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Jul 25, 2014 2:39:00 PM

MassTLC Mobile Summit 2014: Personalization of Mobile Technology

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At the MassTLC Mobile Summit in Boston this past Tuesday, there was an abundance of rich insight from thought leaders and innovators from the mobile space. Skyhook’s VP of Marketing spoke on a panel with Ryan Charles of and Henry Cipolla of Localytics to discuss how technologies allow unprecedented opportunities to personalize the mobile experience with the combination of location-based services and data analytics.

3 prominent topics of conversation during the panel discussion:

1. The 30 second window of opportunity to get personal

One of the thoughts of personalization is that it sits on the intersection of data and what consumers want to do in the 30 second window of time. People are flooded with information. The question for developers to answer is: How can I, in a minimal amount of time, present the exact information that the user will want to act on?

Schneidermike explained, “There is a 30 second window of opportunity, if we are lucky, to provide something vital to a user. Geofencing and Persona development allow developers to reduce the friction from the time a user opens the app to the point they see the value.”  He states that the biggest revolution with personalization in the last year has been the accessibility of tools and technology that allow you to do the things you have always wanted to do. Now we are inspired to go beyond the slam dunk idea of sending coupons to a user as they are in proximity of the store. Knowing the location of users and the context of their behavior allows you to do more, like deliver relevant content everywhere and provide dynamic user experiences.  

Companies can now structure experiences around one individual. Ryan from gives the example that we now have the ability to figure out who would be the right caregiver for each individual by personalizing the experience based on what a user searches and the criteria they provide. It’s based on proximity and preference to provide the user with exactly what they want in that short window of time.

Skyhook VP marketing location panel

2. Appticipation and making the user’s life easier

One of the questions the panelists were asked is: “What is the key to personalization?”

Ryan says “An app should ultimately make the user's life easier. These are the apps we will rely on in the future and the apps that will stick around.”

Mike introduced the term appticipation, explaining the value of using the gift of someone's location and taking advantage of it to provide frictionless experiences before the user even decides they want it or need it.  He spoke to the increasing opportunity for companies to provide truly individualized opportunities in the form of modal experiences within their apps.  An example he provided is how Walmart and Lowes both use “in-store” mode to provide users with personalized, easy experiences that make sense as they enter the brick-and-mortar store.  

As Mike continued to talk about appticipation with modal experiences he introduced Skyhook’s partnership with CardStar and explained to the audience that using location based context with geofencing and personas really does provide a lift in length per session time and growth of repeat app visitors. Apps that make the user’s life easier are the apps that will stand out in the ecosystem.  

3. Privacy and the “Creepy Factor”

The panel wrapped up with the topic of privacy concerns and the “creepy factor” of tracking user behavior.  Mike addressed the privacy concerns by stating, “Skyhook cares about anonymity and privacy- it’s just about tracking device behavior and pulling personas based on where they go to provide specific, personal experiences.”   

Ryan addressed the privacy concern from a consumer facing product perspective, explaining that the privacy concerns won’t matter as much if the exchange is worth it. If an app provides information that is valuable enough to the user, the user will want to provide their information to get it.  Henry adds that providing information that is valuable enough for users to give the gift of their location depends on that extra layer of personalization. The value has to be so compelling that users will forget about privacy concerns.  


Users want apps that are an extension of their daily activity and that eliminate the steps to victory. Apps that anticipate their intents, wants and needs with modal experiences are the apps that will prevail.variety_shot-6