Why does mobile-originated data matter most in advertising?

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Why does mobile-originated data matter most in advertising?
Andrew Darling

According to eMarketer, within the next year, U.S. mobile ad spend will reach $50.84 billion – about twice as much as the total U.S. desktop ad spend. Meanwhile, mobile ad spending in the U.K. continues to show strong growth and is expected to rise 35 percent this year to £4.58 billion ($7 billion. That’s a higher figure than eMarketer forecast last year and marks the first time that that mobile has overtaken TV ad spending in the country.

And high levels of mobile adoption have helped advance Asia-Pacific’s mobile advertising market. For the first time, mobile will account for over half of all digital spending in the region in 2016. eMarketer expects mobile internet ad spending this year will grow by 54 percent to total $38.13 billion. Strong growth will continue through the end of the forecast, when Asia-Pacific’s mobile internet ad market will more than double, reaching $88.46 billion.

Yet there seems to be a disconnect. Many brands and marketers are still hesitant to think and be mobile-first. This hesitation may be a costly one because without mobile, there is no mobile-originated data.

The truth is, many of today’s marketers – an alarming 91 percent, according to eMarketer – are still dependent on cookie-based tracking that is probabilistically matched to identify mobile users.

But cookie-based data is just simply not good enough to garner high-quality audience personas in the mobile world.

So there is only one question left: What can mobile-originated data do for brands that cookie-based data can’t?

Mobile-originated data can produce a wealth of insights that inform and drive campaign performance and results. Telco, OS, and Device level data is one aspect of this and these datasets can be used to inform MNO-specific brand or loyalty campaigns, app and OEM campaigns etc.

However, we believe that location is most valuable mobile data currency.

Why?

Know the audience

Most brands rely on cookie-based tracking to identify and create consumer profiles. The problem is, that cookies have been, and will continue to be, riddled with flaws. Unlike cookies, mobile has unique device-IDs, allowing them to be easily identifiable across devices.

By using these device IDs, marketers are able to ingest important information that is gathered through relevant data points such as location, transactional, in-application and behavioural signals. These specific identifiers allow marketers and advertisers to get a complete and accurate multi-dimensional profile of each ideal consumer.

Reach consumers down to each individual mobile moment

According to a recent study by Deloitte, the average person checks his or her phone 46 times per day – most often while shopping, dining out and during leisure time.

This affinity towards being always on has completely changed the brand-consumer relationship.

Consumers are crossing paths with their favourite brands more than ever and brands that pay attention to these moments have a unique and highly effective opportunity to engage with their ideal consumer, in real time.

By ingesting real-time location data that arises from consumers’ mobile journey, brands have the opportunity to evaluate each mobile moment, choosing to show ads only when the moment is right, making each moment relevant and actionable.

Location data provides a path to the future

But this is only part of the jigsaw. Mobile-originated data, like historical location behaviour, provides a much more contextualised picture about consumers’ real lives and their preferences. And it can also provide a sign post to where they are probably going to turn up in the future.

The past is a powerful, powerful aspect of our lives. The relationship between the past, present and future shapes our behaviour in the world. And one of the most powerful ways of making sense of this relationship is by understanding that the places people have been helps to predict their future intentions, and therefore influences the marketing messages they could be receptive to at a later time.

One of the big differentiators between online and mobile is that in mobile, location plays a much bigger role. Location tells much more about a user than anything else. Location helps to better understand users, put them in categories, and categories allow advertisers to better understand the categories of audiences that they want to target.

Thanks to smartphones and good data management techniques, the ability to analyse that location relationship has become turbo charged – creating data touchpoints with consumers’ lives that go far beyond simple audience profiling. Using historical behaviour – both digital and place and time – advertisers now have the ability to predict the future.

Sort of.

Because the future is not completely predictable. Does this mean there is no point in thinking about the future?

No.

The past is indicative of the future

Some behavioural processes reflect large trends that are not so unpredictable. Mobile devices provide a rich source of contextual information for understanding customers on a personal level.

Understanding users’ historical location behaviours is a powerful contextual means for advertisers to do more – re-target their audiences at a later date across multiple screens and platforms, including OOH, TV and Social.

Contextually-driven dynamic data has been an industry utopia for years but now the technology and data is available, there is no good reason why it should not be the reality. Mobile is at the centre of any successful programmatic advertising strategy; not taking it seriously will not only damage the overall customer experience, but negatively impact the bottom line.

Ability to be creative

Once the harder part – the ideal consumer and ideal timing – has been figured out, brands must move on to the next step: the actual ad.

Today’s brands are at the mercy of the consumer – and consumers demand creativity.

From non-optimised ads to ill-fitting banner ads, it is no secret that consumers are fed up with intrusive advertisements.

This frustration is one of the main reasons why one in three mobile users now employs ad blockers. To combat this, brands must be creative and step outside of the traditional definitions of advertising – for example, native advertising.

Overall, it is important that brands realize that there has been a huge shift in the industry.

Consumers are no longer passive players in the advertising industry. They can and will cut you out of the conversation if your too intrusive or irrelevant.

But if brands use mobile-originated data to create insightful, relevant and targeted messages, the consumer-brand relationship will continue to grow to new heights.

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Andrew Darling

is Communications Director at Blis. He is responsible for Blis’ global communications and PR activities, as well as marketing operations in APAC. Andrew is a seasoned tech marketing and communications expert, Chair of the IAB SG Mobile Committee and former Telecoms, Media and Technology journalist.

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