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Mobile Madness: Roundup on Marketing Best Practices

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Mobile has been a hot subject for the past year as marketers and technologists figure out how to map customer behavior and orchestrate marketing in the wake of Apple’s anti-tracking AppTrackingTransparency policy. In this roundup, experts on digital marketing and mobile weigh in on best practices for one of digital marketing’s most important devices.

Eli Finkelshteyn, CEO and co-founder, Constructor

As more and more consumers shop from their mobile devices, it opens the door to additional risk. Mobile users are more likely to hop on public WiFi, which could potentially allow their data to be compromised. Mobile attacks can even target cookies, essentially tricking them into allowing hackers to track user activity across the internet. There are better ways both to collect and use data today that actually have the user’s best interests at heart, keep personal information safe, and improve the customer experience.

First-party data (the behaviors users take on a business’ site) and zero-party data (the information users explicitly provide in return for a personalized experience) give retailers a more ethical and sustainable way to personalize experiences. Brands are more interested than ever in gathering and applying better data, and it’s evident by the surge in improved user experiences on their mobile apps. It is exciting to see retailers investing in building long-term relationships with their customers instead of doing only what’s most expedient in the short term.

The elimination of cookies is forcing brands to get closer to their customer and provide unique personalization. Stronger search and discovery will play into this. Without the use of cookies, brands can no longer rely on following shoppers to sites and instead need to improve merchandising strategies on their own site.

Personalization shouldn’t be a cheap and exploitative use of a user’s data to hound them with ads. Personalization, especially in retail, should be something users desire because it makes their lives better.

Chris Hubbard, data engineer, Adswerve

Two years from now, if Google follows through on the changes they’ve proposed to their Privacy Sandbox and if they effectively eliminate the Advertising ID the same way Apple has downgraded the IDFA, then both companies are on the right path for mobile transparency. Additionally, since Google is in the advertising business, like Facebook, the company has little incentive to hinder that side of its business.

I suspect that Google will find a way to keep some sort of ID, perhaps a somewhat less trackable one, but something that allows Google to connect the dots between ad impressions and subsequent events in apps. The question is whether they can do this in a way that works for Google, not Facebook or Apple.

A Google version of Apple’s SKADNetwork approach, which would allow Google to know which ads led to which app events (and thus help drive the ability to target and measure performance in aggregate) without revealing the actual ID might preserve Google’s current advertising capabilities as cookies phase out.

Chuck Moxley, author of An Audience of One, on mobile device mapping and privacy

Mobile is a vital channel for enabling one-to-one marketing, but traditional ways to identify the mobile consumer could soon be at risk. Consumer data privacy measures have brands scrambling to find solutions that will allow them to continue to connect with prospects and customers via mobile. 

Consumers spend more time on mobile devices than any other. Which means reaching the addressable consumer for 1:1 marketing requires leveraging mobile device IDs and IP addresses linked to people and households. Despite the limitations enacted by Apple and Google, leading identity platforms have found privacy-compliant ways to build identity graphs that will power future 1:1 marketing efforts in mobile.

And while third-party data will grow more difficult to leverage, brands can still collect first-party data and identifiers through their owned media channels such as websites and apps. Brands can use this data to build their own custom identity graphs to power 1:1 marketing that can be matched to industry identity graphs to expand mobile audiences beyond customers. Which I guess proves that for the mobile marketing industry, where there’s a will, we find a way.

Sean Turner, CTO and co-founder, Swiftly

Since Apple introduced AppTracking Transparency, we have seen consistent growth in users choosing not to be tracked. Retailers and advertisers specifically are slowly losing users who are opting out of advertising and tracking, which can primarily be attributed to retailers’ reliance on third-party data. 

Marketers need to shift from third-party data to digitally owning their users and deciphering their own first-party data. Retailers and brands can use their own first-party data to provide a personalized experience and make it highly relevant and engaging for the user.