How knowing the device, carrier and connection helps marketers: Q&A with Digital Element and dotMobi

The more marketers know about their mobile visitors, the more they can target appropriate content and offers – including third-party ads – and deliver them in the most efficient manner. Knowing whether a visitor is coming via a mobile network (and which carrier) or WiFi, what country they are in and the device type (and its capabilities) are essential tools in a marketer’s armory.

dotMobi and Digital Element recently announced a partnership to bring Digital Element’s mobile carrier and connectivity-type detection to dotMobi’s DeviceAtlas device intelligence platform. mobiThinking caught up with dotMobi’s marketing manager, Martin Clancy, and Digital Element’s VP Operations, Frank Bobo, to understand more about what this means for marketers.

Q1. What does this partnership bring to dotMobi and Digital Element customers?

Digital Element: The dotMobi/Digital Element partnership brings together two datasets that are very valuable to mobile marketers – device identification and intelligence, from DeviceAtlas, and IP-derived connectivity, carrier & location information, from Digital Element. In combination, these two datasets enable any marketer to gain an entirely new level of insight into visitors to their Website, both via mobile and other device types.

Q2. Why is it important for a company to know as much as possible about visitors to their sites?

dotMobi: As the multi-device, multi-screen world becomes a reality in many markets, it’s absolutely vital for companies to understand how their Web visitors are interacting with their content at a device level so that the content served is device and content appropriate. That counts even more if you are involved in delivering or targeting content or advertising to Web visitors.

Q3. How is it advantageous to a Website owner to know a mobile visitor’s carrier?

Digital Element: Knowing the carrier a visitor is using provides an additional data point for targeting content or advertising. Companies in the advertising vertical can use this information, along with device intelligence, to increase reach and relevance for online advertising.

Q4. Can this be done accurately?

dotMobi: DeviceAtlas delivers device intelligence with accuracy rates of over 99 percent. Digital Element’s IP intelligence also provides accuracy rates of over 99 percent, meaning customers can rest assured that they are targeting the right users with optimized content or messages best suited for their connectivity type, device and location.

Q5. What about connectivity type? How can you determine if a Web visitor is on a mobile device accessing a Website from a WiFi network instead of a cellular network? With what sort of accuracy?

dotMobi: This is an area where the dotMobi/Digital Element partnership brings unique and valuable insight to marketers. dotMobi’s DeviceAtlas device intelligence technology is able to identify whether a Web visitor is on a mobile device with absolute certainty. Digital Element’s connection-type detection technology can identify via IP address how the user is connecting their device to the Internet. The presence of a mobile device on a fixed broadband connection type (eg. DSL, Cable, t1, t3, oc3, oc12) indicates that the Web visitor is actually connecting via a WiFi connection. This combination of data helps ensure that the user receives content best suited for the device and the way in which they’re connecting.

Q6. How does knowing whether or not a mobile Web visitor is on a WiFi or cellular connection add value to marketers?

Digital Element: As advertisers and mobile marketers appreciate, there is an important difference between a mobile device and a mobile connection. Mobile WiFi connections are typically capable of delivering data at much higher speeds and are not subject to mobile data plan restrictions, thus are more suitable for graphics/image-heavy Web content. Mobile cellular connections, by contrast, are more suited to lighter, more text-based design to help accelerate page loading time and improve visitor retention.

Q7. How about country location and language? How do Digital Element’s and dotMobi’s datasets enable this determination to be made, and how does this information help marketers?

Digital Element: Digital Element’s IP-based location detection is able to identify the country location of mobile Web visitors with a high degree of accuracy (over 99.9 percent). Blending this with User-Agent-String language preference allows marketers to make distinctions within countries, tailoring currency and language in French, Dutch or German appropriately to Web visitors in Belgium, for example.

Q8. What else does knowing a carrier tell you about the visitor?

dotMobi: Depending on the individual market, advertisers may ascribe certain attributes to one operator versus another. For example, a particular operator may be targeting a youth demographic, while another may be targeting an enterprise-focused audience. This in turn will influence the type of content that is served. .

Q9. What is the value in knowing both device and carrier data?

Digital Element: Having knowledge of both the device and the carrier allows for more granular targeting. There are times a campaign might be targeted to a certain carrier based on the demographic makeup of that carrier’s audience, and then further targeted based on a subset of devices for that carrier. As an example, a gaming company may want to target newer Android devices associated with an operator whose brand appeals to a younger demographic.

Q10. How might brands or Website owners use information about carriers to their advantage? Might they serve different content or offers?

dotMobi: Yes. Knowing when someone is on a mobile device and using a data plan – which you can infer based on their connection via a cellular network – can be a very useful data point when making the decision on the type of content to send to the device.

Q11. What types of advertisers would this appeal to the most? I assume carriers that want to target offers at rivals’ customers, but what else?

Digital Element: The dotMobi/Digital Element partnership brings together the best of both worlds – dotMobi’s User Agent String-derived device intelligence with Digital Element’s IP-derived connectivity & location information to enable any mobile marketer to increase content relevance of their mobile Websites, reach a more targeted audience, accelerate page rendering times, and reduce mobile Website abandonment.

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