Improving Customer Insights and Targeting through Data Integration

Businesses seeking to better reach their target audiences need the most accurate and up-to-date consumer data to inform their marketing strategies and meet their business goals. In fact, data-driven insights can literally make the difference between a hit or a miss when it comes to truly understanding audiences. But, as the sheer volume of collected data grows, the variety of collection methods, visualization formats, and management systems needed to organize and analyze this data can prove confusing and challenging. 

As most companies pull data from several internal and external sources — which can be time-consuming and tedious — the need for a simplified organization methodology is incredibly important. 

Enter data integration.

Heard on the Street, Episode 48: Advancing Audience Targeting with Semcasting

The mobile advertising world continues to shift dynamically as both public and private sector influences reshape ad targeting and data collection practices. The phasing out of third-party cookies and increased privacy regulations, coupled now with the financial pressure related to Covid-19, make 2020 an especially challenging year for marketing tech.

At the center of all of this is Semcasting, whose CEO and founder Ray Kingman is the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast (listen above). Semcasting applies advanced IP targeting known as Smart Zones to validate audiences and make sure that marketers are reaching the right people.

Beyond the Data Label: The Next Phase of Data Assessment

This past summer, the IAB Tech Lab launched a much-needed transparency initiative in the form of its Data Transparency Standard, establishing baseline statistics on the objective attributes of a given data segment, such as refresh cadence, ID types, and segmentation criteria. The Data Label should be a big relief to data buyers, including agencies and advertisers, that are trying to wrap their heads around audiences, but it’s still only the starting point when it comes to assessing digital audiences. 

For as much as the Data Label injects transparency into audience construction, it only addresses objective attributes, and not the qualitative aspects of the data segment. To get the most value out of their data investments, advertisers and agencies need to go further and develop their own standards for evaluating data, especially when it comes to quality.

Freckle, AdSquare Team Up on Privacy-Compliant Geo-Contextual Advertising

For years, geo-contextual advertising focused on targeting consumers for specific products or services at specific locations. The strategy has delivered impressive results for many brands and agencies. But with privacy restrictions on the rise, the time has come to start reimagining geo-contextual advertising in a way that brings brands together with on-the-go consumers in a privacy-safe way.

While many vendors are looking at how to expand into privacy-safe geo-targeting, Freckle and AdSquare are getting out ahead of the pack. Just this morning, Freckle and AdSquare announced a collaborative effort to improve geo-targeting capabilities for brands and agencies across North America. Through the collaboration, Freckle will layer its privacy-safe visitation data into AdSquare’s platform.

Heard on the Street, Episode 45: Building a Local Video Marketplace, with Stringr

Video as a medium continues to gain prevalence given better bandwidth, mobile connectivity, and cultural factors. Creation and distribution tools also continue to democratize “pro-sumer” video like TikTok. But at the professional end of the scale, quality production is still expensive and hard to find.

This is the segment of the video market that Stringr addresses. The company has created a sort of networked marketplace to connect supply and demand for video creation. That includes everything from a library of locally relevant B-roll footage for news stories to specific on-demand assignments.

Heard on the Street, Episode 44: Retargeting in a Multiscreen World, with Tremor Video

Two media consumption trends stick out from the last decade. The first is that video continues to gain prevalence given better bandwidth, mobile connectivity and cultural factors. The second is that our attention is increasingly fragmented between screens and delivery platforms, such as streaming apps.

Tremor Video has positioned itself at the center of that two-way intersection. The company provides a video creation and distribution engine to maximize impact for brand marketers, according to Devin Fallon, VP of Media Insights & Analytics, and the latest guest on our Heard on the Street podcast.

As Privacy Regulations Shake Out, New Winners Emerge

Not even one month has passed since the implementation of California’s newest data privacy regulations, and some winners and losers are already beginning to emerge. As companies across the country work to comply with this new state law, fundamental shifts are happening and some brands are going back to an older style of data collection and usage.

How this retreat is viewed depends on who you’re talking to. Industry veterans like Dawn Colossi, chief marketing officer at FocusVision, see the return to more traditional forms of data collection as a good thing. Others in the industry have a different view on what returning to older forms of data collection will ultimately mean for technology and marketing firms.

Back to Basics: Data Collection in the New Privacy Era

Some widely used marketing methods, like firmographics and psychographics, are coming to a halt as brands are forced to consider whether consumers actually want to receive their messages. In place of those practices, marketers are returning to older forms of data collection to once again create differentiated customer experiences, explains Dawn Colossi, chief marketing officer at the market research technology company FocusVision.

“I think with digital transformation came the notion that brand marketing didn’t matter as much because you could just target your audience,” says Colossi. “But with limitations on targeting and spamming, getting your brand known for things that customers care about—and this comes from understanding how they think and feel—will be crucial for marketers.”

Heard on the Street, Episode 43: Inferring User Intent with Viral Gains

One elusive component of effective marketing is knowing what consumers are thinking. But even with advances in AI, traditional ad targeting practices often commit basic errors like showing people the same ad several times … even though they may not be interested in any way in the product in question.

This is the area where Viral Gains is innovating. The latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, Viral Gains CEO Tod Loofbourrow tells us how his longstanding affinity for robotics and AI has influenced his path to solving this problem by better inferring intent and consumer sentiment.

This Year, Brands Will Seek Out Incrementality

As networks, publishers, and agencies continue to shift to guarantee business outcomes in ad deals (a trend that began earlier in 2019), the concept of “incrementality” will emerge as a key issue for marketers in 2020.

Advertisers today have an incredibly difficult time distinguishing between those exposed to ads who were already going to visit the store (the natural effect, driven by intent and brand identity) vs. those who visited because of that exposure (the incremental effect, driven by ad sensitivity). Quite understandably, we want to know if our advertising campaigns actually work in changing consumer behavior in our favor.

For Luxury Brands, The Possibilities of Programmatic Cannot Be Ignored

For luxury brands, creating customer relationships, and the revenues they bring, is everything. A $25,000 watch or $150,000 vehicle is rarely an impulse buy but instead a purchase achieved after many different points of engagement. 

Programmatic advertising is taking an increasingly higher percentage of all ad budgets, and luxury brands and their marketing efforts need to hop on board with this trend. Digital advertising has the power to use contextual targeting and select first-party data to find the right audiences at the right times and in the right places, no matter how high-echelon the product.

95% of Consumers Plan on Buying Most Holiday Gifts Online

While brick-and-mortar sales remain a robust part of the holiday shopping experience, online shopping is asserting clearer dominance than ever before this year. A walloping 95% of consumers plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping this season online, according to multi-channel engagement platform Leanplum.

Revamping Your Strategy and Audiences for the Latest “Safe & Civil” Facebook Advertising Update

Your social advertising strategy and audiences may need a bit of an overhaul to align with updates to Facebook’s “Safe & Civil” Advertising Policies, especially if they fall within particular categories.

If your customer is running a campaign that does fall within one of the three categories upended by recent Facebook policy changes, it’s best to launch your campaign with a Special Ads Category applied prior to publishing. This will save you time and a headache resolving errors during the length of your campaign.

From Personal To Individual: Why Engaging Unique Consumers Requires Unique Communication

People everywhere receive “personalized” emails daily from brands greeting them by their first names. For a long time, brands have assumed this conveys genuine care for each customer. It’s certainly not the case anymore. Technology has evolved, and consumer expectations have risen to such a level that marketers must do much more. It’s no longer about saying, “We know you,” but rather, “We understand you.” To do this requires a major shift from personalization to individualization. 

It may sound relatively straightforward, but what this shift entails and how companies can incorporate individualization in their everyday communications presents a whole new set of challenges.

What Facebook’s Second Wave of Data Privacy Tools Means for Advertisers

Facebook finally rolled out the ‘Clear History’ feature, now known as the ‘Off-Facebook Activity Tool.’ This tool will show users a summary of the apps and websites that have shared their user data with Facebook and gives users the opportunity to control what information, if any, is shared with these websites. According to Facebook, the company “won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger.”

As advertisers, it’s important for us to understand how to prepare for the impact and to keep these updates top of mind as we move further into the second half of the year. 

How Rising Public Concern Around Facebook Privacy Impacts Everyone’s Bottom Line

How do Facebook’s problems affect the rest of us? Good question. At Clever Real Estate, our effectiveness as a real estate technology company depends on our ability to connect with customers online, so we surveyed 1,139 Americans about their feelings regarding online advertising and the internet at large. Some of our findings might surprise you.

The High Stakes of Identity

Identification is the key to relevant, timely, and cohesive cross-channel marketing that increases sales and builds brand loyalty. Do it right, and you’ll achieve the kind of truly personalized marketing of which our predecessors could only dream. Here are the major tenets of a successful, privacy-aware strategy for storing data on consumers in a multichannel landscape.

Within 24 Hours, Further Signs That HUD’s Facebook Probe Could Upend Digital Ad Industry

What’s at stake in the Facebook housing discrimination probe and related investigations into Google and Twitter is whether the dissemination of online content—the news, product recommendations, advertising campaigns of all kinds, and entertainment—can and should be permitted on the basis of data collected on users’ personal characteristics and past behaviors. Should organizations, in industries as varied as entertainment, apparel, tech, and education, be permitted to use evolving technology to predict whom ads should target and thus who should see the content promoting Berkeley’s MBA program, the new housing development in Long Island City, or the hip sunglasses Warby Parker will never get me to buy? How does past human behavior and long-term inequality in various groups’ access to privileged resources shape ad targeting and the technology that automates it, and can the tech industry reach beyond those limitations to open up new futures instead of capitalizing on and reinforcing historical distinctions?

The news this week of the Trump administration’s first charges filed against a major tech company is the first step on our path to finding out.

Automated Ad Targeting Ensnares Facebook in a Discrimination Lawsuit

The lawsuit is big news not just for Facebook or for housing-related ads but for the digital advertising industry as a whole. That’s because it marks the first major federal attempt to use the resources of the law to curb ad targeting on the basis of racial discrimination. As interest in regulating broad tech spreads across the country and political spectrum, the lawsuit could prove a harbinger of harsher laws to come.

Consumers Are Realizing the Value of Their Data. Here’s How Online Marketers Should Respond

It’s critical for marketers to invest in the right tools and technologies to abide by data-acquisition best practices that are not only compliant with regulations but also ensure consumer trust. At Blis, we conducted a study that digs into what extent consumers are starting to see their own behaviors, and predilections, as a currency. What we found is that marketers have a prime opportunity this year to rebuild trust and transparency with consumers.