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Despite the increasing importance of mobile devices for both traffic and sales, fewer than half of businesses (41%) are able to accurately measure the behavioral differences between mobile and desktop visitors.

A further 41% report that they have limited insight into how mobile users browse their sites, while almost a fifth (18%) say they cannot measure the difference at all.

The findings come from the new Econsultancy/Kontagent Mobile Sophistication and Strategy Report, which takes a hard look at how organizations and agencies are responding to the ever-expanding reach and importance of mobile.

The study is based on a January 2013 survey of 1,301 respondents from both client-side and agency backgrounds. To provide context for mainstream marketers, the sample was divided into two main parts.

One part is comprised of those companies who have been determined to be “mobile first” by one or more measures, such as having a majority of customers/audience access site(s) via mobile devices or having a primary revenue stream from mobile. 

This group is used for comparison with the main body of the sample, the “mobile mainstream,” which better reflects mobile programs across sectors and company types.

Which of the following best describes your organization’s ability to measure behavioral difference in mobile site visitors vs. desktop web?

As expected, the mobile first group proved to be far more adept at measuring user behavior than the mainstream. Almost two-thirds (63%) of that group can track differences in behavior between mobile and desktop users.

Perhaps as a result of the lack of accurate analytics, 46% of the mobile mainstream said that they optimize their mobile sites less than quarterly or never.

Only 23% of the mainstream group said they update their mobile sites based on user feedback/data either monthly or weekly; however, this increases to 63% among mobile first companies.

The report reveals that mobile sites are updated even less frequently than apps, which is a surprise given that updates are easier for most organizations. 

It may be related to the current divide in goals between the two: many apps are conceived of as revenue drivers, while sites are for information.

How often is your organization optimizing its mobile site based on user feedback or data?

Finally, the new report looks at the extent to which mobile programs are supported by business intelligence and analytics teams. This can often be a useful measure of how much value a business places in its mobile initiatives.

Among companies that have BI or analytics teams (roughly 65% of the total sample), there’s an expected gap between the mobile first and mainstream.

However, it’s a sign of the importance of mobile at all types of organizations that the majority report reliable support in a time when many departments suffer from a lack in analytics resources.

To what extent does the mobile program get support from an analytics/business intelligence team?

David Moth

Published 6 March, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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