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March 25, 2013

Mobile Websites and Marketing – Where to Start

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Mobile marketing is a hot topic and it’s not going away any time soon. In fact, businesses need to embrace mobile websites — and soon — in order to stay ahead of the curve and their competition. As our world becomes more and more mobile each year, marketing to those “on the go” takes a mobile-ready site and the ability to understand the behavior of the mobile audience. In today’s post, I chatted with SES New York speaker and marketer Thom Craver, who offers insight into mobile websites and marketing, what you need to do first, how you can measure your efforts and more.

Jessica Lee: If I don’t have a mobile-ready website yet, what are my first steps?

Thom Craver

Thom Craver

Thom Craver: The first place you start is a “needs assessment.” Consider the following:

  • What is the ultimate goal you expect to achieve from mobile?
  • Do you want to cater your site to the ever-increasing number of visitors using mobile devices?
  • Are you trying to directly sell or provide a cloud-based service?
  • Do you simply want to brand an app that helps your customers and potential customers do something useful so you stay top-of-mind?

Once you have the answers to these questions, then you can pick a platform on how to measure. Web-based “apps” are measured differently than true, native (through code) apps.

What’s a good approach to setting up tracking for mobile?

There are a few ways to track mobile. Again, it depends on what you’re measuring. My part of the panel at SES New York will focus primarily on Google Analytics. They have a familiar interface and a completely separate set of reports for measuring apps. Yet, it all works together with your mobile website, even though the data are separated.

Their reports help you stay atop of usage, like which users have older versions of your app, crashes, time of use and even time between uses — all of which are able to be segmented by intelligent groupings with their easy-to-use web-based interface.

For the money (free!), Google Analytics is quick and easy. They even provide software development kits (SDKs) for building native Android and iOS apps.

Give an example of how you might interpret mobile data and make adjustments to your marketing.

Generally speaking, device and OS usage is an important indication of your user base. Especially if you have ongoing development in your app, you’ll want to know how many are using phones versus tablets. The screen dimensions and overall user experiences are completely different. Creating a bad user experience creates users who never come back.

So do crashes. Look at crash logs to see if you can find patterns of behavior. With the diversity of Android hardware and OS versions, there are a lot of device/OS combinations. Make sure you’re catering to everyone.

Earlier this year, the Google Play store allowed app developers to directly reply to users leaving feedback. If your app crashes and someone comments, address it. Start a dialog around data, reassuring the users to letting them know you’re on top of the problem.

If you’re at SES New York this week, check out Thom’s session, “Driving Consumer Insights with Mobile Analytics” on March 27 at 10:15 a.m.  You can stay connected with Thom on Twitter @ThomCraver. 

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