Web Analytics Not Measuring Up for Mobile Marketers

Jul 10, 2013

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Mobile marketing is easily one of the hottest topics in the digital content world, but some say it isn't growing as quickly as it could. It almost seems counter-intuitive, but because the web analytics tools of today aren't quite cutting it in the mobile arena marketers aren't getting the same amount of insight into their users. According to research from Medio, the average American owns 1.57 mobile devices, and if marketers want to know more about what people are doing with these devices, mobile analytics are going to have to become a priority.

"Web analytics solutions are missing detailed user behavior. Web analytics typically only capture session data (page views, where the user came from, search terms, how long they spent on a website, etc.) that comes from a single location," says Rob Lilleness, CEO of Medio. "On the other hand, mobile analytics can capture much more detailed data such as location, travel/movement, app usage, and in-app behavior."

If you can't tell what mobile users are actually doing in their apps, then you know almost nothing about those users at all. But what are the actual consequences of lacking this information? Lilleness says, "The biggest consequence is the reduced ability to segment intelligently which ultimately leads to a less-than-optimal experience for your customers. Improperly segmenting your audiences sets off a chain reaction: if you can't segment intelligently, your ability to properly target customers is reduced. Without the ability to properly target customers, your ability to personalize experiences for your customers is diminished. This can be perceived by customers as being a lower quality and less relevant personal experience."

And when it comes to mobile, it's all about the personal experience and context. But with the growing importance of the mobile audience, it would behoove the web analytics providers to do a better job of capturing information about those mobile users. So why are so many analytics providers still struggling?

"Mobile is very challenging and the shift to mobile is as profound as the shift to e-commerce was for brick-and-mortar retailers. Mobile analytics requires its own specific processing metrics and algorithms which web analytics providers simply aren't equipped to handle, " says Lilleness. "Engineering and managing solutions that support many different disparate hardware devices, operating systems, available API's, and the absence of device IDs and cookies make mobile analytics both more promising and much more challenging at the same time."

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)