An important part of the product development lifecycle is measurement, evaluating the results of the labor and effort on a product, and validating one’s assumptions and assertions. The analytics process and products allow you to track the metrics that are most crucial to evaluating the performance of your business, providing an ongoing check of the effectiveness of your customer acquisition strategies and your overall customer traction.
Tapstream is designed to help organizations measure and optimize their app marketing by developing an understanding of who their best users are, where they came from, and how. Tapstream helps app developers in all verticals understand who their best users are, where they came from and how to acquire more customers like them.
The first part of this article will articulate the importance of lean analytics, with the second half showing you how you can utilize Tapstream's suite of tools to measure just that.
What is lean analytics?
How do you know what metrics you should track and whether they will be a true reflection of progress in a given area?
Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz (2013) notes that useful metrics are those that are comparative, such as tracking the increase in conversion from one period to another. In other words, useful metrics are those that are measurable and understandable, and generally involve a ratio or rate.
Many companies, especially startups, tend to fall into the trap of vanity metrics--that is, statistics that make you feel good but that are not actionable. "Total signups," for example, is often a vanity metric--a value that increases over time but does not provide insight into how active users are. "Total active users" is a slightly more insightful metric, but will also produce an ever-increasing gradient graph.
An example of a real actionable metric is the "percentage of users who are active," a period-by-period comparison of how a company is doing in a specific area, s opposed to an always-increasing metric. So anything that measures something over a specific period of time, based on marketing initiatives, is actionable and good. However, that introduces another problem: establishing causality. That is, when you are measuring something, you have to establish whether the feature or marketing effort you just completed is the cause for the metric change. This is known as "causal establishment," a big topic outside the scope of this article. Let’s just say that you need to find a way to correlate a feature or initiative with a metric, not as a result of another cause. Are more users becoming active because of a Twitter campaign you just concluded, or because of a feature you just completed?
Measuring your customer acquisitions
Tapstream provides three tools--Attribution, Onboarding Links and Word of Mouth--designed to provide organizations with a pathway to actionable analytics.
Tapstream's free Attribution tool tracks clicks or impressions that cause app install, app engagement or in-app purchases. The installs or engagements can come from, for example, social networks, ad networks and landing pages, and the Attribute tool continuously evaluates the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) over a short period, or the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer.
Going back to our discussion of understanding what metrics are causal or correlative, this tool allows you to measure segmented networks, to produce distinct measurements following specific marketing goals or to track specific features that are being utilized to understand how active (and, thus, successful) a new feature is.
You need a way of correlating the impact of a Twitter campaign and tracking customer conversions from the campaign to actual app installs. You can then further funnel your measurement to see how many users go on to use specific features. You then track how active that same user is, over a specific period of time.