The pace of change in marketing technology lately has been intense, and when it comes to mobile that pace has been accelerated. Simply put, the pace of change in mobile communications and mobile data has been dizzying.
Five years ago even the seemingly simple task of synchronizing the address book on your cell phone was a chore. You had to try to import and export proprietary files that changed from device to device - cell phone manufacturers even made special software tools to help consumers move and merge data over a USB cable or an Infrared port (remember those?!).
It was a technical and tedious process. Eventually phone retailers figured this out and began to offer migration services in-store when a consumer purchased a new handset.
Today consumers don't even think about how this works. Calendars and contacts synchronize in the cloud with centralized servers. Losing or destroying a device no longer means data loss.
Trends in computing have changed.
As our capabilities to collect, segment, and target improve, so does the importance of sharing that underlying data between marketing channels. Much like our personal address book, we need to have access to that data in a singular view - we gain no benefit in replicating data in multiple platforms.
Mobile marketing technology is obviously changing very rapidly, and entirely new technologies are being developed more quickly than ever before. Apple introduced the concept of Passbook just two years ago and push notifications were announced less than five years ago. The prolific adoption of SMS has been steadily increasing over the last ten years.
Consumers expect to use these technologies when they are announced, which has led to increased demand for them among brand marketers. As a result, the rapidly developed first-generation solutions for these mobile channels have been point solutions with their own user interface and data model, typically with some capacity to export data for use in other marketing systems.
Next-generation marketing technology platform trends are following the same path as our consumer technology did a few years ago. How? As mobile marketing continues to rapidly evolve we no doubt will see new and exciting channels emerge and new, siloed point solutions brought to market to address their immediate adoption. Those solutions, however, will be displaced soon thereafter with more mature platforms that allow marketers to capitalize on the real value of mobile - the data.
By consolidating the systems that facilitate these mobile marketing actions, we gain a singular view of the consumer - not through data integration and manual exports and imports, but inherently and autonomously through the use of the platform.
Once we have data in a centralized place we not only gain efficiency from orchestration, we also realize new possibilities to apply the data. Consumers are telling us that this is important - a recent Responsys survey of 1,000 US consumers showed that 61% feel positively about a brand when marketing is personalized.
By automatically unifying collected data, marketers can obtain a new consumer data attribute from one channel and leverage that attribute on all other channels. Much like the mobile phone user who updates their calendar on one device and is able to share that update with others, marketers too are able to propagate new and updated consumer data across multiple marketing channel efforts.
Ultimately, unsiloing enables us to create a database of record instead of multiple systems with multiple answers to the same questions. One platform means we can also orchestrate across multiple marketing channels. A recent Responsys survey indicated that 43% of US consumers are more likely to make a purchase when communications are part of an orchestrated marketing experience that unfolds over time and across multiple channels. That means accurate and updated consumer data across all channels is a requirement for modern marketing; and it's exactly what consumers expect.