In my last post, I dis­cussed that although mobile devices can­not read minds, they can gather data.  And by aggre­gat­ing con­tex­tual infor­ma­tion, insights into what’s rel­e­vant to a mobile user at a given moment increase greatly.  Let’s now look at how mobile con­text can pro­vide a mean­ing­ful, rel­e­vant mobile expe­ri­ence as well as three things that can be done now to take advan­tage of this new mobile mar­ket­ing opportunity.


Real-time Rel­e­vance

For rel­e­vance to be mean­ing­ful, it must be as close as pos­si­ble to real-time.  Just like break­ing news, rel­e­vance has a short shelf-life and has its great­est value at the moment some­thing occurs. Let’s look at a few mobile sce­nar­ios that use Adobe Test&Target to deliver real-time relevance

Out­door E-tailer

Imag­ine an out­door e-tailer mobile app that is being used by a cus­tomer while she is ski­ing. So in this sce­nario we not only want to push an offer related to ski­ing, but one that also con­tains items pre­vi­ously viewed by the cus­tomer, as well as items that are “liked” by her social net­work of friends.

Women using mobile phone while taking a break from skiing 

Hun­gry Busi­ness Traveler

A busi­ness pro­fes­sional is trav­el­ing and has yet to think about where to catch din­ner.   Know­ing the mobile user is out­side of her home area dur­ing the work-week, sug­gest highly rec­om­mended, near-by restau­rants that have open reservations.


Shop­ping on Vacation

A reg­u­lar cus­tomer of a big box retailer is on vaca­tion and by using the retailer’s app finds a near-by store he has never been in before.  When he walks in the door and launches the app instead of find­ing the tra­di­tional app land­ing page, he is wel­comed to the store and is pro­vided with an in-store map.


Com­pet­i­tive Shopping

A high-value cus­tomer of a big box retailer is get­ting a bit adven­ture­some and is price com­par­ing while at a competitor’s store.  Furthermore she is using the big box retailer’s app to price-compare a Sam­sung 46” TV.   In the past, there was no way to help pre­vent loss of busi­ness by this highly val­ued cus­tomer.  How­ever, now a time-sensitive offer can be pushed to the cus­tomer while com­pet­i­tively price comparing.


When I’ve shared exam­ples like these at Adobe Con­fer­ences, the reac­tions tend to either be amaze­ment or shock, depend­ing if atten­dees are think­ing from the per­spec­tive of busi­nesses or cus­tomers. The customer-minded group often fear the Minority-Report type of real­ity, think­ing “Big Brother” will know our every move and sin­is­ter pur­poses will prevail.

How­ever, I have found the fear with most new tech­nolo­gies lies in the unknown and the uncon­trolled (remem­ber the days when peo­ple were scared to enter credit card infor­ma­tion online despite a secure con­nec­tion?). As cus­tomers we can accli­mate our­selves to the ben­e­fi­cial pos­si­bil­i­ties of rel­e­vant expe­ri­ences through mobile smart­phones and vet busi­nesses on mer­its of trust and their return of added value. As for busi­nesses, be mind­ful of what you do with customer’s infor­ma­tion and find ways to pro­vide value-add as you earn con­sumers’ trust.


What now?

Given the poten­tial to improve the value of the mobile expe­ri­ence for the cus­tomer, here are next-steps for busi­nesses to con­sider in tak­ing advan­tage of this new opportunity:

1)    Start gath­er­ing mobile con­tex­tual data (what-when-where-who type info) now, obvi­ously with your cus­tomers’ approval.  Even if you don’t imme­di­ately use the gath­ered data, hav­ing it can still prove use­ful later on.

2)    Deter­mine and uti­lize the cus­tomer activ­ity types that are rel­e­vant to your busi­ness model.  If you need help in how to lever­age con­tex­tual data to deter­mine activ­ity types, Adobe Con­sult­ing and Engi­neer­ing Ser­vices can pro­vide assistance.

3)    Look for oppor­tu­ni­ties to return value back to your cus­tomers and the valu­able data with which they have entrusted you.  And remem­ber, the more rel­e­vant and real-time time the infor­ma­tion, the more valu­able it will be to the customer.

Over the last decade mobile phones have migrated from sim­ply being portable tele­phones to con­duits of con­text. In fact, Julie Äsk of For­rester Research has said, “The future of mobile is user con­text.” (Empha­sis added). With this oppor­tu­nity at our doorstep, a richer world of rel­e­vant expe­ri­ences and cus­tomer insights awaits, for those who are willing.