Personalizing Mobile Marketing: The Delicate Balance Between Context & Privacy

According to Forrester Research, mobile marketers are under-utilizing mobile capabilities. Although the capacity of mobile devices for instant purchasing has been capitalized on, with more than $8 billion worth of purchases made on mobile phones in the last year, the personalized nature of mobile has not been fully realized.

In order to utilize mobile to its full potential and maximize the amount of return, current mass-production marketing needs to move towards a context-based style. This way, the information that a customer has provided and the current way in which the content is being interacted with can be taken into consideration. Thus, a shift towards production of content based on customer tastes and preferences will create a more individualized mobile experience.

To accomplish this, businesses need to collect and privately store customer information. By directing this data towards marketing efforts, businesses can increase the value of their products by selling them as services that are useful to the specific individuals they are advertising to. One way to accomplish this is by offering their product as a service, similar to how the mobile app Shazam identifies a song for the consumer and then directs them to the iTunes store to purchase it. Other possibilities include creating personalized internet streams or displaying ads to consumers based on personal tastes.

Unfortunately, although this would increase convenience for customers, it would be accompanied by a simultaneous decrease in privacy.

However, Forrester Research asserts that consumers will willingly make this exchange so long as businesses adhere to best practices. This is not limited to increasing measures for protecting private customer information, but also includes utilizing mechanisms such as opt-in services to keep participation voluntary and maintain customer confidence.

By taking steps to protect customer privacy and individualize mobile marketing, Forrester Research claims that businesses can participate in the “evolution of context,” which would allow mobile marketing to move from simple, individualized ads to revolutionary concepts that break from PC capabilities and place mobile at the forefront of marketing technology.