If your marketing strategy were a Tesla, your Audience Data would be its battery pack. Why a battery pack? A Tesla battery pack not only powers an electric car – but also a home, or even an island. Similarly, audience data will not only help you to better understand who is engaging with your brand, but also help to personalize messaging to different audience segments at the proper times, at scale.
With this framework in mind, consider these questions, and their answers below:
- How valuable is Audience Data?
- What is the most valuable type of Audience Data to collect?
- How willing are consumers to give up their data?
- Which tech partners can help to build strong Audience Data foundations?
- Looking Ahead…
How valuable is audience data?
In short, very. Back in May 2017, The Economist compared the value of data to that of oil… That’s right, the same oil that powered some 263.6 million vehicles in 2015. Yet marketers still rely on “in-market” and “purchase intent” data (e.g., views, impressions, visits, clicks, leads, conversion, etc.) to build advertising campaigns. This may work while a brand is still in its early days, but changes rapidly when a brand begins to expand to more cities, states, and regions. The scary part is that, "Nearly two-thirds of marketers are not entirely clear on the origins of the data they employ in their ad campaigns."
According to a recent AdAge article, three-in-four marketers are not fully-confident that the data they're using reaches in-market consumers.
What is the most valuable Audience Data to collect, if not "in-market" or "purchase intent"?
According to University of Pennsylvania computer science professor Michael Kearns, the most valuable data is that which cannot be easily measured. He calls this “intimate" data. Kearns states, “Intimate data can be consumer opinions, attitudes, beliefs and moods that aren't written down anywhere, but can be inferred from online (and mobile) behavior."
Some examples of intimate data are Facebook likes, shared photos, videos watched, items purchased, search queries, location, and user behavior within an app. At first glance, this data seem hard to collect – but it isn’t. The hard part is aggregating audience behavior across different platforms and syncing it to the correct consumer profile.
How willing are consumers to give up intimate data?
This may be obvious, but is important to note nevertheless: Consumers will not "give up" their data unless they get back some type of value or utility from a brand in return. In fact, when surveyed, 80% of consumers are willing to share a non-required piece of data for rewards points (value), and a majority will share data for more experiential benefits, such as product recommendations, or a tool which aids in making complex decisions (utility). Below are two charts that go a bit deeper.
People are more sensitive about personal identifying information...
"Q. Please compare and rank the following types of personal data in terms of how sensitive you believe them to be, from the most sensitive to the least sensitive."
... And yet personal identifying data is also what people are most willing to share
"Q. Please indicate how you would plan or expect to share the following types of your personal data in order to purchase products/services."
Strategic map of offer influence
"Q. Please indicate whether you would be willing to share each of the specific types of informtion in order to benefit from each of the following offers."
Which tech partners can help to build strong Audience Data foundations?
Overview: mParticle helps mobile-centric brands aggregate Audience Data from different sources, and create custom audience segments in real-time to deliver personalized creative across ad networks, paid social, email, push, and more.
Why you should care: The beauty of mParticle is that once their SDK is added into a brand's app, no other SDK is needed to integrate other services such as Salesforce, AppsFlyer, SendGrid, or marketing-related platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. All integrations are all done through one API.
Additional Details: mParticle is integrated into apps including Airbnb, Spotify, Etsy, SeatGeek, and Jet.com.
Overview: Cognitive3D is an analytics platform for 3D experiences (i.e., virtual reality, augmented reality and mobile augmented reality). They enable marketers to track traditional mobile metrics, how users behave within a 3D experience, and collect qualitative feedback via interactive survey questions and voice feedback.
Why you should care: They have four products that comprise their analytics suite: SceneExplorer, Core Analytics and ExitPoll. SceneExplorer is able to track how users move and behave within a 3D environment. The data is displayed through heat maps allowing marketers to see where users are looking, what they are engaging with and for how long. Core Analytics are traditional metrics such as unique users, total sessions and time spent, hardware used, etc. ExitPoll enables marketers to capture qualitative feedback.
Additional Details: Recently graduated from the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio with R/GA.
Overview: Samba TV uses visual Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology that is embedded in Smart TVs to understand what audiences are watching in real-time. This allows marketers to target and/or retarget audiences based on programming they are watching or have watched. Because their technology is embedded into the TV, Samba is able to identify from what and from where the content is coming from (e.g., OTT devices, gaming consoles, apps such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go).
Why you should care: Their visual content ID technology enables marketers to understand how, when, where, and what consumers are watching, as well as to activate cross-screen ad campaigns.
Additional Details: Samba’s technology is integrated into OEMs such as Sony, Sharp, Philips, Sanyo, Magnavox, Element, Seiki, and Westinghouse. This makes their addressable audience about 13.5 million households.
This has probably been said many times before but brands, and especially retailers, need to start connecting with their audience on a one-to-one basis. This isn’t just for targeting and retargeting purposes but it goes for product recommendations, customer service and future brand offerings/products.
In fact, according to research from Accenture cited by eMarketer, 44% of US consumers said they are frustrated when companies fail to provide relevant personalized experiences and some 50% of US consumers said they switched companies they buy from this year because of poor customer experience.
The way brands need to begin is to capture audience data across multiple channels, identify behaviors and create audience segments that can be accessed by their marketing, customer service and in-store retail teams, as well as emerging platforms such as chatbots and voice-enabled services. All this will lead to a personalized experience every time a consumer interacts with a brand.