Putting Mobile in Context to Optimize the User Experience

Filed in Mobile Engagement, Mobile World Congress by on February 20, 2014 0 Comments

Imagine that just as your flight lands, you get a text message from your car-rental company welcoming you and allowing you to expedite check-in to avoid waiting in line for your car pickup. Or picture yourself pulling into the parking lot of your doctor’s office and immediately getting a text from the office with a link to a form to confirm your arrival and shorten your waiting time.

This kind of hyperpersonalized customer experience has long been a goal of businesses and brands, but thanks to recent technology advancements, this experience is now becoming a reality. A new asset to unlock the characteristics of mobile users promises to revolutionize the context with which brands and mobile service providers can target their customer interactions.

The asset? The vast amount of data that mobile network operators (MNOs) have accumulated. If you think about it, MNOs have amassed all kinds of details on their subscribers. Everything from information on a subscriber’s device location, to a subscriber’s type and number of devices, to the amount of voice, messaging, and data services a subscriber uses, to the amount of roaming a subscriber does. This has put MNOs in the position of having a one-of-a-kind asset to provide intelligence for brands to provide offers based on context. The important caveat, though, is that the MNO must explicitly describe this option to each subscriber, and each subscriber must be explicitly given the opportunity to opt to allow her or his information to be shared.

MNOs, brands and mobile solutions providers are now beginning to join forces to realize the value of this data. By establishing a bridge – or aggregation point — between a brand and the MNOs whose subscribers represent the brand’s customers, a brand can gain the capability to cost-effectively reach multiple customers, while an MNO can gain the capability to pass off the brokering of subscriber data to a trusted intermediary. The potential of this approach is opening a new world of possibilities for more contextually serving the needs of customers.

Just consider the applications for these industry areas:

  • Financial services – Banks request that the location of an account holder’s mobile device be verified when an account holder attempts to use a credit card in a foreign country.
  • Retail – Shoppers receive special discount offers when their mobile devices are detected to be nearby a preferred retail outlet.
  • Travel – Tourists receive real-time concierge services — messages regarding restaurant and attractions, recommendations, directions, news, hotel information, transportation options and maps — when they enter specific geographic boundaries.

Syniverse has been deeply involved with bringing this “mobile context exchange” platform concept to market, and at Mobile World Congress we’ll be sharing a new solution that enables an intermediary platform provider to broker operator subscriber data with brands. The solution offers a new way forward to provide a streamlined process to gain access to subscriber data and more contextually serve customers’ needs.

On Feb. 25, I invite you to attend a panel discussion at Mobile World Congress titled ”Mobile Retail: The One Stop Shop,” which will be co-led by our Chief Technology Officer, Joe DiFonzo, and also will feature leaders from MasterCard, Deutsche Telekom, Walmart and Citi. The discussion will partly explore more about how the need for mobile context is transforming the retail sector.

In the meantime, I look forward to learning your thoughts on mobile context. How critical do you think it is for brands to begin to more closely cater to users’ mobile preferences and patterns in the near future? How important is it for MNOs to serve as the link to enable brands to cater to these user needs? What’s most valuable to you as a consumer when you consider the role mobile context plays in your life? Please share your comments.

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Mary Clark is a former Chief Corporate Relations Officer and Chief of Staff at Syniverse.

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