Three ways to use mobile data for better marketing

30th Jul 2014

The rapidly changing technology of mcommerce means the best way to reach mobile shoppers is also changing at a frantic pace. But with a massive (and growing) opportunity for retailers in the UK to profit from those browsing and buying via mobile, companies need to ensure that optimising their marketing campaigns for this channel is a top priority.

And of all the digital channels, mobile is moving the fastest – with UK shoppers set to spend £107bn in 2014 through mobile commerce, it is a lucrative market for retailers. The UK leads the mobile commerce revolution in Europe with a fifth of all online purchases completed via mobile this year. In the UK alone, mobile devices account for more than a third of web traffic, with smartphones accounting for 25% of all internet traffic. To keep pace, brands need to understand how to best target mobile customers through apps, the mobile web, and social media.

Here are three ways you can use the rich data offered by mobile users to enhance your mobile marketing strategy, and how this data can be used to provide a truly personalised and targeted promotional campaign to those users.

Using customer data to drive your mobile strategy

Mobile shoppers offer brands a great deal of insight when it comes to selling online. Analysing visitor behaviour provides rich data to help measure mobile adoption, customer engagement and the overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns and website design.

Web analytics provide insight into downloads, mobile web activity, video consumption, location and device specifics. This quantifiable data can then be used to optimise campaigns to further improve the customer experience.  

Due to the rich amount of data mobile can offer, including on-the-move geolocation data, there’s a golden opportunity to truly personalise your campaigns. The age of big data means that businesses now have access to a huge range of customer information, which you can – and should – use to give your customers a personalised, exciting and engaging experience across all platforms.

Personalising the customer experience and closing the loop between offline and online

Until now, personalisation has usually involved using a combination of known profile information and historical data. What’s been missing is the ability to combine these factors with real-time information such as in–the-moment browsing data, the device a customer is using, their specific location and their stage in the purchase cycle.

Bringing all of these factors together is defined as contextual personalisation. It allows brands to deliver targeted and relevant experiences to a customer based on their specific needs at that exact moment in time – giving the customer what they want, when they want it and where they want it.

Mobile offers a unique opportunity to target customers with personalised messages on-the-go when they’re browsing in-store or in nearby stores.

Contextual personalisation is also the catalyst for more exciting innovations that allow you to bring together the online world with the ‘real’ offline world. Imagine if you knew what your customers wanted before they even entered your store – everything from their shopping habits, likes, dislikes and previous purchases – and could then use this information to drive their in-store experience. This is what contextual personalisation, combined with new technologies such as Apple’s iBeacon, enables – it uses consumers’ known online behaviour data to drive offline sales.

With digital interactions between shoppers and retailers influencing 50% of all in-store sales, it’s essential to make the most of digital and start to close the offline and online loop. Mobile is at the very heart of these exciting new developments.

Using mobile as an email marketing platform

The opportunities with mobile commerce don’t stop the moment your customer goes offline, but this doesn’t mean that they’re open to receiving communications via their smartphone at any time of the day either.

For example, you can expect to see far more desktop views of your email marketing during the day, when most people are at work. This tends to switch to heavy smartphone usage in the late afternoon, especially during weekdays. In the evening, consumers tend to move onto tablet devices as they adopt a ‘two screen’ approach to entertainment – watching television while using their tablets. So far, so expected.

However, certain studies show that consumers watch different types of programme throughout the evening and this presents a real opportunity for brands. Typically, we tend to watch shows that are less taxing early on in the evening before switching to harder-hitting, more thought-consuming shows later on at night. EastEnders makes way for Newsnight.

If a marketer can identify when their target audience are in their ‘lighter viewing’ mode, and therefore more likely to be ‘second screening’, they can go for a harder sell approach, optimising promotions for mobile. It’s no coincidence that early evenings tend to be a popular time for online shopping, so marketers should optimise their mobile outreach based on these factors.

Early morning isn’t typically a fruitful time for most companies trying to sell products. We’ve seen that mobile usage when people first wake up tends to be steered towards checking work emails, scanning Facebook for updates from friends, reading the news or getting in a quick puzzle game before showering. Marketers are likely to be more successful hitting consumers during their commute, as those on public transport seek distraction from the daily tedium of getting from A to B.

In such a technology-centric world where internet access is widely available, reaching the multi-channel consumer is no longer the enigma it once was. The new and perhaps greater challenge is providing the user with the best mobile experience possible.  And if you can get your mobile strategy right, the rewards can be substantial. 

Tom Waterfall is director of optimisation solutions at Webtrends.

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