In Audience Building, Audience Engagement, Blog Articles

Kids’ magazines (and procrastinator-favorite websites) have those crazy quizzes that ask you to identify everyday objects from a really tiny picture. Usually it’s something that looks like an alien landscape—then when they reveal the whole image, you realize it’s an orange. That’s because seeing only a tiny slice of a picture gives you a distorted and incomplete perspective.

That should sound pretty familiar to brands engaged in mobile marketing. Many brands try to segment and target their audiences using third-party data—with no insight into how often that data is refreshed or how the audiences are built.

Others work with an advertising partner that targets solely based on data it gets back from its advertising SDK. Both approaches use only impressions, clicks and general location to segment and target mobile audiences—which leaves them with a very limited view and limited effectiveness.

Like the incomplete orange story, if you only have access to a tiny slice of information about your target consumers, your understanding of the big picture can be thrown off significantly. Fortunately, mobile applications yield much more information about consumers and can help you piece together the whole picture.

Gathering insights all along the daily digital trail

Consider this: In Phunware’s 2017 Future of Mobile survey, we found that daily mobile users spend six hours per day on their devices, primarily on smartphones. And according to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus, mobile now accounts for almost 70% of all time spent on digital. In fact, mobile apps alone account for 60% of all time on digital.

All of that activity creates a daily mobile data trail that tells brands who these users are, where they have been, their preferences, and even where they’re likely to go next. Best of all, this trail of mobile data envelops consumers in a cloud of context which brands can leverage to discover:

  • What people do when they’re in an app you own
  • What other apps they use on the same device
  • Which types of content they read, listen to and engage with
  • Where they are, in specific latitude / longitude coordinates, thanks to their Wi-Fi connections, check-ins, GPS and app location services
  • Precisely where they are within certain physical environments, thanks to sensor technologies (like beacons)

Download Mobile Data: The Missing Link in Your User Acquisition and Engagement Strategies.


Finding a larger lens for consumer context

Millions of devices interact with Phunware apps and ads every day, and our platform continually ingests data from these interactions. In terms of scale, our platform:

  • Touches about one in every ten mobile consumers globally and over 700 million devices and every month
  • Registers more than 70 types of mobile event, totaling 40 billion mobile user events every month. Events include opening one of our apps, tapping on an ad, appearing around certain locations, etc.

What’s meaningful about this scale is that it allows deeper insight than app publishers would normally be able to get through their ad campaign and app analytics. Many publishers rely primarily on those two data sources, leaving them with an incomplete picture—they can’t see the whole orange. Phunware’s targeting and insight is extended with data from the apps we’ve built and those within our ad network, as well as first-party data we collect with help from our platform partners.

Every opted-in device that encounters Phunware’s mobile app ecosystem or monetization platform is assigned an anonymized Phunware ID, which acts as a way to associate and begin to understand all of the contextual data associated with that device and its user. Because Phunware IDs have reach beyond an individual app or campaign, they allow brands and publishers to segment audiences and target users in many powerful ways.

We’re here to help you design, build and target highly specific audiences more precisely and effectively than ever before. Want to learn more about Phunware IDs and the power of data-driven mobile marketing? Visit, or feel free to drop me a line.


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