Back to Blog

How to Approach Mobile Personalization

  • - LiveRamp
  • 3 min read

It’s far from an industry secret that the explosion of data and ubiquitous use of mobile has transformed marketing.

What brands have been slower to pick up on, though, is how combining the two could garner significant gains in improving customer engagement with mobile personalization.

“There has been a dramatic increase in the demand for personalization,” says David Bairstow, SVP of Product at Skyhook, a leading location data provider. “When you think about marketing strategies and engagement, personalization is at the forefront.”

With a wealth of work experience from companies like Thomas Reuters, Catalina, and JP Morgan, Bairstow knows a thing or two about marketing and engagement. But he will be the first to tell you that designing the next generation of disruptive location technology is more than accumulating vast location datasets; it’s about how to use this information to help consumers find meaningful experiences around them.

The Need for Mobile Personalization

Today, mobile’s ubiquity means there’s a greater demand—and opportunity—than ever to use it to its fullest potential.

Over the last five years in mobile history, the conversation has shifted from “why mobile” to “how” as brands explore how to move beyond a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

“Brands and marketers can have a much better understanding of their target consumer—their likes, dislikes, etc.—which leads to greater personalization of content, experiences, and ultimately, marketing,” Bairstow says. “It’s a better way of doing business, frankly, and it’s more effective.”

Mobile Location Data Today and Tomorrow

Brands have been experimenting with using location in marketing for years, but like any other marketing strategy, the line between “relevant” and “annoying” is paper thin. Location done right can help customers incorporate brands into their lives; done poorly, it can be the worst kind of shotgun-approach spam that could alienate consumers.

There is also often a temptation to think too small when it comes to location-based marketing, Bairstow says. Marketers can—and should—extend the insights they derive from mobile and apply them to their omnichannel strategy in a privacy-conscious manner. After all, the knowledge they accumulate is tied to a person, not a device.

“Once you have a device map to connect that mobile advertising ID back to other channels, you have a multichannel marketing opportunity,” says Bairstow. “In other words, you can use those insights and link them back to a loyalty platform or CRM system.”

The travel and hospitality industries are making great strides toward this more sophisticated marketing mindset. An airline, for example, could identify a frequent flier and discover that a customer is only flying with that airline 30 percent of the time, opening up a huge opportunity to win a greater share of those flights. Securing even one or two incremental trips a year can translate into significant growth when applied across its customer base.

Balancing Privacy and Utility

Close on the heels of collecting more data of any kind comes concerns about privacy, and location data is certainly no different. Marketers need to be sure to dot every “i” and cross every “t” when it comes to collecting data legally and ethically, Bairstow says.

Particularly with the advent of the European Union’s GDPR privacy law, brands should make sure they are getting proper consent and storing the resulting data securely. If a company is working with a third party for any part of their location data collection or use, it needs to be certain that all partners share the same commitment to privacy and compliance.

“You need to make sure your organization understands and has a plan to follow the appropriate rules,” Bairstow says. “Privacy will continue to be at the forefront of the industry conversation.

“For the foreseeable future, our reality will be living with the balance of user privacy, but also utility, and supporting tradeoffs between the two,” he adds.

Skyhook and LiveRamp Power People-Based Mobile Marketing

Marketers can leverage Skyhook’s powerful and accurate location insights with LiveRamp’s identity resolution capabilities through the LiveRamp.