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Making the Most of Your Mobile Campaign

November 19, 2012 No Comments

Featured article by Don DeLoach, President and CEO of Infobright

Here’s a little fact that’s sure to get your attention: Click-through rates for mobile ads are 10x that of traditional online advertising. Why? It’s all about the data. A huge amount of very detailed information is now available about mobile usage and behavior—ranging from what apps subscribers download, networks they traverse and Web sites they visit, to the devices they are using and time of day and location at which they are using them. Mobile marketers that find ways to harness and exploit all this data are able to more finely target individual subscribers with increasingly personalized communications, delivering the right message, to the right consumer, at the right time.

Sounds great? The catch is the “harness the data” part. While mobile data volumes are enormous and continue to explode, the database technologies of yesterday are just not up to the job of capturing and crunching so much “big data.” Here are the key aspects to consider to run rich, useful analytics that will help you make the most of your mobile campaign:

1) Speed.

Mobile marketing opportunities come and go quickly, so it’s absolutely imperative to analyze their effectiveness and then act on data, fast. But when there’s so much data involved, even real-time information can get stale due to the effort involved in capturing, loading and prepping it for analysis. Perhaps, for example, you want to serve up location-based deals to consumers as they enter or even pass by a specific retail establishment. This requires insight into the “who, what, when and where” of mobile behavior: Who is the user? What device are they using? When and where are they using it? Understanding the important Key Performance Indicators and tweaking the campaign to optimize its effectiveness requires technologies that can deliver high performance against large volumes of data as marketers simply don’t have the time to wait hours or days for answers.  If your database performance slows down as the volume of data grows it is time to look at an alternative that can keep up with your business.

2) Flexibility.

Mobile intelligence needs are also highly dynamic. Today a marketer may want to understand how a mobile ad placed on a new gaming app is performing. Tomorrow, insight into offer conversion rates by device type may be required. An ability to accurately measure and compare a number of variables is essential to fully understanding mobile campaign ROI and especially to targeting subscribers based on individual behavior. This means combining data from mobile operators with data from Web site owners that tracks navigation, clicks and other user actions. You also want to be able to delve into metrics that capture information related to device usage, geographical trends, activity by time of day (and more) to look for significant patterns.

For example, what time of day results in higher conversion rates? Are ads placed near the top of the display more effective than ads placed near the bottom? Do certain handsets result in better conversion rates? How does consumer behavior in different geographical regions vary? Only by capturing and analyzing all of the available data over time, rather than looking at snapshots of single subscriber actions, can these questions be answered. Once data has been collected, it also needs to be aggregated, segmented into subscriber groups and queried based on very specific metrics.

The problem is that frequently changing analytic queries can require an enormous amount of manual configuration if you are working with a database that depends on techniques such as indexing or partitioning of data in order to deliver fast query response. Does your solution give you the flexibility to run ad-hoc analysis and create new queries without enlisting IT help? If not, it is too rigid for your mobile intelligence needs.

3) Scalability.

The hardware-centric approaches that have traditionally been used to store and manage digital information are no longer enough for marketers that need to capture exponentially growing volumes of data. This is certainly the case with mobile, as much of it is “machine-generated” at a relentless pace by diverse devices, networking equipment, GPS tracking systems and more. Purchasing additional servers, adding storage systems and hiring more DBAs to manage it all eventually creates a massive infrastructure and resource footprint that’s extremely costly to scale, house, power and maintain. More and more, marketers that want to exploit mobile information without breaking the bank are demanding alternative solutions that can help them scale their data analysis capabilities in a more efficient fashion.

The good news is that the explosion of big data has led to the emergence of an increasing number of new database technologies targeted at solving the challenges that have arisen from so much growth. From software-powered columnar databases designed specifically for large-scale analytics that also compress and store data more compactly, to distributed data processing capabilities supported by frameworks like Hadoop, to solutions specifically tailored for very granular, high-performance analytics, there are now more options (and combinations thereof) available for marketers that need to crunch more data, faster, with less maintenance and infrastructure. The reward for giving some of these emerging tools a look? Smarter, more efficient and affordable access to mobile insight that just might increase your campaign ROI.

Don DeLoach is CEO and president of Infobright. Don has over 25 years of software industry experience, with demonstrated success building software companies with extensive sales, marketing and international experience. Prior to Infobright Don was CEO of Aleri, the complex event processing company, which was acquired by Sybase in February 2010. Prior to Aleri, Don served as President and CEO of YOUcentric, a CRM software company, where he led the growth of the company’s revenue from $2.8M to $25M in three years, before being acquired by JD Edwards. Prior to YOUcentric, Don spent five years in senior sales management at Sybase, rising from District Manager to Vice President of North American Geographic Sales, Telesales, Channels, and Field Marketing. He has also served as a Director at Broadbeam Corporation and Apropos Inc. Don is active in community service, and is a Director on the board of the Illinois Technology Association and the Juvenile Protective Association in Chicago. Don has a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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