How to Drive Business Success through Mobile Apps, Part 1: Analytics

Mobile Marketing

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.

Mobile Marketing
Jamie Brighton

Posted on 10-26-2016

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