Don't let the word analytics scare you off. From an Android marketing perspective, being able to gather information about how your buyers are using your apps is extremely helpful to making adjustments to your marketing plan. Marketing is a dynamic activity. You'll find that some strategies work better to market your app than others. Analytics data helps you make better decisions about what's working and what's not for your particular circumstances.

In this chapter we will explore the basics of using analytics and how these tools can help you improve your apps and target your sales more closely. Analytics makes use of simple code that you insert into your Android application to collect information about your users' actions. The information is gathered periodically on the local smartphone and then it's transmitted to the company who has licensed the code to you.

You can then view the results for your individual app or in aggregate for multiple similar apps. If a connection is not available at the time of transmission, the analytics software will try again when a connection is established.

Analytics data allows you to make better marketing decisions because you will know who is using your app, when they are using it, and how frequently it gets opened. You can develop more targeted ad campaigns, focus on refining specific features, or identify certain user groups for your app. As long as the information you are gathering is not intrusive to the end user and you are not violating any privacy laws, you'll find this type of data to give you the competitive edge you need in the app world.

Apps that have access to location data must have the user's consent. The user must opt in for location tracking. Clearly explain this in your terms of service. See the "Analytics and Privacy" section at the end of this chapter for more information about protecting privacy and complying with the law.

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