The Growing Importance Of Mobile Analytics

Any kind of media advertising requires the use of robust analytics to understand user-behavior and to better plan for future growth, and mobile advertising is no different. Actually, it’s perhaps more important than traditional web-based metrics, given there’s more information that needs to be understood about mobile users over PC-based users to make informed decisions. …   Read More

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Any kind of media advertising requires the use of robust analytics to understand user-behavior and to better plan for future growth, and mobile advertising is no different. Actually, it’s perhaps more important than traditional web-based metrics, given there’s more information that needs to be understood about mobile users over PC-based users to make informed decisions.

During last Monday’s Mobile Monday meeting in a Microsoft Conference room, some 150 mobile professionals discussed the state of mobile analytics and what the mobile industry as a whole needs to do to improve on it. With the introduction of new internet-savvy devices like the iPhone and upcoming Android-based devices, the need for better metrics will be apparent when companies start to monetize their services, and try to develop user-habit-data to better aid in marketing, and other big decisions.

As users start doing more “PC-like” interaction on mobile devices like access news and entertainment, and use social networking, the big companies and portals on the web will start to notice that more and more of their overall traffic is being sent by mobile devices. When this happens, they have to shift their thinking (and analytical systems) from PC-based techniques to mobile. New mobile operating systems like Opera’s Skyfire Beta, and Apple’s Safari already bring the full web-experience to mobile devices, now it’s just a matter of measuring the data and building upon it.

Nowhere is analytics more important then when used in mobile advertising. Since the mobile web is more just a mirror of the desktop, advertising techniques have been mirrored as well meaning the use of banner ads, link ads, and revenue sharing with search engines has become more popular than ever.

“There seems to be a trend among the companies that have started early, said Jason Spero, vice president of marketing at AdMob, who demonstrated a beta version of its free mobile-analytics tool at the Mobile Monday meeting. Ringtones and other entertainment content comprise the largest chunk of mobile advertising, Spero added, along with car ads, TV and movie promos, and ads for well-known consumer brands.”

As an inevitable flood of new users choose one device family, operator, or platform over another, companies will rely on analytics to edge the competition as much as possible. The one major hurdle to overcome when implementing analytics data, is the fact that companies and research firms have yet to nail-down a tried-and true method of measuring the many aspects of mobile users. For example, Opera Software is two months into releasing public reports of its users’ browsing activity after substantially changing the methodology after the first month. Similarly, Nielsen Mobile, who’s another “mobile scorekeeper,” doesn’t yet have intimate access to Internet traffic. AdMob seems to take a third approach, which is calculating advertising impressions and click-through rates to form its datascape. A central collection of all this data that can be utilized by everyone in the industry, is yet to exist however.

There’s a general consensus that ComScore, Nielsen, and/or any other data-generating company will have to pump out a robust mobile data-gathering service for the industry to really cash in on the numbers. When it does, expect even better hardware, software, and Webware to follow.

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7 comments

  1. 71% Of Companies Don’t Track Mobile Traffic… « digital asset management weblog

    […] now, but to not even know the traffic coming in from mobile devices is downright embarrassing.  Traffic stats and analytical data are key in forumulating a plan to optimize a mobile website, and with today’s consumers using […]

  2. justin

    Since some of the biggest decisions made by a mobile company are based on trusted analytics, I think they’ll be willing to pay a lot…

  3. Sarah at Bango

    We believe people will pay for data if it helps them to be more effective. So with mobile advertising, if the analytics enables them to track campaign responses, measure ROI and then reinvest where they are getting the highest conversion rates that’s got to be good for the business.

    We have priced our mobile analytics service so the first 100,000 page views is free and after that you pay a modest amount but can export data, tap into our APIs etc. Take a look at http://bango.com/analytics

  4. Greg Yardley

    In many cases, more “PC-like” interaction with mobile devices is going to lead to the very PC-like behavior of using dedicated applications outside of the browser – we’ve been tracking a huge amount of application usage on the iPhone 3G, and while I predict a rising tide is going to increase both mobile browser and application usage, at least some of the time devoted to browser usage will shift to applications. This will happen first on the iPhone, and later on other smartphones as they clean up their SDKs to compete.

    Here’s the self-promotional bit – Pinch Media offers a free analytics service for iPhone SDK applications. Happy to chat with you or anyone in your audience about it.

  5. -as

    But how much are people willing to pay for this data?

  6. justin

    Sarah-

    Very true, that’s why it’s important for third-party researchers like ComScore and Nielsen to step up to the plate and provide un-biased data for the industry to use.

  7. Sarah at Bango

    A lot of our mobile analytics clients use a number of ad networks so like to compare ROI and determine which is performing the best. Always beware of a mobile analytics product tied to an ad network as you have to ask yourself whether you are going to get unbiased results.

    See a case study on social networking site Tapatap to see how they used mobile analytics to measure the results of their ad campaigns. http://bango.com/casestudies/tapatap.aspx

    Sarah Keefe, VP Marketing, Bango

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