Adobe adds geolocation targeting to Marketing Cloud

The vendor also calls for companies to write simpler terms and conditions to avoid confusion

Adobe Systems has added mobile features to its Marketing Cloud, allowing companies to better target smartphones with the help of geolocation and app analytics.

Today's marketing departments must think "mobile first," according to Adobe. The reason is that users spend four times more time on their favorite apps than browsing the Web, the company said.

Adobe is looking to benefit from this trend with the launch of mobile services for its Marketing Cloud.

The new capabilities have been integrated into the Marketing Cloud's Analytics and Target tools, and users who license them get access to the mobile features at no extra charge. Next year they will be extended to Marketing Cloud's Campaign and Experience Manager tools.

Some of the key mobile features are analytics, optimization and geolocation targeting.

"Analytics is the foundation of any form of digital marketing from our perspective. Without data and insight, you can't make the right decisions," said Ray Pun, strategic marketing manager for mobile at Adobe.

The analytics allow companies to view a wide number of details on app usage, including the number of new users and how they use the apps. To personalize ads, it is also possible target mobile app users based on their GPS location and proximity to points of interest such as stores, sporting arenas or concert venues.

Anytime location is added to the mix there are privacy issues to contend with. Users must first of all opt-in to these capabilities, and companies need to say what they do and write terms and conditions that are easy to understand, according to Pun.

"Write it in a language that a normal person can understand, not an attorney ... I see many terms and conditions which are full of legalese that can't be understood," Pun said.

All the collected data can be viewed on a central dashboard.

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"Many people still look at the download metric as being the measure of success, but we are saying that its more than that. You have to look at the entire application life cycle," Pun said.

The mobile services are compatible with iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10, Windows 8 and Mac OS X as well as hybrid apps created with Adobe PhoneGap and HTML5. Hybrid apps use a mixture of native and Web-based components.

Companies can also target digital magazine, newspaper and corporate publications apps created with Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite.

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