3 Signs That Mobile Data Is The New Marketing Overlord
By creating a universal tech platform, smartphones have fundamentally rebuilt how we use technology. But for marketers, the mobile revolution isn’t about devices. It’s about data.
Mobile puts a tiny super computer within reach of just about everybody. According toBenedict Evans, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz who focuses on mobile technology, there are an estimated 4 to 5 billion iOS and Android devices in the hands of consumers today (compared with about 1.6 billion PCs).
By 2020, Evans estimates that 80% of adults worldwide will have a smartphone. On top of that, smartphones generate an intrinsically valuable stream of behavioral data for marketers to use, from location to browsing habits. Add it up and you get a platform that combines scale with granularity, meaning that companies can analyze immensely rich data sets and then apply the results to individuals.
“It’s a fundamental paradigm shift that makes mobile more than just another channel,” said Duncan McCall, CEO of PlaceIQ in New York, during a panel discussion held at Oracle OpenWorld 2015.
This new computing reality is profoundly changing consumer marketing, and roundtable participants spotlighted the following points:
1. Build a cross-device marketing strategy.
The old days of apportioning advertising budgets for specific sectors like print or TV just doesn’t translate to the digital world. Online consumers might research a product on their mobile device but sit down at the desktop to make the actual purchase, blurring the breadcrumb trail of consumer behavior that helps media companies target ad spend.
“The whole cross-device issue is one reason why we’re not seeing as much advertising money coming to mobile,” says Ameet Ranadive, vice president of revenue products at Twitter.
In fact, although US adults spent an average of nearly 3 hours daily on their mobile devices in 2015, eMarketer projected that mobile would represent only 15.3% total media ad spending.
Instead, companies need to build a big-picture view of consumer behavior by linking data from the many digital devices used by an individual or family. “Cross-device ID and having a sense of the user across devices is so important,” Ranadive says.
It’s also very difficult. Panelist Winston Crawford, COO of Drawbridge, says that the average US family has about three devices per person, including items like smart TVs, gaming devices, tablets, laptops, and phones. “That’s dozens of IDs per family—how does the market stitch them together to have a consistent conversation with the consumer?” he asks. “Marketers need a very cohesive strategy for marketing tech around the whole organization if they want to succeed.”
That same challenge has triggered the need for significant technology investments on the ad-buying side. Media agencies like Carat USA, for example, must integrate ad and marketing technology into its existing media infrastructure to get the full consumer picture. “It’s expensive, but that infrastructure piece is pretty critical,” says Adam Seymour, senior vice president and managing director at the company. “It’s a huge shift as a media agency.”
2. Location data connects the physical and digital world.
People don’t typically share a smart phone with others. (In my house, people don’t really allow others to touch their phone, let alone share it.) So when individuals download apps that use location data, there’s a great opportunity to see the anonymous movement of unique users at scale. Audi, for example, uses location data to send incentives to prospective buyers who are also checking out the competition.
And when combined with third-party data, that data can be used to target very specific audiences. In fact, some organizations are using such data for more than marketing, McCall says, such as planning new store locations or optimizing their supply chains. “It’s cutting across B2C to B2B.”
3. Mobile apps could change the rules of search.
Mobile users significantly prefer using apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Uber instead of mobile web browsers. But unlike traditional web pages, apps are functional silos and the data they contain are not yet discoverable by search engines.
This poses a challenge to marketers, Seymour says. “If consumers are spending all their time on apps, what do media companies do [to target ads accurately]? Mobile browsers won’t find them.”
The increasing popularity of deep linking, which lets mobile users tap from link to link within apps, is a possible game changer, says Crawford. “It’s nascent, but it will help bring parity in content discovery from mobile web to mobile apps.”
Mobile’s data stream essentially digitizes human behavior, giving marketers the opportunity to target consumers with almost surgical precision. By doing so, mobile data has become the cornerstone of modern consumer marketing, further driving the function into the realm of data science.
Sourced from www.forbes.com