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Mobile App Analytics: The Best Practices

5 min read
Aug 25, 2017

App engagement is important. Every good mobile marketer knows that and will have a well thought out strategy in place to ensure they are engaging their app users in the most relevant, valuable and timely way possible. However, what they may not have is an effective plan in place to accurately measure, analyse and optimise their mobile app analytics.

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A recent study by Gartner found that although 90% of enterprise apps gather mobile app analytics, only 5% of these actually use the data effectively.

Why Are Mobile App Analytics So Important?

App analytics are vital for understanding your user behaviour as they allow you to track exactly what your users are doing in the app. This provides insight into key information such as how users are engaging with the app and where they are most likely to drop off. Such knowledge gives you an opportunity to learn and improve based on the experience of your users.

What Do The Mobile Marketing Gurus Say?

We asked some of the experts in the mobile industry to give their top tips when it comes to mobile marketing analytics…     

      1.   Be Patient

Thanos Patsis | Head of Mobile, Betway

“Be patient with the data.”

Having patience can be a tricky one, but you can’t expect to have industry changing data over night, especially if you have just launched your app. It will take time for trends to start occurring and for you to start making sense of the analytics. But I promise it will be worth it, so hang in there.

      2.   Make Use of Mobile Analytics Tools

Mirela Cialai | Global Digital Marketing Manager, Zinio

“It's important to go beyond the traditional key metrics like installs and uninstalls, in order to understand why the users are leaving. By using a visual mobile analytics tool, you can gain insight into the user behaviour and are able to optimise your app and hopefully retain more users.”

It might sound like a lot of extra work but measuring analytics can actually be made hugely simply with the help of the right mobile analytics tools. They can enable you to streamline your reporting to what matters to you so you can focus your efforts on how to excel your app and less on inputting data into a chart.

      3.   Consider Analytics at Design Stage

Peter Adams | Head of Performance Marketing, Shell

“ Make sure you know what you want to know at the design stage.”

Before you start thinking about fancy colours, fonts or images you have to consider foundational design. What this means is basically thinking about design in terms of components on a page and setting the stage for all the cool personalisation your content team want to do along with everything else you need to know to measure and improve your offering. If you don’t lay the foundation for analytics early on, you won’t be able to measure anything meaningful for a year. Collecting data at an early stage allows you to understand how changes in your app’s performance can affect your analytics, as well as being able to make improvements as you go along.

      4.   Understand The User Journey

Rachelle Garnham | Marketing Manager,  Mallzee

“The importance of app analytics can't be overstated. Whilst it takes significant time and financial investment to set up, it's key to a measured and iterative approach to app development and marketing. Mapping out the events and actions that are relevant to each team is a key starting point and should be revisited with every feature addition.”

Iain Russell | App Marketing Manager, Moneyhub

Having a clear understanding of who your users are and what they are doing in the app is crucial for all other areas of app marketing.”

Unfortunately no matter how many sleepless nights the developer puts into carefully planning out the user journey, your user might not use the app exactly as intended. This is why Iain stresses the importance of knowing what your users are doing in the app. Once you have a clear understanding of the path users take when navigating through your app you will know exactly what they are looking for, what they are intending to get out of using your app and which pages drive the most valuable conversions. With this knowledge you can look for ways to help them achieve this more easily and maximise your conversion rate.

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      5.   Invest in Qualitative Data

Andi Jarvis | Marketing Strategist, The Tomorrow Lab

“I'd urge all app marketers to invest in qualitative data to research with their users too… Talk to users, watch how and why they use the app, run focus groups to ask questions. This type of data triangulation - taking different types of data and reference points - and drawing conclusions from that provides a much clearer picture of what's happening.”

As Andi points out here, what better way to find out how your users are getting on with your app than to straight out ask them yourself? Quantitative data is great, but it doesn’t give you the bigger picture.

But just be careful about sending them directly to the app store. Yes, user ratings are a vital component of your app's success, but you want to make sure that when they write their opinion in the app store, for everyone to see, that it’s a good one. Try asking them how they feel privately by sending a quick in-app message (at an appropriate time, of course). Take this feedback on board, and use it as an opportunity to impress your users and gain their loyalty by showing them that you are using their information to improve.

Then, later down the line, after you’ve exceed their expectations, you can ask them for that 5* rating you deserve… 😉

      6.   Only Measure What Matters

Cédric Oeblinger | CEO, Owlie

To start your analytics journey, you must begin your roadmap by setting objectives and KPI's to the app tracking. They will lead your strategy and help you to track the most important things of your business.”

Tim Vogel | Head of Performance Marketing, Bux

Data collection and analysis can be very overwhelming. Analytics dashboards alone won’t help you solve anything unless, you tie it to specific business goals and desired outcomes. My top tip is only to measure what you intend to improve.”

Time is money, and so you should not be wasting your time measuring vanity metrics such as page views and number of installs. Yes, these are important in their own right but they won’t help serve the company’s goals. Before analysing any mobile app analytics, ask yourself what your actual goal is and define a strategy that aligns with your app’s core offering and your KPI’s. Measuring the ‘hard’ metrics such as action taken after a particular push notification or customer lifetime value is much more beneficial.

Learn more about what each of our Industry Gurus had to say about mobile app analytics plus their key advice into many other areas in “The Complete Guide to App Marketing from Industry Gurus”

Thank you to all our App Marketing Guru’s for sharing their valuable knowledge!

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