We live in a mobile world. It is not a promise, it is not a desired development, it is a simple statement. While the internet helped create the “global village”, the mobile internet has given people the freedom to interact with each other, to be informed, entertained and to do shopping online wherever they are – no longer confined in a room, in front of a desktop computer.
During the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, mobile data traffic has increased by 55%, officially exceeding the quantity of traffic from desktop and laptop computers. And because of this milestone, a lot of things have changed or are changing in the way companies and marketing specialists measure the engagement level of their campaigns, the way they approach potential customers, and the way they measure the traffic and sales funnels they prepare through cross-channel marketing strategies.
Today we will address the issue of measuring traffic coming from mobile apps and websites browsed on smartphones. How can these measurements become more accurate? How do they help companies build better and more effective lead generation and customer loyalty strategies? And what can we learn from the data we have already gathered?
These are just a few salient points:
1. Do Not Abandon Your Mobile Website
Although mobile apps are extremely popular, they are not a replacement of your website. As your company strives to bring improvements and updates to your mobile app, this strategy should be coordinated with the efforts to keep your website up to date with the latest technologies, responsive, and designed using the best UX and UI principles.
Statistic data for the top 50 US-based mobile properties show that a responsive website was accessed by users twice as much as their dedicated mobile app. This shows that the app is the go-to resource for completing a call to action (purchase, subscription to notifications and newsletters, etc.), but the primary source of information and building customer loyalty remains the website (even if it is mostly accessed from a mobile device).
2. Rethink the Way You Count Your Visitors
In the new scheme of things, people are using your website and your mobile app, while others rely solely on your app and others on the website. You need to count all these visitors, because they represent the global audience of your business. Using the page view metric is no longer feasible, because apps do not have pages (like websites), but screens.
Thus, it is vital to keep track of screen views and develop strategies to see which parts of your mobile app are more frequently used, which ones create a purchase trigger, and how to use all this extra information to build an integrated web and mobile marketing strategy.
3. Take Advantage of GPS Localization
In the web-based world, people are identified and localized by the IP address – which is the address where they have their internet subscription. It is a fairly good localization metric, but it only tells companies where people live and work.
When they use their mobile phones and allow apps to track their location by GPS, people disclose to you the exact place where they are when they use your app. You can also obtain other data about them: what mobile phone brand and model they use, what mobile carrier they are subscribed to, and how much storage space the mobile phone has available.
4. Prepare for the Future
Harnessing mobile data analytics today prepares your company to face the changes which will continue to shape and change the way people interact with your business and become its clients. Mobile internet analysts have already made a forecast that by 2020, 80% of all internet traffic worldwide will come from mobile devices. This means that the sooner you understand the importance of measuring and analyzing mobile web and app traffic, the more prepared you will be to make the transition from web-based marketing, and branding and advertising strategies and techniques, to mobile-based ones.
This is not a conclusion, but more like an afterthought. The world of people sitting quietly at their computers and passively consuming content and marketing materials is undergoing extinction. The future belongs to people using powerful mobile phones, taking over the control in interacting with businesses, and knowing exactly how valuable their patronage is to these businesses. Be prepared to embrace this new world order by understanding today the importance of mobile data traffic and applying new and adequate measurement techniques.