First, the good news: Mobile marketing is maturing within organizations. More marketers than ever have mobile programs in place, and they are shifting from testing to “see what happens” to the more strategic, and Tim Gunn-recommended, “make it work.”

Now for the bad news: Marketers have to demonstrate whether their mobile programs are, in fact, working. And in a still-evolving industry that lacks measurement standards, coupled with marketers who are just starting to measure strategically, this is no easy task.  

But it can be done! Our advice to marketers is this: Start by benchmarking against yourself. Here are the three steps to help you set the right baselines:

  1. Set up a mobile dashboard. You’re going to need a clear view of your data to develop consistent measures. And for mobile, this requires a feature-rich dashboard with the right level of granularity. What does your mobile dashboard need to have? New filters like operating system (OS) and app version, new data sources like app review sentiment, and cross-channel measurement capabilities to demonstrate mobile’s full impact.  
  2. Establish your baselines. So many variables impact the success of any one company’s mobile program — from its stage of mobile maturity to its audience to the campaign's creative. To make sure you land on the right baseline for your company, create a measurement plan that defines which KPIs matter for your goal and what the right frequency of tracking is based on the longevity of the program or introduction of new factors.
  3. Measure your performance against your baselines. Now that you have a baseline, you have to slice and dice the data to unveil the right performance metrics. This means viewing your dashboard by mobile tactic for the mobile channel manager and then looking cross-channel for your CMO. And be careful with the cadence — your standard quarterly review may help compare channels, but the real-time data available through the mobile device may require a new timeframe.

After you have completed these steps, you will have established your baselines and begun to benchmark. But how do you know if your performance is objectively “good”? No marketer wants to be an island, and it’s recommended that you turn to other resources as a gut check, including similar mobile campaigns within your own company and partner-established guidance based on their rolled-up and anonymized client data.

For more details about mobile dashboards, benchmarking practices, and examples, see the full report, Establish A Baseline For Mobile KPIs. And we want to hear what your experience with setting mobile baselines has been: What has — or has not — worked for you?