When you operate an app-first business, analytics is rarely a number one priority.
However, your priority is growth, making money, and inevitably reporting back to your investors about how successful your business is becoming.
But, how are you going to do that properly without the correct data to back it up? The harsh but true answer is, you ain’t gonna.
A common mistake is thinking that every analytics platform does the same thing: report on trends and show you’re growing.
Analytics platforms are not all built the same. There are likely tools out there you haven’t yet heard of that you will need. Without these tools, you are likely to experience:
- data deficits leading to growth paralysis
- a severe lack of confidence in your data
- it takes you longer to get out to the market you so badly need to be part of
- difficulty raising funds, keeping team members and having dev backlogs the length of your arm
The good news is, all of this is preventable. So instead of looking to cure your problems later, you will save a lot of money and effort by getting ahead of it now. Prevention is always better than cure.
Let’s take a look at this essential guide to app analytics and how you can crush your growth. With this information, you can get ahead of the game in six easy steps (without bogging yourself down).
Product Vs Marketing App Analytics
Measurement of data is where the main misconception lies when it comes to analysing your growth. So many people will turn to Google Analytics to implement into an app when it doesn’t do what you want it to do. The fundamentals are missing.
Google Analytics out of the box is a marketing analytics tool and nothing more than numbers on a screen. What Google Analytics doesn’t do is bring you the product analytics you require.
In perspective, it is crucial to know the differences between them both. Product analytics is the process you use to understand how customers engage with your digital product or service. It is a framework for putting your customers at the core of your business. While marketing analytics is the process you use to understand how your marketing efforts successfully drive growth. Performance metrics are the core focus.
When implemented correctly, product and marketing analytics cross over to achieve a complete view of your users and their in-app behaviour. By implementing a tool built for the job (like Mixpanel or Amplitude), you will gain a level of analytics that you once thought was wizardry.
Marketing analytics doesn’t stop there.
Once you have your product analytics tool in place, there is one more thing you need to complete the view: app attribution.
Unlike most websites, apps need dedicated attribution tools. If you intend to spend a significant amount of money on advertising across multiple platforms, you’re going to want to know what works. Implementing such a tool will save you a lot of time and headaches staring at Excel, creating Vlookups, and sumif formulas. Similarly, the risk of inaccurate data and doubling down on the wrong things is avoidable.
In their basic form, attribution tools (see our guide) help itemise the installs that your app generates across both the App Store and Google Play Store. Without an attribution system in place, you wouldn’t be able to tell if your ad campaigns are genuinely effective across multiple sources of traffic.
Attribution tools, by nature, only have a 28-day window. However, by syncing it with your product analytics tool, you can successfully (and automatically) stitch your data together to get a complete view of your users from their first interaction to their most recent. Then, and only then, will you have an accurate representation of your return on investment.
At this point, you are successfully building a tech stack that will bring you end-to-end measurement and autonomous, real-time business intelligence.
O.M.G, it’s a C.D.P.
Customer data platform. DCP solutions are miracle workers and sit at the top of your tech stack. And, when it comes to app analytics, these tools make your life 10x more enjoyable.
CDPs prioritise your customer data and deliver it downstream to your product & marketing analytics tools while keeping it clean and secure.
Why is this important? Well, aside from data hygiene and privacy-first collection, it is a once and done project.
Yes, instead of having your developers spend weeks and months implementing multiple analytics tools, you can have it one in one go without the pain, hassle and extra cost.
Once implemented, you can turn on your downstream tools with a flick of a switch (literally). There is minimal technical know-how required to successfully implement new solutions at any stage, allowing you to grow with ease when you need to.
Essentially, a CDP helps your tech stack and data infrastructure go from this.
To be seamlessly integrated into your app, effortlessly piping your apps data to multiple destinations giving you a single source of truth.
Data housekeeping tips:
- Track all of the screens in your app under one ‘Screen viewed’ event. It will ensure you can analyse your users moving about properly and address CRO and funnel optimisation.
- Define your events with a straightforward, concise naming convention that indicates what the user has completed, not what is being completed.
- Keep all of your tracking requirements in one sheet and use it as a frame of reference for you and your team to prevent confusion and a lack of certainty.
Six steps to data freedom
We have designed an entire program around this. Follow these steps to get the most out of your tech stack and data infrastructure:
- Design a tracking plan & audit your app to assign screen names. Make sure to include properties with your events to enable a more granular analysis.
- Discuss and plan out the implementation with your devs & explain what you expect the outcome to be.
- Test rigorously in a sandbox environment. Make sure every event and property is tracking correctly.
- Configure all of your downstream tools and test again.
- Build dedicated dashboards for each area of your business (product, marketing, dev, etc.).
- Switch to a live environment and start measuring.