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Most used mobile app is Web browser: CTIA panelist

October 8, 2010

analyticsSAN FRANCISCO – The task of measuring mobile is not easy given the numerous operating systems, devices, requirements and rapid evolution that must be navigated to obtain credible data, per panelists at CTIA.

According to speakers who discussed marketing analytics, the ownsership of data is the single most issue of mobile marketing today. The panel was moderated by Adam Guy, vice president of client services at Compete, Boston.

“Mobile has achieved scale,” said Michael Collins, CEO of Joule, New York. “It’s about the desired outcome and measuring the effect of that desired outcome – ultimately that’s what we do, that’s why we’re in the business.

“Data is hard to come by in mobile,” he said. “You can’t cookie the browser – the control of that data, that’s where value is being created in mobile and that’s defining much of what’s going down in the space.”

Mobile analytics
Mobile data is more granular than online.

According to Kashif Ali, director of business development at Microsoft Advertising, Seattle, companies need more accurate mobile data.

“Coolness is something you can enable on mobile,” Mr. Ali said. “We’re device agnostic and we’re screen agnostic – mobile is just one more screen to us.

“It’s more about the end user and the ability of analytics to deliver in a consistent and digestible level,” he said. “We’re seeing beyond the click and unique ways of campaigns that follow the transaction.”

Mobile versus Web
When measuring the analytics of mobile applications versus mobile sites, Bango finds that there is a firm dividing line.

“The most widely used application on the mobile phone is the Web browser,” said Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango, Cambridge, England. “Twitter now sub launches YouTube in a tweet and that’s going to happen on mobile.

“Your Web page might have somebody else’s Web page in it,” he said.

Mobile analytics will come to extend and ultimately absorb anything, per Mr. Anderson.

But ultimately it boils down to the user.

“The user is the final nexus of all this information,” Mr. Anderson said. “As far as who controls the data, our philosophy is the person who paid us for it controls it.”

Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics , Boston, said that just like mobile is different from other channels, the way companies measure mobile Web versus applications is different.

“Things happen offline,” Mr. Aggarwel said. “You’re not always connected to the mobile Internet.

Mobile apps
For Jerome Baccelli, CEO of Pyramidata, Berkley, CA, said it is important to take into account everything – not just what happens in the application, but also what is happening around the application.

“We are going away from the middle age time surveys,” Mr. Baccelli said. “With application measurements, we now have ways to try to capture things – to understand what the value is.”

However, mobile is fundamentally different than other channels.

“The behaviors we look to track through mobile are different than other channels,” Joule’s Mr. Collins said. “The mobile device is different.

“We’re looking for life patterns, location and proximity and trying to see what kinds of insights that gives us,” he said. “Yes, digital data is digital data, but mobile is a different channel.”

Mobile data
Every analytics company measures data differently and they should not solely rely on absolute numbers, according to Eric Hansen, CEO of SiteSpect, Boston.

“People start to doubt the data,” Mr. Hansen said. “It’s a challenge that practitioners have to overcome.

“There is a lot of talk about location-based [analytics],” he said, “In my opinion, as a mobile user, I assume people are going to track what I do and in some way, I’m going to benefit from that.

“If I’m against that, then I would opt out.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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