Digital marketers are confronting a new challenge when it comes to the creation of mobile apps. They now face the same accountability issues with their mobile app content and marketing as they faced with their websites, microsites, and other digital channels in the recent past. Before you say “ugh,” consider that this will actually finally improve the value and effectiveness of one of the fasting growing, most highly utilized, and most highly valued digital channels from a customer engagement and loyalty perspective.

As mobile application usage and preferences are efficiently measured, tested, and optimized, apps will no longer be seen as something quickly used and discarded. Many apps today are unfortunately perceived as gimmicks, as downloads consisting of mere glorified brochure-ware or tools that quickly outlive their usefulness to become an annoying clutter of screen space. When mobile app optimization is done right, it delivers on the same focused business goals and personalization initiatives as the app’s website counterpart in terms of driving greater engagement and revenue. This is possible because every cent invested in improving this very personal customer engagement can, and will, be mapped to real return on investment (ROI) within an analytics and optimization tool.

Think about it: choosing to download a mobile app from your company is a deliberate and engaged action. It means that these users value you, and want access to your services right at their fingertips. Having customers put your app on their mobile devices is much more valuable than a mere browse of your website because it enables more touch points with those customers. This is why being able to make the mobile experience friction-free and personalized to the needs of the customer is so essential. The functional choices and efficiencies provided by the app reflect directly on the care that your business is showing to the interests of your customers. The app needs to be focused on its essential functions, and how to best adapt to meet the needs of those that download it.

This is where Adobe’s deep investment in mobile services originated. As the first digital marketing cloud provider to launch a mobile-specific analytics and optimization interface, we allowed marketing teams to realize how well-developed optimization plans around mobile platforms can drive ROI. With the recent release of Mobile Services 2.0 in April, we’ve upped the game by including location-based and iBeacon technology targeting for even more personalized engagement and customer satisfaction on the go.

Our versatile Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) supports the accessibility of analytics, testing, and targeting within a full spectrum of apps across multiple mobile platforms. Although other point products and providers have begun to dip their toes into the “mobile waters,” they do not provide the device support or the breadth of customer data variables to leverage what Adobe Mobile Services provides. Mobile Services is also built to leverage the industry-leading capabilities and integration between Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target.

If you haven’t taken Adobe Mobile Services for a test spin, you really should. It’s one of the most exciting demos I’ve seen recently, not only because of the potential benefits for users, but also because of the rich variety of variables that analytics and optimization teams have at their fingertips to determine optimal mobile experiences. It breaks the status quo by moving far beyond mere app download data and into the region of behavioral preferences, which is where mobile optimization needs to be to realize its true ROI potential.

The Mobile Services interface is built on top of the leading analytics and optimization solutions in the market and comes free with both Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target (and it creates some powerful functional efficiencies when both are in play). As mentioned in my previous blog post, we’ve resolved the variance between these two solutions, so it’s even easier to launch a test from a shared audience segment discovered in Mobile Analytics, or analyze test results utilizing analytics audiences and success metrics.

No longer will companies be wasting mobile app concepts and investments on mere gimmicks, or upsetting customers with user experiences that leave a bad brand taste in their mouths. With the new Mobile Services, apps can be optimized to meet the needs of their users, and the mobile team can become real drivers of revenue and ROI within the organization. They will become optimization heroes through quick, iterative testing and using the power of mobile optimization to determine the right experience and content to deliver to their mobile fans.