Some time ago I was on a call with a customer who had recently launched several mobile campaigns and wanted me to help analyze how those campaigns were performing. Not long into the discussion, it became evident the campaigns had launched without an optimization strategy and were actually not being measured.

Even worse, organizational and technical limitations prevented the customer from making code changes that would allow them to begin measuring their campaigns. Ultimately the customer used “fuzzy measures” to quantify success for the mobile campaign. Sound familiar? Is data driving your investment in mobile campaigns? If you’re not sure, here are a few questions to assess what’s driving your mobile marketing efforts:

If data isn’t driving your mobile visitor acquisition efforts, it’s easy to start. There are two ways to begin measuring mobile campaigns:

(1) Add campaign measurement code to the analytics implementation. For a quick overview, read this blog post: Measure Your Mobile Initiatives.

While adding measurement for campaigns to your existing implementation is ideal, it’s an easy step to overlook in the quickly evolving mobile environment where lead times are counted in days instead of months. Often the destination for a campaign is a mobile site which was implemented with analytics long before any visitor acquisition efforts were launched. In these cases, you may find campaign measurement wasn’t deployed initially and may be challenging to go back and add.

If this describes your situation, don’t worry. Two weeks ago, Adobe introduced a new feature called the Marketing Channels Report. That brings us to the second way to measure mobile campaigns:

(2) Add campaign measurement to the Marketing Channels Report. You can read Ben Gaines excellent overview here: Getting to know the new marketing channels reports.

Here are three easy steps to measure your mobile campaigns using the Marketing Channels Report:

Step 1: Find out what attributes in the destination url identify the paid campaign. This is usually a query string parameter and attribute. If your campaign doesn’t have a unique identifier, you will need to modify the destination URL to include attributes unique to the campaign (see screenshot below for one example).

Step 2: Configure the corresponding channel in the marketing channel manager so the campaigns are identified. To add measurement for a display campaign driving users to the url above I would: Login to SiteCatalyst > Admin > Report Suites > [select report suite to configure ] > Edit Settings > Marketing Channels > Marketing Channel Manager > edit ‘Display’ to include ‘cmp’ as a query string parameter.

Step 3: Report and optimize the channel using the Marketing Channel Manager Report. You may access reporting by logging on to SiteCatalyst > Marketing Channels > Channel Overview Report. In the screenshot, I’ve verified the campaign ‘QR’ is being measured by SiteCatalyst.

What if you only have a “hard-coded” image beacon measuring the destination url and you can’t change the code on that page? Since the Marketing Channel Manager uses “post-processing” rules, as long as there is some type of unique campaign identifier in the destination url, you can configure measurement from inside SiteCatalyst–you don’t have to touch your page code!

Disclaimer: the Campaign Channel Manager will not populate the traditional “campaign” variable inside SiteCatalyst reporting. If you need to pass data to the campaign variable, you will need to make an implementation change or use VISTA to collect data for this report.

Additional Resources: If you would like to learn more about measuring campaigns for other initiatives, an excellent primer may be found here: Campaign Tracking