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What is Mobile Identity?


What is Mobile Identity?

Ben Roodman January 22, 2013

What should you know about a customer who visits your website on a mobile device? Unlike like traditional desktop web browsers, there are no cookie identifiers available when trying to understand who is your mobile customer. Unless your customer is logged into your mobile website or app, you’re essentially blind on load.

Not understanding mobile identity doesn’t allow you to provide user relevance such as being able to create dynamic content around male or female merchandise preferences, attribute the success of your mobile marketing campaigns to known or new customers, or properly track your mobile sales or lead generation funnel.

In order to simplify the mobile onboarding process, developers often include login options for customers to use their personal facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts versus creating a new account identity by typing in an email address or phone number. Using this technique, the login option checks that the facebook app is natively installed on your phone or in the example of iPhone iOS 6, your facebook account is universally available at the system level. Users often don’t trust sharing their facebook account information with apps without first understanding what will happen after they connect their account. While facebook simplifies mobile personalization and signup, a typically app developer will see 30-50% drop-off from app downloads to mobile signups by only offering a facebook login option.

Statistically Apple and Google are poised to own the mobile identity by shear smartphone marketshare. In the case of mobile advertising, most mobile ad networks still work by lifting your mobile device’s unique identifier or more well known as UDID. Recent privacy changes by Apple created a new identifier system specifically for advertising known as IFA. Currently there are no practicals solutions that enable mobile retargeting or mobile advertising frequency capping. Google, a company that uses its market power to provide you with the latest and greatest free services with the intent of future advertising monetization, also doesn’t currently link your mobile identity to its advertising yet. Most consumers don’t use apps like Foursquare to actively announce themselves or intent as they walk into a venue.

Looking towards to the future of mobile identity:

– When we walk into a retail space, will my iPhone be a representation of my true identity?
– Is it adventitious to announce myself through a wifi enabled system that greets me with a personal concierge service?
– Wouldn’t it be more convenient to enable my mobile device as my own personal checkout kiosk?

Until consumers, tech companies, and government privacy regulations are more accurately paired together on how mobile identity should look, our personal preferences are in the dark.

Ben Roodman

Benjamin Roodman
Senior Contributing Editor
Benjamin Roodman is an advocate for getting to the truth of what converts in mobile. Well versed in mobile advertising platforms with a notable aptitude and passion for analytics, he's currently putting deals together as head of partnerships at a mobile data startup. Benjamin has previously held Business Development positions at AOL Advertising and helped establish several funded location-based consumer startups.
Follow me on twitter @BRoodman

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