Movement Science: 5 Questions Mobile Marketers are Asking

Mobile means location, and location data, in all its forms, is the great differentiator for marketers.

For marketers, the sheer quantity of data out there is immense — so much of it comes our way that analysts now grapple with clever-sounding corporate coinages such as info-obesity.

Incoming information includes CRM data, behavioral data, purchase-history data — all the marketing assets that allow us to contextualize and build meaningful experiences for consumers. Added to that, mobile is the hub around which your customers’ decisions turn — 1 in 5 adults in the United States are smartphone-only Internet users, Pew Research tells us. It’s little wonder we sometimes feel as if our marketing plates are overfilled, and it’s not surprising that organizations sometimes default to focusing on first-party CRM and PII details only.

Problem is, these approaches taken alone narrow the range of campaign possibilities. What marketers need, in light of overwhelming options, is a practical set of steps to ensure that all the important data types are given their rightful place. We’ve recently created a report that identifies the factors that contribute to robust data approaches, answering many of the key questions marketers have told us matter most.

The following list highlights what we’ve found, and it shows how CRM and other data sets segue with the advantages that movement and location data can offer.

  • The foot-traffic and in-store equation. Marketers are asking what their brands must do when it comes to capturing mobile device location data and movement insights. The first step is to put time and resources into organizing richer data libraries — the good news is, most organizations already have the material they need in-house; the task now before them is to merge CRM and loyalty assets with location and movement, linking all these sets within an end-to-end platform that makes the data actionable and responsive.
  • The scale and scope question. Organizations looking to leverage location know they need a lot of signals in the mix, but they’re not certain how many … and of what kind. The answer is, brands should be looking at hundreds of millions of devices coupled with tens of millions of users whose signals are being bolstered by the kind of data that come from on-device software development kits. Signal density is sovereign when it comes to analytics, and brands can boost density by including cell towers, GPS, Wi-Fi, IP addresses, beacons, and, yes, a bit of exchange-based data (but only once it’s cleaned and de-duped and assured authentic) in their signal approach.
  • Focusing on points of interest (POI). We’re learning — and teaching each other — that device data is the foundation of successful mobile marketing campaigns. On top of that foundation sits the POI structure that allows us to link consumers to real locations in the physical world. A powerful partnership approach around POIs includes databases that ingest tens of millions of locations with the help of providers such as AggData, Dun & Bradstreet, Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, and Pitney Bowes.
  • Can Movement Science unlock new customers? Brands are searching for campaign models that fuse all the analytics they’re enacting with ways of identifying new audiences and growing their customer base. The good news is, this is pretty much exactly what happens when they successfully match device advertising identifiers to households. Now, more than ever, the opportunity is in marketers’ hands: pairing audiences and movement data with behavioral data improves campaign outcomes, generates better analyzable data, and so unlocks new-customer candidate profiles.
  • The power of machine learning. We hear so much about artificial intelligence and machine learning that it’s natural for marketers to want to know how those factors figure in the world of Movement Science. As it turns out, machine learning is a critical component: matched control group strategies, powered by machine learning, reveal dominant device characteristics — including those devices that saw an ad and those that did not. Lift analysis then includes every detail of every flight. The end result? Campaign reports are enriched with CPV, CPIV, and creative-engagement stats.

As Deloitte reported last year, every category of human communications via mobile is on the rise: voice, news, navigation, streaming entertainment, and daily activities of all kinds are dramatically shifting to the smartphone space — with 25–34-year-olds in particular pushing new envelopes when it comes to the technology they use. Our success as marketers depends on guiding our organizations and partners through the process of better identifying, managing, and making a real difference to bottom lines. We can do this with the data sets that flow from all these growing and new sources.

A strong way to think about this approach, about how to reach these goals, is that of Movement Science, and a strong way to bring Movement Science into sharper focus is to begin with the approaches in the list above. Mobile means location, and location data, in all its forms, is the great differentiator for marketers — the ingredient that elevates, the element that leads to context and relevance and loyalty-growing experiences for every consumer, and for every brand.


Julie Bernard is Chief Marketing Officer, Verve.

This story first appeared at DMA Blog

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