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4 Tips for Improving Your Mobile Data Strategy

By Feb 16, 2014

By Ashley Eckel

According to a recent Forrester Report, nearly 37% of marketers don’t have defined objectives for mobile marketing measurement. This means the troves of data being generated by consumers every minute of every day isn’t being put to good use.

Of course, technology and data both tend to move faster than marketers can, so tapping into these potential goldmines becomes increasingly problematic.  Brands will often introduce new efforts before even determining what success might look like (or how to measure it), simply to stay top of mind with audiences.

When it comes to mobile data, its not just an accumulation of smartphone penetration or consumer usage patterns, but also app usage, SMS opt-ins, call volume, mobile site browsing, geo-location targeting and just about any other action carried out on a mobile device.

Brands must take pause to not only fine-tune creative efforts, but piece together a strategy for collecting, analyzing and using data that can be used internally and externally to enhance targeting, messaging and personalization of future initiatives. Here’s some ideas on how to make that happen:

1.  Align teams internally to match measurement strategy, not just creative.
Before deciding on data, measurement or even campaigns, first take a look at how you are organized. If your team appears disjointed or working towards metrics that don’t align to your overall strategy, it will be 10 times harder to get everyone on the same page about KPIs and metrics.

Create a culture of data and creative scientists that help everyone understand the objectives. Yes, the emphasis should be on planning, organizing, directing and controlling, but everyone needs to be champion for the results and how they can be used to inform future efforts.

2. Look before you leap: Decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) impact your bottom line.
At present, most brands are using mobile as a means to boost customer engagement, rather than directly link to sales. That’s fine, but every campaign should have a KPI or two connected to it in order to understand the effort’s inherent value. What do you expect you customers to do on their mobile Web or applications? What actions do you want them to take? What data do you hope to reap from this effort to propel future efforts? After you understand this, it will be much easier to focus your analysis efforts during.

Consider a ultilities provider with costly call centers—a sensible KPI might be a reduction in call volume. If a mobile campaign or strategy is devised to combat this, the firm will need to not only align mobile assets to help customers complete common tasks such as easily viewing account balances, pay bills or read about local outages, but also ensure that cost reduction and call volume can be properly tracked and attributed to the effort.

3. Put a measurement plan in place.
Another common problem is that many of these KPIs are rarely integrated into digital and business dashboards. This means the measurement plan itself is likely not aligned with true ROI. Retailers and media companies, for example, 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. After all, what good is an app if your audience isn’t using it, updating it and constantly discover new ways to improve it?

Beyond ROI, proper data measurement in this regard can reveal segments of customers that may be open to new offers via mobile, and therefore further evaluating customer lifetime value. In short, now that you know how you want your consumers to behave in your mobile environment, you must measure the behavior that aligns with that—usage, clicks, navigation, purchases, forms and conversions. And then, decipher what that data means.

4. Link customer lifetime values with the right channels, tools and analytics.
Gaining real-time information around how consumers are accessing your products and services via mobile can be extremely advantageous to your brand. As a marketer learning how to engage with consumers during their precise moment of need or during a ready-to-buy state is essentially the Holy Grail that will put you ahead of competition.

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 now a reality. Last year, Honeybaked Ham decided to combat turkey sales during Thanksgiving in the Atlanta area by running a highly localized mobile coupon campaign. Using local radio promotions, the meat purveyor offered mobile coupons for hams by calling a branded number to receive a coupon via SMS. The mobile platform geofenced callers based on their location and sent them a specific store coupon. Honeybaked Ham saw a marked increase in average order values and were also able to attribute mobile coupon sales to specific media buys and localized audiences.

We live in a world with an abundance of data at our fingertips, so as marketers we must be able to justify investment and spend for current and future programs, no matter what the channel. Strategy, team and KPI alignment will get you a lot further, a lot faster in the long run.

Ashley Eckel is director of marketing at StarStar.

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    The mobile platform geofenced callers based on their location and sent them a specific store coupon.