I was in San Diego last week (yes, a choice location) speaking on a mobile analytics panel as part of the San Diego Software Industry Council (SDSIC) annual Forum on Analytics. The event was held in Del Mar and attracted many local software professionals as well as other notable figures in the “analytics industry” such as Daniel Yankelovich, considered by many to be the founding father of public opinion research. Other members of my panel included experts from Qualcomm as well as a COO and CEO from two mobile startup companies addressing mobile application measurement and mobile branding, respectively. Following this event, I then attended the Mobile Marketing Forum held on Coronado island. This event was produced by the Mobile Marketing Association and was well attended by marketing professionals representing the mobile carriers, advertisers, publishers, and technology & content providers.

Over the course of the week, I observed two key issues based on the questions I received from the audience at the SDSIC forum as well as the questions I asked of the exhibiting companies at the MMA Forum. The first issue was that people don’t really know where or how to start with the mobile channel. I heard numerous questions about “What kind of mobile advertising should I consider?” and “What kind of brand impact can I get with mobile users?” The second key issue I observed was that analytics and measurement are wholly underused and underrepresented in the mobile space. I spoke with numerous mobile advertisers and their customers who are NOT EVEN MEASURING simple viewing metrics! We’ve come a long way with Web analytics, but we clearly have a LONG WAY to go with mobile analytics and with all the companies who would benefit from measuring and optimizing their mobile marketing efforts.

If you are considering getting started in mobile marketing, allow me to offer a few ideas:

1. Start simple.

There are a seemingly overwhelming number of ways you could start engaging your customers via mobile marketing. Instead of trying to “eat the elephant all in one bite,” start with something small and simple. With mobile marketing, you have choices spanning SMS or text messaging campaigns, building a mobile internet or WAP site, developing downloadable mobile apps, creating mobile videos, and or developing IVR or voice campaigns. If you are trying to build awareness, you could focus on developing a text messaging campaign to promote your product or service. Or, consider search engine optimization (SEO) efforts so your mobile site achieves better rankings when mobile consumers are searching for something you offer. If you’re trying to improve customer loyalty, consider a trigger email marketing program that sends an SMS when a customer milestone is reached (such as follow-ups to purchases, or points reached in a loyalty program). The key is to experiment with mobile programs that support your business objectives, but keep it simple to start out.

2. Start Measuring.

As I stated earlier, it was interesting (but altogether not surprising) to learn how many players in the mobile space are not measuring. As you begin to start simple, ensure you start measuring as well. With the mobile analytics available in SiteCatalyst, there is no longer an excuse not to measure how your online efforts are performing with customers. Are your site visitors viewing the mobile videos you’ve produced? Are they downloading ringtones you’ve posted? Are they purchasing products on your site via their Blackberry, iPhone, or Nokia devices? Ensure your efforts and your investments are effectively being measured so you’ll gain greater insight into which mobile programs are working, which need improvement, and which should be discontinued.

3. Start with basic metrics.

As you start with a simple program that you now measure, focus on some basic metrics first. You may need to answer ‘Which of my mobile pages are most popular? How deep do visitors go in mobile site? Which mobile pages most frequently influence success?’ You should focus on metrics such as page views, time spent on site, and time spent on page to analyze the effectiveness of your site and its content. Other questions may be ‘Which campaigns drive most traffic to my site? Do mobile efforts outperform other campaigns? Do mobile efforts produce better conversion rates than untargeted efforts?’ For these questions, you should look at metrics including click-throughs and site conversion to increase ad spend effectiveness, email & newsletter effectiveness, or identify which paid partners drive most traffic.

Mobile marketing can represent a differentiated way to better connect and engage with your customers. While it may appear overwhelming at first, be sure to start simple, start measuring, and start with some basic metrics so your efforts will be rewarded with the most effective investments.

Good luck!

3 comments
E-Marketing
E-Marketing

Hi read the post and it left me thinking about how Mobile analytics and web analytics would be integrated in the future. Would it be possible to understand if a customer views a site on both their mobile device and home PC? When we talk about SEO is there much difference between SEO for web content and mobile? If you are repurposing the same content then would you double the effort to optimise Mobile and web content?

Matt Langie
Matt Langie

Eric- Thanks for reading my post and your comment. I was able to read the thread you cited (with some amusement) and can offer my *unofficial* perspective for how I view analytics. I subscribe to the philosophy that "one-off" solutions may fill a hole or address a specific need, but rarely serve a comprehensive business requirement. In that vein, I view analytics (be it for web, mobile, video, or even widgets) as a corporate-wide business requirement best served by a platform, or broad suite of solutions. Having mobile analytics tied up in one, completely separate application and web analytics in another doesn't effectively address this requirement. Our customers are telling us that they want one vendor, one platform, one suite of solutions so they have the common "language" (reporting) to determine how an online campaign (both web and mobile) is performing, for example. Omniture has specifically addressed many of the technical shortcomings with mobile analytics that this thread seemed to be focused on. With that challenge overcome, our customers are now benefitting from a platform that enables them to understand their mobile AND web visitors to gain the insight necessary to make performance-based decisions on their marketing spend. As Tom Davenport says in his book "Analytic competition will be something of an arms race, requiring continual development of new measures, new algorithms, and new decision-making approaches." We believe it's important to give our customers that "nuclear arsenal" of analytics to ensure they can fully understand, and optimize, their online business. BTW- I was Tom's TA in grad school so I'm obviously a big fan of his work. Cheers

Eric T. Peterson
Eric T. Peterson

Matt, Nice post today. I was wondering, do you (or does Omniture) have an official response to the mobile-only measurement vendors who continually claim that traditional web analytics is insufficient for measuring the mobile world. A good example of this line of thinking can be found in a post from Greg Harris at the Web Analytics Association LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=36402&discussionID=398885&goback=.anh_36402 (See Harris's comment to Julie Sari from Nedstat about halfway down the comments. You might need to be a WAA LinkedIn group member to see the post.) Anyway, good reminder that you should not publish what you do not measure. Eric T. Peterson Web Analytics Demystified http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com