Integrating Multi-Channel Analysis Across Mobile & Desktop
Imagine yourself in this situation —
Walking into the meeting I know the Director of Online Marketing would benefit from the analysis I just completed on mobile app influence on conversions. I also know they are getting ready to cancel a media spend against mobile apps since they don’t have any proof that mobile is helping with conversions. As the meeting starts the director opens it by saying, “What should we do with our mobile app marketing strategy?” As the others in the meeting go around giving their opinions as to next steps, I’m a bit nervous when it’s my turn since I seem to be in the minority. The redeeming thought in my head was that we had just combined our mobile app and desktop report suites in Adobe Analytics so I’m the only one with data to back up my suggestion.
While this is a hypothetical situation, I am sure many of you can relate to getting a request from an executive wanting to understand how mobile apps are helping drive business. Are mobile apps really worth the work to build them out? When you have two separate report suites you can’t see cross-device visits along with the true influence that each channel is having on the other.
Integrating Mobile and Desktop Report Suites
There are a couple of ways to integrate mobile and desktop report suites using Adobe Marketing Cloud and Analytics Premium (specifically the Data Workbench capability). When combining multiple report suites in Analytics you will most likely need to utilize the unified customer process. This will essentially take any common keys between the two report suites and stich the visitors together. In Analytics you are able to restate history as well as match on multiple keys throughout the visitors visits. Here is an example:
Valuable Analysis with Integrated Reporting
Seeing the path that visitors take from mobile to their desktop within the report suite is clearly the most obvious benefit of this integration. Clients appreciate seeing the full journey of their customers — from browsing specific hotels on the mobile app, then transitioning their session to a desktop site and looking at the same hotel property to finally completing the purchase online.
Integrated reporting will also be able to show the percentage of desktop sales influenced by mobile. Many companies find that their mobile app converts at a lower rate than their desktop site, but still know that their mobile app does play an important part in the sale cycle. By having integrated mobile and desktop reporting, you’ll easily be able to show how much the mobile app drives visits to the desktop site, which are then converting online.
This new reporting style will also give you the ability for richer customer segmentation based on browsing and channel preferences. Previously, you would have only seen a frequent mobile app user, and not been able to connect them to their frequent desktop purchases. In fact, your mobile app was enabling the research and continual engagement with your brand that drove future purchases. In previous segmentation this person would be considered either “low value” or “browser” but if your segmentation is on the global report suite they would be considered “high value” or “multi-channel shopper.” Additionally, if you have Adobe Target, you would be able to pass these segments to Target and be able to enrich the content you show them because you know the customers full multichannel path.
Strategizing a Global Report Suite
After creating unified customer profiles, you may be ready to consider a global report suite. Here are some thing to keep in mind when working towards the creation of a global report suite:
- By moving to a global report suite which spans across different domains/sites, you will need to use a third-party cookie for the analytics tracking. This has an impact when it comes to Apple devices (iPhone and iPad).
- Set aside several variables which are site/report suite specific and don’t roll up into the global (at least the variables aren’t enabled). That could mean that you reserve eVar1-eVar50 for ‘global’ tracking requirements and leave eVar51-eVar75 for site specific tracking.
- When you are doing a global report suite across geographies and the different sites/report suites are a combination of regional sites, make sure to include a language and/or country identifier in the page name and then have a separate variable where that isn’t included.
In some cases, it’s helpful for Adobe Consulting to assist with running the unified customer process on your report suites. Below are some great areas to identify and questions to ask:
- Identify Customer ID – Identify the highest-level key. Usually, the ID must identify the customer.
- Establish Mapping Points – Align the data sources to the customer level.
- Create Mapping Priority Rules – Which data sources are included? Which take precedence for mapping?
- Look Back Window – Determine the amount of historical (prior) data that will be re-evaluated to align prior unmapped interactions with the now-known customer key.
- Mapping Persistence Window – How long should a mapping of cookie to customer remain in use? Active visitors remain within the mapping file by virtue of more regular interaction (they don’t “time out” of the window).
Adobe Consulting provides industry best practices around this integration and upping your analytics capabilities by performing multichannel analysis. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when combining report suites:
- Variables from two different report suites combining into one
- Determining your keys to match on in each report suite
- Understanding the analysis impact of combining two report suites
Reach out to me on Twitter if you have questions or need guidance on how to successfully pull this integration off. Good luck!