The role of app analytics - Mobile World Live

The role of app analytics

22 FEB 2011

In my previous posts, I have discussed the emergence of native mobile apps, which seem to catch more absolute and relative ‘face time’, with the most direct loser being the mobile web. I am naturally emphasising the benefits of being able to analyse the use of mobile apps – how many people are using them, what is being used, how actively, what is the stickiness, how much face time, what is the engagement and reach, where and in which context, at which frequency etc – as it is an area where Zokem is at its best; analysing mobile apps usage holistically and by getting a full 360-degree view of mobile consumers.

But what implications does this line of analytics possess? There is some mobile analytics and research data that is still missing from the marketplace. For advertisers, mobile apps are, and should be, a quickly growing medium for delivering marketing material. In order to understand how to engage with a selected user segment, you need to understand how face time is distributed across different apps, and how, when and where application categories are being used, and what are the top apps for advertising. There are no existing analytics products available about the use of apps and the allocation and effectiveness of mobile ads, but we know many are eagerly waiting for this data.

Next year, we expect a big chunk of new business to come from the world of advertising, as the utilisation of mobile as a marketing and advertising channel booms. Most companies operating in mobile, whether it is about websites or applications, have very sophisticated analytics about the use of their own services, websites and applications. However, when it comes down to questions such as ‘What is the relative face time people spend on my application vs. other applications?’ there are no analytics available in the market that could directly provide the answers.

In addition, a large number of companies, coming from the content and media industries, are in the business of profiling users to better target marketing and advertising, and for this, profiles of users are needed. As lots of content, from WSJ to CBS, and Spotify to Accuweather, are provided through mobile apps, tracking the behaviour of people and linking that to other attributes, like the use of other apps, demographics and device platforms, is becoming increasingly important.

Mobile apps are overtaking the mobile web, challenging many of the trends that took place in the desktop world earlier. Along with this trend towards mobile apps, actionable analytics products and data points about mobile apps become critical, and players from all parts of the ecosystem, from advertisers to platform providers, and from app developers to carriers, have to acknowledge the ongoing transformation.

It is not going to be black and white – or a case of either native apps or mobile web winning the game – as both mobile web and mobile apps will co-exist. Only one thing is for sure; mobile apps have radically disrupted how people consume content and do things in mobile.


Hannu Verkasalo

The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members


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