The Next Wave of One to One: Mobile Location

Mobile brings with it a completely new paradigm for engagement, personalization, and monetization. Is it time for you to 'mobilize?'

With smartphone penetration topping 77 percent of the U.S. population and mobile Web usage surpassing that of desktop,* it's no surprise that marketers are rapidly moving to reach consumers on these devices. Mobile brings with it a completely new paradigm not just for reach, but for engagement, personalization,and of course, monetization.

How so?

There are three reasons. First, unlike most forms of media, mobile is uniquely personal. Second, it gives marketers the unprecedented dimension of "location," and as a result, a completely new way to know customers and predict their needs. Finally, and perhaps most obvious, is mobile's ability to use this new-found knowledge to reach customers with personalized, high-impact messaging when they're most likely to engage.

The Emergence of Mobile, Location-Based Marketing

Brand marketers are now embracing the power of mobile, location-based marketing, and with good reason. The combination of "what," "where," "when," and "why" has revolutionized their ability to know what customers--as individuals--need and want based on where they go and what they do in their daily lives, and to touch them with high-impact, "in-the-moment" outreach.

With Mobile, It's Personal

When was the last time you left your home without your smartphone? According to a recent survey by Pew Research, almost half of smartphone owners say they can't live without their devices. The fact is we take our smartphones with us wherever we go-and spend so much time using them that they've become an extension of ourselves as individuals. Unlike traditional media like TV, Out of Home, and direct mail that can only target at an aggregate level, mobile reaches the individual, making it an essential tool for one-to-one relationship building.

Location Is Knowledge, Knowledge Is Power

The places mobile customers go and the things they do tell marketers a great deal about them. Where they shop, where they dine, what they do, and where they go for entertainment, the activities they participate in and are passionate about, all paint a picture of customers' lifestyles and give marketers a powerful way to predict purchase intent. But how do you harness and act on this knowledge?

New, data-driven location-based technologies and analytics have emerged which, in a privacy-friendly way, gather behavioral knowledge based on the places customers go every day. This location data is continuously processed against databases of public places and events, enabling marketers to know what places customers visit and what events and activities they frequently attend.

Out of this comes anonymous, multi-dimensional customer profiles that are aggregated into psychographic segments. This data is onboarded into CRM and other databases and used for developing personalized, relevant and compelling customer relationships, and executing predictive, cross-channel outreach.

As an example, we looked in our own analytics database, pulling a sample of anonymized client-customer records identified as "Health Nuts," based on their frequent visits to events and places like yoga classes, 5K runs, health and wellness events, and health clubs.

What we discovered about these customers was, in addition to being health nuts:

  • 84 percent are also "Fashionistas" based on frequent visits to things like fashion and makeover events and fashion boutiques
  • 76 percent of them are "Luxury Lifestylers" based on frequent visits to high-end retailers, art exhibits, and performing arts events
  • 65 percent of them are "At-Home Chefs" based on frequent attendance to things like local cooking classes, gourmet food stores, and specialty shops featuring unique culinary supplies

For a multi-product retail brand, these conclusive insights are very powerful for cross selling; targeting and re-targeting these customers with personalized cosmetics promotions, seasonal high-ticket apparel offers, and cooking supply promotions, increasing loyalty and share of wallet in the process.

Location as a High-Conversion Channel

Mobile is a perfect channel to personally reach opted-in customers while they're on the go, with "just-in-time" messages delivered when they're most likely to engage. For example, a customer of a click and mortar retailer places an order for matching lamps on the company's e-commerce site, and then abandons the shopping cart. Mobile would enable the retailer to push a reminder message that the lamps are in stock and available, at the moment the customer is physically nearby one of the retailer's brick and mortar stores.

So, as smartphone penetration continues its march toward saturation, savvy marketers are adopting mobile, location-based marketing and its unique personalization, knowledge-gathering, and reach capabilities to cultivate one-to-one relationships, extend lifetime value, and optimize share-of-wallet.

Is it time for you to "mobilize?"