Advertisers are spending $20.7 billion to reach consumers through mobile apps this year, and mobile spending as a broader category is expected to reach an estimated $65 billion by 2019. As retailers funnel larger shares of their marketing budgets into apps, they’re searching for more accurate ways to track results and measure ROI.
Although most retail marketing professionals know that the answers to their questions sit somewhere in the mountains of data and analytics being generated by their branded mobile apps, it can be challenging for anyone without a tech background to decipher what they’re seeing and truly understand how to use app analytics for business growth.
For that reason, we connected with a few industry insiders and asked how marketers should be using app analytics to measure the value of their mobile properties and ultimately generate a positive ROI. Here’s what they said.
1. Identifying which types of customers are most valuable “One of the most important ways an app developer can use analytics is to calculate the lifetime value of their users in order to identify which type of user offers the most value. This knowledge will help developers treat their most important users accordingly and allow them to nurture relationships with these VIPs right from the start. LTV data can also be used to optimize marketing and advertising campaigns by going after those users that are likely to bring in the most revenue.” (Ran Avrahamy, AppsFlyer)
2. Measuring active users “Whether you’re a bakery or a mobile app, you have to track your vital factors and understand how your business is performing. For an app, some important things to constantly measure [are] app usage: daily and monthly active users, duration spent in the app, and which features are utilized most … Benchmarks for number of users or time spent in the app would vary based on the app type or vertical.” (Andrew Gerhart, AerServ)
3. Locating where your highest income lives. “The region with your highest number of downloads might not be the one that drives the greatest percentage of your ad revenue. Plan your ad placements around the latter market, not the former.” (Lewis Rothkopf, Millennial Media)
4. Comparing results to control groups “Comparing results up against control groups allows our clients the opportunity to benchmark one particular channel up against others, and it’s an easy way to test, measure and improve local mobile messaging. Most businesses, except the very large ones, are not familiar with using control groups, measuring conversions or validating success. Businesses and marketers need to find partners that understand local and can bring some of this expertise to them.” (Henning Moe, Troglo)
5. Running cohort analysis “Another important use of analytics is cohort analysis, where you create segments of users based on similar characteristics and then see how they react to certain app updates, marketing campaigns or other types of actions. Cohort analysis can be especially invaluable for hyper-local developers by allowing them to analyze and compare the actions of users in different locations.” (Ran Avrahamy, AppsFlyer)
6. Tracking ad revenue “[On] monetization, [businesses should be] tracking ad revenue and IAP, and correlating those metrics back to user sources, segments, or other categories. There are different analytics packages available to app developers, some of which offer nice tracking features out of the box and others, which allow for customizations that would enable those correlations. Some to consider would be Flurry, Mixpanel, Kochava, Google Analytics, Appsflyer, Apsalar, and Ninja Metrics.” (Andrew Gerhart, AerServ)
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.