Your relationships with your mobile customers are crucial. That’s because both mobile app and mobile Web usage continue to grow, the latest ADI analysis found. In fact, leading brands see between 50 and 70 percent of their contact with consumers via these channels.
The ramifications are clear: the stronger those relationships are, the more opportunities you have to increase in-app conversions, the more you can improve the ratings and reviews you receive in the Apple and Google Play Stores, and the more mobile users you can retain over time—increasing return on investment (ROI) for every app-related marketing decision your business makes.
But consumer-facing apps bring their own host of challenges. Effective mobile marketing requires you to analyse your customers’ usage of the app to find out what’s working, what’s not, and what implementation issues need improvement. You’ve also got to overcome onboarding roadblocks specific to the app experience—making sure people actually use the app once they’ve downloaded and installed it—and optimise your conversion rate through those hurdles. What’s more, you need to personalise the app experiences you serve your users to ensure consistency across app and Web, all while keeping users engaged.
In this two-part series, I’ll examine a number of ways in which you should be thinking about app optimisation, and present some advice for getting the most from your investments in app creation, engagement, and optimisation platforms.
The importance of mobile analytics
Marketers didn’t always realise that website usage analytics and campaign response data were crucial. Over time, though, the results of analytics-based campaigns made it clear that marketers who understand the performance of Web channels are much better equipped to take advantage of digital advertising opportunities.
Today, data strategy and analytics tracking are a central part of website planning and campaign management. You wouldn’t launch a new site without checking the metatags, and you wouldn’t run a campaign without click and acquisition tracking.
Marketers have learned their lesson—and as mobile became a major channel, they quickly recognised the importance of mobile analytics. All marketers now understand that mobile analytics are crucial to understanding an app’s performance and its place in a brand’s array of digital channels and tactics.
The ideal mobile analytics platform
In the most basic sense, you need analytics across your apps to tell you what people are doing with them, what’s working, and what isn’t. You need to stay up to date on the effectiveness of your app’s overall structure, as well as the impact of in-app content and messaging.
Your marketing analytics platform should be secure, scalable, and trusted by enterprises. It should also use a single software development kit (SDK) for apps across platforms, to make it as easy as possible for your development team or agency to install and maintain. Your platform should also include built-in app analytics for user acquisition and engagement.
It’s also helpful to have access to tools that track not only common metrics like number of views and downloads, but also monthly active users, average session length, conversion rate, retention rate, churn rate, and ratings. Getting these types of metrics out of the box means you can get on with interpreting the data, rather than getting hung up on the instrumentation and data collection.
A platform that is vertical agnostic, but also enables you to easily track top business metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for consumer-facing apps in all industries, from entertainment and finance to retail and travel, will enable you to fully understand the effectiveness of your acquisition campaigns across paid, owned, and earned media.
In addition, it’s very helpful to use a platform that provides analytics for individual audience segments. This will help you see which paths users take through the app, which features they use, how much time they spend, and whether they generate a business outcome or conversion. Furthermore, this will enable you to understand whether users come back to the app over time—and which tactics are effective in driving that reengagement.
The power of centralised mobile analytics
Mobile apps demand a different way of thinking about the data and analysis. Factors that make sense in desktop and mobile Web analytics, such as page views and bounce rates, have no place in the mobile app analytics world. Instead, we need to think about screens, customer churn (do users download your app, use it once, and then disappear?), and the ways different cohorts behave over time. This means having a dedicated reporting interface that enables a mobile app marketer get straight to the insights they need to make the app perform more effectively, and to act on those insights from a central control panel.
For example, we recently helped Vodafone Ireland create dynamically personalised app experiences, targeting a wide variety of customer segments. Using Adobe Marketing Cloud, including Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, Vodafone was able to analyse how each segment used the app—and then use that data to provide personalised in-app banners and content, along with relevant push notifications and in-app messages that incentivised customers to upgrade their purchases. The resulting Vodafone Ireland app has the highest engagement, by percentage, of any Vodafone app in Europe—and it’s already driven significant increases in revenue. To read more about Vodafone Ireland’s mobile app optimisation efforts, download the full case study here.
In short, the better you understand the reasons your users open your app, and the paths they take through it, the more precisely you can tailor your in-app messaging and content to drive smoother, more enjoyable customer journeys—which leads to measurable improvements in ROI.
I’ll expand on this in the second article in this series, where we’ll explore ways of using automated behavioural targeting, recommendations, and other tools to drive ever more personalised mobile experiences that keep audiences engaged over the long term. See you there!
If you’re an Adobe customer already and interested in finding out how the Adobe Marketing Cloud mobile core service can help you, please click here to view a webinar that I recorded recently with Swisscom, an Adobe customer.