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