I was speaking at the #ExecLN CMO conference on the 9th and took the opportunity to talk about using Big Data to market effectively to smart device users ('smart devices' include mobile, tablets, laptops, wearables, in-car systems, connected media players, ... - just about anything with a processor that is connected). Here are my top-10 tips on the subject:

1 Take a Breath

Before you launch into action, make sure you have clear goals and a well thought-out strategy. In a world where 'agile' is the norm, it is all too easy to miss an important opportunity or waste effort because you didn't take a moment to get a clear set of success criteria or plan.

2 Be Relevant

Smart devices, especially mobile ones, do not come with built in permission to spam; just because you can send a use a message 5 times a day doesn't mean you should; If they didn't want to hear it the first time, repeating yourself will only get you unloaded or blocked.

3 Clarity Rocks

Use plain language at all times and in everything you do - whether the customer sees it or not (if your flow reports says the user went from 'screen-003' to 'screen-017-01', the Devs might know what happened but no one else will). Leet speak is for L053r5

4 Brevity Rules

Be bright! Be brief! Be gone! - assume the attention span of child; make the most of the time you do have. No one has the time or will to read acres of text or endlessly zoom in on huge graphics - especially on a mobile device; more is definitely less, especially if it is unclear (see 3 above)

5 Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Don't ask for something that you should already know, could infer or you don't really need. In general, we don't like being asked questions that are complicated, require we trust you to answer or don't think will add any value to us. It's especially annoying when we are asked to repeat something we know we have already told you.

6 Respect Privacy

Be open about gathering data, even if you are not obvious about how / when you do it. Don't gather more than you need and be very aware about the legal frameworks for the protection of data in the countries / industries in which you operate - what's fine in one place may not be elsewhere. In general, avoid personally identifiable information (PII) wherever you can.

7 Instrument the Experience

Smart devices offer unparalleled opportunities for gathering data and insights; stop guessing and start measuring. This also implies that you should think about what is important to measure, where you are going to store it and how use it.

8 Every Screen Counts

Every screen and every overlay needs a unique, human-readable tag - how else can you map the customer's digital journeys? If you skip screen tags, or reuse them inappropriately, you will find it more difficult later on when you come to try and understand how users use your app / service. If you are instrumenting multiple versions of an app - be consistent.

9 Avoid Tag Frenzy

User actions are important but you don't need to record every single one - just enough for summaries and conversion funnels. If you have a multi-stage process that needs to be completed in it's entirety, screen flows will tell you how users get through the process but you probably only need to capture the final step in that process to know they completed the whole thing.

10 Put the Customer First

Last, but not least, put your customer at the heart of your business process and channels and not the end. As a consumer I don't care about how you do what you do, I want it to be all about me. Whether single, multi- or omni- channel; make it simple, quick, enjoyable and focused on my needs, not yours.

If you want to know more about using big data, analytics and digital marketing in an omni-channel world, drop me a line or add to the discussion with a comment.

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