Exponential http://exponential.com/en-gb/ Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:31:17 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.21 Exponential Receives New Accreditation by the Trustworthy Accountability Group http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/11/01/exponential-receives-new-accreditation-by-the-trustworthy-accountability-group/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/11/01/exponential-receives-new-accreditation-by-the-trustworthy-accountability-group/#comments Wed, 01 Nov 2017 23:06:50 +0000 http://exponential.com/2017/11/01/exponential-receives-new-accreditation-by-the-trustworthy-accountability-group-2/ Recognized for combatting ad fraud with Certified Against Fraud Seal EMERYVILLE, Calif - (November 1, 2017) – Exponential Interactive, one of the largest digital advertising companies globally reaching over 700 million users monthly, has been accredited by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) with its “Certified Against Fraud” Seal. The accreditation follows TAG’s ‘Certified Against Fraud’read more

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Recognized for combatting ad fraud with Certified Against Fraud Seal

EMERYVILLE, Calif - (November 1, 2017)Exponential Interactive, one of the largest digital advertising companies globally reaching over 700 million users monthly, has been accredited by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) with its “Certified Against Fraud” Seal. The accreditation follows TAG’s ‘Certified Against Fraud’ Guidelines, and was achieved via an audit by an independent third party approved by TAG, BPA Worldwide. As required by the TAG guidelines, Exponential also works in compliance with The Media Rating Council’s Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines (MRC IVT Guidelines).

To achieve compliance, Exponential has demonstrated its methodology is in accordance with TAG’s guidelines for its certification against fraud. Exponential employs multiple tools and controls to protect advertisers from invalid traffic, including regularly updated whitelists and blacklists, proprietary activity-based detection checks and manual invalid traffic checks, partner qualification controls for publishers upon being accepted into the network and ongoing process and transaction auditing for publishers. Exponential also employs a thorough compliance process with dedicated compliance and data quality officers and strict processes for handling invalid traffic complaints.

“Exponential is working alongside TAG to combat ad fraud. As an advertising intelligence company, we fully understand and recognize just how important it is to be vigilant about fraud,” said Tim Sleath, VP of product management, Exponential. “The industry is in a new era of digital transparency. It’s vital that companies work to prevent fraud and ensure brand safety. We are proud to play our part in making online advertising a safer, cleaner place and hope other companies follow suit.”

About Exponential

Exponential is a technology-driven advertising company, that enables brands to drive consumer engagement and performance across display, video and mobile.

When you have the right balance of people and technology, amazing things can happen. Exponential uses big data and machine learning to understand consumer interests in real-time, and delivers innovative creative experiences designed to trigger emotions that drive affinity and spend.

For more than 15 years, we have delivered superior advertising products and services that consumers embrace, agencies recommend, brands select, media providers prefer, and our employees are proud of. Exponential was founded in 2001 and has locations in 22 countries. For more information, please visit www.exponential.com.

Media Contact:
Kara O’Donnell for Exponential
kara@kitehillpr.com

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TEN, Exponential Partner For Curated Video Content Ads http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/10/26/ten-exponential-partner-for-curated-video-content-ads/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/10/26/ten-exponential-partner-for-curated-video-content-ads/#comments Thu, 26 Oct 2017 21:21:41 +0000 http://exponential.com/2017/10/26/ten-exponential-partner-for-curated-video-content-ads-2/ Automotive media company TEN and digital advertising company Exponential Interactive are partnering for a new type of video ad that incorporates curated content from TEN. TEN, Exponential Partner For Curated Video Content Ads LAS VEGAS — Automotive media company TEN and digital advertising company Exponential Interactive are partnering for a new type of video adread more

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Automotive media company TEN and digital advertising company Exponential Interactive are partnering for a new type of video ad that incorporates curated content from TEN.

TEN, Exponential Partner For Curated Video Content Ads

LAS VEGAS — Automotive media company TEN and digital advertising company Exponential Interactive are partnering for a new type of video ad that incorporates curated content from TEN.

Auto marketers can use this type of ad for a specific vehicle, including editorial product reviews and awards to showcase the cars’ performance.

To commemorate their relationship, Exponential and TEN: A Discovery Communications Company hosted an event in conjunction with the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable. Megan Neal, TEN’s vice president of social media, discussed how auto marketers can apply TEN’s content to improve their ROI and sell cars.

Research shows that consumers are increasingly moving away from shopping for cars in person and are relying more on online reviews and research to make their purchasing decisions. For example, consumers are now visiting less than two dealerships on average before buying a car. According to Nielsen, there is a 15% lift in purchase consideration for new cars after consumers read third-party expert content.

Exponential reaches more than 700 million users monthly. The Video-Driven Experience Content Amplifier will take curated content and insert it into scalable, and interactive ad units. The ads can use a variety of formats including live stream and 360-degree video.

TEN: A Discovery Communications Company, an automotive media company, is among one of the first media partners for Exponential’s new VDX Content Amplifier offering. TEN offers unbiased content from brands like Motor Trend, which has its own YouTube channel with hundreds of videos and over 5 million subscribers. Auto marketers can tout specific awards associated with different makes and models, and provide credible, expert reviews with an advertorial voice.

“The interactive nature of the VDX ads were particularly appealing to us, as it allows our content to be presented in an engaging and dynamic way to readers,” said Jason Rice, senior vice president, media solutions and strategy, at TEN. “Our goal is to provide consumers with expert guidance on cars and we feel this relationship with Exponential allows us to stay true to this goal.”

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Phish “phans” and how data informs marketers http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/09/26/phish-phans-and-how-data-informs-marketers/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/09/26/phish-phans-and-how-data-informs-marketers/#comments Tue, 26 Sep 2017 21:21:16 +0000 http://exponential.com/2017/09/26/phish-phans-and-how-data-informs-marketers-2/ Data is the air that marketers breathe, yet it’s not always clear how to approach it. What data should I be using? How can I make all my data fit together? What types of audiences and segments do I need to reach the right consumers? These are just some of the questions on the mindsread more

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Data is the air that marketers breathe, yet it’s not always clear how to approach it. What data should I be using? How can I make all my data fit together? What types of audiences and segments do I need to reach the right consumers? These are just some of the questions on the minds of marketers.

Phish “phans” and how data informs marketers

Data is practically infinite in this industry, so the challenge is to break it down into usable nuggets.

For example, marketers can better offer some value exchange to their potential customers in the form of personalized messaging in the right contexts by using lifestyle data based on consumers’ passion points and content consumption, thus eliminating ad waste and generating customer loyalty and affinity.

Sounds great, right? But what does that mean? Here’s a case study about fans of the band Phish and how data about them can inform marketers on how to best reach this subset:

The “Baker’s Dozen” tour and event-based data collection

Especially in light of the fact that this past summer,Phish embarked on a historic series of concerts called “Baker’s Dozen,” which included 13 shows at Madison Square Garden, 237 songs (without any repeats) and more than 2,000 minutes of music.
Phish “phans” behavior and preferences during the show series shed an interesting light on the types of insights marketers can uncover from a particular set of people convening around a particular event.

Just like the flavors of each donut passed out on each night of the Baker’s Dozen, Phish phans are truly a unique bunch. To understand this group better, we analyzed anonymous internet users interested in the band during the month of July 2017 and uncovered some expected behaviors and some surprises.

Demographics: Anyone who has waited in the restroom lines at Madison Square Garden knows that the band’s followers tend to skew male, and data confirms that Phish “phans” are about 25% more likely to be male than female. In terms of age, we see the highest lift for interest in Phish from internet users aged 36-40, which sounds about right for those coming into fandom during the height of Phish’s popularity during the mid to late 90s.

Preferences: Our data shows that Phish phans are 17x more likely to be interested in rock music than the average internet user and 13x more interested in jazz.

Geography: With its roots as a band in Vermont and many early shows across New England, it’s also no surprise we see strong interest in the band from folks living in places such as Portland, Maine, Boston, Massachusetts, and their home state of Vermont. But we also see interest in the band from residents of Wisconsin, Colorado, and Nevada.

Lifestyle: What do Phish phans like to buy? Considering many now have children, we see a 14x lift over average for electronics related to children’s learning and education, as well as 13x lift for bikes and skates. Many Phish phans have also been known to be musicians themselves, as evidenced by an 11x lift in guitars and other musical instruments. They also like to shop for art and collectibles as well as flowers and gifts. Finally, we see a 17x lift for home improvement related to the garage and a 13x lift for griddles and grills to cook grilled cheese on the lot, or a feast at home for the family.

Brand preferences: In terms of affinities for specific auto brands, their favorite vehicle to road trip with is Subaru, which is a brand known for its Outback, Forrester and Crosstrek, all vehicles equipped with the versatility and ability to deal with any kind of weather and terrain. This coincides with another interest of camping and hiking, which Phish phans are 15x more likely to do than the average.

Travel: Traveling to family friendly destinations such as Universal Studios in Orlando, FL was also high on the list with a 12x lift. Phish phans also go on excursions, music and arts festivals (27x) international trips to places such as Australia and Iceland (15x and 12x, respectively), and proactively booking snowboarding trips to mountain resorts (23x).

Sports: Sports preferences are also telling. Phish phans prefer MLB teams such as the Washington Nationals (70x, possibly some carry over fandom from the “Wilson” chant for their former catcher Wilson Ramos?) Cincinnati Reds (15x) and Boston Red Sox (11x), along with the rest of the AL East (9x).

Like any other consumer segmentation, taking into account the human element is the key to bringing data to life. By learning more about Phish phans and their preferences, marketers can move beyond the surface level of “music lover” segmentation into microsegments based on their passion points of jazz music, Subaru vehicles, children’s learning tools, adventure travel and New England roots.

This example demonstrates how diving deep into your customer’s profile and interests can help guide smarter and more effective marketing. Knowing who your audience is marks the first step to success in this age of personalization.

Jim Johnson is the vice president of account planning at Exponential Interactive.

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Portrait of a travel-minded consumer http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/09/08/portrait-of-a-travel-minded-consumer/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/09/08/portrait-of-a-travel-minded-consumer/#comments Fri, 08 Sep 2017 19:32:07 +0000 http://exponential.com/2017/09/08/portrait-of-a-travel-minded-consumer-2/ There is new data that paints a picture of what consumers are doing online in the days and weeks leading up to travel. This is what marketers need to know.

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Portrait of a travel-minded consumer

There is new data that paints a picture of what consumers are doing online in the days and weeks leading up to travel. This is what marketers need to know.

When consumers travel, prepping isn’t only about best airfare or the cheapest hotel – not even for those who are traveling for work. Of course, marketers know that travelers will be looking into restaurant and hotel information, but the new data out from Exponential, focused on travelers to Las Vegas, breaks that information out into time frames that could give marketers a great chance to engage and convert those consumers.

For example, people who are traveling for extended stays in an area begin packing for their trips about 90 days before leaving; during this time frame, the consumer is most interested in package deals – so hotel/airfare combinations, or meal packages are likely of interest. Then, at about 60 days out, consumers will begin looking at events – concerts, local interest hangouts, sporting events. This is the point when business people, especially, begin booking hotel stays.

“Travelers are some of the most valuable audiences for marketers. To help better understand their decision making, we explored behaviors that travelers exhibit before arriving at a popular destination such as Las Vegas. We found four types of visitor, each with a unique sequential pattern, that serve as a blueprint for marketers looking to reach these traveler segments,” said Bryan Melmed, Vice President, Insights, Exponential.

For restaurants and comedy clubs, targeting consumers who are about 45-30 days out of a trip is important because this is when traveling consumers begin making their actual decisions about entertainment and dining for the trip. Then, for retailers, about 15 days pre-travel, consumers will begin looking at local shops to plan their shopping visits.

While this information doesn’t guarantee that marketers will engage traveling consumers, knowing what these customers are looking for prior to leaving for their destination can go a long way toward creating a sense of engagement.

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Ask The Experts: New Year’s Marketing Resolutions http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/01/30/ask-the-experts-new-years-marketing-resolutions/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/01/30/ask-the-experts-new-years-marketing-resolutions/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2017 22:15:22 +0000 http://exponential.com/?p=22486 As January draws to a close and we look to the year ahead, we asked our expert partners to name their “New Year’s Marketing Resolutions”, to find out what marketers should be looking out for, and focussing on, in 2017.

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Ask The Experts: New Year’s Marketing Resolutions by Gillian Ingram

As January draws to a close and we look to the year ahead, we asked our expert partners to name their “New Year’s Marketing Resolutions”, to find out what marketers should be looking out for, and focussing on, in 2017.

Simon Heyes, Director of Social, 8 Million Stories

“The ground-breaking political changes of 2016 had a profound impact on content and social media, which led to hundreds of users leaving Facebook and Twitter, and the topic of fake news drifting ominously into 2017. So a New Year’s Resolution for the industry? Become more authentic. People interact with people, so brands need to become more human, and make people care about their brand and their content. Within authenticity and personability we’ll also see the growth of influencer marketing, with audiences looking to their blogger and vlogger peers for recommendations and advice. Lastly, with the increasing accessibility of new technology such as drones, 360 degree cameras and VR headsets, expect a shift towards more interactive forms of content. Maybe a 2017 New Year’s Resolution is to finally wave goodbye to flat, static content.”

Christine MacKay, CEO, Salamandra Design & Digital Ltd

New Year, new you: “It shouldn’t only be your target market that influences the way you convey your brand. Your company ethos and attitude needs to impact your voice too. Relationships with brands are built on shared values, so what better way to show who you are than visually? That’s why we suggest you follow the trends and incorporate visuals and videos in your marketing this year. There is no better outlet to get your voice heard and understood than social media. So get social. And once you have distilled your essence into visual and video over social media, you need to sweat those assets.”

Doug Conely, Chief Strategy Officer, Exponential

“In 2017 we will continue to champion machine learning, and we believe it will address a number of key industry challenges, including effective retargeting and ad blocking. It will lead the way for the next stage of programmatic. The majority of ad blocking has been the result of consumers feeling mistreated due to either poor accessibility or poor user experience. With this in mind, we want to ensure 2017 is the year we continue placing the user experience at the centre of campaigns to ensure audiences are receiving relevant content and advertising experiences.”

Joe Friedlein, MD, Browser Media

“All my new year’s marketing resolutions revolve around the need to consider the needs and interests of your customer, above all else. Yes, I want to use video more in 2017 and yes, I want to explore new ways of using data to inform our marketing strategies but there is a real risk that new technologies / tactics can get in the way of putting your customer at the centre of everything that you do. I also fear that over-hyped technology can stifle creativity and I would love 2017 to be the year that raw creative genius is celebrated once again.”

Neil Collard, Managing Director, e3

“2016 saw a seismic shift for the entire world, and that change was felt within the digital marketing industry. Consumer behaviour has seen a drastic shake-up as millennials redefine sectors with their demand for ‘experiences’ over ‘things’. It was the year where Artificial Intelligence stopped being a sci-fi myth and started becoming non-fiction. At e3 we’re cutting ‘one size fits all’ digital from our diet and helping our clients e-focus on more personalised, sincere and relevant experiences for the changing practical consumer. Our new hobby is going to be finding and mining data for reusable purposes and expanding the future through innovative practice with AI and chatbots.”

Danielle Haley, Co-director, FSE Online Ltd

“In 2017 we’ll be making greater use of web data and user behaviour analysis to develop a more focused content strategy that targets more specific market segments. The aim here will be to increase media relevancy and engagement to better satisfy customers’ needs (and deliver a better overall ROI). We’ll also be heavily promoting the importance of investing in onsite technical SEO. Due to the ways in which Google’s algorithms are involving, onsite factors are playing a much more prominent role in determining which websites deserve to occupy those all-important first page organic positions. Making key improvements to the website from a structural or coding perspective will also often enhance the overall user experience, so the benefits to this are two-fold.”

Roy Jugessur, Vice President, UK and Northern Europe, Selligent

 Think Consumer-First not channel first: “With increasing opt-out rates and lower engagement across the board, traditional marketing models need to change from being channel-centric to consumer-centric. In 2017, marketers need to enhance every customer-brand interaction by looking beyond individual touchpoints, to create a seamless and holistic journey that focusses on the critical moments that play a huge part in adding depth and meaning to consumer relationships. From birthdays to changes in the weather, if marketers can capture the attention of consumers by being contextual and relevant, we can reach new levels of engagement, conversion and loyalty.”

Andy Tabberer, Senior Project Manager, Reckless

“We need to adopt a more agile mind-set across the agency.  This means we seek the truth, accept and respect others, show humility, be patient, revel in self-discipline and sow commitment. Building on this will be adopting more of a product focus with our clients, promoting smaller, ongoing releases rather than the big bang. Finally, everything we do works towards a better shared understanding with clients. This will create stronger relationships and ensure greater consistency across our delivery.”

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Trump won. Polls lost. So what have we learned for our own data collection processes? http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/01/30/trump-won-polls-lost-so-what-have-we-learned-for-our-own-data-collection-processes/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/01/30/trump-won-polls-lost-so-what-have-we-learned-for-our-own-data-collection-processes/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2017 22:14:16 +0000 http://exponential.com/?p=22484 Bryan Melmed unpacks how every poll conducted around the presidential election failed to come to the correct conclusion due to the results being systematically biased in Clinton’s favour.

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Trump won. Polls lost. So what have we learned for our own data collection processes? by Bryan Melmed

Bryan Melmed unpacks how every poll conducted around the presidential election failed to come to the correct conclusion due to the results being systematically biased in Clinton’s favour.

Just days after the shock result of a Trump presidency, a few pundits had already completed their analysis of how it happened. Wouldn’t you know, these conclusions validated everything they were saying all along, and the companies they represent were obvious solutions to whatever problems were identified.

That isn’t analysis, it is rationalisation. Fellow marketers, let’s leave that sort of thinking to politicians.

To actually understand what happened, much less how it should change the way things work, will take some time. And actual thinking. As Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said to Nate Silver — if anyone thinks they have the answer right now, they’re just guessing.

For those of us working in the data sciences, there’s a strange sense of shared responsibility for the polls that lead so many people to believe that Hillary would be the president-elect. In the days after the election, I fielded more questions about surveys and modelling than I encountered during the entire campaign.

As Obama might say, this is a teachable moment. Let’s unpack what we know so far.

The polls were wrong

There is no avoiding the fact that almost every poll conducted during this election came to the wrong conclusion. Even the Trump campaign, until a week before the election, thought they had a one-in-five chance of winning.

Then again, we should expect that any survey with a low response rate is probably wrong. People more likely to respond are also more likely to answer one way or another.

Pollsters try to adjust for this by weighing responses differently. One extreme example comes from the USC poll, where the preference of one young African American was considered 30 times more important than the average panellist.

Weighting can work if demographics or other observed characteristics are highly correlated with preferences. But as marketers know all too well, demographic information is less useful every year. And if you can’t compare your assumptions to what actually happens – well, you’re just making assumptions.

Pollsters should have realised this sooner. Trump’s data team did, with only a few days to spare. They considered an alternate scenario where it was rural voters that flooded the polls. Even then the model only gave them a 30% chance of winning, but it pointed them in the right direction.

After the election, we learned the right approach was to overweight whites without a college degree, who were both less likely to answer a survey and more likely to show up at a voting booth.

Still, let’s not exaggerate the problem. This was a very close election. Trump won the delegate count by as few as 107,000 votes and lost the popular vote. Polls this year were about as accurate as they were in 2012, when they underestimated Obama’s appeal.

The failure of polling was not in the margin of error, but that results were systematically biased in Clinton’s favour. It wasn’t a statistical problem that researchers could easily control for, or even recognise. This was data in a bubble, without regard to other information that might have alerted researchers that something was off – the enormous crowds at Donald Trump rallies, for example.

Do marketers make the same mistakes with data collection? All the time

FiveThirtyEight 2016 Election Forecast put Clinton clearly in the lead.

Not only do we assume our data is unbiased – it’s shocking how little testing is done – but we also rely on shortcuts to gauge the impact of our efforts. If the truth is more expensive or even just more difficult to understand, truth never wins. Truth never even sees the light of day. The inevitable result is millions of dollars wasted on bad assumptions and empty promises.

Here’s one example. We know that video advertising targeting a highly qualified audience costs more, has fewer engagements and registers less time spent. Most agency balance sheets would consider that a loss. At Exponential, we’ve recently completed research that shows this careful targeting is still far more effective than finding eager viewers who have no likely path to purchase.

It’s hard to understand probability

Most people weren’t following the polls anyway, but the predictions based on polls. There were many of these, the most popular being the New York Times Upshot and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight. They all favoured Hillary Clinton, giving her a chance of winning somewhere between 65 and 98 per cent. The betting markets had settled around 80 per cent.

Even a model with a 98 per cent chance of Clinton winning, courtesy of the Huffington Post, is just a prediction. The same model finds a two per cent probability that Clinton loses. That’s low, but not so low that it will never happen. If there was a two per cent chance of an earthquake today, most of us would be cowering in a corner somewhere. Of course this Huffington Post model was wildly optimistic, not considering that the polls might be systematically biased, as described above.

Another aspect of probability is that some models were bound to predict the election correctly, but only by chance. In other words, some predictions were wrong, but in the right way. That USC poll is one example. It is getting attention because it predicted Trump winning – but it showed Trump three points ahead in the popular vote and the methodology behind the poll is even more questionable.

Marketers need to brush up on these lessons as well.

For example, we’re often given case studies where the vaunted outcome is simply a coincidence. Look closely and there aren’t enough people considered to arrive at a statistically significant result. If you’re wondering how this is sustainable, consider that in our industry an effort that arrives at a different answer is easily swept under the rug.

Few people were thinking this through

From the moment Trump slowly descended on an escalator to announce his candidacy, we were continually amazed by this unpredictable election. The only predictable thing was how Trump would prove everyone wrong. And still, we put our faith in the old truisms on how this would all play out. Practically the entire Clinton campaign assumed that a ‘ground game’ and a data-driven strategy would again be the deciding factor. It wasn’t.

Marketers rarely make this mistake – and if they do, they don’t last very long.

If anything, we’re too focused on the next big thing. I’m old enough to remember being asked what our strategy was for Second Life. Now I see publishers rushing to create video content, collectively racing towards a low quality, oversaturated market. Even Verizon’s go90 couldn’t force this strategy. Internet video is going to be the Atari of our day.

The sad thing is that we are missing out on better ways to monetise page-based content, specifically with opt-in video advertising. Why not meet consumers where they prefer to be?

Marketers are in a better place

Pollsters still rely on snapshots of attitudinal behaviour. These aren’t always predictive and age quickly. In contrast, today’s marketer can observe real-time consumer behaviour. And, because the business cycle moves a lot faster than every four years, we have ample opportunity to test our data and improve the models we work with.

Our biggest risk is complacency.

When asked what lessons the election held for marketers, Dr Joseph Plummber from Columbia Business School replied: “Don’t get too in love with data . . . and use your own sense of what makes sense.”

The Clinton campaign had too much faith in their data. Strategic decisions relied on a secret algorithm that the campaign planned to unveil after their victory. ‘Ada’ ran 400,000 simulations a day to identify which battleground states were likely to tip the race.

In an article from data scientist Cathy O’Neil that wasn’t focused on the election, she points out the inevitable result. “Even when they are doing their very best, data scientists can end up with an algorithm that’s got a questionable definition of success and is trained by data that has cooked-in biases… The problem is the blind faith; people are turning too much power over to the algorithm.”

Clinton didn’t make a single visit to the ‘blue wall’ state of Wisconsin. It was “nothing short of malpractice” said Democratic pollster Paul Maslin.

Are you making the same mistake with your campaigns?

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2017’s five biggest marketing challenges and opportunities http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/01/16/2017s-five-biggest-marketing-challenges-and-opportunities/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2017/01/16/2017s-five-biggest-marketing-challenges-and-opportunities/#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:12:47 +0000 http://exponential.com/?p=22482 2016 represented an exciting leap into new pastures for the marketing community. Augmented reality broke into the mainstream thanks to the extraordinary success of Pokémon Go!, opening marketing minds to the possibilities of AR and virtual reality. At the same time, artificial intelligence also had a break out year thanks largely to chatbots in the service space, but marketers too were able to start capitalising on AI’s maturity, courtesy of its application to the likes of semantic analysis and segmentation.

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2017’s five biggest marketing challenges and opportunities by Neil Davey

2016 represented an exciting leap into new pastures for the marketing community. Augmented reality broke into the mainstream thanks to the extraordinary success of Pokémon Go!, opening marketing minds to the possibilities of AR and virtual reality. At the same time, artificial intelligence also had a break out year thanks largely to chatbots in the service space, but marketers too were able to start capitalising on AI’s maturity, courtesy of its application to the likes of semantic analysis and segmentation.

It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, of course. Ad blocking became more of a problem for the industry, while, in Europe, there was a growing understanding of the implications of the impending General Data Protection Regulation. But all in all, an exciting – if challenging – year to be a marketer.

Can 2017 top it? What fresh strategies, technologies and platforms will emerge in the coming 12 months? MyCustomer spoke with a number of experts to predict where the biggest opportunities and challenges may lie.  

Machine learning

Two of the biggest challenges facing today’s marketers are ad blocking, and wrestling with vast and varied streams of customer data. With the potential to tackle both of these problems, and more, it is little wonder that machine learning could be a saviour for modern marketers.

“The new Zeitgeist is all about machine learning – using intelligent machines to segment audiences and then make predictions for their future purchasing behaviours. It’s about taking data from the past and applying it to the present to predict the future,” says David Bowen, head of product at Episerver.

“While talk of artificial intelligence (AI) and “future forecasting” may sound closer to science fiction than fact, in reality many of the biggest brands are already jumping on this trend, investing in AI and the latest predictive analytics software to get their foot in the door early on.

“The ultimate aim of marketers is to anticipate behaviour and customer intent, but there’s also great value in automating the delivery of better customer experiences and highly individualised interactions online. That is the direction that today’s marketers need to go in, and it’s a process that we expect to see a lot more of in 2017.”

Doug Conely, chief strategy officer at Exponential, agrees that machine learning will further establish itself in the coming 12 months. But he emphasizes its applications in the advertising arena. He notes: “Machine learning will continue to disrupt current ways agencies and brands plan and buy online display and video ads. Whilst, the industry needs to further educate itself to embrace this technology, I believe we will see more and more marketers utilising machine learning and automation to plan and optimise their campaigns.”

“In 2017, we can expect machine learning to be a tool used to combat a number of key industry challenges, such as complex planning and buying processes, ad blocking, overexposure to re-targeting and will enable the next evolution of programmatic.”

However, Daniel Telling, managing partner at Bench, sounds a word of warning about machine learning. He explains: “The next few years will see organisations start to get to grips with what cognitive computing can offer. While there is much fascination with the potential for cognitive, there is still an element of nervousness from many organisations, especially when it comes to A.I. This is not unfounded, as A.I. has not yet reached the point where it can run without careful human monitoring. 

In 2017, we can expect machine learning to be a tool used to combat a number of key industry challenges.

“There are still fundamentals to be worked out to achieve true machine learning where the machine is fully responding and recalculating on changing inputs without any programming from a human party. More fundamentally, though, businesses need to look beyond a ‘gimmick-led’ application of these technologies and instead investigate how it can be applied to actively improve personalised customer experience.” 

Nonetheless, he too expects it to be a big trend in the coming year. “The concept of cognitive computing and AI has been much discussed recently, in the same way that real-time marketing was a few years ago. While there have been a limited amount of practical applications of this technology to date, there is no doubt that the concept is set to dominate the landscape for some time. All the big players such as Adobe, Salesforce and IBM are vying to take the lead here, with IBM’s Watson in particular making waves in the industry.” 

Voice as a channel

Audio voice control is an increasingly mainstream gateway to digital applications. Apple (Siri), Microsoft (Cortana), Google (Home) and Amazon (Alexa) are spearheading the technology, while the likes of Facebook are already working on their own offerings.

“The adoption rate of this technology has been rapid because it offers what customers want – a simple and easy user experience,” notes Clint Poole, CMO at Lionbridge.

And from the marketers’ point of view, the technology is interesting because it creates a frictionless customer experience, removing all barriers to activity. Poole continues: “If a customer can easily make purchases directly through voice command, they are more likely to purchase more products at greater frequency and avoid the distractions that prevent purchase completion on traditional digital channels.”

But it also raises a number of questions for marketers.

“It’s hard to imagine that voice recognition isn’t going to have a big effect on marketing. I have Amazon Echo and the new Dash button, and the impact on my shopping habits is fairly profound,” says Martin Harrison, head of strategy at Huge.

“Many brands never got to grips with a search page that had ten results – how will they get to grips with a machine that gives a single answer? It’s important because the opportunity for brand choice and switching reduces. If I’m scanning my empty tub of butter to order again, other butter brands are going to have a very hard time getting in my basket.”

It’s hard to imagine that voice recognition isn’t going to have a big effect on marketing.

John Watton, EMEA marketing director at Adobe, agrees that there are some major questions that need answering. “Without a traditional screen, how will the major search players respond to marketers and advertisers who have historically relied on ads and clicks for their promotional tactics? It will be fascinating to see how this new channel can be used for effective marketing.”

However, at a technical level there are still obstacles to overcome, if the technology is to become truly mainstream. As Poole notes: “The challenge in 2017 will be getting the technology to work flawlessly. The current systems work best with direct requests and often fail with highly contextual language. However, with major tech players investing a great deal in research and development, we’ll continue to see vast improvements and breakthroughs in the technology over the next 12 months. We predict this will be done on a global stage as consumers’ preferences for using voice interaction crosses most cultures.”

People-based marketing

Efforts to deliver truly personalised marketing have tended to come up short. In a multichannel, multi-device world, companies are failing to create a single view of the individual across every channel or a complete data set of behavioural data that can be fed into decision engines and truly personalise the consumer experience.

However, the need for marketers to target consumers with precision is leading them to explore people-based marketing. This strategic marketing discipline leverages authenticated, first-party data about customers to serve them targeted communications on an individual level, rather than targeting a cookie or device ID.

And in a study of 358 senior North American brand marketers and agency media buyers by Econsultancy last year, 92% of media buyers said their clients will be accelerating their people-based media buys.

“Targeting and personalisation will still be at the top of the agenda for brands as consumers continually expect more.  To create lasting, engaging relationships with consumers, brands need to increase the rate of identification,” says Nick Keating, director EMEA at BounceX.

“The crux of creating this high level of engagement is delivering the “right message to the right person at the right place and time”, and this means not only understanding who your customers are, but what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. People-based marketing, the approach to marketing whereby a business identifies and targets single individuals as they engage across every device, every browser and every channel both on and off the website, will mark a significant shift in the way marketers engage with visitors online during 2017.

“Cross device identification combined with behavioural profiling will enable marketers to target medium and high intent visitors to deliver incremental revenue and a substantial return on ad spend (ROAS).”

EU GDPR

If 2016 represented the year that European marketers woke up to the implications of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 2017 will be the year that the hard work towards compliance begins. With the regulation coming into effect in May 2018, there is much work to be done.

“Over the coming year, one of the biggest challenges facing marketers will be the implications of the new GDPR,” says Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA. “Those not preparing for the new legislation – in whatever exact form it takes – are risking the very lifeblood of their future business. As well as protecting consumers, the marketers that take action now will be better placed to take advantage of the economic opportunities that digital transformation and big data will offer in the future.”

The year ahead for businesses will be focused on tackling the questions raised by the GDPR.

Lindsay McEwan, VP and managing director EMEA at Tealium, adds: “The year ahead for businesses will be focused on tackling the questions raised by the GDPR ahead of its enforcement in May 2018. Businesses will enter a period of uncertainty and a degree of data lockdown, with some misconstruing the regulation as requiring a total replacement of their technology stack. But this won’t be necessary, and better-informed businesses will realise that they simply need to implement a centralised point of control to coordinate and command their actioning of data wherever it is stored – rather like an air traffic controller.”

While there will be much focus on compliance, smart organisations will realise that the process of GDPR compliance could also be used as a catalyst to change the entire way they approach customer interaction and engagement.

Email strategies

The process of GDPR compliance will also have implications for email marketing – and indeed could lead to a resurgence.

Andrea Wildt, CMO at Campaign Monitor, predicts: “The importance of email will be re-established this year as rule changes, such as new ad formats and the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continue to limit the potential of  marketing tools, such as programmatic, audience targeting on social media and look-alike display. But while the likes of Google and Facebook continue to acquire and monopolise these different marketing channels, no one “owns” email. Social media, programmatic and display advertising will continue to be a crucial channel for marketers, however the editorial independence that email offers retailers will be more valued this year.”

Keating believes that this resurgence will also be characterised by new email marketing strategies.

“In 2017 I think we will see a step-change transformation in email marketing strategies,” he notes. “As consumers acquire additional devices, cross-device identification becomes more important in creating next-gen customer experiences. In order to truly own their audience, brands will have to strategically capture email addresses at the moment of highest intent to create a compelling ROAS for both paid spend and owned channels. Email marketing is not dead, but the current tactics of unintelligent email capture and uninformed messaging are killing it.  A behavioural email strategy will emerge as a critical success factor.” 

The post 2017’s five biggest marketing challenges and opportunities appeared first on Exponential.

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What can we learn from the younger generation’s Christmas spending? http://exponential.com/en-gb/2016/12/22/what-can-we-learn-from-the-younger-generations-christmas-spending/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2016/12/22/what-can-we-learn-from-the-younger-generations-christmas-spending/#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2016 22:11:33 +0000 http://exponential.com/?p=22480 The winter holidays are known as a time for families. But what about young adults without children, or new families without established holiday traditions? We’re talking about the marketer’s favourite target audience, 18-30 year olds. As one would expect, this demographic have their own take on the holidays.

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What can we learn from the younger generation’s Christmas spending? by Bryan Melmed

The winter holidays are known as a time for families. But what about young adults without children, or new families without established holiday traditions?

We’re talking about the marketer’s favourite target audience, 18-30 year olds. As one would expect, this demographic have their own take on the holidays.

We pulled up data that Exponential collected in December 2015 describing the activities and interests of 18-30 year olds during the Christmas break.

After viewing the data through a few different lenses, we found that the family dynamic – specifically, whether these individuals are single or married — was the biggest differentiator for their holiday plans.

Most surprising was how easily this behaviour fit old stereotypes about gender roles. Wasn’t this demographic supposed to have moved past that by now?

Travel

Younger generations love to travel, and travel peaks during the holidays, so it’s no surprise that 18-30 year olds are all over this – in fact, they’re more likely to travel in December than any other demographic. While a few go upscale, the vast majority are likely to be in the budget travel category.

When it comes to heterosexual married couples, women are usually the ones making plans. (We even saw that they were the most likely to be checking the weather during the trip.) They prefer to book directly, being 23% less likely to consult a travel agent.

Those with children are interested in family-friendly destinations, such as Orlando and San Diego, but most families with children will travel less than 100 miles. Married couples without children favour Las Vegas and resorts in Mexico.

Single 18-30 year olds, as well as gay and lesbian couples, aren’t likely to hit the road – they are 27.7% less likely to rent a car during the holiday. Instead, these individuals take to the skies.

Australia is always a top pick for this demographic, and in December it serves as a destination for both leisure and family visits. Other popular vacation options include Spain, Thailand, and Brazil.

Gay and lesbian couples are especially interested in Cuba. Other single 18-30 year old’s struggle to choose a destination, which may help explain their interest in group tours with a cultural or educational theme.

A lot of singles break out their winter sports gear and head for the mountains. On the slopes you’ll find about a third more young singles than married ones, even after adjusting for population.

Gender plays an even larger role. Men are 41% more likely to exhibit an active interest in snowboarding and 49.8% more likely to be actively interested in skiing. It’s still hard to find any sport equally appealing to both sexes, and this is especially true in winter.

Of course, many of those who are single visit their parents for the holidays. Interestingly, single men are more likely to do this than single women – for those with Indian or Chinese heritage, more than twice as likely.

Even some married individual within this demographic will visit families overseas, on their own. We see high interest in off-season travel to northern Europe, especially Ireland, Finland, and Sweden. There is also a spike in travel to Asia, with Japan and Indonesia being especially popular relative to travel volume.

Entertainment

Younger generations are known to favour experiences over material things, and the trend continues during the holidays. They are more than twice as likely to purchase entertainment than other consumers – everything from music concerts to movie tickets to sporting events.

We even see a few single women pick up knitting, as hard as it may be to think of it as entertainment.

The major difference, this being the holidays, is that 18-30 year old’s spend even more on food. They are 64.4% more likely to be frequent restaurant goers, 77.2% more active on restaurant review sites, and proportionally spend more on eating out than any other group. As with travel, this demographic tend to go high or low but are rarely in-between.

Single men favor educational toys and Star Wars figurines. (Then again, they may be buying for themselves.)

They are 2.56 times more likely to visit an expensive restaurant, but 26.4% less likely to head to a casual chain. Fast casual restaurants such as Chipotle, Panera, and Five Guys continue to be staples, of course. Carbs are still out – even given their urban location, they are 22.1% less likely to eat pizza.

Electronics

Interest in electronics spikes during the holidays. Even egalitarian individuals fit old stereotypes here — the category is dominated by single men and avoided by married women, with the former 77% more likely to be interested than the latter.

Last year headphones were generating a lot of buzz (no pun intended) and we expect the same in 2016, especially now that Apple has officially given up on the headphone jack. But while Apple generates more interest from younger generations than any other brand, it may show comparatively little benefit this December.

New MacBooks will be on offer, but the only laptops this demographic show interest in are lower priced Chromebooks. (This generation simply doesn’t consider computers when thinking about holiday gifts. Productivity software is the only thing that fared worse with younger people during the 2015 holidays.)

There’s no interest in the Apple Watch, either. The iPad, at least, is still coveted by married women – but other tablets barely register.

One surprise from 2015 was that there was sustained interest in gaming consoles, and all indications are that the same will be true in 2016. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are three years old now, but remain popular options as media centers in addition to gaming. Virtual reality glasses for the PlayStation may reinvigorate the category — although we know that with tech, heightened interest doesn’t always translate to actual sales.

Gift Buying

Children may be shocked to hear that presents are not a huge priority for 18-30 year old’s during the holidays. In many cases, gift giving seems like an afterthought.

If you look at consumers who spend the most in the last few days before Christmas, this generation are more than twice as likely to be there. Conversely they are less likely to be looking for deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, even though in general this demographic are 92.1% more likely to shop online.

Who is dashing through the snow on December 24th?  Single younger men. We found they are far less likely to be gift planning than their married counterparts.

Of the 94 shopping categories we considered for this article, just 11 had more single men than married men, and these were the most predictable gift categories – including perfume, chocolate, and inexpensive collectables (or tchotchkes, if you’re in New York). Single young women are the least likely to be shopping at last minute, and if so they rely on gift cards.

Women in this demographic often consider the holidays a time to splurge on themselves.

And why not? Singletons show heightened interest in boots, spa treatments, and cosmetics. And women who are half of a doubleton (yes, that’s a word) will buy themselves jewelry, fashion accessories, and hair treatments. Both sets agree that December is a great time to buy handbags.

The stereotypes continue when this generation wander into a children’s aisle. Women are 77.2% more likely than men to buy a Barbie doll, while men are 51% more likely to buy a train set. Single women are especially interested in doll houses.

Single men favor educational toys and Star Wars figurines. (Then again, they may be buying for themselves.)

Missing the trees for the forest

This data can be so neatly packaged that it seems like a gift in itself – a useful way to leverage generational differences to understand your consumers.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that we’ve aligned thousands of behaviours to fit an artificial concept that is about as reliable as horoscopes. As interesting as this angle can be, there are even more exceptions that prove fascinating.

In fact, the only stereotype of 18-30 year old’s that really holds true is that they are more varied and individualistic than any generation that has come before. And Generation Z looks to be even less predictable.

So fellow marketers… happy holidays? It’s a good time to enjoy what you have.

The post What can we learn from the younger generation’s Christmas spending? appeared first on Exponential.

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From Pokemon Go to GDPR: Four megatrends that shaped marketing in 2016 http://exponential.com/en-gb/2016/12/08/from-pokemon-go-to-gdpr-four-megatrends-that-shaped-marketing-in-2016/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2016/12/08/from-pokemon-go-to-gdpr-four-megatrends-that-shaped-marketing-in-2016/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:09:38 +0000 http://exponential.com/?p=22478 MyCustomer spoke with a handful of experts and took a step back through this year’s news to share the four marketing stories and trends that characterised the last 12 months. What have we missed?

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From Pokemon Go to GDPR: Four megatrends that shaped marketing in 2016 by Neil Davey

MyCustomer spoke with a handful of experts and took a step back through this year’s news to share the four marketing stories and trends that characterised the last 12 months. What have we missed?

Augmented reality

Pokémon Go was one of the sensational stories of 2016, becoming the most popular mobile game in history. It garnered rave reviews from gamers. It attracted more daily users than Twitter and was used on more Android phones than Tinder. And it drove Nintendo’s share price up 70% in the week after launch – its biggest jump in over 25 years.

But its lasting legacy may not be its popularity, but the fact that it brought augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream. What’s more, it also validated AR as a potentially valuable platform for digital marketers.

Previously adopted by sectors such as retail, which allowed shoppers to scan shoppable windows, and the car industry, where the likes of Ford had allowed users to preview cars via AR apps, Pokémon Go demonstrated that AR could be part of everyday. And Pokémon Go developer Nianatic was capitalising on this by selling ‘sponsored locations’ to advertisers. 

There was certainly evidence of how it could generate business. Slant Marketing, for instance, surveyed Pokémon Go users to see the impact that it had on customer engagement with businesses while playing the game. Some of the most interesting findings, included: 

  • 51% of players had visited a business for the first time because of Pokémon Go.
  • 71% of players had visited a business because there were PokeStops or Gyms nearby.
  • 56% of players reported visiting local businesses while playing as opposed to national chains.

But while businesses were falling over themselves to capitalise on the latest craze, there were words of warning.

“A phenomenally successful launch has secured plenty of attention for Niantic and Nintendo…But monetising the user base is a different challenge and one that will probably involve a fair amount of testing and learning before it starts to generate significant revenues for brands, if indeed it ever does,” warned Jens Nielsen, MD of NetBooster.

“The brands that straight away sign for sponsored location-based advertising or similar deals, will probably not receive a quick boost in sales as a result. Of course, for many this won’t matter. To be able to communicate with even a fraction of the number of users the game currently has is still a phenomenal opportunity. Especially, if those users – the younger die-hard fans – happen to be your core audience.

“However, the brands who get seduced by the sheer numbers involved without properly thinking through why they’re choosing Pokémon Go, could waste significant marketing dollars without seeing much of a return on their investment.

“As ever, it comes down to relevancy and understanding your own customers and their behaviours – what drives their attention and their spend. What’s right for a hip young fast-fashion brand won’t necessarily work for a luxury watchmaker, and vice versa.

Pokémon Go was the surprise augmented reality hit of 2016, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to AR.

“Once Pokémon Go’s sponsorship features kick in there are brands which will rush in to take advantage of this game-changing moment. Many will succeed but others may look out-of-place and, even worse, out of touch with their core customers. There are definitely opportunities here but Pokémon Go is only one, very early part of the AR story, and brands need to treat it as such when planning their digital marketing strategies.”

Nonetheless, early days or not, 2016 will be remembered as the year that AR was taken seriously by the marketing fraternity – and more than a little thanks should go to Pikachu and his friends at Nintendo.

“Pokémon Go was the surprise augmented reality hit of 2016, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to AR technology’s upside,” suggests Katie Penfold, managing partner at BEcause Experiential Marketing. “In 2017, we can expect to see many, many more examples of blended realities, with reality blending increasingly with fiction and fantasy in both advertising and media.

“Faux campaign ads for House of Card’s Frank Underwood have already outshined real-world political candidates by becoming a top trending topic on Facebook and Twitter during CNN’s recent presidential debate, while highly controversial imagery to promote Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle caused quite a storm in New York City’s subway system after trains were covered in symbols to launch the show.

“These blended reality forms of advertising rely heavily on the intelligent consumer being able to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fictional. But as entertainment continues to blur these lines, marketing, advertising and media will follow suit and our surroundings are likely to become even more surreal, with live creative technology central to this.”

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence may have been generating considerable buzz in the customer service sphere, thanks to the rise in prominence of chatbots, but it was also coming to the fore in the marketing discipline too.  

“In 2016 we saw the rise of artificial intelligence making a much bigger impact on our lives than ever before,” notes Blake Cahill, global head of digital and social marketing at Philips. “AI is being used across all industry sectors to improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase revenues and boost customer satisfaction and 2016 has been a very interesting year. Large tech companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon all have their own versions of smart assistants on the market and marketers will quickly have to learn how predictive analytics, chatbots and customer service will all be effected as the technology is increasingly used to connect with and benefit their customers. 

“Machines have gotten better than us at recognising images and recognising speech and numerous brands are experimenting with machine learning to construct a persuasive two-way conversation with a wide variety of audiences. They will have the intelligence to deliver many convincing messages, replies and retorts in real-time, and we’ll need to learn to manage these systems and use the data they produce wisely.”

So how is AI being applied in marketing? In a nutshell, it’s making marketers lives easier via:

  • Semantic analysis. Semantic analysis is a part of artificial intelligence in digital marketing that is already used in spell checks, social media analysis, sentiment analysis, fact extraction, summarisation and more.
  • Segmentation.
  • Search and filtering. From RankBrain answering your search queries and Facebook’s Deep Text creating your newsfeed to Klevu’s smart ecommerce search, neural networks and machine learning are changing the way online search works.
  • Website recommendations.
  • Website optimisation. Self-designing websites are actually a thing now thanks to artificial intelligence in digital marketing. Although Grid still hasn’t officially launched, the idea of a self-designing website is pretty amazing. 

Boomtrain’s Tara Rachel Thomas explains: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning can understand human behavior to the extent where not only are Big Data sets analysed, segmented and filtered, but meaning is also derived from them.

  • Which customers hate receiving your emails and delete them as they hit your inbox? 
  • How can I make sense of all this data I have on our campaigns?
  • Which customer would like a particular product?
  • How can I personalise the user experience and make it ‘sticky’?

“Using artificial intelligence in digital marketing can not only help answer marketers answer these questions, in some cases it already is. This gives back marketers time to innovate and grow their brand, rather than worry about how to automate emails to millions of customers at a time.

“AI in digital marketing not only exists, but it has started making the lives of users and marketers easier already. From texting to visualising business insights, the merger of big data, machine learning and AI is creating smoother and smarter experiences every day.” 

Jason Hemingway, chief marketing officer at Thunderhead, believes that AI has been a significant trend in the past 12 months – but will become something even more important in the coming years.

“Advanced intelligent technologies (such as predictive analytics, machine learning and natural language processing) are becoming more important in marketing,” he notes. “This trend will continue and brands will become better at integrating them, transforming their ability to understand and serve their customers better. The tendency so far has been to use this technology to try and manipulate customers’ behaviour, particularly through digital marketing and advertising. In 2017, the emphasis will be put on understanding customers – a change for the better.”

Ad blocking

“This year saw the industry wake up to the reality of ad blocking and the impact it is having on ad campaigns,” says Doug Conely, chief strategy officer at Exponential.  “Ad blocking has largely come about due to mistreating the consumer, either through poor accessibility or overall user experience, and in order to combat it the industry needs to work together to enhance the user experience by delivering relevant content to consumers in a non-intrusive way.”

Data from eMarketer suggests that 16.6% of the entire UK population already block ads, and this is set to rise dramatically over the coming 12 months due to widespread recognition of software availability.

“There’s no doubting that ad blocking is now a very real issue for advertisers. Next year, over a quarter of the people they’re trying to reach will be wilfully making themselves unreachable,” says eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher. “The good news is that numbers like this have forced those within the industry to think long and hard about what it is that they need to do better in order that this practice doesn’t become an epidemic.”     

So how are marketers responding? Neil Joyce, managing director EMEA at Signal, believes that while it’s still early days in the ad blocking battle, with the landscape and technology changing quickly on both sides, advertisers can start taking steps in the right direction to prepare. He suggests that marketers:

  1. Understand the full impact of ad blockers on your ads or content. Advertisers and publishers need to pay close attention to how their content and advertising is rendering both with and without ad blockers. Ad blockers aren’t fool-proof: they can block non-ad content by accident and break the user experience. Make sure you understand what your users are seeing.
  2. Be more relevant. The more relevant the advert, the more likely it is to be valued by consumers. This is where people-based strategies, which identify customers across devices and channels, and tie the data back to a user-level profile, become crucial. Real-time, always-on technology for collecting, matching and activating data within milliseconds can empower you to engage customers like David from Torquay at the exact moment they’re in market for your product.  
  3. Pursue a diversified strategy. Not everyone is using ad blockers yet, but they are having a significant impact. Make sure all your messages can’t be wiped away with one software application, and explore in-app ads, native ads, and whether you can be doing more with email marketing.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been four years in the making, and up until now it’s been a waiting game for most businesses as the finer details of the regulations have been ironed out by the European Union. But in April, the European parliament finally voted through the new rules. 

“GDPR was created to update previous data protection regulations in Europe, which, interestingly, had been put in place well before the internet became important to business operations,” explains Rick Powles, regional VP, EMEA, at Druva. “The updates within GDPR were designed to bring data protection regulations up to speed with all the new ways of doing business that have developed over the past few years.”

Based on guidance from the Information Commissioners Office, consumer rights under GDPR include the following that directly affect marketers:

  • Right to be informed – this covers any gathering of data by companies, and consumers must be informed before data is gathered. Consumers have to opt in for their data to be gathered, and consent must be freely given rather than implied.
  • Right of access – this provides consumers with the right to request access to how their data is used by the company after it has been gathered.
  • Right of rectification – this ensures that consumers can have their data updated if it is out of date or incomplete.
  • Right to be forgotten – if consumers are no longer customers, then they have the right to have their data deleted.
  • Right to restrict processing – consumers can request that their data is not used for processing. Their record can remain in place, but not be used.
  • Right to data portability – consumers can get a copy of their data, which can then be moved to another provider.
  • Right to object – this includes the right to stop processing of their data for direct marketing. There are no exemptions to this rule, and any processing must stop as soon as the request is received. Similarly, this right must be made clear to consumers at the very start of any communication.

“The EU GDPR passed into law earlier this year and will come into force in May 2018,” adds Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA. “The new rules offer consumers greater protection by changing how businesses hold, process and deal with all customer data. For brands, the legislation will also help protect their own reputations by building long-term relationships with customers based on transparency and trust.”

With a text in place, focus shifted from what the regulation comprises to what it would take to become compliant in time for the 2018 deadline. But some confusion was created with the surprise result of the UK’s EU referendum.

“The result of the EU referendum in June means that the UK will leave the Union, which has led some marketers to believe that the GDPR will no longer impact their business,” continues Aldighieri. “However, leaving the EU is going to take time and event once the EU has exited, any company doing business in Europe with any European citizen will need to be compliant with the GDPR, even if UK national laws change following Brexit.

The events of 2016 should pave the way for better transparency between consumers and organisations.

“Data is increasingly at the heart of everything marketers do to engage customers, which means the announcement of the GDPR has certainly been one of the biggest events of 2016. However, in a survey of marketers we conducted earlier this year, when asked about the GDPR a third (30%) of those that took part believed their company to be ‘unprepared’ for the new rules, while 42% believed their marketing efforts will be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ affected by new rules – highlighting the need for marketers to continue to prepare for the GDPR in unrest over the coming years.”

Lindsay McEwan, VP and managing director EMEA at Tealium, believes that the long-term impact of EU GDPR will be positive for customer relationships – particularly following another year that has been characterised by privacy concerns.

“In 2016, a series of high-profile customer data breaches sent shockwaves across the media from reputable UK brands to global corporations. Customers questioned not only the ability of organisations to adequately protect their personal data, but why organisations were storing and trading it in the first place,” she notes. “

The devastation caused by data breaches finally gave businesses the wake-up call they needed to start taking data privacy and governance seriously. Combined with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the events of 2016 should pave the way for better transparency between consumers and organisations, significantly improving the data value exchange – and customer service – in the process.” 

The post From Pokemon Go to GDPR: Four megatrends that shaped marketing in 2016 appeared first on Exponential.

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Exponential Launches Face Filter AR Ad Unit http://exponential.com/en-gb/2016/11/23/exponential-launches-face-filter-ar-ad-unit/ http://exponential.com/en-gb/2016/11/23/exponential-launches-face-filter-ar-ad-unit/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2016 22:23:37 +0000 http://exponential.com/?p=22496 Digital ad company Exponential Interactive has launched a Face Filter ad unit with AR (Augmented Reality) functionality.

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Exponential Launches Face Filter AR Ad Unit by Alex Spencer

Digital ad company Exponential Interactive has launched a Face Filter ad unit with AR (Augmented Reality) functionality.

Part of its its VDX video advertising offering, the ad unit uses facial recognition and head tracking technology to overlay virtual objects – such as glasses, make-up or hats – onto live video taken from the device’s webcam, similar to Snapchat’s Lens feature.

Face Filter is available on display and in-stream advertising, but is currently limited to desktop in its AR form. However, there is a mobile version which doesn’t use live video, but instead overlays the products onto an uploaded photo.

“With more and more interactive ad experiences penetrating the market, and webcam adoption at almost 80 per cent, Exponential is excited to unveil the VDX Face Filter,” said Ittai Shiu, VP of creative strategy at Exponential. “Whether the goal is to engage and interact with an audience or forge a stronger bond between a product and a prospective buyer, Exponential is the first to offer a scalable augmented reality solution.”

The VDX offering has also recently added live stream and 360° video, as Exponential pushes towards more interactive video. A study by the company this April found that interactive video ads ‘significantly impact a viewer’s brand perception and increase purchase intent’ when compared to standard banner and pre-roll video ads.

The post Exponential Launches Face Filter AR Ad Unit appeared first on Exponential.

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