In February, after figuratively spinning my wheels for four months, I purchased a Peloton bike, making my wheel-spinning undeniably more literal.
That, of course, has been dependent on me using it.
Included for $1,995 is what is sold as highly personal and precise readouts on the screen mounted to the bicycle as well as an app that mirrors the performance numbers.
Cadence. Resistance. Output. Heart rate. Duration.
This all reminds me of the experience of many marketers when it comes to getting serious about mobile marketing.
It takes time to do your homework, and often even double that to come to a decision. Mobile doesn’t have to be expensive, but when you aren’t used to paying much of anything, fees and hard costs may seem like a reach.
Once you are in, new measurements come into view with some easy to follow and others more nuanced or even confusing.
Opens. Downloads. Opt-ins. Engagement.
Measurement in mobile is inexact. I know it. You may know it. Forrester just wrote on it.
“Marketers don’t have a consistent approach to mobile measurement,” Forrester reported in “Master Mobile Measurement To Transform Customer Relationships”. “Current mobile measurement efforts are scattered. Aside from the 6% of marketers who account for offline channels in addition to mobile, the rest of marketers either measure mobile channels independently (31%), across each other (26%), or in conjunction with other digital platforms (36%).
“Only 45% want to move away from looking at mobile by itself and create a unified view with other channel. Inconsistent approaches to mobile measurement undervalue mobile efficacy.”
On my Peloton, I’m needing to process the numbers to gauge performance. At least, all the information is in one place.
Not so with mobile.
“Marketers face data challenges that foster fragmented measurement,” Forrester wrote in the report that was commissioned by Tune. “Marketers struggle to find the right data sources and stitch them together — ultimately hindering their ability to measure and optimize their programs. Challenges with managing data quality (32%), measuring fragmented metrics (22%), and uncovering successful customer acquisition channels (20%) are the top three challenges that marketers face with their mobile marketing efforts.
I’ve come to see my Peleton results screen as a just-right view of what’s going on.
Conversely, Forrester says that we take in too many numbers when running mobile programs.
“Marketers look at too many metrics,” the company said. “The glut of metrics hinders the marketers who are looking to build a mobile-centric strategy. Marketers juggle between three to nine mobile metrics per customer life-cycle phase. Too many metrics can confuse marketers on what’s driving the business value and what they should optimize marketing investments against.
Smartly, Forrester offers actionable recommendations:
“Creating a holistic measurement approach — inclusive of mobile across the entire customer journey — enables marketers to truly understand their customers. This in turn enables marketers to better calculate the performance metrics that matter most to the business, to make data- driven decisions at the strategic and tactical levels, and ultimately to more perceptively spend their marketing dollars. The first step is for marketers to maximize their opportunities for mobile at each phase of the journey by aligning their mobile marketing with the customer life cycle.
“If you wish to create a holistic measurement approach, you must: Evaluate your measurement maturity. Take a step back. Review your current mobile measurement strategy and determine how well your firm measures mobile across different phases of the life cycle. Consider if you have a consistent measurement approach across each phase, if you include mobile with other touchpoints, and if you’re leveraging advanced analytics to measure more deeply. Doing these activities will help you identify those key mobile-specific areas that you most need to improve on.”
And don’t try to identify and evaluate every conceivable metric.
“Rely on metrics that matter. Marketers balance short-term revenue- based metrics, such as sales conversions, with long-term metrics of customer lifetime value. Short-term metrics associate the immediate revenue impact of all mobile activities, while longer-term metrics, such as customer lifetime value, gauges how mobile drives long- term customer engagement. A balance between short- and long-term metrics will enable marketers to drive immediate revenue goals while targeting the right customers that will foster loyalty.
“Audit your data. The No. 1 measurement challenge is combining multiple data sources. Conduct data audits for all mobile sources to identify data leakage, to track consistent campaign codes, and to pinpoint missing data points. This forces marketers to become more data savvy and better able to determine what they can truly measure.”
And search out the more sophisticated solutions.
“Embrace advanced measurement approaches,” Forrester reported. “Mobile-specific measurement is vital, but it’s not enough alone; customers still shop in stores, watch television, and work on laptops. To truly understand the value of mobile, leverage mobile-specific analytical models to calculate the value of mobile. This will solidify your case for more mobile investments.”
I’m 36 rides into my Peloton journey. My performance is improving – I actually set two personal records over the weekend.
But this, like mobile, is a long game. I feel stronger but results take time. I need to make sure that I am identifying what matters, then optimizing.
Just like I do in my day job.
(The Forrester report is here - https://mkt.tune.com/tmc-forrester-research-master-mobile-measurement.html#_ga=2.35149928.833287923.1523205300-987978029.1523205300)