A study last year by media agency OMD found that consumers switch between devices an average of 21 times per hour while at home. As someone who has spent an entire career focused on customer analytics, it’s this type of statistic that reminds me just how much the world has changed since the first web analytics tools hit the market in the 1990s. This shift in customer behavior has resulted in marketers rethinking the way they measure and activate customer behavior across channels. Nowadays, if mobile isn’t at the center of your digital strategy, it will be very soon.
To be successful in this new multi-device era, Tealium believes that brands should have an extraordinary amount of flexibility when it comes to how they collect data and implement technologies in mobile apps. Mobile developers should be able to understand the data flow from app to vendor. Marketers and analysts need to understand what individual customers are doing across devices so they can better target and engage them in real-time. On both fronts, having flexibility is core to success.
What we mean by flexibility
Flexibility is one of those concepts that is easy for a vendor to say, but often much more difficult to bring to reality. From the very early days at Tealium, our goal was to make sure brands had choice in the way they brought their digital marketing technology stack to life. Whether it is giving customers the ability to load vendor tags in different ways – for example, synchronous versus asynchronous tag implementations – Tealium believes that brands know their business better than anyone else and need technology partners that empower agility and flexibility.
For mobile-specific deployments, Tealium created an array of well-documented and well-designed SDKs that improve in-app analytics and help implement other key third-party technologies, such as push notification services. Our SDKs span all the popular mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows.
But let’s talk about SDKs for a minute. Those three letters can carry some baggage given the deluge of SDKs over the last several decades. For many mobile product teams – especially those that started in the early days of mobile advertising attribution – SDKs were required for almost everything. Want to run an ad on this network? There’s an SDK for that! And just like with the explosion of vendor tags, a fatigue set in with an over-reliance on third-party SDKs.
So are SDKs bad? Inherently, not at all. Well-designed SDKs give developers the ability to add new functionality to native apps with less development effort. Just like with web site tags, however, adding many SDKs can cause a strain on app load times and user experience. This is where Tealium comes in.
Tealium’s mobile solution offers flexibility by allowing developers to streamline their third-party vendor integrations (like analytics, push notifications, ad tracking, etc.) for optimal app performance; remotely manage vendor SDKs; and even replace SDKs in many cases. Mobile developers can decide which vendors only need data from the app, and can be removed as a standalone SDK. In other cases, developers may opt to wrap business logic around their third-party SDKs, which can be managed in the Tealium iQ™ tag management system interface. This remote management provides a two-way stream of information between Tealium and the mobile app, allowing for on-the-fly changes to vendor implementations, as well as surfacing user-defined audience segments from our Tealium AudienceStream™ solution inside the app experience.
And since we work via SDKs, mobile developers get the advantage of a single drop-in of transparent code, as opposed to hooking in technologies throughout their code base or altering their app’s underlying functionality.
On top of that, Tealium provides support for some of the most popular mobile development environments such as Appcelerator’s Titanium, Unity 3D, and Phonegap by Adobe. That gives cross-platform developers the ability to leverage Tealium’s functionality inside the platforms they use to build their mobile applications.
Lots of devices, one customer
We often think so much about the individual channels that we tend to lose sight of the fact that consumers don’t really care about the differences between those channels. This is what makes our omni-device approach so valuable to our customers.
As consumers flip from native app to mobile web on the same device, or when they hop over to a desktop experience, having a bridge that unites all of those sessions is key to understanding overall customer experience. Our patented visitor-stitching technology ensures that your customers are instantly recognized when they switch devices. This not only can ease cross-device analytics, but can drive deeper and more thoughtful engagement tactics as well.
Our mobile connectors in AudienceStream are designed to work in concert with every other engagement channel. User engagement campaigns that were originally designed for email can be extended to mobile push campaigns. Upsell strategies designed for desktop experiences can be evolved to drive incremental revenue inside of your apps.
To take advantage of new opportunities in mobile, and fulfill their larger omnichannel goals, today’s marketers need total flexibility and choice when it comes to their mobile deployments. Make sure you choose a tag management vendor that gives you the best options for success. Anything less could undermine your mobile strategy now or in the future.