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While it's interesting to see the extent of mobile's influence nowadays, reports which talk about mobile in general are useful only to a point.
For board-level presentations, knowing that mobile penetration is 75% in a target market may be sufficient, but when trying to decide how a brand can serve the mobile consumer more effectively, more granular data is needed.
Fortunately, there are a number of providers who offer mobile consumer data for free in order to win attention for their paid products. Each service provides genuine data points (i.e. not from surveys) which detail, market by market, how consumers are actually using their mobiles.
Here are three we use for our research and find them indispensable for understanding the role of mobile in the new customer journey.
One of the most interesting data points for marketers investigating consumer mobile behaviour is whether the channel is more popular than desktop. This question is a lot more difficult to answer than just looking at Google Analytics as the brand's audience may be heavily skewed one way or another. So, the question often remains, which is more popular - desktop or mobile?
To answer this question, Statcounter's 'Desktop vs. Mobile vs. Tablet' report is the place to go.
In their report, updated monthly, StatCounter shows data gathered from 2.5 million websites globally with more than 15 billion page views monthly.
The report allows you to either look at the global picture (in which mobile has only recently taken over desktop):
Or on a country-by-country basis which shows, for example that in the UK desktop still reigns supreme for web page views.
This information may confirm biases or even upset long-held beliefs, but regardless the charts are a worthwhile addition to any mobile strategy document.
For those looking for data about how consumers are using mobiles, Appier offers an annual report about cross-device user behaviour.
Appier is a venture-funded mobile data analytics company which helps companies identify consumers across devices so that they can advertise to them more effectively.
From the data aggregated across companies, Appier offers useful charts about how customers are both browsing and buying via desktop, mobile, and tablet.
Here is one graph which shows that throughout the day browsing behaviour by device changes significantly. During the day, consumers are far more active on desktop than mobile, but at 7PM the position reverses sharply, with mobile being the more popular device until 2AM.
For ecommerce brands, Appier also offers data about mobile conversions. Interestingly, in Asia, more than twice as many people who are browsing cross-device convert on the mobile (55%) than on PC (24%).
The service, and data, are currently only available in Asia-Pacfic but as Appier recently received nearly $20m in funding, it is likely that the company will be expanding globally soon.
Finally, for those who want to know what apps consumers are using, AppAnnie offers invaluable and extensive data about app downloads and revenue.
One useful report for those looking into the popularity of platforms in a particular market is the Rank History report. Here marketers can see, on a country-by-country basis, the popularity of apps on both the iOS and Google Play store.
This information can help brands determine whether their cross-market mobile strategies will fly in the target markets or flop depending on the popularity of the target app.
For example, we recently had a look at the popularity of Snapchat in Asia-Pacific and found, with the help of App Annie, that Facebook and Instagram have nearly insurmountable leads over Snapchat in the region.
These figures, however, contrast sharply with Snapchat's performance in the US, UK, and Australia where Snapchat is almost always in the top 10 most downloaded apps for both iOS and Android.
Marketers can then use this data to make more sensible media buys for their target markets.
While its often useful to use 'big picture' stats to let senior management know how important mobile has become, marketers often need more detail when benchmarking performance and researching strategies.
Luckily there are firms which have made data available for free which can help, three of which are listed above.
With web vs. mobile traffic data, mobile consumer habits, and app preferences available at a country level, marketers can now make more informed decisions about how to manage the new, mobile consumer in their target markets.