American Marketer


Now is the time to analyze mobile marketing efforts

January 8, 2014

Ashley Eckel is director of marketing at StarStar/Zoove Corp.


By Ashley Eckel

Technology tends to move faster than marketers, and mobile is no exception. To keep up with it, marketers often introduce new efforts before even determining what success might look like – and certainly before figuring out how to measure that success.

A recent Forrester Report confirmed this phenomenon, citing that nearly 37 percent of marketers do not have a defined objective when it comes to mobile marketing measurement.

What might be more terrifying than not keeping up with the latest and greatest mobile technology, however, is not knowing how to measure and analyze the data gathered through marketers' efforts.

The truth is, because mobile marketing is still an early-stage effort for many companies, most are focused on launching and fine-tuning creative efforts, rather than measuring the performance of their mobile efforts.

However, as mobile choices and campaigns continue to progress, marketers will have to up their measurement game for all channels, devices and efforts.

1. Establish clear objectives and defined performance indicator
As it stands now, most marketers think of mobile primarily as a loyalty channel, rather than a revenue channel.

Since it is merely being used as a means to enhance customer engagement, marketers first must define what they expect their customers to do on their mobile Web or applications, along with the actions they want users to take, before properly tracking this progress.

Take Omaha Steaks for example. The company gets a higher cost per sale from a phone call, rather than an online sale, so their objective should be to increase mobile calls to purchase, whether via an 800 number, mobile number search or a branded number.

On the other hand, a utilities center may be trying to reduce the number of calls coming in to a support line, so the mobile assets should help customers complete common tasks such as easily viewing account balances, pay bills or read about local outages.

2. Define a mobile measurement plan
As consumers produce more data for us to analyze, the potential to use it to our advantage grows.

However, mobile data accumulation is not just a result of smartphone penetration or consumer usage patterns, but also by app usage, SMS opt-ins, call volume, mobile site browsing and just about any other action carried out on a mobile device.

The problem is, most of these key performance indicators (KPIs) are rarely integrated into digital and business dashboards.

Take retailers and media companies. They likely have a high volume of app downloads, but low app usage and retention.

App downloads are easy to measure but truly savvy mobile marketers will focus on detailed navigational behavior and advance in-app usage analysis.

This is crucial to not only improve app and users experiences over time, but to understand what segments of customers are open to upsell and cross-sell via mobile and to evaluate customer lifetime value.

Bottom line, now that you know how you want your consumers to behave in your mobile environment, it is imperative that you are measuring the behavior that aligns with that – usage, clicks, navigation, purchases, forms and conversions.

3. Choose channels, tools and analytics to use for linking customer lifetime value analysis with acquisition costs
True, tracing which mobile ad network or publisher is driving the most qualified traffic is imperative to optimizing your mobile marketing dollars.

But the real value is in understanding which prospects are the most valuable to the brand over the long haul. And for marketers it is imperative to understand the cost of acquiring these customers.

Gaining real-time information around how consumers are accessing your products and services via mobile can open up a unique opportunity for you, as a marketer, to engage with them during their precise moment of need or during a ready-to-buy state.

Channeling data to offer personalized mobile experiences will undoubtedly set you apart from your competitors as well as continue to inform your mobile campaign success or failures.

For example, if your product and promotions lend themselves to being highly localized, then the ability to geo-fence and read consumers’ exact location, with the right technology in place, is a reality.

Ford Motor Co. at this year’s Bonaroo Music Festival in Tennessee used a localized mobile campaign to target festival-goers with dedicated content to drive engagement with its on-site campaign.

In this way, it was able to leverage the same mobile campaign without disrupting other geo-areas, and maintained a hyper-relevant presence at Bonaroo. It is easy to start measuring geographical silos when the data is already there.

MOBILE DATA AND MEASUREMENT is only a small slice of the entire performance management outlook, but it is a critical first step.

As marketers, we must be able to justify investment and spend for current and future mobile programs, while continuously improving the customer experience and to ensure that goals and objectives are being met.

Ashley Eckel is director of marketing at StarStar/Zoove Corp., New York. Reach her at