Data is the new black

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By Guest blogger Kristin Kunsaginam, digital account manager at Zenith-Optimedia and passionate about data, dancing, and lots of other things!

In the world of marketing, data has earned itself a seat at the table amongst the TVCs, DPS’s and MREC’s of the world.  It is acknowledged as the new black, a trading commodity and the ability to deliver sophisticated marketing.  It is the four-letter word that marketers love to hate; it is easy enough to understand but comes with a 500+ page phantom manual.  

Data has always been at the heart of marketing – heck, budgets would not be approved if we couldn’t justify that marketing works; data being at the heart of it.   In the digital age, the use of data goes to another level; the ability to combine registration data, with browsing habits to deliver targeted messaging to a consumer, and that is just one level of how data is being used.  

Just to give an example, I was on Agoda a couple of weeks ago looking for hotels in Hanoi for an upcoming trip.  I did not “convert”, yet. I was still “researching” i.e. holding out for a deal.  Over the next few days, thanks to my robust browsing behaviour which often leads me onto to Google Content Network ad supported sites, I was served up an Agoda  ad which had 3 of the different hotels I was looking at, with a 3 different discounts. Score. One conversion. Thank you very much.  

Data in digital marketing is an essential part towards making the campaign a success.  When I read about how “How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl was Pregnant Before Her Father Did” my first thought was wow and then sh*t.  This is a perfect example of how data has been used to cleverly deliver the right message at the right time.  Or maybe not so right time.

As consumers we are exposed to it almost everyday and the best example is when on Facebook, those ads that remind you that you are single by serving you an dating site ad (frankly the reporting ad functionality doesn’t appear to work, I still am served the same ad no matter how many times I say it’s against my view) is an example of how to combine the use of data in marketing can work (and work too well).  For marketers, minus my slight distaste of a reminder of my single-hood, the right information data and targeting can prove to be a useful tool for relevant marketing.  

The missing link to the Target story was if they got the demo targeting right the whole thing could have delivered the appropriate messaging at the right time i.e. the consumer is still a teenager and that itself could be an issue.  There are times that advertisers need need to do the due diligence of adding the emotional connection for the consumer and testing every scenario possible before a campaign is set live to ensure that the sensitivity is protected.  

Any advertiser has an abundance of data on their hands, however, the tricky bit is consolidating all the data points into one channel and making it effective.  While data is important to marketers, the management of data is a big question mark. Every source collecting the data is sensitive towards its use beyond its own walls.

The_new_black

It takes two to tango.
Advertisers bounded by legal obligation and risk of invading consumers privacy are often reluctant to share their data. However, being precious about the data limits an advertiser learnings for present campaigns but also gaining a wider understanding beyond its own walls. There is so many times the consumer will visit your website and so many times an eDM or DM will reach them. We need to diversify the one to one communication and with the right data it can minimise wastage and increase effectiveness.

Publishers too own significant volume of data that is the gateway for an advertiser.  From the site registration data and cookie pool collection those information is just a start.  

Data is precious, but all parties need to come to an agreement about allowing the right use of data, remembering that the consumer/ user is at the end of the stick.  In the States, the Obama Administration introduce the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” which proves that while all the use of data makes marketing a whole lot sexier, there is the risk of violation of personal space for the consumer.  

Up, up and away.
In the ideal scenario, publishers have data and advertisers have data, and the two share in good harmony to deliver consumers the appropriate message.  I think this is a place that we can get to, but the first challenge is ensuring that that the consumers privacy is protected.  Much of the education will have to start at the consumer end, that they know what they are signing up for.  The other challenge, is for advertisers and publishers to work together and deliver the right messaging.  It gets me excited thinking of the possibilities that it could unleash.

So here is 2012, that as advertisers and publishers that we come and start working together. 

Kristin Kunsaginam
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One thought on “Data is the new black

  1. Nice post Kristin.  Ben Shepherd wrote an interesting post (<a href="http://talkingdigital.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/twitter-far-from-the-worlds-worst-tech-or-media-business/">http://talkingdigital.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/twitter-far-from-the-worlds-worst-tech-or-media-business/</a&gt😉 arguing that Twitter is the ideal data source for your new black.<div> <br></div><div>Buying and selling cookies set to be a big business for whoever gets it right, I think.</div>

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