VideoAugust 10, 2018

Where does mobile data fit in your infrastructure?

Connected devices are everywhere, and that means that opportunities for customer engagement are also everywhere. Learn where mobile data collection should fit in your martech infrastructure.

Connected devices are everywhere, and that means that opportunities for customer engagement are also everywhere. But, to make these customer engagements count, they need to happen when and where they relevant and that leaves little room for mistakes. From smartphones and watches to cars to virtual assistants, brands need a martech stack up to the task of acting on these mobile moments.

Why is mobile data collection important?

First, why would you want to collect mobile data? Beyond understanding how a customer gets from point a to point b in their customer journey, one of the main benefits of mobile data is that you can collect data types that would otherwise be unavailable to enrich your knowledge of individual customers. Then you can use it to power in the moment campaigns. For example, location data from a beacon provider can enable a marketer to automatically push an offer notification based on product browsing habits online to an individual’s phone when a customer arrives at your brick and mortar store. That’s what we call contextualized marketing, because it is based on your customer’s context. To create contextualized marketing, you need to be able to act on real-time data from every customer touchpoint in real time.

So, how do you know if your martech stack is up to the task of keeping up with mobile? To find out you need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. Where can you collect customer data from?
  2. What can you collect?
  3. How can you collect it

Where can you collect customer data from?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the first question to ask of your martech stack’s mobile capabilities is if you can even collect data from mobile efficiently.

Truth is, not all marketing clouds and data platforms are ready to collect data from all of your customer engagement channels. Many legacy systems, like DMPs and tag managers, were built to collect data from web properties and that’s what they do best. But, the moment you add mobile or connected devices into the mix, these legacy systems are at a loss. Marketing, product, and engineering are left with data siloed across the different channels and then have to figure out workarounds to unify and standardize data before being able to gain insight into their customers.  

What kind of customer data can you collect?

For marketing systems to work you need high quality data to create persistent customer profiles, which we call contextual data. Contextual data includes includes things like location, time of day, demographics, and intent, among others.

Having this data gives marketers a leg up when considering who they should target for push, email, display, etc campaigns. The key here is being able to collect data from mobile, from web, and from third party partners, then matching it and attributing it to one person to create a complete profile.

CDPs, like mParticle, are unique in the fact that they are able to collect all of this data as well as PII securely and in real time. No matter where someone is, if they log in or not, or what device they use, all of their data is unified into a profile. With a CDP, all of the different datapoint generated as customers browse, click, add to cart, or interact with your properties in some way is standardized and cleansed then attached to a customer profile by using deterministic matching to make it actionable.

The best way to think about customer data points is by imagining a puzzle. Each datapoint is a puzzle piece and so while you may have all of the puzzle pieces, you’ll be hard pressed to make heads or tails of its meaning without putting it together. That’s what a CDP can do for you -- it can take all of those puzzle pieces, including the ones you may have lost along the way, and put them together into one profile to power your targeting.

How do you collect customer data?

That brings us to our last point - How do you collect data from your properties?

As you know, mobile engagement is lightning-fast. Or, at least, it should be.   

Most companies base their entire marketing strategy on systems that collect and process data in batches at long intervals rather than in real time. For a brand relying on this data to put retargeting logic in place, that means they’re perpetually working with outdated data. So, a customer might browse, then purchase a product, only to receive advertisements or emails promoting that product for hours or even days after they purchased depending on how long the intervals between batch processing are.


For brands, that represents a missed opportunity to engage with a customer efficiently and decreases marketing efficiency, and for the customer, it’s a source of frustration that worsens the overall experience and can lead customers to opt out of further communications. To make the most out of your customers’ engagements with your brand on mobile, you need to be able to act in real time. That means being able to provide them with content and notifications that is relevant to them as an individual, not as a faceless data point within a larger audience, and batch processing just won’t cut it.

Mobile data is here to stay

Mobile isn’t going anywhere. If anything, connected devices becoming more and more ubiquitous as the average consumer introduces new smart devices to their homes and every day routines. Brands relying on legacy systems unable to collect, transform, cleanse, and activate data from connected devices are already behind the times, and it will only worsen as new channels and devices surface. When it comes to determining your martech stack’s ability to meet mobile needs, asking yourself where, what, and how you collect data will help you gauge your brand’s preparedness for the future of advertising and marketing. If you’d like to learn more about how a CDP can help you understand your customer and their journey better, head to our blog or our resources page.That's all for today. Thanks for joining us. To learn more, visit mparticle.com.

AuthorAbril McCloudDirector of Content
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