I had the opportunity to attend the AdobeMAX event in Los Angeles eariler this month. I sat there soaking in the eye candy that Adobe’s products can create thinking, “yeah, but how would that look on my Blackberry?” Then, as if Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch read my mind, he showed Flash 10.1 running on a mobile device — an iPhone no less, with no dithering or pixilation. It drew an enthusiastic round of applause from the 4,000+ in the Nokia Theater. It made me realize that clients still on HBX are missing the boat by not leveraging our Mobile tracking in SiteCatalyst V14.5.

As my fellow blogger Ed Hewett pointed out in an August post, there is a gap between interest in mobile analytics and mobile Web usage. Or to put it as he did, “you don’t know what you don’t know” about your mobile traffic if you don’t have best-in-class tools to track the activity. The fact that mobile has arrived is hardly earth-shattering news, but recently, a client who’s still on HBX asked me about the benefits of moving to SiteCatalyst. A significant portion of this client’s business revolves around handheld devices, so this was like shooting fish in a barrel. Let’s review what you’ll get on the mobile front when you migrate from HBX to SiteCatalyst.

First off, development on the HBX platform essentially ceased in 2007 as Omniture devoted its development efforts to SiteCatalyst. Matt Belkin, the former head of Omniture Consulting, started a new group focused on Emerging Technology, with a maniacal focus on mobile. SiteCatalyst customers are now enjoying the first fruits of their labor unprecedented insight into mobile visits. Take a look at the difference in the out-of-the-box mobile reporting the two tools offer:

For starters, HBX doesn’t even know what an iPhone is. That’s how antiquated its mobile tracking is. SiteCatalyst not only recognizes the iPhone but can also report on screen size, video support, DRM and even Decoration Mail support. What the heck is that? It’s a service, mostly being used in Japan, which allows users to “decorate” (customize) their mobile emails by customizing the background, font and even attaching things like animations. Who cares? OK, perhaps you don’t but in Asia, many marketers are interested in DecoMail. It’s an example of us presaging a need for the US market, while creating a timely solution for our many Asian customers.

Omniture will not be a follower in mobile analytics. In fact, those who attended this year’s Summit in Salt Lake City heard Josh James, proclaim (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘the personal computer, as a medium, is dead.’ While even Josh would admit that prediction is a bit ahead of its time, there is no denying some of the business use cases for advanced mobile tracking. Just a few include:

  • Determine the true size of your mobile audience
  • Use mobile campaigns for timely promotions such as one-hour sales
  • Opt-in customers to receive text messages as an alternative to more costly and inefficient contact methods
  • Analyze traffic and mobile device capabilities to tailor the user experience when launching or redesigning a mobile site
  • Gauge affinities common to users of a particular device, service or app to optimize their mobile experience and recommend relevant content or product
  • See causality of mobile visits in terms of success event completion as shown below in a SiteCatalyst report:

Anyone who’s worked in User Experience knows about the “Rule of 1.” It states that if more than 1% of your site audience is unable or in any way hindered from viewing your site, you need to make adjustments for them. For most sites, the mobile traffic is at or above 1%. I have seen some sites where it’s in excess of 10% and a handful where is more than 35%. So if you’re still using HBX, you’re missing an important opportunity to hone your mobile approach while there is still time. Rich apps like Flash work on mobile devices. People are downloading entire TV shows or movies and viewing them on their handhelds. In Japan, folks are using QR barcodes as “mobile coupons” instead of paper coupons.

Mobile is here – it has been. It’s everywhere. Is your organization taking advantage of it? If not, call your Omniture Account Manager and ask them to show you what SiteCatalyst can do to help improve your mobile efforts.