Personalization: The Theme at Mobile Venture Summit

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On May 17th, the Chicago Mobile Venture Summit was held at Chez in Chicago. The goal of the event was to bring brands together to discuss all things mobile. The organizers contend that there is a huge demand within the industry for education around the opportunities in mobile—and we agree. We attended to meet our peers, to learn and, offer a thing or two to the conversation. Also, we just love the energy when a bunch of mobile marketers are in the room together, so we had to be there.

The overarching theme of the event was that “mobile-first” is becoming the marketer’s mindset. However, if we’re going make mobile our primary point of contact, we must make each experience personalized, convenient and engaging. The Summit invited various successful brands and mobile technology players to the dais to discuss their experiences with mobile, and there were a lot of excellent strategies and anecdotes shared throughout the day. I’ve summarized my experiences below.

Thanks to the constant evolution of technology over the last decade, we have created an entirely new industry with mobile. It’s reshaping the way we shop, work and even interact with each other.  Mobile has effectively become an extension of ourselves, and as a result of this change, marketers must adjust their view and marketing approaches to mobile. We don’t look at mobile as an extra tool anymore; instead it’s a cohesive part of our lives. And as Jeff Klonowski, Ulta Director, Digital Site Experience noted,“[Mobile] is not a physical device to us anymore. It’s human” Bentley McBentelson, Associate Manager Digital Marketing, KFC added, “When looking at media, we immediately look at it in mobile to see what the creative looks like, since 46% of our audiences will be communicated with on mobile.”
Therefore, mobile gives us as marketers a unique and unprecedented solution for personalization. Given this advantage, it is more important than ever to stay relevant for the consumers you are targeting, providing relevant content for them at the right moment. Audiences can no longer be treated the same, as if demographics tell their whole story. We must deliver personalized content based up on who they are individually.

With the rise of mobile comes the ability to leverage location. Knowing where people are throughout their day gives us the information we need to target them and serve advertising that is both relevant and engaging. Location data gives us insight into consumers’ behaviors as well as where they are on their path to purchase. At Blis, we know that location data is a proxy to behavior. As we’ve said in a previous blog post, “marketers now use location to build historical audience & behaviour data profiles. By understanding where consumers go and what their habits are regarding certain types of locations, marketers have an unique opportunity to build a much more thorough picture of them in real life.”

This enables us to look at mobile advertising in a new way, capturing audiences in the right moment and mindset. Advertising can move beyond being an intrusion in a consumer’s content consumption, it can become something useful – a helpful nudge, or a reminder about that item they really were considering purchasing.

Marketers can leverage behavioral data to connect the dots and provide a seamless experience from real-world behaviors to mobile.

In addition to the advantage of mobile from an advertising perspective, mobile location data also provides numerous analytics and reporting benefits, including:

  • Understanding data for site planning. (For example, against what areas do my shoppers index highly? Where might another location be successful?)
  • Sales forecasting
  • Attribution 

Lastly, with the growth of mobile comes the rise of e-commerce, although a majority of sales are still transacted in store. Retailers and brands are leveraging digital to support outcomes at brick and mortar. Many are creating unique, high touch in-store experiences, but they are optimizing the right online experience to utilize digital and enhance in-store experiences. These retailers are focused on building a cohesive experience between digital and in-store, bringing that consumer in for the “see, touch, feel” aspects. They understand that it’s important to look at the individual customer and serve them relevant content with which s/he will want to engage. It’s all about the personal – creating content and offers that are tailored to the individual shopper, that are consistent with the brand’s promise.

Overall, it was a great day of exchanging ideas and discussing mobile’s bright future. We’ll be attending future summits, and we’ll be sure to share what we learn with you.

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