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How to overcome the three big pain points of data



DataFor many brands today, data has become the most valuable asset, and marketers are equipped with a variety of ways to collect it – from social media listening tools to in-store data, CRM software, call centres, mobile usage, web analytics and third-party sources. There is a wealth of data at their disposal.

Although data-driven marketing offers exciting, new opportunities for brands, there are numerous challenges and obstacles that can hamper a marketer’s ability to succeed. We carried out research with 85 marketers asking them to vote for their biggest data challenge from the following three common pain points:

  1. Getting data fast enough to act
  2. Data in legacy systems – no single or unified customer view
  3. Generating insights from your data

This article will explore these three pain points and look at how digital marketers can mitigate these challenges in their pursuit to deliver a more customer-centric, cross-channel approach.

Getting data fast enough to act

Having a lot of data is inconsequential – it is the quality of the data and how you choose to use it that counts. The third most common data challenge for respondents was ‘Getting data fast enough to act’ (22%).

The digital world has made consumers impatient. They want immediate gratification and fast responses. Marketers are under pressure to offer speed at scale and deliver faster business models so that they can react instantly to changing customer behaviours. The focus on speed has changed everything – not only do brands offer same-day deliveries, but they must also move at the speed of culture – with activity such as positive or negative sentiment on social media forcing brands to get in the fast lane.

Brands that want to connect with modern customers need to use data at scale and at speed, and to do that they must digitise the entire customer life cycle and collect data at each touchpoint. However, data gathered in different stages of the customer life cycle is one of the reasons that internal silos keep being created.

For brands to become technologically and socially agile, they are joining forces with smart technology partners that offer digital and consumer marketing expertise and fast dashboard reporting aligned to relevant data as it comes in.

Generating insights from your data

There was a time when marketers relied on their gut feeling when making decisions. Today, the data is there but access to it is difficult, meaning marketers are not happy.

The second most common data complaint was being able to generate meaningful business and consumer insights (32%). This suggests that while marketers are inundated with data from numerous sources, they are struggling to extract empirical evidence and actionable information to drive decisions and create meaning from it.

Data becomes valuable only when it is translated into actionable insight. However, the sheer volume of data acquired means that many of the insights that could be extracted are going untapped.

The key to dealing with these issues is having a clear understanding of what you want to get from your data. Savvy marketers are finding ways to collect behavioural data from interactions and then extrapolate insights to improve the customer experience. This data challenge is often alleviated by balancing data with insights and technology.

Various marketing tools and technology solutions exist that provide powerful analytics to unlock insights and deepen the brand relationship with customers.

Data in legacy systems – no unified customer view

Having data in legacy systems with no single or unified customer view was the most common response, with 46% of respondents citing this as their top pain point.

This is hardly surprising. The customer experience is becoming increasingly complex because of the proliferation of devices and channels; furthermore, organisational data is highly fragmented at several levels, leading to siloed data and duplicate customer records in different databases. This creates data quality challenges and disjointed marketing efforts as no one is fully responsible for the overall picture.

Consumers expect brands to have a complete picture of all their interactions with them and to use that information to tailor communications and make the buying process effortless. Brands therefore cannot overlook the importance of delivering an integrated experience and having a unified customer view. By integrating all available data about each customer into one single view, you can deliver an effective customer experience across all channels.

Being able to combine data gathered from all channels into a unified database will improve customer experience and maximise return. While technology can make this happen, companies also need to look at how they organise themselves and how to get siloed cross-functional teams to work together.

It is important to note that for many marketers having a unified customer view is not a realistic aim, as the financial and resource investment may not be justified.

Smart data builds relationships between the brand and the customer

Today’s customers manoeuvre across multiple channels, devices and networks, so it is vital that marketers find ways to create meaningful relationships with them.

All three of the data challenges discussed above are magnified by the flood of data now available, and each stems from brands wanting to provide customers with cross-channel interactions, however and whenever they choose. Thankfully these challenges are not insurmountable. More and more brands are tackling their data challenges by turning to data management platforms – designed to make sense of the vast volumes of data generated to deliver timely, relevant messages across every channel.

Marketers realise that to overcome data challenges they need to focus on real-time data connectivity and assemble data from multiple origins into a central hub. Cross-channel marketing technology platforms see through all the data, with some providing a comprehensive set of services that support enterprise marketers at scale.

The effective use of data is central to cross-channel marketing, and with the right technology marketers can have a holistic view and management of all their data – drawing insights from individual customer interactions with their brand to build better relationships with their customers.

Chini Ugboma is content marketing manager at Cheetah Digital

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UK programmatic ad spend to surpass £3bn in 2017



How UK programmatic ad spend will rise over the next two years in £bn

By the end of 2017, UK advertisers will have spent £3.39bn on programmatic advertising, up 23.5% compared to last year, according to a new report from eMarketer.

Programmatic spend now represents 79% of all UK digital display ad spend, with this proportion expected to reach 84.5% by 2019. Predictably, mobile continues to be a major growth driver, accounting for 78% of total programmatic digital display ad spend in 2017 – this figure is forecast to climb to 86.5% by 2019.

By comparison, the programmatic numbers for desktop are on the decline. Just 22% of programmatic ad spend, or £743.8m, will be spent on desktop this year, and this figure is expected to fall 13.5% to £609.5m in two years’ time.

By 2019, the total UK spend on programmatic advertising is expected to more than doubled from £1.99bn in 2015 to a much larger £4.52bn. But despite programmatic’s meteoric rise, not everybody remains convinced.

Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson has linked the rise in programmatic with brand safety issues at the likes of YouTube. And speaking at this year’s Festival of Marketing, Lidl’s head of media Sam Gaunt said the marketing industry is “guilty of overselling programmatic”.

“For all the debate around fraud and viewability, the reality is programmatic is very expensive,” he said. “It’s a premium media. When you stack up the cost of it with traditional media and then weigh up the impacts, it can be hard to justify. You also have no idea where your advertising will end up.”

However, eMarketer’s senior analyst Fisher insists the marketing industry is making positive strides to win back trust from advertisers. He concludes: “The programmatic ecosystem is growing because it’s maturing.

“This maturation is leading to better practices, better behaviour and better transparency. Making everybody in the chain accountable is the next step in cleaning up programmatic’s image further and helping spend rise further.”

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Pro skier Julian Carr crowdfunding Super Bowl ad to raise global warming awareness



Pro skier and entrepreneur Julian Carr has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in hopes of raising the $5.5m needed to buy 30 seconds of air time during Super Bowl LII.

Carr, who is an ambassador for nonprofits Protect Our Winters and the Climate Reality Project, plans to air an ad about global warming if he raises the necessary funds. He’s tapped San Francisco’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners to help him produce the spot, which has agreed to create it pro bono.

According to GS&P, Carr was inspired to create the ad after President Trump announced his plans to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, which aims to prevent global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“America is the biggest polluter in history. Yet only one in eight Americans know there’s a consensus among the scientific community that global warming is caused by humans,” said Carr in a statement. “Together, we can raise awareness in front of 110 million Americans about global warming and let our people know what’s at stake. Because only when we acknowledge the problem can we truly fight it.”

His Kickstarter page says that those who contribute are paying not just for a "large audience," but for "silent focus."

"We are paying for silent focus: Tens of millions of people quietly watching Super Bowl commercials and actually talking about their favorite moments of corporate branding," the page states. "We are paying for exposure: Super Bowl ads are watched and re-watched – on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube, and on next-day rankings and analyses across the internet."

The page also states that the project will only be funded if Carr raises the $5.5m by Dec. 22. He plans to spend $5.2m on the production of the commercial, leaving the remaining $300,000 for Kickstarter fees.

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Google’s new custom intent audiences and you



In mid-November, pre-empting the hellish holiday shopping season, Google unveiled a slew of new features designed to help advertisers maximize their AdWords budgets. While promotion extensions and ad variations are neat and all, the thing I’m most stoked about is the new custom intent audiences feature on Google Display Network (GDN).

If you haven’t checked out Ginny Marvin’s quick summary of what they are (linked above), here’s the gist: Custom intent audiences offer advertisers the opportunity to use the GDN to find “people who want to buy the specific products you offer — based on data from your campaigns, website and YouTube channel.” They come in two distinct flavors:

  • Create-your-own. Like a trip to your favorite pizza chain (but for the GDN), you can mash topics and URLs together like mushrooms and pepperoni in order to target net-new prospects who are probably into your product or service.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

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