that can effec­tively mea­sure their apps will be in a posi­tion to improve them, thus bet­ter serv­ing the end con­sumer. I’m look­ing for­ward to the next wave of 10,000 iPhone apps with much bet­ter expe­ri­ences now that there is a solu­tion to make mea­sured improve­ments to them.