Blog skyhook logo Mobile Device Context: MITX Mobile 2014 Panel Recap

Apr 28, 2014 10:38:00 AM

Mobile Device Context: MITX Mobile 2014 Panel Recap

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At the MITX Mobile Summit in Boston this past Thursday, there was an abundance of rich insight from thought leaders and innovators from the mobile space. Skyhook’s very own Jeff Glass, CEO of Skyhook Wireless, spoke on a panel with Jennifer Lum of Adelphic Mobile and Andy Miller of Constant Contact to discuss how mobile technologies allow unprecedented opportunities to learn about an audience.

The panel began with the question: “What is mobile device context?”


Jeff Glass took the floor and explained to the audience that context is about data, but starts off with understanding what it is you want to accomplish. Whether it is improving advertising or user experience and engagement, the question to ask is “How do I build or acquire relevant data around mobile experiences to help me optimize the outcomes I want?”

Mobile technologies allow groundbreaking opportunities to gather context data, specifically by using location, device behaviors, geofencing and demographics to turn advertising into high-value, relevant content, increase engagement and providing better user experiences without compromising user privacy.

Jeff Glass says, “If you’re not first using mobile data to enhance ux and engage the consumer, then a) the inventory doesn’t exist and b) the consumer is disengaged.”

Jennifer Lum piggybacked off of this point, explaining that “in order for us to allow marketers to truly engage with audiences as efficiently as possible, we must gather data in the form of context to allow advertisers to learn as much about their audiences as possible.” This is especially important for creating audience segments to target with relevant content.

Andy Miller adds, that “CardStar captures tremendous amounts of data on loyalty patterns, but it’s about the moment, how do we make the moment more impactful for the consumer? This begins with context, and location is a primary way to know when to serve something.”

Jeff Glass explains that apps can differentiate the user experience based on physical location, like whether the user is in a work environment or a home environment. “There are all kinds of things just based on physical location that you can do at the time of understanding that location. The second piece is that it’s not always about hitting the user with a particular transaction or experience right now because of where they are, it’s understanding the context of that location and the patterns of that location and what you can derive from that user anonymously over time.”

He expands by explaining that Skyhook has done some work around college campuses and is able to show the statistical differences of the population between 9 to 5 and the population after hours. What is left after hours is a younger demographic due to all of the employees and teachers returning home.  When providing location derived information you can see pockets of insights that you don’t get from just looking at census data. “There are incredible insights you can derive, not just about users, but about physical places to help inform ad spend.”

The panel wraps up with a final question asking “What is next for context?”

Jeff Glass leaves the audience contemplating always-on location, explaining that there is a lot of technology and collaboration around creating ambient location with efficient battery. “Location is a pathway to understand so much more than just where the user is right now.”