It's safe to say that the first decade of mobile media and marketing has been marred by the unfortunate tendency for new media to mimic its predecessor. While apps have given us opportunities to innovate in some aspects of digital form, most media and advertising on devices is simply a port of the Web.
That includes the metrics by which we gauge success -- but that's is a mistake, claims Forrester analyst James McCormick in a new brief from the consultancy. Understanding mobile activity merely through action-based measurement misses too many qualities that the mobile moment is able to reveal. Context is all in mobile. Where the user is and for how long may be more valuable than whether she clicked.
Another parameter missed by most Web analytics is real-time interaction. Knowing the user’s context, in a store or at a movie theater, can serve as multiple triggers for deeper engagement in real time.
And mobile efforts need to think outside the box when it comes to KPIs. The usual measurements of success, from click-throughs, open rates and even sales, can overlook certain factors. App downloads and alert responses, among other things, are unique metrics associated only with mobile that marketers need to consider. Unfortunately, Forrester finds, less than a third of companies are incorporating their mobile analytics with insights from other channels. And only 28% say they feel competent to manage their mobile and Web analytics in-house, even though most companies do.
While more than half of firms surveyed do use some mobile analytics to gauge basics like app downloads and time spent in-app, only a third have started analyzing context. Progress is even slower on cross-channel integration of mobile data, with 30% of executives saying they use cross-channel analytics and 26% using cross-channel attribution.
Interestingly, Forrester suggest that there will be a winnowing of the field soon, with fewer providers. Many of the endemic Web analytics providers will grow their mobile competency to provide deeper mobile analytics.
OF particular importance for companies is adding a way to track the same user across platforms, such as deciding on a consistent marker like a social ID. Getting mobile metrics aligned with the rest of the analytics could not be more critical given the real potential of mobile for most companies. This is the device that links a customer’s digital activities to real-world activities. No other medium has been able yet to knit together all channels, but especially digital and real-world behavior, in the way mobility promises.