November 27, 2013

How to effectively use mobile app analytics

Written By Martin Sandhu

Mobile apps have come a long way in a fairly short space of time and the introduction of analytics platforms has been a hugely beneficial step in their growth. Marketers are now able to collect a wide range of real-time data from their apps, which not only allows them to see how their app is performing from a technical perspective, but also to see how users are engaging and using the app.

A report by Localytics found that 22% of people who downloaded an app only used it once, highlighting the importance of good analysis.
Understanding what these users did that one time and how the app performed allows marketers to build a picture of what went wrong and make attempts to amend both the app and the relationship.

So much data can be daunting for marketers, particularly those new to mobile and apps, but there are a number of ways to use it effectively…

Identify technical issues
One of the most effective uses of app data is to let it steer updates and technical fixes. Performance information as well as more in-depth user tracking can identify issues that need to be resolved, before they become too big a problem. The challenge for app developers and marketers is to find the problem and fix it before it gets into the reviews on an app store!

Improve user interface
Look for odd patterns in how your app is used; if your user interface isn’t as simple and easy to follow as it should be, it’s likely that lots of users are struggling with it, not just a handful. Use this data to identify where the bottle necks are and update the design and navigation accordingly. Mobile apps should be looked upon as a constant learning process, much like websites, so it’s important for marketers never to believe their app is the perfect, final version – updates and maintenance will always be necessary.

Incorporate CRM
Mobile CRM works similarly to CRM systems built into websites, allowing marketers to identify and segment their customers not only through generics like location and age, but through specifics such as the products they buy, how often they use an app and when they use it.

Strategic engagement
Once a mobile CRM is in place, marketers can use the segmented data to execute targeted engagement messages. Be it through an in-app message, SMS or push notification the data gives marketers the ability to send highly targeted calls to action at the right time, directly to a users phone – which in the majority of cases is on them 24/7 – providing an unparalleled marketing opportunity, particularly when links open directly in the app.