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Oracle Data Cloud Blog

Why is it more challenging to use data in mobile?

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Mike Jurbala, Associate Director, Digital Data, Merkle Inc.

We’ve all been inundated over the past few years with mobile, mobile, mobile. So much so that I would argue that a true meaning of mobile is no longer clear or consistent across the industry.

During this time, some marketers have developed a bit of tunnel vision and have been overly focused on trying to design mobile campaigns to be clones of desktop campaigns and show performance based on the same set of established metrics and goals. The truth is that mobile isn’t a standalone tactic anymore and targeting strategies shouldn’t be siloed this way.

The tide has slowly started to turn and in order for marketers to assert themselves, a strategy that includes device targeting is the smartest path because of the persistence of the ID’s and the fidelity of the link to an actual individual.

You might say that device targeting is nascent and that the scale isn’t there yet, which may be true, but it is quickly growing as devices proliferate and we get better at building the tech that links them to individuals and households. In fact, device ID match rates are almost equivalent to what we see when we match offline data to cookies.

There are essentially 3 methods of targeting in today’s digital world – cookies, hashed emails, and device ID’s – and it’s likely that none of them are sufficient on their own due to the respective limitations. Despite what you read, cookies are not going away any time soon. It remains the industry standard because of how deeply embedded cookies are in the media buying and measurement process. They also provide the greatest scale, even if that scale is can include multiple identities of the same user due to the increase in number of owned devices by individual and the nuances of the mobile internet, as well as the closed nature of the app environment.

They also provide the greatest scale, even if that scale is inherently inaccurate due to the increase in number of owned devices by individual and the nuances of the mobile internet, as well as the closed nature of the app environment.

The second method to consider is hashed email, which is an effective method of targeting in social channels and login-based platforms. This tactic has high accuracy, but the downside to hashed email is that it usually doesn’t provide the reach needed to move the needle.

Device ID targeting is the future as people evolve how they consume media on the mobile internet.  It will also allow marketers to customize their message to the device type since consumption habits will vary by device. 

The reality is that marketers must put in the effort to know their audience so they can identify the best way to reach them. That, along with the balance of desired reach and accuracy, will help dictate which method(s) give the best chance of achieving marketing objectives.

Bottom line? Stop relying solely on cookie targeting and start thinking about how you can start including device ID targeting to your digital strategy.

About Mike Jurbala:

Mike Jurbala is an accomplished digital marketing professional with over 13 years of experience working for digital agencies and AdTech platforms. During this time, he has both executed media campaigns for brands, as well as consulted Fortune 500 companies on how to use technology to accomplish their marketing goals. In his current position at Merkle, Mike plays a pivotal role in defining Merkle’s digital data strategy.

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Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

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