Big data has been getting a lot of attention lately. It is being used in healthcare to predict potential epidemics, cure disease, and improve patient care. Big data analytics is being adopted by law enforcement to catch bad guys and prevent crimes from occurring in the first place.

Of course finances are usually the driving force behind a company adopting a technology. Companies are working hard to derive value from the data that they have on their customers and potential customers. 

This is nothing new. Marketers have been trying to learn about what drives their customer’s behavior and how they can influence it for decades. It escalated when online shopping took off. You see ads today that are based on things you are looking at on the web. The idea is to present products when the target customer is most likely to purchase.

Mobile Creates A LOT of Data

Mobile has the ability to generate a lot more consumer data. If you are like most people, your cell phone is with you every waking second. According to Pew Research Center, 90% of 18 to 29 year olds have their phone with them when they sleep. 

What makes mobile interesting is that it is aware of your location. Apps are capturing data on your movements and where you are regardless of whether you check in on social media or not. This can feel a little like Big Brother for the consumer, but it is a gold mine of information for a marketer.

Highly Targeted Advertising

Through social media posts, an application could learn that a potential customer likes dining at new cafes. They see that she tweets pictures of her meal or posts them on Facebook. Then as she is walking past a new café around lunch time, they could present an offer to try to entice her to try them out.

There are a couple of challenges with this type of advertising. One challenge is technology. There is no shortage of sources for this data. What marketers are trying to do is mine that data to produce something useful.  The analytics need to have access to the data and make sense of it at the most opportune moment. This is an opportunity for the CMO and CIO to work together to bring value to the organization.

Another challenge is presenting the offers to the consumer in a way that does not feel like spam. Many might decide to simply turn off the application if it became a nuisance. It has to communicate with the user in a way that doesn’t feel like an invasion of privacy.

Internet of Things Adds to the Data

Mobile is not restricted to your cell phone either. The amount of data that is generated is only going to increase as we move towards the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner estimates that the number of connected “things” will increase from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 25 billion by 2025

These devices include sensors in your car, stove, keys, and fire extinguisher. The data created can be mind boggling. And companies will look for new ways to mine that data in order to generate more business or provide improved services. As an example, your stove might notify you if you left it on. Or your refrigerator can add milk to your shopping list.

Take Advantage of the Data

Mobile big data is here. Finding ways to harness this data can be what sets your company apart from the competition.

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