Two of the major policy complaints to arise about the technology sector over the past few years have been that advertising platforms, most notably Google, Facebook, and Amazon, compromise user privacy and that a select few companies — the aforementioned names plus Microsoft and Apple — are so powerful that they prevent new innovators from competing. An open letter by privacy-oriented enterprises alleges that the two issues are intertwined.
This month, Street Fight’s monthly focus is data. Of course, this entails more coverage of the disruptions to the ecosystem surrounding privacy — how will companies understand and build experiences for consumers as tracking gets more complicated? But the theme also pertains to innovations in data management and analysis and new use cases for AI, among other topics.
Like channels themselves, a strong CX depends on multiple technologies that work together — and it all begins with data. As a customer engages with a brand, regardless of where, when, or in what order they do so, everything in that holistic experience must be frictionless.
Small businesses have had to squeeze every bit of value out of their operations in the past year and are quickly realizing the importance of knowing their customers. Luckily, collecting and taking action on data doesn’t have to mean learning an entirely new skill set.
Rather, it can be as simple as using the information that you already have, or could easily access, to improve the things that you’re already doing.
With regulation comes the emergence of new opportunities. The same logic that brought on GDPR will be stateside on January 1, 2020, when the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is put into effect. This legislation will allow California residents more control over their personal data. The objective is simple: provide better consumer protections and enhance the respect of privacy by improving transparency regarding the way companies are using their users’ data.
Jean-Noël Barneron of Herow provides one of the clearest breakdowns of CCPA, going into effect Jan 1, you’ll read.
Each day, retail pricing is becoming more and more scientific with retailers leveraging precise analyses of rich, complex datasets to identify the correct prices for goods, services, and other value drivers such as branding. However, while adopting such a forward-thinking, analytic pricing strategy can have significant business impact, there are several areas that retailers need to keep top of mind when it comes to collecting data and preparing it for analysis.
Here are three of those key areas.
It’s that factor, consumer data and Amazon’s vast store of it, that stands out most in Jason Del Rey’s reporting on Recode’s new podcast series, Land of the Giants. Specifically striking is the episode on Alexa, in which Amazon employees openly speculate about a future in which smart microwaves will hook up with Amazon’s growing healthcare ambitions to tell you when it’s time to stop making popcorn and smart countertops will join the intelligent kitchen conversation. As Del Rey notes, Amazon execs talk about this future openly, dropping tidbits about customer obsession along the way and appearing truly unperturbed by the thought that such interventions into our domestic lives may go too far or generate unintended consequences. Optimism for the quality of Amazon products and a fervent belief in the company’s benefit to consumers—without due consideration for products’ risk and would-be limits—seem to pervade the corporate culture.
As data science continues to collide with digital marketing, customer behavior metrics are reaching new levels of actionable insight. But counteracting that advantage is the growing fragmentation of devices and platforms used in the path to purchase, making it harder to get a single view of the customer.
This is the world of customer data platforms (CDPs), and it is where Optimove hangs its hat. Founder & CEO Pini Yakuel explains to us on the latest episode of Heard on the Street how the company helps brands and multi-location retailers get the insights they need to better serve their customers.
External data is incredibly hard to use and make sense of. After all, it is just data. It is usually delivered via a big CSV dump or API call. Most data companies just hand off the data to their customers and say “good luck.” In fact, a decent amount of purchased data just sits on the shelf and is never used.
This is where the forward-thinking consulting firms and agencies come in. They have a massive opportunity to help organizations make use of external data.
The result of this data deluge? Organizations lack the insight into their customers they desperately need to deliver meaningful experiences, secure sales, and retain customers. New research estimates 48% of them struggle to gain these insights due to the data silos and more than half admit they don’t have a full picture of their marketing data and their customer journey.
Given the many challenges marketers are up against, it’s no wonder they struggle to define their customer journeys and optimize customer interactions. Below I offer some advice for those in this data struggle.
User acquisition advertising is evolving rapidly. Every quarter for the last few years, either Facebook or Google has made significant changes to their platforms that make it more and more possible to automate user acquisition advertising. Because these changes are available to everyone, competition has increased. Any competitive advantage that third-party ad tech tools had given is gone.
The last thing the machines have not automated or started to automate – creative – ends up being a UA manager’s last competitive advantage.
This makes every aspect of creative vital to success.
At the beginning of the year, we like to take time and speculate on which data science trends will make the biggest splash in the year. Now that we’re entering the second half of 2019, it is a good time to take a look at our initial assumptions regarding these trends and re-evaluate each one’s impact on the industry.
Consumers benefit from targeting. When there are clear rules and guardrails in place for tracking and targeting, shoppers enjoy a more relevant online experience and a panoply of ad-funded digital services.
Traditional ads still have a place in the marketing mix, of course. But the future of marketing is digital. Online ad spend is expected to surpass traditional ad spend (likely for good) this year. How is it that targeting, while respecting privacy, makes the consumer internet better?
The big topic of the week was industry change, driven largely by transparency. Agencies are evaluating opportunities and challenges to their business model as buyers demand more oversight of media, fees, and attribution. Increasing interest in ad tech in-housing has also stoked soul-searching.
Every brand also talked about reflecting an authentic, real world in its marketing—from the people in front of and behind the cameras, to creative and targeting strategies. The campaigns that seemed the most likely to succeed were all “purpose-centric,” with the brand rallying around a specific and common cause.
The results of our study show that the more expensive your phone is, the more likely you are to come from a higher income bracket. Our model predicts that, for every dollar that the average price for a cell phone in a given zip code increases, the median income for that zip code will also increase by $122.70 — in other words, by a fairly significant amount.
This year, we saw the rise of three elements of technology-driven outcomes that, I’d suggest, represent a triad of innovation — and those elements are agility, speed, and the product-development capabilities to allow early-adopting brands to actually access emerging marketplaces (such as audio, as we saw this year). The first two terms are interconnected, and each fuels the drive for innovative products that big-name brands are beta-testing already.
Factual, one of many companies in the location intelligence space, emphasizes offline foot traffic and “visitation insights.” Tracking the elusive online-to-offline buying journey is the name of the game, and Factual touts the advantage of a 300-million device observation graph. Factual VP Ocean Fine breaks down her company’s approach to location on our latest podcast.
More than one year after the implementation of GDPR in Europe and with CCPA looming, consumers still have no idea how and why companies like Google and Facebook collect their data. That’s according to a global survey by mobile marketing firm Ogury, the largest of its kind to ask consumers about their understanding of marketing and privacy.
Nearly 40% of respondents in both Europe and the US were ignorant of what GDPR is. But more significant is that 52% of consumers report not understanding how their data is used.