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7 personalization strategies to convert more callers to customers

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Digital advertising has gone mobile. And when consumers engage with a company’s digital ads and website on their smartphones, they often convert in the most convenient and immediate way: by calling.

Thanks to smartphones, the volume of call conversions from digital advertising has exploded. Research predicts that calls to US businesses from mobile search, social and display ads will reach 162 billion in 2019, a 110 percent increase from 2014.

Digital marketers are now personalizing not just the online experience, but also the offline experience when consumers call. They are using strategies that help their businesses convert more callers to customers.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Personalizing Caller Experiences” from DialogTech to learn if those strategies could improve your digital ROI.

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Why a French ruling against a small mobile ad firm has ad tech on the defensive

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Earlier this month, French data authority CNIL put French ad tech company Vectaury on notice for violating consent-gathering rules under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Vectaury collects geolocation data through behind-the-scenes methods such as software development kits (SDKs) and real-time ad bidding (RTB) for mobile ad targeting purposes. The company specializes in mobile advertising aimed at driving people to retail locations.

What happened. After an April investigation by the CNIL (la Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) revealed that Vectaury had obtained personal data without proper consent. The company had created its own consent management platform (CMP). The CNIL said that Vectaury’s consent tool does not comply with GDPR because:

  • The language was unclear, complex and not easily accessible
  • The consent was not specific to the processing of geolocation data for targeted marketing
  • The user’s choice wasn’t based on an affirmative action, or opt-in

The CNIL has given Vectaury three months to come into compliance. Companies found in breach of GDPR can be assessed fees up to €20 million, or 4 percent of their annual revenue, whichever is higher.

Ruling appears to imply the IAB consent framework has problems. Almost immediately after CNIL posted its notice, several prominent privacy voices online said that the charges showed irrefutable flaws in the ability of the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) to properly collect consent under GDPR. In theory, the TCF enables publishers and ad tech firms to collect consent and then ‘signal’ that consent across the advertising supply chain.

In looking at the CNIL ruling, New York Times’ data governance and privacy expert Robin Berjon said that it shows that consent gathered elsewhere and signaled through the IAB Europe’s consent framework is “inherently invalid” per GDPR’s Article 7, “you cannot pass consent to another controller through a contractual relationship.”

“It may seem like small fry, but the decision has potential wide-ranging impacts for Google, the IAB framework, and today’s adtech,” Berjon tweeted.

Johnny Ryan, who currently serves as chief policy & industry relations officer for open-source browser Brave, agreed, saying that CNIL’s decision illustrates several problems with the framework, including violation of the “purpose specification” principle, which requires that consent be gathered for specific purposes; not supplying information to users about who is receiving their data; and not proving the validity of passed consent.

“This decision should be a wake-up call for the industry, a milestone in its reform,” Ryan said in an email.

IAB Europe pushes back. The IAB Europe refutes these claims. Matthias Matthiesen, director of privacy and public policy for IAB Europe, said that the CNIL’s decision does not mean that the TCF is problematic.

“Nowhere does the CNIL say in its notice to Vectaury that the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework’s approach is inherently invalid,” Matthiesen said. “The CNIL’s notice was specifically about Vectaury’s approach to obtaining consent. If anything, we feel reinforced in our positions.”

Stacey Gray, policy counsel of the Future of Privacy Forum, agreed “that the scope of the decision is limited to Vectaury’s own implementation of IAB’s standards (rather than a direct ruling on the consent framework itself).”

“That said,” Gray said. “It’s challenging to obtain specific consent in the mobile app setting for some partners and purposes, and so it’s an open question of what a legally valid CMP implementation would look like.”

Not the first time the IAB Europe’s framework has been called into question. The IAB Europe’s framework has been met with criticism since it was first unveiled in March 2018. Google, in particular, has delayed joining, citing technical concerns. Ryan, who used to be head of ecosystem for anti-ad-blocking solutions provider PageFair, told us in January that consent in general was “unworkable” under GDPR, saying the TCF didn’t sufficiently track the sharing of user consent records.

Why you should care. As Matthiesen notes, GDPR went into effect in May and will likely evolve in practice. But this type of charge against data-driven companies like Vectaury affects U.S. companies in several ways. First, global companies that handle the personal data of European Union (EU) members are beholden to GDPR, and could face investigations and penalties. Second, the U.S. is looking to pass its own set of privacy regulations, and cases like these serve as real-life previews to what businesses might face here.

Finally, if regulatory frameworks such as the IAB TCF aren’t adequate for the job, what what will be? In October, the IAB Tech Lab — which has worked with IAB Europe on its framework — started testing PrivacyChain, a blockchain-based way to track consent it developed with identity resolution provider LiveRamp as a way to address some of these concerns. Of course, an alternative is for the industry to upend the adtech complex and stop using personal data for ad targeting purposes.

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What the livestreaming revolution means for marketing

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Nearly half of all video viewers worldwide (47%) are livestreaming more than they did last year, according to a recent report from the IAB. And, 44% also reported watching less live TV as a result of livestreaming.

Advancements in live video technology have rapidly changed viewership habits, perhaps most notably in sports.

For years industry experts have predicted the rise and adoption of livestreamed sports and now that reality is here. Just look at the World Cup livestream, which saw record numbers — from the most-watched Spanish livestream during Argentina vs Croatia, to the record 3.8 million Brits who tuned in for England vs Sweden.

We’re on the cusp of the livestream revolution.

We’re also halfway through the American football season, with NFL livestreams impacting and enhancing the game experience for viewers and advertisers alike. What does that mean for advertisers, and why should brands care?

Score a touchdown with mobile

Watching professional sports in 2018 is a highly interactive, cross-screen experience. Now thanks to a better mobile video experience — including a faster, sharper, higher-quality video stream — sports fans can take the game wherever they go. And it’s something fans are taking advantage of. In fact, one of our recent studies found 88% year-over-year growth in time spent watching videos on a smartphone.

Sports fans don’t want to just watch the game on-the-go, they want to participate. Fans are keeping an eye on their online fantasy sports leagues, reading the latest news, and scrolling social media, all while staying tuned into the live game. After all, for the most loyal of sports fans, there’s no such thing as a day off.

How are advertisers leveraging mobile? By tapping into the livestream revolution with video ads alongside great content, in addition to unique, custom content integrations. Timing is also key; advertisers must find that sweet spot between delivering the right message, natural to the experience, and creating an ad that’s 15 to 30 seconds long. This year, brands such as Hotwire, Skittles, and Universal Pictures are ready to reach football fans on their mobile devices during the NFL Live.

Winning brands bring the fan-first mentality to life

A consumer-centric approach is the hallmark to any successful ad campaign. But when marketing to sports fans in particular, and connecting during a live mobile moment, that fan-first mentality is paramount. Anyone in the professional sports industry will acknowledge that fans come first.

Just as fan engagement activities exist on the sidelines of a game, such as a contest on the jumbotron or a beloved mascot running around the stadium, innovative digital ads can provide the same fun content and consumer-experience. Over the past year some great new ad formats have been introduced to the industry that reflect that fan-first mindset. With AR, 3D, and full-screen native ads, these new tools are helping brands deliver the best possible experience for consumers across devices.

Go all in

As a brand marketer you can’t just dip your toe in custom content, you’ve got to dive right in. Brands cannot create meaningful modern-day consumer relationships without custom content; it’s the best advertising vehicle for trusted brand and should be aligned closely with brand safety. There’s a special intersection between great, custom storytelling in a brand safe environment.

Pizza Hut’s 2018 digital campaign for the Big Game is a great example of marrying custom content with brand safety. Pizza Hut digitized the beloved fan game 'Squares Pick'Em' within the Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football app, making it simple for users to create new pools, pick squares, share groups with friends, and order pizza — all with just a few simple clicks. The successful 'Squares Pick'em' game attracted fans from around the US who spent more than 9m minutes playing the game and 70% played on their mobile device or tablet.

Got game?

For advertisers, sports enthusiasts represent a massive and committed audience. Technology has freed video to play by its own rules, unleashing sports fans from cords, cables, and dishes. Livestreamed games in particular create a huge playing field for brands to increase awareness, capture brand loyalty, drive brand love and, ultimately, purchases. Now that the reality of the NFL Live is here, how will your brand get in the game?

Jeff Lucas is vice president, head of North American sales and global client services for Oath

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Nearly 170 million will shop ‘Cyber Week,’ most online traffic will be mobile

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According to the National Retail Federation, 164 million Americans will be shopping online and in physical stores over the five day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. This estimate is based on a consumer survey (n= 7,516) conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Black Friday will see most shoppers. Here’s the anticipated breakdown of shoppers by day:

  • Thanksgiving — 34 million.
  • Black Friday — 116 million.
  • Small business Saturday — 67 million.
  • Sunday — 32 million.
  • Cyber Monday — 75 million.

These are statements of consumer intent, and we’ll see over the next few days how the actual numbers play out.

Mobile traffic vs. mobile conversions. Another interesting question this year will be how much of e-commerce happens on mobile devices. Last year, according to Adobe, a majority of traffic to retail websites was driven by mobile devices, but less than 40 percent of transactions on Black Friday happened on smartphones or tablets.

Generational breakdown of mobile shoppers

Source: Oath holiday shopping survey of 1,000 US adults (2018)

Will the mobile traffic-conversions gap close this year? Somewhat, is the likely answer. That’s because smartphone owners visiting retail websites on smartphones are often checking deals or prices and then purchasing in stores.

However, a new survey from Verizon’s Oath found the percentage of people who intend to purchase directly on mobile devices this year has grown, especially among Millennials. Millennials are also more likely than others to shop in stores and then buy on their mobile devices.

Generational online and offline shopping behaviors

Source: Oath holiday shopping survey of 1,000 US adults (2018)

Why you should care. Any retailer that doesn’t have an easy-to-use mobile site is going to suffer this holiday season. In addition, if there is any friction in checkout flows or payment processing sales will likely be lost. Amazon should also be a major beneficiary of an increase in mobile shopping and buying. Accordingly, marketers advertising on Amazon should also benefit.

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