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Overcoming mobile data capture challenges to amplify personalization

Author: Sammi Jones


From a consumer perspective, it doesn't get more personal than a smartphone. According to Statista, the average amount of time an individual spends on their phone daily (excluding actual phone calls) is around 4 hours and 30 minutes — that’s roughly 25% of the average time someone’s awake!

It's not a stretch to say capturing mobile interactions, connecting that data to other channels, and stitching together a complete digital customer profile is key to consumer personalization. But if you’re relying on traditional data vendors to power your personalization strategies, you’re not seeing a 360-degree consumer view.

Why? Because most data vendors can’t overcome the top three challenges facing mobile data capture: SDKs, AMP technology, and data stitching capabilities.

Mobile data capture challenges

The first mobile data challenge to address is the data itself. Your personalization program is only as good as the data it collects: the best data should be accurate, in-depth, consistent, and available instantly.

Mobile SDKs: Many analytics and tag management SDKs either require significant orchestration to capture data, or force developers to change the way their apps are coded to make them more "SDK friendly." Multiple platforms (iOS and Android) and versioning issues can also pose technical problems. And things like data layers, traditionally leveraged on the web, don’t work the same and are difficult for native mobile apps.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): AMP technology also poses big challenges for data vendors. AMP enables websites to load faster on mobile devices, making it popular because it improves visitor experience, bounce rate, and search results. But most customer data solutions can’t get around Google restrictions to capture data from these pages. This inability not only muddles the view of a consumer’s behavior, it causes havoc for organizations trying to optimize the process.

Since many consumer journeys involve a range of different pages across AMP and non-AMP frameworks, being unable to capture these details leads to inaccurate attribution and an inability to personalize important pages in the consumer journey.

Beyond capturing consumer data, trying to stitch it across devices and channels creates even more headaches for organizations. For most data vendors, mobile data is separate from web data. Joining the two (or more) data sets requires heavy lifting that typically happens downstream in a data warehouse, leading to delays in data availability and creating gaps in consumer identity.

The role of mobile data in personalization

Data and identity stitching is critical to creating a unified view of individual consumers that drives targeted marketing strategies and personalized experiences.

To deliver live-time personalization, you need a platform that doesn’t need extra orchestration to capture customer interactions on your mobile apps. Your data platform must be able to deploy the SDK and capture data the same way you do on the web, then process and activate it in live time.

To optimize the consumer experience and streamline digital journeys, organizations must be able to capture all AMP events, from session interaction data and page views to mouse clicks, form fills, and even scrolling behavior.

A modern data capture solution not only captures valuable data from AMP sites, it also captures every attribute that Google has built into the AMP Analytics framework. The best platform will instantly capture visitor interactions across your organization’s mobile properties AND deliver the data in live time — milliseconds to be specific — to any system you want.

Identity resolution is key to personalization

Your data platform must be able to instantly stitch mobile app (SDK), mobile web, and web data into a robust identity graph to create a complete view of each visitor. Without this seamless identity resolution, you’ll never be able to personalize the experience for your visitors in live time.

The depth and richness of data that can be captured from AMP web pages builds session continuity across a consumer’s journey. Combining this with comprehensive identity resolution and harmonizing the profiles of logged in visitors with their anonymous browsing behavior — even before they logged in — closes identity gaps to paint a complete picture of the consumer. From devices to channels, visits, and domains, capturing a 360-degree view of every individual wherever they are is key to delivering live-time personalization and enhanced consumer experiences.

For example, say a consumer is browsing an online pet store because they got a new dog. In the morning, they search “dog treats” on their tablet. Later in the day, the same customer browses puppy food on their laptop. That evening, they search “small dog beds” and “chew toys” on the pet store’s mobile app. A typical data capture solution can’t connect those three datasets because one is mobile web, another is web, and the last is SDK. So, the pet store thinks those interactions were three separate shoppers. An advanced data capture platform instantly matches the data to identify the individual across sources, so the store sees all the data for that shopper in one unified profile. By analyzing the consumer’s behaviors and trends across all interactions, the pet store can deliver a more relevant, personalized experience. It looks like the shopper got a new puppy, so the retailer can enhance their experience by offering puppy-specific product recommendations or sending a targeted coupon (10% Off Our New Puppy Starter Kit!) to drive conversions and increase loyalty. Without the mobile data, the pet store would only be able to make campaign decisions based on one session — looking for puppy food. A puppy food coupon may be nice, but it doesn’t show the consumer you understand their needs.

Let mobile do more 

Your consumers expect targeted, relevant experiences delivered instantly to the device they’re using. Capturing, connecting, and stitching together consumer interaction data from all digital channels, no matter the format, is essential to achieving 360-degree visibility of your visitors to deliver relevant live-time personalization. 

To simplify mobile data capture and bridge connectivity gaps, you need an advanced data capture platform.


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