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Why mobile-originated data matters

By Tom Desaulniers

According to eMarketer, within the next year, United States mobile ad spend will reach $50.84 billion – about twice as much as the total U.S. desktop ad spend. Yet there seems to be a disconnect. Many brands and marketers are still hesitant to think and be mobile-first.

While the reasoning behind the hesitation varies, this choice may be a costly one. Why? 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 and probabilistic methods are just simply not good enough to garner high-fidelity 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 cannot?

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 mobile-IDs, allowing them to be easily identifiable across devices.

By using these mobile-IDs, marketers are able to ingest important information that is gathered through relevant data points such as location, transactional, in-application and behavioral 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 favorite 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.

For example, say a consumer is weighing her lunch options. She takes a quick walk around her neighborhood and ends up narrowing it down between two different options, restaurant A and restaurant B.

In this exact moment, if restaurant A sends a mobile coupon for 10 percent off, it is significantly more likely to receive the business of that particular consumer in that particular moment.

And better yet, in a recent poll by Adadyn, 68 percent of U.S. digital shoppers welcome these kinds of location-targeted ads.

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-optimized 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.

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.

Tom Desaulniers is cofounder and president of Go2Mobi, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Reach him at