Well after letting it sink in for a few days, its time for some comments on the upcoming AdMob analytics.
While I am not in the habit of providing links to competing products, one of the things I said this blog would be about is mobile analytics. Not just Mobilytics.
We were aware that AdMob was coming out with something, but were led to believe that it was different than what was announced.
I want to share some comments I made on a blog post at GoMoNews.com on the subject. I think they are important.
Bena Roberts had asked if it was a smart move for AdMob to get involved in analytics.
Is AdMob going pear shaped? Ok. Ok. I have been accused of bullying AdMob in the past and it’s not my objective to bully – but I will sign up for BETA (if they let me) and report back. My concerns about this is that AdMob seems to be doing what is in fashion and not what’s essential for its ad network.
Yes, its easy to set up AdMob. But education for consumers is essential in the part of finding and choosing adverts for the site and writing killer short briefs. That is where there mobile ad networks are failing non-agency clients at the moment.
Just because AdMob has the data they think they need to do accurate analytics, doesn’t mean they should. Same goes for Bango. Yes, provide click tracking and ROI reporting, but why try, or claim to be a complete analytics solution? This is not what they are good at. Here are two leaders in their own niche that they both rule. If I was them I’d keep heading in that direction.
My guess is that AdMob believes that if they give away free analytics to every mobile website, that they will add more publishers and advertisers. We’ll see how that goes.
But realty says that no matter what medium ads are bought and sold on, there needs to be sufficient tracking and auditing to keep everyone honest and accountable. There needs to be somewhere reliable that you can use to track your performance and compare across ad spends. Buying ads from AdMob, and then using their analytics to verify is a conflict of interest if you ask me. Same goes for publishers. If I am getting paid for page views or clicks, then why would I want to use the company paying me to verify how many there are?
For years Google has been paying publishers without giving them details of how they came up with the amount. AdMob has also been as transparent as a brick wall. As an AdMob advertiser, I have seen clicks to my site that are more than questionable, with no way to verify, until now. Clicks from spiders, desktop computers, and other suspicious activity. Do I want to use AdMob analytics to verify their own numbers??
If I want to compare my Yahoo Mobile, DeckTrade and AdMob spends to see which is more effective, do I want to use AdMob analytics to do so? Talk about a conflict of interest!
Why is it you think that Google Analytics is free, yet Omniture and hundreds of other web analytics products still thrive??
Mobilytics has been built from the ground up to be an impartial analytics and campaign tracking system specifically for the mobile market. We didn’t bolt it onto another product that already had some data. The reason we are still in beta testing is that each day we painstakingly sifting through data every day to improve the accuracy of our stats, and will not release it until we are satisfied.
For example, we spent significant development time building a Blackberry specific module into our coding servers. So instead of every Blackberry showing as having a carrier of RIM and a country of Canada, we can now identify the real carrier and country a large percentage of the time. You won’t be seeing comments like this one left from Glenn Walker at Bango.
Interestingly, you accessed the link on a Blackberry using the default internet connection, rather than the specific WAP gateway, hence then unidentified entries. We are currently working on improving our detection and reporting of devices which, although mobile devices, access the internet directly -
This was in response to me blogging about how their screens were all showing unidentified handsets.
Since Bango bolted their analytics on, they are relying on carrier relationships to identify phones according to them. I visited through a corporate BES server the way 90% of them do. Well what happens if I access on my iPhone from a WiFi connection.
Look for Mobilytics to be a stand-alone complete mobile analytics package that spans across the mobile web, sms, in-game advertising, video, Bluetooth and mobile email.
Look for an API that integrates into Omniture and other analytics packages, and provides all analytics data to our customers.
Personally I’m not comfortable with the fox guarding the hen house, and I’m betting that companies spending millions on advertising are not either.