Engaging with the connected consumer using real-time insights

As mobile becomes increasingly central to the consumer experience in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia, it’s important for brands to effectively leverage mobile’s unique capabilities to better understand, identify, engage and acquire their target consumers. But, unless they are using and synthesising real-time data, location insights and other sources of mobile-first intelligence in an effective and streamlined manner, brands won’t be able to fully capitalise on the enormous opportunity that mobile actually represents.

As such, when it comes to real-time data, everything must begin and end with mobile. That’s because smartphones in particular so thoroughly dominate screen time in SEA. In Thailand, consumers spend far more time looking at their smartphones than they do watching television or using a desktop or laptop.

And, the bulk of this time spent using smartphones is devoted to apps. For every 10 minutes spent using a smartphone, nine minutes are devoted to app usage, on average. Across SEA, the average smartphone owner spends between 2.5 and three hours a day just using various mobile apps. Further, SEA has witnessed two times higher app downloads than is the case globally in 2019.

Brands and the shifting consumer expectations

Not only is the modern consumer increasingly mobile-centric, but they’re also incredibly fickle. According to Google, 60% of consumers expect brands to provide information right when they need it. And, around 33% consumers, said a PwC report, will part ways with a brand after one bad experience. Let that sink in for a moment. If just one thing goes awry, a consumer will permanently seek out a competitor. It doesn’t matter why the experience was bad or whose fault it may have been. So long as it was negative, a huge chunk of consumers will walk away forever.

So what can brands do to meet these consumer expectations, especially on mobile? What we’ve found is that real-time Insights are the cornerstone of a great consumer experience.

Building a single view of your Consumer

According to eMarketer, around three in four marketers and advertisers are unable to act successfully on real-time insights. In our experience, part of the issue comes down to knowing what data actually needs to be collected.

We recommend first and foremost building a single view of the consumer through these six sources of truth:

Let’s dive into some of the ways in which marketers can use data to better understand their audiences, starting with location data. An individual’s location trail and travel duration can reveal a lot about who they are and what they value.

For example, let’s say you observe someone traveling to and from a residential neighborhood and a nearby school. This means they are either a parent, a student or a school employee like a teacher. If they are only at the school for a short amount of time, then options two and three can be eliminated.

If the parent then travels to a business park, then they’re likely a working parent. Alternatively, if they typically travel back home after school or to a nearby mall, then they’re far more likely to be a stay-at-home parent.

These are just some of the many examples of how location data can be used by marketers to gain a deeper understanding of a consumer segment. Travel times, travel distances and final destination locations can and should be utilised in tandem with one another to illuminate and inform audience segmentation.

Another great option for adding context to audiences is by capturing the always-on voice of the customer across the shopping journey. Understanding your consumer’s path to purchase can and should come directly from them.

Get user-validated, real-time insights using the immense reach and penetration of mobile phones to your advantage and conduct always-on, mobile-first surveys. This can help marketers better understand and refine their products, brands, consumer interests, ad creatives, marketing campaigns and so much more.

The impact of high-quality mobile data on understanding the modern path to purchase cannot be overstated. Mobile has dramatically changed how consumers learn about, research and purchase from brands. Mobile data can help brands better understand what their target audiences are doing and what they care about every step of the way.

Brands today need to drive engagement with great customer experiences, especially if they hope to make significant inroads in the Thai market. This only happens when real-time insights are leveraged to provide the target audience with personalised experiences.

This article is written by Vasuta Agarwal, managing director, Asia Pacific, InMobi.