“The evolution of marketing continues as we enter the multiscreen world. Think of it this way: 2012 is for mobile what 1997 was for the Web. Take it a step further; Kontagent is to mobile what Webtrends was to the Web.”
As a data-driven marketer, Rand Schulman* gave us an overview of the evolution of analytics (see video). He has even gone so far as to say that the Web is dead. Here’s more on why Rand compares what we’re doing today in mobile to what online marketers did in the early days of the Web.
How does your experience qualify you to speak about the evolution of analytics?
I helped create an industry, inventing brand name online marketing and new media products from benchmark vendors: WebSideStory (acquired by Omniture/Adobe); Keylime Software, (acquired by Yahoo!); WebTrends, Unica (acquired by IBM); Eightfold Logic; InsideView. I am a founder and past board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA), and the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF). In 2005, I was named one of the Top 100 B2B marketing executives by BtoB Magazine.
What are the biggest challenges mobile marketers and developers currently face?
Right now, mobile marketing is like measuring hits on Web. It’s a good first start, but it’s not the end game. In mobile, people are doing basic things, e.g., App Store optimization–trying to get your app in the top lists–by testing names, categories, etc. that might give you the best rankings. It’s really basic.
What you also need to do is test the messaging, channels and segments which yield best engagement within the app–and that’s nearly impossible to do because of the nascent mobile market and technological challenges currently associated with building on different platforms.
You compare mobile analytics to the Web a lot, in terms of where things are headed in analytics. Can you explain further?
With respect to the Web, the current state of mobile marketing is like not understanding visits versus unique users. As we’ve learned in Web, that’s not good enough. Before the Web, there was direct mail and response marketing. Web analytics opened up a whole new way to measure marketing ROI. Webtrends and Omniture were early, and they were in the best position to take advantage of the nascent market and ask additional questions on conversion metrics and optimization, i.e., the path a user takes before making a desired action or purchase. They taught marketers how to track and optimize campaigns.
The evolution of marketing continues as we enter the multiscreen world. Think of it this way: 2012 is for mobile what 1997 was for the Web. Take it a step further; Kontagent is to mobile what Webtrends was to the Web.
You can draw parallels around early adopters of Web analytics: these tools require some scientific methods of controls, A/B testing, cohort analysis, etc. Marketers need to take these proven methods and transfer them to measuring mobile users and in-app behaviors. In order to optimize conversions in mobile, imperative to help optimize conversions in mobile.
Ultimately, how does this help mobile businesses with their revenue?
Direct marketers have been schooled in those techniques for landing pages, but when you apply these practices to mobile marketing it limits it to App Store rankings. They need to take a few steps further in mobile, tying these findings back to the the overall customer lifetime value.
- Which campaigns / landing pages / etc. produced the most engaged users?
- Which campaigns / landing pages / etc. produced the users who spent the most money inside an app?
- What common actions do users take before taking a desired action or making a purchase?
These types of metrics will give a better understanding of where you should be focusing your mobile marketing and acquisition efforts for optimal ROI.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds though.
No, not even close. This is all broken in mobile because of the the fragmented platforms and environments. There isn’t an easy way to follow the “bread crumbs” from user acquisition to engagement to monetization. Mobile developers, marketers and publishers need to demand that the industry provide for them the crumbs from which they optimize those stages.
There are some solutions and initiatives in the market trying to address this challenges. Next week, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of some of those. In the meantime, if you have any questions for Rand, contact him at @randschulman.
*Rand Schulman is currently an advisor to Kontagent.
About the author: Catherine Mylinh is a member of Kontagent’s storytelling team, where she is head of PR, brand and content marketing. She is also the editor-in-chief of kScope. In her former life, Catherine was a news anchor for CBS and NBC. She credits her journalism and computer science roots—she was once a programmer!—for her love of learning and writing about all things high tech. You can contact Catherine at @cat_mylinh.