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Predictive marketing a growing opportunity on mobile for nimble brands

Significantly more predictive experiences are available on mobile now compared with a year ago, opening up new opportunities for marketers adept at massaging data. 

Several recent developments suggest some are finally getting a handle on how to leverage the volumes of user data available on mobile and turn it into something that consumers will find useful. From mobile operating systems that serve content users are expected to need to an application that predicts where the flu will hit next and ads that show up when users are ready to shop, predictive marketing promises to make mobile more relevant and easy to use. 

?The opportunity and challenge are actually one in the same: the ability to deliver a message to a consumer at the moment in time that is relevant is extremely powerful,? said Lars Albright, CEO and co-founder of SessionM.

?However, that means that brands must become far more nimble in their ability to develop messaging relevant to a wider array of consumer segments faster than ever before,? he said. ?Brands that are able to master this are the ones that will truly succeed with predictive marketing on mobile.? 

Mobile prognosis
Predictive features on mobile are growing.

The recently released Marshmallow update to the Android operating system includes a bar on the home screen where that apps that a user are expected to use next appears. The Google Now on Tap feature also promises a more accurate experience when predicting users? queries based on actions rather than matching keywords. 
 
Apple?s Siri in the iOS 9 update also promises a better predictive experience, including suggesting contacts and apps based on usage patterns, the time of day and location. 

The Sickweather app recently implemented new, advanced machine learning techniques specialized for disease surveillance to enhance its ability to provide predictive health forecasts and real-time sick zone mobile notifications. 

These and other developments suggest that marketers should be taking a closer look at predictive marketing.  

?Predictive marketing on mobile is more than ready for prime time ? in fact, it is a ?must have? for brands today,? Mr. Albright said. ?There have been several big gains in enabling predictive marketing in the past year including the ability to integrate relevant information for brands based not only on provided profile data on consumers but also on observed consumer behavior as well. 

?This is allowing brands to have a more complete profile on the consumer so they can make more relevant, personalized and contextual offers to them that will be warmly welcomed,? he said. 

Predictive ads
SessionM claims to help brands integrate more than 25 billion data points per day on consumer behavior, helping marketers see where customers have been geographically, what they have done in terms of mobile app activity and what they have purchased. This data is then used to help brands gain predictive insight into what consumers will do next and how brands can plan accordingly.

In another example of how predictive marketing is moving forward, beacon marketing platform inMarket recently launched its Quantum Receptivity platform, which leverages location data from beacons that is constantly updated to deliver in-app ads when consumers are predicted to be ready for their next trip to a store, restaurant or other location. 

?People are most receptive to messaging that is relevant to their lives, delivered at the right time,? said Todd Dipaola, CEO of inMarket. ?There is a tremendous opportunity to create better, more impactful conversations with your audience ? simply by reaching out when they?re most receptive and planning a shopping trip. 

?In private beta, Quantum Receptivity has delivered an 8 percent increase in store trips and a 14 percent increase in dollars spent per trip, by retargeting to shoppers at the perfect moment in the purchase cycle,? he said.

More efficient marketing
Predictive marketing holds the potential to make marketers more efficient by delivering an ad for pasta sauce, for example, when someone is entering a store and not when they are leaving it. 

?Predictive ? when rooted in great location data ? is faster, more accurate and more cost-efficient than any previous form of targeting,? Mr. Dipaola said. ?By focusing on people ?when they?re due? for shopping trips, we can eliminate the marketing dollars wasted on people who are aren?t receptive to messaging.?

Marketers heading down the road of predictive marketing need to think in terms of relevancy and ensuring there is value for consumers. 

?Successful marketers must balance three primary levers to successfully implement a predictive strategy,? said SessionM?s Mr. Albright said. ?They have to have the timing down such that they can act at the precise moment of impact when the consumer is open to the proposition. 

?Second, that proposition must be highly personalized and relevant,? he said. ?It needs to literally speak to what the customer's done and what specifically you'd like them to do next. 

?Finally, in exchange for the data they'll be mining, companies have to offer fair exchange in value ?  exclusive inventory, discounts, advanced sales and so forth.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York