Mobile analytics are the new focus point for marketing. We live in the age of mobile, there is no doubt about this.
Within 2017 more than 63,4% of mobile phone users will access online content through their devices. Consumers, leads and prospects are using their smartphones to do pretty much everything – find information on what to buy, read reviews while in store, share comments and advices with friends, purchase products and services.
Mobile is the starting point for the most common online activities: 65% search on mobile, 66% access to social networking, 65% use it for shopping, 56% watch online videos.
If you have a sound mobile strategy you are already reaping the benefits: offering the right product at the right moment on the right device is essential for selling more, selling better and building stronger bonds with fans and customers.
But, no matter how thorough your mobile strategy is there is for sure one area that is still driving you nuts: mobile analytics. As customers jump like crazy frogs from one device to the other, finding information about our products on smartphones, being retargeted on a tablet and finally completing their purchase on their desktop computer it is increasingly hard and frustrating to follow their path and assign the right weight to specific campaigns, devices and strategies.
There are lots of data to consider: session time, most poular pages, geolocation, bounce pages and so on. But even if 66% of the companies say mobile is very important for their marketing strategy, only 46% have implemented mobile analytics solution.
In the next paragraph I will outline 5 tactics that will make your life easier and allow you to have a better understanding of the various routes your customer might take before accepting – or not – the offer you are making.
1. Use “unique campaign identifiers”
What I mean by “unique campaign identifiers” is something – usually a coupon code – that will allow you, once the purchase is made or at least initiated, to assign that specific transaction to a campaign that might have targeted the customer on a different device. Let’s think, for example, about SMS campaigns: your prospects receive a coupon via message, some will like your offer and then make the purchase at home, on a different device. That coupon code you have sent them is the “key”, the “unique campaign identifier” that will allow you to tie this purchase to the original SMS campaign: this will let you analyze a lot more deeply the results of any marketing activity, breaking (or at least reducing) the barrier between devices.
2. Analyze your traffic sources and trends
A slightly less precise but nonetheless useful tactic is to closely monitor your traffic sources, trends and variations. Obviously this works in aggregate but for example if you can spot spikes in purchases from a certain place a few days after mobile traffic surged in that area, well, even if the majority of transactions were made on desktop computers you can infer with a pretty good level of accuracy that mobile contributed heavily to that result. This kind of analysis will require you to think in cohorts and plan your campaigns so that they are easier to aggregate – but the results in terms of valuable data you will get are definitely worth the effort.
There are several good tools to analyse and improve the performance of the mobile sites:
– Google Analytics: provided by Google for free. You can measure mobile traffic in Audience > Mobile. Here you find Overview, to see the number of mobile users, the bounce rate and average time, that show how user-friendly your mobile site is.
– Flurry: provided by Yahoo, it’s a free and quite basic mobile analytics tool, really easy to use. It gives you data on active users, frequency, sessions, retention, dempgraphics and you can create conversion funnels.
– Localytics: It’s a paid tool used by big companies worldwide. You can find reports on location, device, number of users and sessions. It gives A/B testing option and deep reports, aggregating different data.
3. Monitor every step of the funnel
We hinted at this when, in the first point, we mentioned monitoring coupons and transactions even before they are completed. With the most modern tracking technologies it is possible to record every single action a user performs on a web page or a mobile app and this, coupled with the analysis we mentioned above, allows you to get a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of any campaign. If, for example, you keep track of searches for a specific product on the mobile version of your e-commerce site you can then link purchases made on desktop shortly thereafter, possibly in the same area, to those mobile searches and attribute the correct value to the various elements of your marketing assets.
4. Use Microsites
Microsites are small sites with a dedicated domain name that are meant to promote and sell a single product or service and that receive traffic from very specific marketing campaigns. In terms of cross-device analytics the advantage of microsites is that they allow you to isolate the traffic a specific campaign produces making all the other tactics (unique identifiers, traffic analysis and funnel monitoring) a lot easier to implement since data is not “polluted” by other sources and campaigns.
There are lots of amazing microsites, WhatTheF*ckShouldIMakeForDinner.com is one of the best. Zach Golden created a microsite to promote his book. He had no budget, so the layout is simple and minimal.
A rotating “purpose of the recipe” line, three links to “choose the journey”, a small call-to-action in the corner to buy the book. That’s all, but it works. The site reached nearly 100,000 unique users organically. Mobile analytics tracking in this case is fundamental to understand the users journey, but exremely easy, because there are few possible ways to follow.
5. Invite your visitors to login
This is the Holy Grail: if you are able to have your visitors login when they land on your pages or app, before doing anything else and no matter what device they are using, you hit the jackpot.
You will always have the right data to tie any action, click, visit and purchase to that specific user and understand exactly where your marketing dollars are working and where they are not.
If you think about it, this is exactly what all the Big Ones do: once you purchase something on Amazon you are thereafter always identified and the first thing they ask you to do when you download their app is to login. You cannot even view a bit of any Facebook page if you are not logged in (no matter what device you are using) and Google is trying so hard to do the same thing that they developed and gave away for free an Operating System (Android) just to make sure you are using the same Google account on your smartphone and on your computer.
Why are they doing it? Because it works! I know that asking to register and login might reduce your conversion rates but the advantages in terms of targeting and analytics you will get far outweigh the (potential) loss in sales. And you can do it smartly and seamlessly, for example automatically logging in your customer after their first purchase (and then asking them to always login on the mobile app – something we are getting more and more accustomed to), using “social logins” so they don’t have to type anything but just tap a few buttons or offering incentives (such as coupons and discounts) to everybody that immediately logs in.
What do you think about these ideas for your analytics?
Are you using something else in your marketing campaigns to track your results cross-device? We’d love to hear your take on this topic, today hotter than ever for all digital and online marketers!