The essence of good marketing is being customer-focused. Our field is all about understanding consumer needs and aligning products and communications to reflect and address them.
Today, many companies are working hard to collect and unite their customer behavioral data across channels into rich individual profiles – profiles that reveal insights into what people want. The “Data Management Platform” category has been created to provide platforms that can bring together information and make it actionable in future marketing programs.
First party data – whether collected on the PC web or on mobile devices in apps – is an incredibly valuable asset. Yet most brands squander it by not working to collect and control it themselves. Leaving others to do so – and garner the benefits. While many brands aren’t working to control their data at all, a growing number have begun the process of asserting their ownership rights over PC data. But far, far fewer are doing so with mobile app data.
Years ago, US marketers might reasonably postpone addressing this challenge because in-app time represented only a small proportion of total connected consumer time. But time spent in apps has grown rapidly and now represents 52% of connected Americans’ time, according to comScore.
Pause for just a moment to consider that statistic. It means that without visibility into what your customers do in apps, you are blind to a majority – A MAJORITY – of their digital behavior.
In the US, mobile mcommerce is expected to represent about 10% of total ecommerce sales in 2014. While that might not sound like a huge number, a 2014 comScore study also reported that mcommerce is growing almost twice as fast as ecommerce as a whole, and 23 times as fast as all retail sales.
In addition, mobile INFLUENCES far more purchases than those that are made via a phone. According to a 2013 study from Google and IPSOS, two thirds of us begin purchase considerations on one device and complete purchases on another. Mobile accounts for the vast majority of those starts. In total, Deloitte estimates that more than $593B in purchases were influenced by mobile searches and utilities in 2013. Making reasonable growth assumptions, that figure now likely exceeds $1Trillion.
Net, if you aren’t collecting in-app behavior data and including it in your customer profiles, you’ll likely fall short of making your marketing customer-focused and –driven.
Another way this affects a brand is that most interest-based (behavioral or BT) and retargeting is based upon the amount of content a person consumes related to a particular topic. If more than half of a person’s connected time takes place in app environments, it’s clear that you need access to information about what you customers do during that time in order to truly understand and reflect consumer behavior in your marketing.
By saying that, we are not implying that PC web data isn’t important as well. Actually, collecting all of it – taking control of all of your data across devices – is essential to driving the best ROI for your marketing efforts.
But if apps account for more than half of connected time, doesn’t it make sense to START there?
TOMORROW: HOW YOU CAN TAKE CONTROL AND GET BETTER RESULTS