How people are really spending time on their phones with Paul Neto

We spoke with Paul Neto, co-founder and CMO of Measure Protocol, about how their Retro technology is providing access to valuable in-app behavioral data, plus some of their latest findings. 

In this episode of Now that's Significant, we were joined by Paul Neto, co-founder and CMO of Measure Protocol. We discussed how most companies have big data gaps in their consumer data collection strategies, and how the company’s Retro solution is able to fill those gaps. We also discussed the importance of building trust with consumers, and the rich data-sharing that follows. We concluded by discussing why these different mobile data-collection methods are so important for businesses to incorporate into their data strategies.

Over the last two decades, the industry has held a lot of promise surrounding behavioral data. Paul shared that “the reality is that we haven’t been fully able to realize it or benefit from it at this time.” Specifically, representation of iOS (Apple’s operating system) users in the behavioral space has been largely missing. In fact, without access to iOS data, most organizations are actually missing behavioral data from about one billion people. Measure Protocol methodologies, such as Retro, allows access to comprehensive behavioral data, including iOS, engagement, mobile purchases, and in-app data.

“You have to look at some of the basic fundamentals of both your company and your technology, and try to build an ecosystem where data sharing just happens,” Paul says. “Once you find that magic zone with consumers, they actually want to share more data. Once you have a trust-based relationship, all of the sudden, very interesting things happen.” Paul shares that Measure Protocol does this by creating a privacy-first, fully permissioned environment for the community to share information. 

Paul also talked about Retro’s recent win of the Market Research Society award for ‘Best Technology Innovation’ of 2022. “It was extremely exciting for us to get industry validation and recognition of the work that we’re doing. Retro is one of our approaches to collecting behavioral data,” Paul shared. Our approach also obtains longitudinal data. Paul explained, “what ends up happening if you have a lot of data density, and when you have it longitudinally…the overall quality of the data is much higher.”

The data that they’ve collected, using Retro, was the basis of the company’s recent App Life report, showcasing various data pieces that have been collected. Some of the more surprising things that they found, shared Paul, is “despite what you’re hearing about ‘millions of [app] downloads,’ the average individual really only uses about 40 [apps] per week. If you expand that to a month, it’s actually closer to 90. So this starts to indicate that there’s a small number of apps that are core to an individual.”

So why is this type of data so important for businesses to incorporate into their data strategies? “We’ve overburdened surveys to be a proxy for behavioral data. It’s clear that just asking people what they did/what they bought/how much time they spend, just isn’t viable for accurate data. The world has become an app world; it’s become a mobile world. Because we are maxed out on time, everything comes down to engagement.” Paul concludes by saying, “app engagement to mobile engagement has been largely a black hole in the behavioral world, so this becomes increasingly more important to have some visibility into it. You just can’t ignore it anymore.”

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