MBPT Spotlight: Numbers Game: Consumers, Glued to Devices Before, During and After the Holidays, Represent Big Strategic Opportunity

The weeks leading up to Christmas must be some of the most analyzed of the year. Outside of the recent Black Thursday, Midnight Madness and Cyber Monday events, it is hard to find a period of time that retailers, advertisers and brands can see such a consistent interaction across devices.

And “Mobile Eve” finds consumers flocking to their devices to find bargains, ideas and last-minute presents at an unprecedented rate.

Mobile consumer data gathered during the holiday period goes a long way to developing an “Always On” mobile strategy. During this coming season, online and offline retailers must plan mobile-first in terms of accessibility and content. Lessons learned can be utilized to shape a long-term one-to-one dialogue between brand and individual.

Technology has developed at an alarming rate, and there are new solutions that were not available at holiday time a year ago. Geo-targeting and location-based services are the bread and butter of both bricks-and-mortar stores and e-tailers alike. Geo-targeting is utilized throughout the consumer journey to provide valuable consumer insight.

What does your audience look like? Where are they? What devices do they use and how are they using these devices?

Phone and tablet should be considered as complementary to one another, but each requires a very different approach to creating content.

It is not enough to have a simple mobile solution that fits both of these devices, and I am encouraged by the number of brands that are taking advantage of a truly cross-screen strategy. Mobile has also gone a long way to validating other media. OOH + mobile has been known to increase engagement by 40%, continuing the brand message as a consumer migrates from the physical world to desktop to tablet to mobile and back again multiple times during a day. And just remember: measurement is everything! Mobile without a defined ROI (even from a branding perspective) is a wasted campaign.

Working backwards from a high-quality engagement must be at the foundation of our mobile systems. If we cannot complete the loop and measure the success of a campaign, we are not doing justice to mobile as a media.

This year, I predict that the leading brands will embrace a hearty mixture of geo-location data validation and audience measurements. The market is buzzing with providers such as xAd, AdBrain and StatIQ that can add quality to quantity in terms of supplementary data on an individual. Location is fast becoming the “cookie” by which to track consumers. We can now confidently provide one-to-one communications with individuals. Consumers are more than happy to pass personal information to brands in exchange for relevant promotions. It is our responsibility to honor this exchange of data.

Audiences are made up of individuals, not data clusters, and the clear winners of the holiday shopping basket are those that can provide clear communication, facilitate the delivery of information and harvest all of this data to provide a long-term relationship strategy.

To ensure holiday success plan, mobile-first along with a cross-screen strategy. As the shops are often open late into the night in order to maximize the holiday shopping frenzy, remember that you have the ability to put your store in the hands of potential customers and remain open all hours, offering shoppers the convenience of working with you on their terms.