(Originally posted in Adotas)

Do you remember the days of browsing a bookstore or library for your next read? You’d head to your favorite section and get lost for hours before settling on a book. Now, personalized tools such as Amazon’s recommendation system have reduced this search to a few seconds. Both consumers and marketers can admire Amazon’s ability to instantly lead a customer to the perfect book based on his or her preferences. Although the algorithms that power these systems are amazing, the magic is in how personalized recommendations make consumers feel. Amazon makes a transaction with a machine feel personal. When consumers feel like someone — or something, in this case — knows and cares about their interests, they will become loyal customers who keep coming back for that personal touch. Amazon is paving the way for a more user-driven brand experience, and with brands such as Netflix following suit, marketers can no longer rely on deceptive qualitative data alone to make campaign decisions.

Marketers need to get data on their customers, and the best way to do this is through the platforms they’re constantly using: mobile devices.

Marketers need to get data on their customers, and the best way to do this is through the platforms they’re constantly using: mobile devices.

Meet Consumers Where They Are

Mobile usage now accounts for 60 percent of consumers’ digital time, according to a 2014 comScore report. And app usage accounts for most mobile engagement, taking up seven out of every eight minutes of media consumption on mobile devices. With the explosion of mobile usage, marketers can now reach consumers wherever they are and deliver the Amazon-like personalized recommendations that they expect. But many marketers who are flocking to mobile are making the mistake of bombarding consumers with irrelevant messages. This information overload makes capturing — and keeping — customer attention a constant challenge.

To compete on Amazon’s level of personalization, marketers must be able to track their customers’ behavior on mobile. By tapping into this rich trove of psychographic data, marketers can rise above the noise and get the right information to the right customer at the right time.

Leverage Social Analytics for Campaigns

You’re familiar with the customer persona method of defining your target audience. You can also create mobile profiles to craft highly personalized campaigns. The easiest way to do this is through social analytics tools. Consumers are less guarded on social platforms than they are in formal surveys or focus groups. By harnessing social data, you can see your audience in real time — while at the grocery store, in the living room, or on an outdoor adventure — and collect important psychographic data.

By analyzing this data, you’re much more likely to get an accurate and unbiased picture of your audience’s interests, values, personality traits, and purchase intentions. If you combine this with quantitative data, you can craft a mobile campaign that will reach the exact people who will love your product or service. Choose the metrics that are most important to your mobile campaign, such as the number of social followers or video downloads. Continue researching and tweaking the campaign until it heads in the right direction. Psychographic analysis is still a work in progress, especially on the social front, but brands that jump in now will end up on top.

It’s a new age for marketers. Consumers are smart enough to know when they’re the targets of marketing efforts, and they don’t always like it. Take the time to get to know them personally and offer a precise solution at the right moment. You’ll earn the enduring trust of the people who matter most to your business.