Data Silo

Last week, Facebook announced they are acquiring WhatsApp – the provider of a popular mobile messaging app – for $16 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “b”!). And there was a recent report by Gartner that forecasted global mobile advertising to reach $18 billion in 2014 (up from an estimated $13.1 billion in 2013) and $41.9 billion by 2017. These two pieces of news highlight the significant and still-rapidly-growing role mobile is playing in the technology ecosystem.

Typically, a booming market sparks lots of innovation and this is definitely the case in the mobile space. Here are just a handful of ways marketers can target users on a mobile device:

  • Text messaging marketing
  • App-based marketing
  • In-app advertising
  • Proximity-based marketing
  • Location-based marketing

For each of these marketing disciplines, there are a number of solutions being offered by vendors, both large and small. You have large companies like Apple and their proximity-based marketing platform iBeacon, and you have small startups like MoPub and their mobile ad serving platform. All of this innovation is great for marketers, as they get to choose from a slew of options to reach their target audience. But, as we have mentioned many times in the past, this also causes a slew of problems because it becomes very difficult to measure the performance of marketing campaigns across activities since data is siloed in different locations.

Mobile marketing, however, has the potential to take the problem to another level. In the short term, organizations will probably test a number of different mobile marketing activities until they gain an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Each type of activity will create a data silo so mobile marketing will consist of a farm of silos. Sounds like fun, huh?

So what can organizations do about this? The first step is to think about it as an opportunity, not a problem. Savvy marketers realize that if they can harness all of the underlying data produced by the various digital marketing services, they will have a competitive advantage. The second step is to take baby steps in bringing together disparate data. Many organizations do this by importing data into Microsoft Excel, but that approach comes with its challenges. Ultimately, there needs to be a better way, and that is what we are working on at Origami Logic. We recognize the value of breaking down the data silos so marketers can analyze the performance across their various activities and we are committed to making that happen.

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