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Mobile and Big Data: How Soon in B2B Marketing?

Date posted: October 3, 2013

Mobile usage is on the move in all fronts. Morgan Stanley indicates that sometime in the next year, mobile users will surpass desktop users— a dramatic and significant shift.

As this is happening, data is proliferating. Market research firm IDC forecasts a 44-fold increase in data volumes between the end of the last decade and 2020. The Canadian bank CIBC puts the growth at 50x over the next decade. What’s fueling this explosive growth? Mobile is a major driver.

In an article on how the explosive growth in data is shaping mobile marketing, Business Insider provides an overview of the relationship between big data and mobile:

  • Big Data needs to be defined, and increasingly value is part of the definition. The classic attributes of Big Data are the three Vs— volume, variety, and
    velocity; but value is emerging as the fourth V. In order for data to be meaningful at all, it needs to be captured and stored efficiently.Then someone has to manage the data, analyze it, and extract value from it. Data, big or not, doesn’t add up to anything worthwhile if it doesn’t have value to someone.
  • Mobile is particularly well suited to a big data lens: Mobile big data isn’t only a function of smartphone penetration and consumer usage patterns. The data is also created by apps or other services working in the background Technically speaking, it’s not that different from data created using the traditional Web. The difference is that consumers are just producing more of it as they shift their behavior to digital channels, leaving a trail of data documenting movements and actions.
  • This data can be used to optimize and personalize mobile experiences: Mobile big data can be used for a dizzying array of purposes, but it is often used for the optimization and personalization of mobile services and marketing campaigns
  • Location data is an essential component of mobile big data— perhaps the primary data type that differentiates mobile from Web-based big data. Location data is expected to help transform the mobile advertising and marketing industry.

An article in Wired echoes this latter point:

Geo-Specific advertising has been around for a while. Twitter, for example, is scheduled to allow companies to promote tweets to people who are near specific latitudes and longitudes by the end of the year. What big data can do, however, is access demographic information, purchasing patterns and social behavior to alter marketing messages based off of what the consumer is interested in now.

While much of the coverage of mobile and big data has focused, understandably, on leveraging big data for consumer marketing, it seems to us the same techniques will soon be applied broadly in the business-to-business realm.

That mobile is moving into the workplace is no longer a question. Its advance there is as inexorable as in the broader consumer setting. So when Wired gives an example of a bus company using big data analytics to tailor the electronic advertising on the side of its bus based on what pedestrians are talking about on Twitter, it’s not far-fetched to think of B2B concerns leveraging analytics to tailor messages based on where research is being conducted, meetings or conferences being held, or what new contracts have been awarded in the government sector. The potential for personalizing content and shaping messages to businesses based on deeper analytics is there.

It’s just a matter of time before that potential is leveraged.