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Big data success includes personal, real-time analytics: Merkle exec

SAN FRANCISCO ? A Merkle executive at the 2013 Mobile Marketing Association Forum San Francisco said that mobile marketers can marry real-time and personal analytics to make the most of big data.

During the ?How to leverage big data in the mobile world? session, the executive spoke about the best ways for marketers to dig into their analytics to drive results. Additionally, the executive discussed which types of information are most important to include in mobile reporting.

?If you want to be successful with big data and mobile, there are two things that you need to do,? said Jennifer Veesenmeyer, vice president of digital analytics at Merkle, Columbia, MD.

?You need to get very personal ? it is all about those one-to-one experiences, and the second piece is real-time,? she said.

?And if not real-time, near real-time and as fast as you can get that turnaround cycle.?

Measure on mobile
Big data is associated with volume, variety and velocity, per Ms. Veesenmeyer.

When it comes to mobile, the biggest areas for data are around multichannel CRM because it is included with the rest of the touch points. Location and social are also big areas.

One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is lumping together smartphones and tablets when looking at their analytics, per Ms. Veesenmeyer. Consumers use these devices differently, meaning that marketers need to take note of the different usage patterns.

Additionally, marketers cannot think of mobile in a silo.

When marketers look at how consumers shop across multiple devices, it is important that they view usage in the context of the bigger picture. Conversion and device usage are both key factors for this.

For example, a study from Google found that of consumers that start a search from a smartphone, 61 percent continued on to a PC and four percent went to a tablet to finish the action, showing how consumers are going back and forth between devices for both browsing and conversion.

Depending on the context of an offer, mobile coupons can be significantly beneficial to driving foot traffic.

For example, 5th Finger worked with personalized coupons for a major retailer. They used product purchase history to create personalized coupons that were sent out once a week at multiple times of day. The coupons saw a 35 percent redemption rate by making them more personal.

?Most of the mobile reports that people show me are a lot about measuring usage, and that is important for measuring user experience and for understanding adoption, but that is not a measure of success,? Ms. Veesenmeyer said.

?Success means that there was an impact, and so I would argue that none of these usage metrics should be on your reports as indicators of success,? she said.

Many marketers are just beginning to look at how to add mobile to their marketing budgets, meaning that measuring ROI may not be a priority.

Ms. Veesenmeyer also spoke about what mobile reporting should look like for marketers.

First, marketers need to split mobile into either a platform or as a channel.

Per the executive, mobile is considered a channel if it has its own unique objective or strategy, such as a stand-alone mobile game. Mobile as a platform means that mobile serves as an add-on to a campaign.

Marketers should not be reporting the mobile platform types of measurements ? such as leads ? in its own report. Instead, the leads need to be looked at in a context.

Another mistake that marketers make is with guessing instead of testing. Marketers can test messaging, landing pages as a way to see what is and is not working.

Although there are limitations with mobile analytics, marketers should not be settling for basic reports, per Ms. Veesenmeyer.

?Mobile analytics is an area that is innovating very quickly ? the thing about it though is those innovations are primarily propriety technologies, so as you are thinking about needing to have a plan and evolve those mobile analytic capabilities, you need to make sure that you are budgeting mobile analytics dollars along with those,? Ms. Veesenmeyer said.

?You?re looking at your marketing budgets and thinking, ?Oh this is great. People are really investing in mobile ? this is really exciting,?? she said. ?What I am telling you is that you are getting a sliver of the money that you could be getting if you could show the impact of mobile in that context of customer value.?

Must-have analytics
The session also presented some must-do things that marketers need to be using with mobile analytics.

In addition to getting the right analytics tools in place, marketers also need to remember what is important to measure and how to sort information out. Marketers need to separate information into dashboards and things for analysis on.

It is absolutely critical that marketers have a firm understanding of their users. This includes who they are, what their value is and which mobile device they are using.

?Next year it will just be silly to not be talking about mobile in the context of all your other channels,? Ms. Veesenmeyer said.

?When I?m talking about a mobile measurement strategy, I?m talking about three key parts to that ? I am looking at KPI framework, I am looking at technology architecture and we are looking at a reporting strategy that is how we are going to look at mobile in the context of all of our other channels,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York