I'm excited about a new report for Forrester customers called Master Your Customers' Mobile PathwaysNicole Dvorak and I spent months examining the data, Jennifer Wise helped us bring a marketing point of view, Xiaotong Duan brought the beauty of graphics to the project, and Reineke Reistma shepherded it across the finish line.

We've been tracking how people use their smartphones and tablets in the US and UK: every mobile moment, every session, every brand, every website. This data gives us deep insight into consumers' mobile lives. If you have questions about who, what, which, when, how often, and for how long consumers visit you and your competitors, we can answer it. Here's a picture and excerpt from that report. Look at how much time, how few brands, and how many mobile sites consumers visit on their smartphones and tablets every month. It's your customers' mobile world — you just live in it!


With our Consumer Technographics behavior tracking data, we have created a new analytic framework we call mobile pathway analysis, which we define as:

Charting the immediate path customers take to and from your brand's mobile moments.

In this analysis, we answer five mobile pathway questions:

  1. Do your customers come to your mobile app, site, or both? You may know this for customers who log in. But what about those who don't? Or your competitors' customers? With this metric, we can show you how much more popular your mobile site is than your app — or vice versa. That insight can shape your decisions on 1) where to invest more (app or site); 2) your customers' mobile pathway context (browsing or directed); and 3) where to place your awareness and discovery bets. For example, Groupon's app is more popular among US smartphone owners than its mobile website, while BestBuy's website attracts a larger audience than its app.
  2. How strong is your direct engagement? Do customers go directly to your app or site when starting a mobile session or do they stop or start along the way? The higher your brand's direct engagement, the more likely your customers are to see your brand as an essential part of their day. Use this metric to benchmark yourself against your competitor. Bank of America has a very high level of direct engagement on both its app and site — much higher than competitor Chase, for example.
  3. How did your customer get to your mobile app or site? One of the most powerful new insights in the mobile pathway analysis comes from knowing where your customers have been right before they spend time with you. We can give you that information for your mobile app or mobile site. Knowing if the previous destination was a search engine, social network, messaging app, or competitor helps you shape your mobile marketing approach to media and channels: whether that's investing more with Google, Facebook, or email.
  4. Is the next step on the mobile pathway with a friend or foe? In an odd twist, it might matter more what your customers do when they leave your mobile app or site. Do they put down their phones? Do they switch gears and go back to entertain themselves on social media? Or visit a competitor or partner next? Understanding the next stop on your customer's mobile journey will help you analyze potential partnerships and risk scenarios. Consumers visiting Walmart.com, for example, are more likely to go to Amazon.com next than consumers visiting Target.com. Why? Are they looking for price comparisons, searching for reviews, or checking if Amazon has a broader range of products?
  5. How do mobile pathways change for different customer segments? For example, are high-income consumers more likely than low-income consumers to string together multiple destinations, or are they more likely to engage with your app or site directly? We can examine the pathway differences between two groups of income levels, age, gender, and segments of Forrester's mobile mind shift segmentation for major brands with apps and sites that reach double-digit US adoption rates.