tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/big-data Latest Big data content from Econsultancy 2016-04-29T14:01:05+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67758 2016-04-29T14:01:05+01:00 2016-04-29T14:01:05+01:00 Big data tools & techniques successful CMOs need to know John Kelly <p>Take the entertainment and ticketing business.</p> <p>Andrew Rentmeester, senior vice president of revenue planning and operations at The Madison Square Garden Company, sees it this way:</p> <blockquote> <p>What the CMO uses now (and will always need) are simple scrapes of the ticket inventory system and what’s sold today. If you don’t have that, you really don’t know where you are in the business.</p> </blockquote> <p>Rentmeester adds that, even though it’s just an inventory system for tickets, an old-school Excel sheet works. While it isn’t ideal, it’s needed, nonetheless.</p> <p>Consider the marketing of tires. Tire manufacturers struggle to understand the market value of their brand and products.</p> <p>Typically, they web-scrape prices listed by local retailers and make rough estimations of the value of their brand versus benchmarks.</p> <p>Even the application of this crude method of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67699-how-online-retailers-can-improve-price-optimization-strategies/">price optimization</a> improves margins in a very competitive market sector. </p> <p>Shawn O’Neal, vice president of global marketing data and analytics at Unilever, suggests that tool exploration begins before its analysis:</p> <blockquote> <p>You have to know what you want before you build the database with data tools. You have to understand what attributes you’re going to scale in the hierarchy and segmentation before you ever build the database.</p> <p>If you don’t have the database built for the data, you don’t capture it.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Big data tools on the CMO’s wish list<br> </h3> <p>Rentmeester says he would like to start his morning in this way:</p> <blockquote> <p>Marketing leadership and I need a dashboard concept that we look at and know what the overall state of our key marketing levers are so that we can use that to drive the business forward.</p> </blockquote> <p>He likes the idea of a type of dashboard mechanism that allows for quick insight into key sales drivers, year-to-date numbers, and prior-year numbers (and one that also provides a way to view the revenue funnels in parallel).</p> <p>For example, if you have a website and different digital marketing strategies for that website, you want to know which method is working best, how they are stacking up against each other and, most importantly, how they are relating back to sales. </p> <p>However, in a world where large, monolithic-type reporting engines still exist, Rentmeester finds that, by the time a report is generated, it’s already out of date because the questions have changed.</p> <p>If he wants to see one specific metric — such as the average ticket price in Section 340 for Knicks games — how does he get that metric quickly?</p> <p>He argues that the reporting structure isn’t usually oriented to answer that question at that point in time, which could prove to be a challenge for a CMO.</p> <p>He’s looking for a tool that allows him to get granular and to get as much data as he needs in order to make use of it as quickly as possible.</p> <h3>Tools or Techniques?<br> </h3> <p>Other executives claim there is more value to knowing a few standard analytical techniques above any one tool that should be leveraged.</p> <p>Sandeep Sacheti, executive VP at Wolters Kluwer, suggests the following “big five”.</p> <h4>1. A/B Testing</h4> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67249-a-beginner-s-guide-to-a-b-testing/">A/B testing</a>, as the name implies, involves a comparison or test. It is the simplest testing method possible, measuring the effectiveness of one path versus another.</p> <p>Some ideas for areas to A/B test include webpage design or timing of messages in an email campaign. One can test creative and response rates to specific offers as well.</p> <p>Although most marketers are well-informed of this basic technique, in the rush to get the job done and get to market, fewer employ it than one would expect.</p> <h4>2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)</h4> <p>NPS is an inherently simple concept to measure customer loyalty: It’s a tally of whether customers would recommend your business to others.</p> <p>While it might seem crazy that entire consultancies have been testing and reporting something as simple as the NPS concept, that number leads to the need for real strategic changes if not at its ideal level.</p> <p>Again, start simple: Are you asking your customers for it? And have you tracked how your score moves over time?</p> <h4>3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)</h4> <p>Here’s another simple metric, but this one accomplishes a complex transformation — getting an organization to shift its priorities from quarterly profits to the health of customer relationships.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">CLTV</a> is most applicable to businesses that can successfully achieve an annuity from their clients (think financial services, for example).</p> <p>Beyond that, it answers this question: “What is this customer worth to me?” to which there are three more consequential questions:</p> <ul> <li>Should I encourage this customer’s business, or let it go? </li> <li>If I want to encourage his or her business, how likely is he or she to continue?</li> <li>And what do I need to invest to keep that annuity going?</li> </ul> <h4>4. Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) Analysis</h4> <p>This is the most basic method of measuring CLTV.</p> <p>Scoring of all three — combined with a weighting of each to reflect the specific importance of each to your business — is the essence of this simple tabular calculation.</p> <h4>5. Customer Wallet Estimation</h4> <p>Maintaining a base level of analytics ensures you know what your customer spends with you in a given period.</p> <p>However, in a competitive marketplace, do you know how much money that customer is spending in that same time period across your industry?</p> <p>This measure involves more advanced statistical analysis and some outside market audit data, including a small sample of customer spend with competitors.</p> <p>A reliable marketwide number can be derived from this small sample by employing rules of statistics.</p> <p>Provided in context, knowledge of this number is good for relative comparison combined with other data.</p> <p>For example, are some of your marketing dollars achieving as much customer money as your competitor’s marketing dollars are? </p> <h3>Making the most of the CMO’s big data toolkit<br> </h3> <p>What needs to happen to make these tools most effective for CMOs today and in the future?</p> <p>O’Neal insists that setting up big data infrastructures with big groups of people and big budgets is no longer the way to go.</p> <p>Analytics should be built to empower people to do work in a demand-driven way — and not in the way IT systems were built in the 1990s.</p> <p>He goes on to agree with Rentmeester above:</p> <blockquote> <p>We build minimum requirements that are highly alterable, not capacity models that hope demand will grow and become what you envision. Because what you envision today is changing so rapidly that, tomorrow, it’s out of date.</p> </blockquote> <p>Rentmeester, however, believes that more people are the answer to actually marshal the data and make it quickly usable.</p> <p>A large staff, with enough data sense and business acumen to drive business by the numbers, can achieve the right balance of analytical agility, innovation, and most importantly, actionable results.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67668 2016-04-04T14:25:51+01:00 2016-04-04T14:25:51+01:00 Data can be toxic, here's how companies should handle it Patricio Robles <p>Schneier <a href="https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/03/data_is_a_toxic.html">blames</a> the "hype cycle of big data" on the risks that have been created...</p> <blockquote> <p>Companies and governments are still punch-drunk on data, and have believed the wildest of promises on how valuable that data is.</p> <p>The research showing that more data isn't necessarily better, and that there are serious diminishing returns when adding additional data to processes like personalized advertising, is just starting to come out.</p> </blockquote> <p>He also points out that many companies underestimate the risks and impacts of data breaches and overestimate their ability to mitigate against them.</p> <p>And in some cases, Schneier believes, companies choose to take unreasonable risks with data because they're encouraged to.</p> <p>"The culture of venture-capital-funded startup companies is one of extreme risk taking," he argues.</p> <blockquote> <p>[These companies] are so far from profitability that their only hope for surviving is to get even more money, which means they need to demonstrate rapid growth or increasing value.</p> <p>This motivates those companies to take risks that larger, more established, companies would never take. They might take extreme chances with our data, even flout regulations, because they literally have nothing to lose.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Realistic versus unrealistic solutions</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, as a security expert and privacy advocate, Schneier wants greater regulation of data "collection, storage, use, resale and disposal" and even suggests that certain business practices that involve "surveilling people" be made illegal.</p> <p>Ostensibly, this includes much of the activities associated with digital advertising.</p> <p>While greater regulation around data is indeed likely given the growing number of costly breaches, it's highly unlikely that large swaths of the big data economy will be rendered illegal.</p> <p>Even so, companies shouldn't ignore Schneier's arguments.</p> <p>Data is digital black gold and it's similar to the black gold that comes out of the ground. That black gold, when controlled, fuels the industrial economy, but when spilled, is the source of environmental disaster.</p> <p>Likewise, digital black gold <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67674-what-are-first-second-and-third-party-data/">fuels the internet economy</a>, but can also be the source of disaster when it leaks.</p> <h3>What companies should do</h3> <p>So what should companies do to avoid disaster? Here are several suggestions.</p> <h4>1. Develop a data strategy</h4> <p>In most cases, companies aren't collecting more and more data because storing it is so cheap. Many are storing all the data they can get their hands on because they don't have <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67296-how-to-create-a-clear-data-strategy-for-your-business/">a data strategy</a>.</p> <p>Without a strategy, decision makers will favor storing any and all data in the hope that they might develop a use for it later on.</p> <p>In reality, "we don't know if we'll need it therefore we'll keep it" is typically a poor excuse for data collection and retention, the result of laziness and not true lack of knowledge.</p> <h4>2. Develop data acquisition and retention policies</h4> <p>With a data strategy in place, companies can create sensible data acquisition and retention policies.</p> <p>Such policies can ensure that they have the data they need to meet business goals while reducing the risk that they're storing data that they don't need, or storing data in ways that are unnecessarily risky.</p> <h4>3. Treat data differently</h4> <p>Sensible data and retention policies will inherently reflect the fact that data differs in nature.</p> <p>For example, data that contains personally identifiable information (PII) isn't the same as data that doesn't contain PII, and should be handled and stored differently as a result. </p> <h4>4. Embrace compliance and risk management</h4> <p>Certain types of data are already subject to regulation.</p> <p>For instance, in the US, some health information is protected by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67498-digital-media-vs-hipaa-violations-risking-your-reputation-in-healthcare/">Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules</a>.</p> <p>Companies subject to these rules should see compliance as an opportunity to ensure that they're taking all the steps they can to secure their data.</p> <p>Even companies that aren't subject to government regulation have the opportunity to embrace data security through risk management.</p> <p>It's now possible to acquire data breach insurance, and companies that opt to do so can use the process as a means to implement data security best practices.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67650 2016-03-22T15:35:48+00:00 2016-03-22T15:35:48+00:00 Why marketers must move from data to insight to action Kym Reynolds <h3>Real-time contextualisation is here</h3> <p>Your customers are engaging with your business across an increasing number of touchpoints – websites, social media, in-store, mobile and tablets.</p> <p>But regardless of how they engage, they expect a customised, personalised, and consistent experience. This expectation continues to be a challenge for businesses, which have to manipulate enormous amounts of data to try to understand how to effectively engage each individual.</p> <p>In this landscape, data needs to be collected and analysed in real-time, and any data needs to be instantly actionable, preferably in a predictive way.</p> <p>Without these capabilities, marketing messages are less compelling and response rates fall. Conversely, those brands that embrace real-time contextualization through powerful and flexible big data see huge uplifts in campaign responses.</p> <p>Marketers are now recognising the imperative of these omni-channel, contextualised communications with their prospects and customers.</p> <p><em>The omnichannel experience - Burberry was a pioneer of 'clientelling' in-store to build customer data.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/9928/burberry-regent-street-technology-store-0-blog-full.jpg" alt="burberry" width="615" height="408"></p> <h3>There's no excuse for generic experiences</h3> <p>The happy customer isn’t just a customer who wishes to purchase more, it’s a customer that is retained, upsold and – perhaps most importantly – the customer who becomes an advocate for your brand.</p> <p>Even so, how many times have you heard your peers and colleagues complain that they don’t have proper analytics capabilities, which means that they are limited in ROI view, optimisation and progressing the digital experience?</p> <p>Or that connecting all the activity and data across multiple channels and departments, and unifying them for monitoring measurement, evaluation and future marketing activity is challenging?</p> <p>And how about that disparate systems and data make it hard or impossible to personalise campaigns and gather, test and analyse customer data? </p> <p>In my mind those are pretty flimsy excuses. There are powerful customer and marketing analytics tools out there, and many will enable marketers to understand their customer’s behaviour not just by answering questions, but by asking ‘what can I do with this information?’</p> <h3>How well do you know your customers?</h3> <p>Can you answer the following questions?</p> <ul> <li> <p>Do you know how many people visited your stores, purchased, or left without buying?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how long it takes for a customer to make a return purchase, and then another?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know when a customer becomes inactive or lapsed?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know what your most loyal customers look like and how to find more of them?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to apply what you learn about your customers – what/ when/ where – and turn that into personalised conversations?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to monitor changes in consumer behaviour and act on this quickly?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to use affinity reports to not only determine ‘the knowns’, ie. people who buy this also buy that, but also ‘the unknowns’ – affinities which don’t conform to a set behavior but proffer new marketing opportunities, through those affinities, brand, product or otherwise?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to shadow customers to determine when the right time is to contact them – learning their propensity to buy? </p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to track trending behaviours, such as identifying ‘repeat refunders’ or repeat returners – for example customers that buy three items online and return two in-store?</p> </li> </ul> <p><em>Time-tested models such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix">RFM</a> are all about actionable data.</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/5405/rfm_matrix_with_values-blog-full.png" alt="rfm matrix" width="615" height="653"></em></p> <h3>Marketers need to be able to act on data</h3> <p>Marketers need to be able to act on data not just pore over numbers in spreadsheets – there is a difference between a data question and a data driven insight with targeted call to action.</p> <p>In my mind, marketers need guidance about what is relevant - what are their customer indicators, what are their churn indictors - and how to action all of this in an automated fashion.</p> <p>Basic reporting, such as how many customers shopped online, how many abandoned a sale etc arguably add to the volume of data out there, but it just adds to the information that marketers struggle with.</p> <p>As a marketer, you should ask yourself the question – if for example you knew that 40% of customers who shopped in the last 3 months were new to your brand, and out of those, 10% have bought again and most within two weeks of their initial purchase – would that be a valuable insight?</p> <p>And if you could then use a tool that identifies all those new customers who have not repurchased by two weeks and automatically re-engage with them leveraging relevant content using your marketing cloud software, would that be beneficial to your business?</p> <p>If the answer is yes you need to consider using the technology that is out there, to help move you towards the ultimate goal of providing only relevant and timely content and marketing messages to each of your prospects and customers.</p> <p>Remember that building your marketing strategy on a solid customer data foundation will pay dividends for years to come.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67654 2016-03-16T14:25:45+00:00 2016-03-16T14:25:45+00:00 Google courts enterprise marketers with launch of Analytics 360 Suite Patricio Robles <p>To do all of this, the search giant has combined six products into a single platform:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Audience Center 360</strong>, a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-role-of-dmps-in-the-era-of-data-driven-advertising">data management platform</a> (DMP).</li> <li> <strong>Optimize 360</strong>, a website testing and personalization solution.</li> <li> <strong>Data Studio 360</strong>, a data and visualization tool that can be used to analyze data collected by all of the Google Analytics 360 products.</li> <li> <strong>Tag Manager 360</strong>, which is based on Google's existing tag management solution.</li> <li> <strong>Analytics 360</strong>, the professional analytics solution that Google previously offered under the name GA Premium.</li> <li> <strong>Attribution 360</strong>, an attribution platform that marketers can use to evaluate the performance of their campaigns across channels.</li> </ul> <p>Google says that Analytics 360 Suite has been several years in the making, and was developed based on feedback it received from enterprise marketers, many of whom complained that their existing marketing analytics tools were not meeting their needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3052/blog_images__62_-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="392"></p> <h3>Integration, integration, integration</h3> <p>Google believes it is delivering on those needs, and early customers like L'Oreal Canada, which says it has doubled anticipated revenue with Google's new offering, are already singing Analytics 360 Suite's praises.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ETGsJfYb-gw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p><strong>But Google's secret sauce might not be breadth or depth, but rather integration.</strong></p> <p>Audience Center 360 offers native integration with DoubleClick and over 50 third-party data providers.</p> <p>Tag Manager 360 plays nicely with a variety of third-party vendors, including Turn, comScore, Criteo and Marin Software.</p> <p>Attribution 360 is capable of distributing data to DSPs and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/rtb-buyers-guide/">RTBs</a>, can pull in data automatically from DoubleClick Campaign Manager, and offers an Offline Conversion Connector to help marketers attribute in-store sales to digital campaigns.</p> <p>Analytics 360 works with all Google ad products, and can be used to create remarketing lists that are automatically available in AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager.</p> <p>Because many marketers are already so heavily invested in Google's ad-related services, all of the integrations Analytics 360 Suite offers could give Google an edge when trying to win over marketers who are currently using competing solutions from a variety of vendors, some of whom only provide one or two of the functions in Analytics 360 Suite.</p> <p>That makes Analytics 360 Suite a threat to many companies, including Adobe, which offers a DMP, Adobe Audience Manager, and Tableau, which offers a business intelligence data visualization solution.</p> <p>Analytics 360 Suite likely won't be cheap – reports suggest pricing will be in the six-figure range – but if Google can lure enough enterprise customers with a one-stop shop proposition, it could prove to be one of Google's most important product launches in some time.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67640 2016-03-11T11:23:00+00:00 2016-03-11T11:23:00+00:00 Nine delightful digital marketing stats from the past week Jack Simpson <p>Well thanks to my pre-emption of your judging ways this intro will now be completely free from humour and laced instead with the kind of bitter resentment I usually reserve for people who stand on the left side of the escalator on the Tube.</p> <p>So there. </p> <p>This week we’ve got a good one lined up, with some reassuringly positive findings around women in business along with lots of lovely stats about digital transformation, generation Z, and much more. </p> <p>Here goes...</p> <h3>Optimising CX is the biggest opportunity for digital transformation</h3> <p>29% of respondents in our recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67596-digital-transformation-in-the-retail-sector-challenges-opportunities">Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector report</a> say that the ability to optimise the customer experience is the most exciting opportunity when it comes to digital transformation in 2016. </p> <p>A fifth (20%) say data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual is the biggest opportunity, while 11% say cross-channel marketing. </p> <p><em><strong>Q: Which one area is the single most exciting opportunity for your organisation in 2016?</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2511/Single_most_exciting_op_Retail.JPG" alt="" width="600"></p> <h3>84% see data as integral to business strategy</h3> <p>More than four-fifths of organisations see data as an integral part of forming a business strategy and believe they could increase sales by up to 29% if their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/value-exchange-from-data">customer data</a> was fully accurate, according to a new infographic by Experian. </p> <p>Check out the infographic below for more stats:
</p> <p><a href="https://www.edq.com/uk/resources/infographics/dealing-with-the-deluge-humanising-your-data-strategy/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2885/Screen_Shot_2016-03-10_at_15.15.07.png" alt="Data in business strategy infographic" width="600"></a></p> <h3>91% of UK businesses will ‘no longer be competitive’ by 2020</h3> <p>More than nine in ten UK employees believe their businesses will no longer be competitive by 2020 if they continue in their current format, according to <a href="http://www.infomentum.com/uk/solutions/business-solutions/Business-2020/index.htm?utm_source=pr_origin&amp;utm_medium=pr&amp;utm_campaign=Business%202020">a new report by Infomentum</a>. </p> <p>Other key findings include: </p> <ul> <li>50% say firms will have to invest in new technology in order to keep up.</li> <li>37% expect to be allowed to work from home. </li> <li>61% believe their jobs will be more automated by 2020.</li> </ul> <h3>Generation Z not on mainstream social media sites</h3> <p>Those born after 1995 – commonly referred to as ‘generation Z’ – make up a quarter of the UK population, and prefer to use non-mainstream social networks such as Snapchat, Secret and Whisper, according to a new infographic by Oliver. </p> <p>Check out the infographic below for more stats:</p> <p><a href="http://www.oliver.agency/en/news/infographic-who-are-generation-z/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2886/Screen_Shot_2016-03-10_at_16.34.03.png" alt="Generation Z infographic" width="600"></a></p> <h3>Companies with strong reputations have twice as many women in senior management</h3> <p>Companies that are most admired by their industry peers have a higher proportion of female leaders, according to new research by Weber Shandwick. </p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>10.9% of senior executives in the world’s 500 largest companies by revenue are women.</li> <li>Of those companies, not one has an equal representation of men and women on their senior management teams.</li> <li>Almost four in 10 companies (37.6%) have an all-male senior leadership team.</li> </ul> <h3>Women driving UK economic growth</h3> <p>There are 762 female-led companies with revenue between £1m – £250m in the UK, experiencing median annual growth of 30%, according to a new infographic by Founders4Schools.</p> <p>Check out the infographic below for more stats:</p> <p><a href="https://www.founders4schools.org.uk/women/infographic/#/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2887/Screen_Shot_2016-03-10_at_17.09.58.png" alt="Women driving UK economic growth infographic" width="600"></a></p> <h3>66% of marketers now driving IT purchase decisions</h3> <p>Two-thirds of marketers are now calling the shots when it comes to purchasing to marketing software, according to a new study by Squiz. </p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>83% of respondents say they use a CMS platform, 77% an analytics platforms and 62% a CRM platform.</li> <li>Only 45% believe that marketing software purchasing decision lie with the IT Manager.</li> </ul> <h3>UK closer to Japan than US when it comes to online behaviour</h3> <p>The behaviour of UK web users bears more resemblance to that of Japanese and French consumers than it does to those in the US, according to new research by Oban Digital. </p> <p>Brazilian and Indian consumers share a perception of what a typical computer brand site should look like and how the use of images enhances the user experience.</p> <p>France, Japan and the UK share the same view of what makes a page global or local, with local pages being seen as more trustworthy by this group. These three countries also prefer websites with plenty of product information.</p> <h3>2m Brits visited subscription box sites in last three months</h3> <p>Millions of people have visited <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66034-the-pros-and-cons-of-subscription-ecommerce-models/">subscription box sites</a> such as Graze of Birchbox in the UK in the last few months, according to new figures from Hitwise, a division of Connexity.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Almost half of shoppers use their mobile to research subscription box offers.</li> <li>Visitors are most often women, aged between 25-34, with above-average incomes.</li> <li>30.6% begin their journey to a subscription box via a search engine.</li> </ul> <h3>Timely and vaguely relevant stat of the week… </h3> <p><strong>On this day in 1993,</strong> Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to become the first female attorney general.</p> <h3>For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           </h3> <p>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/?utm_source=Econ%20Blog%20&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=BLOGSTATS">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.</p> <p>It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67606 2016-03-04T09:58:47+00:00 2016-03-04T09:58:47+00:00 How O2 achieves creativity through data Jack Simpson <p>The first talk came from O2’s Head of Digital Excellence, Nick Adams, and VCCP’s Innovation Director, Adrian Gans. </p> <p>The two of them discussed how they believe <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67554-2016-the-year-of-programmatic-creative">creativity absolutely has a place in programmatic advertising</a> and ran through some examples of where O2 has demonstrated this in its own campaigns. </p> <p>Here are some of the highlights from the talk...</p> <h3>Beyond the fear and jargon</h3> <p>O2 naturally has a huge number of data collection points, from behaviour in-store to profiling people based on their My O2 account activity. </p> <p>This enables O2 to carry out very precise personalised targeting, which has led to the brand spending 70% of its total display budget on programmatic as of last year. </p> <p>But despite automating so much of its advertising, Gans insists programmatic isn’t a threat to creativity.</p> <blockquote> <p>When something is characterised as machine or robotic, it’s automatically seen as a threat. But we’re looking to go beyond the hype.</p> <p>We’re a creative agency but we’re embracing programmatic.</p> </blockquote> <p>Half the problem, Gans argues, is the sheer amount of jargon being thrown around that makes the channel seem overly complex. </p> <p>“We want to talk about the work, not just the tech,” he says. “You have to embrace a certain amount of complexity but we should be talking about ‘what’ rather than ‘how’.”</p> <p>Gans cited some stats that certainly support the idea that programmatic is full of future opportunities. </p> <p>According to a recent eMarketer study: </p> <ul> <li>52% of total ad spend is on digital.</li> <li>50% of that is on search (which, Gans says, is programmatic in nature but not particularly creative). </li> <li>40% of digital adspend goes on display.</li> <li>Of that 40%, 70% is programmatic.</li> </ul> <p>It is that 70% that Gans refers to as the ‘canvas’ for truly creative programmatic ad campaigns. </p> <h3>Examples of O2's programmatic campaigns</h3> <p><strong>1. Mobile</strong></p> <p>The challenge here was to take O2’s 'tariff refresh' TV ad and make it relevant and engaging for a mobile audience. </p> <p>So it created a system whereby it could take data about mobile usage – device, location, and so on – and offer users specific messages based on that profile. </p> <p>O2 could tell a mobile user the current recycling value of their phone, the best offer for an upgrade, what people like them generally preferred upgrading to (incorporating an element of social proof), and where the nearest store was.</p> <p><em><strong>Adrian Gans</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2608/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_13.08.22.png" alt="O2 programmatic campaign" width="600"></p> <p>It created more than 1,000 versions of the video ad, which integrated in real time with the user’s device and location. </p> <p><strong>The results:</strong></p> <p>The personalised ads performed 128% better in terms of click-through rate (CTR). </p> <p>“We know it works,” says Gans. “This sort of thing is going to be the bedrock for what we’re developing in 2016.”</p> <p><strong>2. Social</strong></p> <p>O2 partnered with Facebook to segment its audience and target them with three different messages:</p> <ul> <li>Early upgraders.</li> <li>Out of contract. </li> <li>Approaching end of contract. </li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Nick Adams</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2609/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_13.07.57.png" alt="O2 programmatic campaign" width="600"></p> <p>The differences between the ads were subtle, slight tweaks to the copy and images. But they definitely produced significant responses. </p> <p><strong>The results:</strong></p> <p>Overall the personalised ads achieved 49% lower cost per order (CPO). In the early upgrade segment the CPO reduced by 61%.</p> <p>Adams summarised the campaign by saying:</p> <blockquote> <p>Subtle different messages can actually drive results.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>3. Video</strong></p> <p>When O2 was a key sponsorship for the international sporting event that must never be spoken of again (Rugby World Cup 2015, if you’re still wondering), it wanted to come up with a powerful <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67221-the-20-most-shared-video-ads-of-2015">video campaign</a> that actually prompted people to engage. </p> <p>Personalisation was the answer. So it pulled in data from its avatar creation website and brought it all together to create a collection of ads. </p> <p>Here is the non-personalised version of the ad:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zXppMqUVMYE?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>When people watched the personalised version they would be addressed by their first name and invited to access the avatar site. </p> <p>The interesting part was that the tech could tell which part of the avatar creation process the user was at, so whether they had just started creating one and abandoned it or had got all the way to the end. The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66755-10-brilliant-examples-of-calls-to-action">call to action</a> would be personalised accordingly. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2610/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_13.08.46.png" alt="Rugby World Cup O2 programmatic campaign" width="600"></p> <p><strong>The results:</strong></p> <p>An 11% increase in engagement levels. </p> <h3>Does too much data and automation stifle creativity?</h3> <p>The big question of the day came up in the Q&amp;A session at the end of this talk, and this is how Gans answered it:</p> <blockquote> <p>Of course there are limits to how far (automation) should, and could, go. There is always going to be a significant role for human imagination.</p> <p>But we don’t see it as a negative. It’s just bringing more experts in to support the creative process as a whole.</p> </blockquote> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67554 2016-03-01T15:48:00+00:00 2016-03-01T15:48:00+00:00 2016: the year of programmatic creative? Glen Calvert <p>However, far less attention has been paid to the innovative element of this automated buying and selling of digital media – the creative.</p> <p>And herein lies the seed to the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67574-has-programmatic-advertising-killed-creativity-in-marketing/">merging of programmatic and creative</a>; which is the next wave of disruption and innovation to impact the digital ad industry – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/creative-programmatic/">programmatic creative</a>.</p> <h3>So, what is programmatic creative?</h3> <p>The software powered, automated, algorithmic approach to media buying, enabling pinpoint accuracy of people-based targeting with advanced optimisation is half the story.</p> <p>Programmatic creative is the enabling of intelligent creative, where each person is exposed to a brand’s message that adapts, changes and is personalised to them, regardless of the device or site they’re on.</p> <p>Programmatic creative enables the content of an ad to be programmatically manipulated so it’s more relevant and personal to the person it’s being served to, with a continuous feedback loop for optimisation.</p> <p>The same application of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64743-predictive-analytics-machine-learning-and-the-future-of-personalization/">machine learning algorithms</a> to decide who to target, when and on what site, will be applied to the creative messaging as well.</p> <p><strong><em>How will Programmatic Advertising impact the role of marketing professionals?</em></strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k93THhdXIIw?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Programmatic creative optimisation enables the ad elements to adapt from various data points – such as the user’s previous surfing behaviour, their location, the time of day etc. – to change the message, font or colour in an ad.</p> <p>Programmatic creative also (and more interestingly) utilises user-specific data to enhance the messages themselves for that very individual.</p> <p>For example, showing the exact product they may like, and changing the price and offer based on who they are.</p> <p>In short, programmatic creative enables the intelligent manipulation of the creative based on what you know about that cookie ID, and the automated use of live data inside the creative so it’s increasingly personalised for the individual.</p> <p>It’s important not to confuse programmatic creative with serving dynamic ads via programmatic channels or dynamic creative optimisation.</p> <p>Programmatic creative goes beyond serving dynamic ads programmatically, it has the potential to adapt messages to individuals in real time on an on-going basis for true one-on-one communication, compared to delivering dynamic creative that is served to user segments that are predefined by the marketer.</p> <p>The critical benefit of programmatic creative is that it’ll be the only way to truly 'talk' to millions of people individually, and reach that previously mythical land for advertisers of "mass personalisation."</p> <h3>The ramifications</h3> <p>Software that can automatically build ads, optimise and personalise them, will have significant ramifications on the entire advertising value chain. It means traditional owners of marketing communications need to be prepared.</p> <p><strong><em>Has Programmatic Advertising killed creativity in marketing? </em></strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7fEj3_hG5mc?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>It’s not going to be easy. It’s a pretty well-known fact that creatives – the people designing the ad – don’t talk with the programmatic delivery teams and, therefore, don’t know if their work was effective or not.</p> <p>Some of the blame for this lies with marketers who could do more to teach creatives how their work is impacted by programmatic media plans, and the potential benefits ad tech provides without impinging on the creative process.</p> <p>Much of the focus of start-ups and innovation with digital advertising has been focused in the infrastructure, the plumbing hidden beneath that no one sees. However, with the increasing need to thwart <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">the threat of ad blocking</a>, 2016 will see much more focus on how technology can impact what we actually see, that which is delivered to consumers.</p> <p>Relevance and usefulness, without overstepping the delicate privacy line, is the key to a viable and successful online ad model.</p> <p>The impact on our industry will be huge and creative agencies should be the first to be prepared.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67593 2016-03-01T09:49:40+00:00 2016-03-01T09:49:40+00:00 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): what we know & what's coming next Jack Simpson <p>The talks came from Christopher Graham and Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the former being the UK’s Information Commissioner and the latter the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.</p> <p>They are arguably two of the UK’s most knowledgeable people on the subject of data privacy, so I thought it would be useful to cover some of the key points from their talks.</p> <h3>The government is waging war on nuisance calls</h3> <p>A huge driver of this reformed legislation is the ever-present onslaught of nuisance telemarketing calls, particularly to the more vulnerable in society who rely on a landline phone. </p> <p>“We should not dismiss (nuisance calls) as an unfortunate by-product of the rapid growth of data in marketing,” says Neville-Rolfe. </p> <p>It is a form of harassment, she argues, citing one case in which a vulnerable woman whose landline phone was her only means of communication was left isolated and close to suicide following a barrage of intimidating telemarketing calls. </p> <p>It was this incident that actually led to the recent expose on charity fundraising practices. </p> <p><strong><em>Baroness Neville-Rolfe</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2477/Screen_Shot_2016-02-29_at_15.26.18.png" alt="baroness neville-rolfe" width="630"></p> <p>Neville-Rolfe insists the government is not trying to undermine legitimate fundraising or telemarketing activity. But the action of a minority, she says, are tarnishing the reputation of the majority. </p> <p>The worst offender, a burglar alarm firm called Direct Security Marketing Ltd, made almost 40,000 calls a day between January and February this year, 10,000 of which were made between one and six in the morning. </p> <h3>Lots of firms have already been fined for breaching data laws</h3> <p>The firm mentioned above was fined £70,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which has issued £2.5m in fines since January 2012.</p> <p>In the week before this event alone it dished out £150,000 in penalties, and it expects to raise a further £1m before the end of the financial year. 

</p> <h3>But the fines are about to get MUCH bigger</h3> <p>Currently the ICO has the power to enforce penalties of up to £0.5m for nuisance marketers, but that figure is about to increase substantially. </p> <p>While the exact figure is still to be confirmed, Graham says by summer 2018 it looks as if the ICO will be able to impose fines of up to €20m or 4% of global turnover, whichever is the higher figure. </p> <p>He describes the new penalty cap as "eye-watering", adding:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s very important we remain a proportionate regulator, but the sky is the limit in terms of enforcement powers. People need to sit up and take notice.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Christopher Graham</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2478/Screen_Shot_2016-02-29_at_15.27.04.png" alt="Christopher Graham" width="630" height="642"></p> <p>Despite the potential new powers for bigger fines, Graham is a firm believer that consumer behaviour trumps any kind of financial penalty when it comes to influencing shady marketing practice. </p> <p>“You can make a quick buck,” he says, “but at the cost of damage to your reputation. The time and money it takes to rebuild confidence after a data breach can be as severe as any fine.”</p> <p>He argues that with greater opportunities in data come increased risks.</p> <blockquote> <p>We used to think of data as the new oil, but it can also be the new asbestos. You have to manage the risks if you want to take advantage of the opportunities.</p> </blockquote> <h3>It’s not just about punishing wrong-doers</h3> <p>Graham insists that the ICO is not just interested in dishing out fines and acting the bad cop, but rather hopes to use what he refers to as the ‘proportional positive partnership approach’.</p> <p>He says the ICO’s mantra revolves around five Es:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Enforcement</strong> – catching and fining those who break the law.</li> <li> <strong>Education</strong> – showing people what good practice looks like.</li> <li> <strong>Empowerment</strong> – giving citizens the power to assert their rights under the data protection act. </li> <li> <strong>Enablement</strong> – unlocking the power of digital in the economy while respecting people’s privacy and rights.</li> <li> <strong>Engagement</strong> – working with business and the technical world to make sure we get the best from the digital economy.</li> </ul> <h3>The impact of a ‘leave’ vote in the EU remains unclear</h3> <p>The obvious question of the day was around the EU referendum, specifically how a ‘leave’ vote might impact on these new EU-wide regulations.</p> <p>As you can probably imagine, the answers were somewhat politician-like. The general message was along the lines of: ‘We’re not sure what will happen but we can’t afford to waste four months of work waiting to find out.’</p> <p>In other words: they’ll cross that bridge if and when they come to it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2479/Screen_Shot_2016-02-29_at_15.28.00.png" alt="Christopher Graham and Baroness Neville-Rolfe" width="630"></p> <h3>Marketers are urged to "get it right now"</h3> <p>Despite the new regulations not coming into force until 2018, not to mention the fact they won’t even be fully agreed between EU countries until probably June or July, Graham urges marketers to start thinking about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67588-the-five-point-plan-for-data-privacy-business">data privacy</a> now, not just to stay within the law but to follow best practice. </p> <p>“Lawyers and translators are poring over text,” Graham says. “We’re working hard to make sure our organisation is ready to be an effective partner and give advice very early on.”</p> <p>Graham ended by saying:</p> <blockquote> <p>At its core, data protection is about simple things: respect, trust, integrity, and professionalism.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>To learn more about data privacy in the marketing world, download our report: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/value-exchange-from-data">Value Exchange From Data Exchange</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67588 2016-02-29T11:33:20+00:00 2016-02-29T11:33:20+00:00 The five-point plan for data privacy & business Jack Simpson <p>Introducing the talk was Facebook’s privacy policy manager Sinead Connolly, who talked about how the narrative around data has changed in the last year and become much more negative. </p> <p>It is easy to see why that is when you consider the enormous amount of (rarely positive) press around data privacy, not to mention the horrendous abuse people suffer from telemarketing companies. </p> <p>People are growing wise to their data and how it is being bought and sold, and they are starting to resist it.</p> <p>Hence the rise of sites like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67501-14-reasons-you-really-shouldn-t-ignore-duckduckgo/">DuckDuckGo</a> or the increasing use of ad blockers. </p> <p>Brandt believes that all is not lost, however, and highlighted five key focus points that could help brands rebuild trust with consumers around data and ensure the future success of this increasingly data-driven economy. </p> <p>Those five key points are:</p> <ol> <li>Collaboration</li> <li>Value exchange</li> <li>Control and cognitive load</li> <li>Transparency, education and data literacy</li> <li>Industry leadership</li> </ol> <p><strong><em>Liz Brandt</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2419/Screen_Shot_2016-02-26_at_16.34.31.png" alt="liz brandt ctrl-shift " width="600"></p> <p>Let’s go into those points in a bit more detail...</p> <h3>1. Collaboration</h3> <p>“Seeing regulation and the market as opposing forces is short-sighted,” Brandt says. </p> <p>A fair point perhaps, but it’s easy to see why the relationship between government regulators and private businesses is somewhat tepid. </p> <p>Having worked in a couple of frequently audited firms in my time I’ve seen first-hand how frustrating it can be to have to jump through hoops just to get the right tick on an inspector’s piece of paper. </p> <p>It’s extremely time consuming, and so brands are programmed to respond cautiously to government prying. As Brandt puts it: “They say no until they’re forced to say yes.”</p> <p>But that relationship needs to change, Brandt argues, if we want to overcome all the challenges around data and privacy.</p> <p>Business needs to forget the old way, change its relationship with government and start collaborating. </p> <h3>2. Value exchange</h3> <p>This is one so few companies seem to get. If you’re asking somebody to provide their data – quite a big ask when you really think about it – what are you really giving them in return?</p> <p>In his earlier talk, DMA Group CEO Chris Combemale cited a fairly alarming stat that only 7% of consumers believe they get better value than the brand in question when they share their data. </p> <p>It’s all take take take, as far as the consumer is concerned. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/value-exchange-from-data/">Research by Econsultancy and Acxiom</a> shows that, at the very least, consumers expect improved customer service in exchange for data.</p> <p>For example, respondents felt that companies should only ask for their personal information once, and should use that data to provide personalised service.</p> <p><strong><em>Q: To what extent do you expect the following as a result of providing personal information?</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2434/to_what_extent.png" alt="" width="636" height="461"></p> <p>Whether that’s a perception issue or a reflection of reality doesn’t matter, because the end result is the same: consumers having a lack of trust in brands when it comes to sharing their data. </p> <p>Combemale also mentioned a 4OD video campaign starring Alan Carr that aimed to rebuild trust in consumers, and it’s a great example of transparency around collecting data. </p> <p><a href="http://www.channel4.com/4viewers/viewer-promise/ourpromise"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2423/Screen_Shot_2016-02-26_at_16.43.47.png" alt="channel 4 our promise data trust video" width="600"></a></p> <p>If you don’t have the time nor capacity to watch the video, it effectively says: ‘Look, we get you’re worried about giving us your data, but all we want to do is personalise your experience and make sure we give you the best service possible. We won’t sell it or show it to anyone else, we won’t send you marketing guff, it’s all for your own good.’</p> <p>A compelling message. The only thing I would add, however, is that if you make these types of claims you better make damn sure you follow up on them.</p> <p>Not doing so would almost certainly destroy any chance of trust you have in future.</p> <p>The point of all this is: consumers need to feel like they’re getting something of genuine value in return for providing their data. </p> <p>And if they’re not, perhaps you need to rethink your business model. </p> <h3>3. Control and cognitive load</h3> <p>This one is all about how to keep control over data while simultaneously reducing the amount of time and effort you spend on that control. </p> <p>Brandt discussed services that exist now where firms control where consumers’ data goes on their behalf. She mentioned Saveawatt in New Zealand, a company that takes people’s data and uses it to find the best electricity deals for them. </p> <p>But it all comes down to trust again, Brandt argues. And without that trust you are bever going to persuade people to hand their data over without a fight. </p> <p>Brandt referred to the fact that Google Compare recently closed down – arguably caused by people’s growing disillusionment with how Google handles consumer data – while Cheap Energy Club has more than 2m users. </p> <p>Trust, as with anything in the world of consumer data these days, is critical. </p> <h3>4. Transparency, education and data literacy</h3> <p>Key to building trust around consumer data is transparency, but also education. </p> <p>
Looking back to that 4OD video, it states, in a not entirely patronising way, exactly what is going to happen to people’s data once they hand it over. </p> <p>Clearly 4OD is being transparent, but it’s also educating customers, many of whom probably had no idea what really happened to their data and some of whom might have assumed something sinister happened to it. </p> <p>The point is: don’t just assume that consumers are aware of what you’re doing with their data. Tell them explicitly what you’re going to do with it and tell them up-front before they agree to hand it over. </p> <p>Again, if you’re not comfortable doing that then perhaps you need to re-think what you’re doing with your customers’ details. </p> <p>Then there’s data literacy. It is an increasingly broad and technical field, one which most people couldn’t hope to understand from top to bottom. </p> <p>But as a society – government, businesses, individuals – we need to work together to improve data literacy in general. Once everyone understands data better they will naturally become less distrusting. </p> <p>Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. </p> <h3>5. Industry leadership</h3> <p>“We must be looking to industry to lead,” Brandt says. “There is so much it can do.”</p> <p>Brandt talked about the UX world and how UX designers are all linked in a global network, which means new developments are quickly adopted as best practice across the board. </p> <p>This is a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing, she argues, citing an example of airline companies including a tick-box to opt out of insurance within a scrolling list of countries, whereby users have to scroll through the list to actually spot it. </p> <p>
That’s bad UX and bad from a consumer trust point of view. </p> <p>"Corporates need to set the agenda," Brandt says. </p> <blockquote> <p>What we’re hearing overall is a big, big, big leadership gap. Corporates need to stand up and start showing the way forward.</p> </blockquote> <p>The issues within the growing data economy affect everyone, and if business leaders don’t take action now then the next few years will be much more painful than they need to be. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67523 2016-02-19T14:25:18+00:00 2016-02-19T14:25:18+00:00 Engagement is a better route to campaign accuracy than big data alone Doug Conely <p>At the same time, technology providers are also more motivated to apply their data and target consumers efficiently, instead of simply shooting for volume.</p> <p>Of course, big data does come into play when improving engagement but it should be a means to an end, and not the end in itself.</p> <p>We’ve seen marketers who’ve become so focused on data that two worrying things happen:</p> <ol> <li>they neglect other strategic decisions,</li> <li>and fail to recognise data's limitations.</li> </ol> <h3><strong>It’s so big, there’s too much noise</strong></h3> <p>Big data has simply become too convoluted, and possibly too big.</p> <p>While useful to a point, over-saturation affects our ability to accurately assess our consumers.</p> <p>An excellent analogy is sound quality; beyond a certain point, additional resolution doesn’t noticeably improve things.</p> <p>In other words, adding other types of data beyond what is necessary doesn’t provide any additional benefits. Bar a minimal improvement in efficiency, the story stays pretty-much the same.</p> <p>Consumer data comes with a significant amount of ‘noise’ - the more collected, the more noise one has to deal with.</p> <p>These errors come up during measurement, categorisation, and most often with identification. After all, we’re still in a world where cookies, not people, are a unique identifier.</p> <p>An example of these errors is the way many targeting and measurement models assume that if you click on an ad and subsequently purchase, that conversion must have been due to that ad. This is quite a suspect assumption.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2048/Search_marketing.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p>Another prime example of this measurement error is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">search advertising</a>.</p> <p>Search-based ads are deliberately targeted at those consumers most likely to purchase the advertised product and timed to arrive when a consumer is performing a task related to the product.</p> <p>Data on conversions from such search campaigns that assume conversions were due to the ad is at, best, inconclusive and worst, just wrong. </p> <h3><strong>Data can backfire - even when used well</strong></h3> <p>Advertising effectiveness studies have shown that targeted ads work and do a better job of grabbing attention.</p> <p>Data plays a key part in this by allowing us to hyper target consumers.</p> <p>However, other, trickier insights have reaffirmed another truth we know – that too much of anything isn’t always a good thing. Think about how too much targeting can have a negative impact.</p> <p>Consumers can react adversely to ads that are too specific and narrowly targeted.</p> <p>Ads that seem to invade their privacy are viewed with suspicion rather than interest and can cause anger and damage to the brand.</p> <p>It’s vital – and certainly not easy – to achieve that very delicate balance of engaging the right audience, without overly interrupting the user experience and causing concern.</p> <h3><strong>Where data plays the best part</strong></h3> <p>While data can be extremely useful, its role should primarily be to identify consumer receptivity, or willingness to receive a message from a brand.</p> <p>Beyond this, it’s a better and more productive route to understand what consumers are interested in reading about, learning, or experiencing and make every effort to bring them content that hits the right notes based on these interests.</p> <p>This is where delivering the right advertising content becomes extremely important so that people are more likely to spend time looking or interacting with it.</p> <p>This is where we get into the realm of engagement – an extremely prevalent buzzword but one on which there’s very little consensus as to what it actually is.</p> <p>For me, it’s about maximising time spent with users who are the most likely to become your customers but haven’t yet raised their hands with a signal like a branded keyword search term or a site visit.</p> <p>It’s about focusing on campaigns that capture and sustain audience attention.</p> <p>After all, brand affinity can only be built when the audience has spent sufficient time engaging with a brand.</p> <p>Data will, of course, play a key role in helping us on this journey but we shouldn’t miss the wood for the trees.</p>