What are the right metrics to measure on mobile?

It’s an old cliche that what gets measured gets managed. Data lies at the heart of modern marketing, and if you’re tracking the wrong numbers there’s no way you can expect to deliver great results.

Why it’s wrong to focus on downloads

Measurement of mobile app campaigns is still in the dark ages. Too many marketers are focused on downloads, a metric that fails to accurately represent success on mobile. Downloads are simply a measure of everyone who has ever installed your application. It’s the same as measuring the number of people who have ever bought something from your business – it’s a number, but not a very interesting one.

If a sales team was still counting customers who have long since departed for competitors, it would be seen as hopelessly incompetent – yet marketers who track downloads are doing the same thing.

Engagement is king

Instead of downloads, marketers should focus on mobile engagement. The simplest way to measure engagement is how many customers are opening your app. Unlike downloads, which is a backward-looking mobile metric, engagement is a real-time measure of activity. It tracks how many people are directly engaging with your brand – day by day and hour by hour.

Ask yourself which you would rather have: an app that many people have downloaded but never opened, or an app that attracts a regular audience of your most loyal influencers?

Luckily, there’s a simple way to drive engagement


Good metrics are those that marketers can influence. Unlike any other media channel, brands can be proactive on mobile.  A push notification lets your brand reach individual customers at specific times and places to deliver the perfect message:

  • Engage with a coupon when a customer walks into your store

  • Engage with a poll in the lead up to a major sporting event

  • Engage with a notification when there’s new app content

  • Engage with a video that your customers won’t want to miss

  • Engage with a fake phone call from a celebrity

Having mobile apps without messaging is like having a Facebook page with no content. Seems silly, yet that’s what too many brands are doing.

What gets measured gets managed. If your brand wants to truly succeed on mobile, it’s time to start tracking the mobile metrics that matter.

And don’t forget, the key to generating positive results is engaging your app audience. 

Are you ready to engage your mobile audience? Contact us!

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