American Marketer


4 myths of mobile metrics

January 10, 2013

Jason Wells is CEO of ContactPoint


By Jason Wells

Last fall I gave a presentation in Silicon Valley about mobile analytics. Before the presentation someone asked me what the biggest difference between mobile analytics and “regular” online analytics is.

My reply was simple: Pretty much everything.

Mobile marketing is full of myths
The principal problem with mobile marketing right now is that mobile marketers grew up as online marketers. Thus, they have built-in biases, habits and traditions. Mobile marketers think like online marketers. They market like online marketers. They look at analytics like online marketers. And they optimize their marketing like online marketers.

The only problem is this: mobile marketing is vastly different than online marketing.

How is mobile different?

The biggest difference might be in how users engage with mobile marketing compared to how they engage with regular online marketing.

A stunning 90 percent of mobile searchers take action within one day. A more stunning 70 percent of mobile searchers take action within one hour.

Did you know that the two most common actions after a mobile search are a phone call and a map look-up? Yep, true story.

Mobile is fundamentally different. Yet myths about how to track mobile’s effectiveness remain.

The four myths
1. Traditional online analytics are enough

Online marketers know what they are doing. They know how to market, how to measure, and how to optimize. Every online marketer has his or her list of five or six metrics they look at to determine effectiveness. Maybe they look at bounce rate, unique visitors and abandon rates. Or, perhaps, they look at visit duration or total pages visited. They are, no doubt, tracking conversion rates and page views.

This is great – for online marketing.

But here is the problem: far too many mobile marketers are trying to use the same metrics to track their mobile campaigns. They are trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. That is silly when, according to Google, 68 percent of mobile searchers look up maps to businesses, 61 percent of local mobile searches result in a phone call, and 59 percent of mobile users regularly interact with businesses via social media.

Do traditional online analytics measure any of those things? No, absolutely not.

Traditional online metrics are secondary in a mobile environment. Tracking calls and social media engagement is paramount. Tracking the time someone spent on a mobile site and bounce rate is secondary at best.

Traditional metrics are important—do not get me wrong. But they do not measure the most common forms of mobile response.

2. There are not enough mobile analytics tools available
In 2010, 30 percent of mobile marketers said they did not have enough analytics to measure ROI effectively. That was a problem then. It is not a problem now.

There are dozens of tools that track mobile engagement.

There are entire suites of products that measure social media engagement via mobile devices. There are extremely sophisticated call analytics platforms that go far beyond standard call tracking to truly gather true analytics in a mobile environment.

The bottom line is this: you no longer have a mobile metrics blind spot. There are many tools available for you to use. Do not settle only for traditional online analytics platforms, which do not tell you much about mobile anyway.

3. Do not worry about the phone
This might be the biggest myth of all. The phone lost its swagger as a conversion rate machine in the 2000s. Well, guess what? Mobile has resurrected the phone.

It is back.

Market researcher BIA/Kelsey says that businesses will receive 70 billion new calls from mobile devices by 2016. It also expects that mobile will spark a deluge of calls to businesses that will more than double call volume by 2014. It is literally saying that businesses receiving 20 calls a day now will be receiving 40 calls each day in just over a year.

Mobile produces calls. Nielsen recently said that 73 percent of mobile searchers call a business as a result of their search. Wow.

And getting all of these calls is a good thing. Phone calls are the highest value leads most businesses receive. Our own data shows that inbound phone calls are 15 times more likely to convert to customers than an inbound Web lead that downloaded a white paper or ebook.

Calls are awesome and with mobile you will be getting a lot of them.

4. Gather as much data as possible

This might be the biggest myth of all. Wait – I already said that. Well, this is a big one, too.

The rule of thumb for “regular” landing pages is to include as many form fields as you can without impacting conversion rates.

Mobile, again, is different.

Your mobile landing pages should have one form field at most. They should, ideally, include a click-to-call phone number. Mobile landing page company Atmio says that the majority of mobile landing pages have too many fields.

Remember this: mobile landing pages with only one to two form fields convert 60 percent-plus more than pages with more form fields.

THESE ARE four fundamental myths about mobile analytics.

Before you begin mobile campaigns in earnest make sure you know what you are trying to accomplish and make sure you know how to measure success.

If you are tracking bounce rate and page views, but ignoring phone calls, map look-ups and social media engagement, you are missing the boat. And it is going to be a very big boat.

Jason Wells is CEO of ContactPoint, the developer of, St. George, UT. Reach him at