It wasn’t so long ago that smart phones were “low engagement” devices. They were used primarily for phone calls, the occasional SMS and sometimes to check stock quotes. These days, many of us have smart phones and rarely use them to make phone calls. But we use them all the time (unlocking our phones on average over 100 times per day) and many of us spend more time on our devices than we do on our computers.
To further underscore the importance of mobile (or perhaps driving the importance of mobile), Facebook announced last month the acquisition of the mobile fitness app Moves. And this stat certainly adds to the growing momentum…
Rocket Fuel (www.rocketfuel.com) is one of a handful of companies deep into mobile – collecting, analyzing and leveraging “first party” data – data from our phones that includes information about the carrier, the connection, the operating system, location, and providing a consistent cookie (and consequently information about our mobile behaviors). And then there is geofencing – technology used to define an area of interest and then pushes relevant messages to your smart phone. You can see where this is going in terms of marketing: getting the right message to the right person at the right time – on steroids.
Retailers use geofencing several ways. The technology can be used while you are in the store to make sure you complete a purchase, when you are near the store to make a visit more compelling by pushing a coupon through your device, or even after you’ve been in or near the store, in combination with your purchasing behavior, to drive traffic and purchases either online or in a brick and mortar facility.
Rocket Fuel has discovered some interesting things about mobile users:
- 33% are more likely to convert (purchase) when connected to a wireless network than to 4G
- 31% of Latino users are more likely to convert on mobile than white non-Latinos
- Serious gamers are more likely to convert
- People who own a small business are 430% more likely to convert on mobile than others (probably because they have a “do it yourself” lifestyle)
And the data can be collected and used after the fact to push relevant content to your mobile device. An example: data were collected from people along the route of the New York Marathon. Two weeks later, advertisers pushed relevant messages to the spectators on a range of topics. How? The purchasing behavior and profiles of the spectators were compiled and analyzed. These segments were of interest to certain advertisers and when given the opportunity to get an ad in front of a specific type of purchaser, real time exchanges were used to auction real estate (the app you see on your phone) to advertisers. Ever wonder why a particular ad pops up on your mobile device? Now you know.
Privacy issues (and flashbacks to The Minority Report) aside, the applications in health and increasingly the opportunities to reach and engage consumers are huge. These range from people with chronic conditions (to provide them information about new information or other items of interest) to people en route to the emergency room (and receiving a coupon for $25 off on the local urgent care center instead). Or notices about relevant and seasonal shots and immunizations. “Convenient,” “personalized” and “relevant” are characteristics of the most effective ways to engage consumers.
Mobile is growing and now figures prominently with specific age cohorts and certain demographics. It is a bonafide channel and as with other channels, results can and should be measured.