In the last few years, companies big and small have embraced the mobile mandate. They’ve made sure that their web sites are friendly to smartphones, tweaked user interfaces, and some have even created apps, which they’ve encouraged customers to download.

Does this sound like your “mobile strategy”? If so, you’re at serious risk of falling behind. You’re treating mobile as a delivery channel, and that’s a mistake.

Here’s why:

  • “Always on, always held” mobile devices already deliver more data than desktops or laptops and as they gain additional sensors in the next few years, these data streams will increase dramatically
  • Because mobile devices are often used at the point of need, they provide real-time data about context and location not available to marketers before
  • While important, mobile is just one part of a larger brand experience, making it crucial to understand mobile events in conjunction with other brand touch points

Taken together, these facts demand the use of sophisticated integrated, analytical platforms to make the most of mobile marketing.

This is the argument made in a new white paper, “How Real-Time Predictive Analytics in Mobile Marketing Enables Fast Decisions, Improves User Experience and Increases Revenue” from Medio, the leader in increasing lifetime value of mobile customers.

The paper stresses the need for predictive analytics: “Smart businesses can leverage predictive analytics for event data capture, filtering, processing, pattern detection, and analysis to better understand their customers, and take immediate action.”

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Why the push for real-time? As others have noted, insights that aren’t actionable aren’t useful. Moreover, it’s becoming increasingly clear that business value decreases as the time needed to take action increases.  However, the Medio paper goes deeper by making a compelling case that along with predictive analytics, mobile marketers need platforms that provide real-time analytics.

This is especially true in the case of mobile applications, where consumers use their devices “at the point of need”–whether looking for a nearby hospital or a store carrying a brand of shoe. Additionally, opportunities for cross-sell, up-sell, and targeted content are lost if the platform doesn’t analyze events in real-time and include mechanisms for taking appropriate, immediate action based on these insights.

The Medio Predictive Analytics Platform addresses the real-time requirement in two ways.

First, being powered by SAP HANA, it is scalable to hundreds of millions of users and can track billions of daily events. This results in a platform that is able to absorb substantial amounts of mobile data, using either Medio’s SDK or the high-performance Representational State Transfer (REST) API.

Second, Medio has developed a unique way of using predictive models to segment users dynamically and automatically, based on similar interests and propensities, which significantly reduces response time. In practice, aggregated and anonymized data from users who interact with mobile applications, services, and content (delivered through recommendations and offers) is collected through Medio’s SDK. The data is then processed to generate informative and actionable user segments. Medio calls these user segments “Clustomers.”

Finally, to tie things together, Medio provides dashboards, which help the marketer and the developer alike, visualize this large and dynamic data environment. With these dashboards, and a variety of tools for measuring acquisition, retention, and monetization of mobile customers, the Medio Predictive Analytics Platform helps marketers optimize their segmentation, offers, and content.

The fact remains that too many mobile marketing “strategies” are stuck worrying about mundane tasks related to delivering content. It’s time to add real-time, predictive analytics to the mix.

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Ellis Booker is a familiar name in the computer trade press, where he held senior editorial posts at a number of A-list IT publications, including CMP’s [now UBM's] InternetWeek, Mecklermedia’s Web Week and IDG’s Computerworld. At Computerworld, he led the paper’s Internet and electronic commerce coverage in the early days of the Web and was responsible for creating its weekly Internet Page.

Most recently, Booker was editor-in-chief of Crain Communication Inc.’s BtoB, the only magazine devoted to covering the intersection of business strategy and business marketing. He ran BtoB, as well as its sister title Media Business, for a decade.