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The ABCs of Mobile App Measurement
By: Ted Curtin
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Understanding the metrics behind this growing channel is fundamental to understanding the value of your mobile app as well as the ROI of your mobile investment. According to e-Marketer magazine, an astonishing 63% of marketers don’t measure beyond the initial downloads. In order to develop a complete view of the mobile customer, you need to understand how they are interacting with your content and with what degree of frequency.

“A” is for App Downloads, but That's Just the Beginning
This elementary measurement is more a testament to your marketing and promotional efforts. It’s a primary assessment of how effectively you presented your mobile app as an available and attractive solution. Reading into it beyond that is a false gauge of your mobile efforts. In that sense, “A” might as well stand for advertising, but if you stop there, you’re missing a world of easily accessible, yet critical, channel data.

“B” is for the Benefit You Deliver to Your Customers
Here is where you begin to assess the alignment between your brand’s value proposition and the mobile solution you’ve put forth to your customers.
1. Does your app solve a problem? That could be information, instructions, directions, or support.
2. Does it add value? Is there any benefit to your customers — beyond the implied convenience — for accessing your brand and your content over a mobile device as opposed to traditional web-based channel access?
3. Have you rewarded your mobile customer? Perhaps there’s a discount or incentive you’re providing as a reward to your customers for inviting your brand into their fiercely personal mobile space.

Three key metrics used to evaluate the benefit to your customers is frequency, duration and depth. These measurements allow brands to evaluate the level of engagement between customers and their apps.

“C” is for Conversions to Sales
For this purpose, we’ll assume that sales are your target goal, but there could easily be other identified actions you’re trying to drive. Regardless, if you have steadily increasing downloads and high levels of engagement, but no direct correlation to your goals, you’re missing the point. Even if your app is designed to provide indirect value to your clients and solve a problem not directly related to whatever you’re selling, you owe it to yourself to incorporate a measurable component — a unique discount, offer, or value added opportunity that can be applied to an eventual sale so that you can accurately identify the ROI of your mobile initiatives.

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About the Author
Ted Curtin is a recognized strategic marketing leader with over 22 years experience covering online and offline marketing channels. Follow him on Twitter or at TedCurtin.com
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