CANNES — Mobile carriers may have a place at the mobile advertising table after all.

The networks were initially expected to be big beneficiaries when mobile advertising was in its infancy, but have somewhat sat out the explosion as connectivity conduits.

A new T-Mobile technology aims to change that, providing marketers with actual mobile use data that it says can paint a valuable picture of consumer activity.

Seeing all the apps

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Jess Zhu, Head of Advertising Products & Development, T-Mobile, describes App Insights from T-Mobile Advertising Solutions.

It is coming out of beta after a year in testing, having changed customer terms in April 2021 to automatically share subscribers’ anonymized data into the scheme.

“We have visibility into what consumers are doing while they’re connected to the internet,” Zhu says.

“With our mobility data, what’s unique is that you get to see across all of it. You get to see how much and for how long people engage with apps like Facebook, with Netflix, with HBO, things that you normally would have almost no insight into.”

According to T-Mobile’s website:

“Mobility Data refers to a comprehensive view of the apps a user has chosen to download to their smart device, as well as how often and for how long they open and engage with those apps …

“Note: T-Mobile does not use subscriber location data and does not track individual activity within apps.”

Daily data

So, what can App Insights tell marketers?

Zhu says the main insight is “how consumers are engaging with any apps at any given time”.

“We have basically daily refreshes of how consumer behaviour has changed,” she says. “You can immediately see the effect of an offer or incentive like a promotion that you do.

“You might already know that your consumers are video streamers and maybe they like to watch Hulu. ”

Apps reveal the persona

The scheme does not work on iOS users’ data and users of both iOS and Android can opt out of data collection through a downloadable app.

But Zhu says collected data allows T-Mobile to profile groups of users based on installed and used apps.

For example, presence of Expedia, Concur and ADP is a giveaway to a “business” segment.

But Zhu says App Insights can help marketers define narrow strategies like targeting people who watch Hulu between 10pm and 11pm.

Re-light the fire

The other place Zhu wants to help is on re-engagement.

For many marketers, getting an app install is the conversion, the goal met.

“One of the things that we found really interesting is that, after someone drives an install of an app, about 90% of the people who install the app actually stop engaging with the app within a week,” Zhu says.

“It’s insane. You spend so much money driving to what you believe is the bottom of the funnel … when really there’s so much more.

“Where normally you’d have to pay for yearlong MMM (media mix modelling) studies to measure actual engagement and the output, you can actually look at it the next day and see how things are doing.”

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