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From physics to chemistry; from Big Data to smart data

23rd Jun 2015
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Earlier this month, the elite of the data-driven marketing world congregated at Wembley Stadium in the UK for Teradadta Connect 2015. Marking the 10th anniversary of the  provider’s flagship event, the two-day event attracted over 1,000 CMOs and senior marketers keen to learn about the latest trends in insight-driven marketing, omnichannel campaign management and multi-channel digital marketing from leading brands including Facebook and Puma.

Here, we examine the key takeaways from two of the event’s main sessions.

Smart data and the customer journey

In his session, ‘Digital Innovation – Master the Customer Journey, Andre Schiek of Grey Dusseldorf warned that while there are many different expertise that now fall under the umbrella of digital, digital marketers must ensure that everything they do is human-centric.

We’re becoming increasingly reliant on touchpoints, he explained, but we’ll see them increase in popularity and start to include everything from our fridge freezer to our car. And marketers must find a way to get their message to consumers and find a way to reach ‘the human’ whilst analysing their data.

Therefore, ‘brands are the factor and create value’ for the consumer – and if they don’t have value, then they have failed. Currently, the markets in Asia and America are increasing with digital innovation as they are thinking on a larger scale than Europe.

Brands who think they are ‘safe’ from digital innovation have become too complacent, and if they don’t start thinking about ways to innovate and move to the next level, then they will not survive in their industry. We’ve seen the change from printed books to digital consumption (through Amazon) and, more recently, Tesla are leading the way for innovation within the automotive industry. Another innovative company in the automotive sector is Uber, who apply the philosophy of using the real world as a lab that you should experiment against – and other brands should apply this to their thinking.

For brands that want to me innovative, there are three recommendations Andre made:

  1. Be innovative through radical collaboration. Your ideas need to have fricition and you have to be prepared to look at what other companies are doing, and what technologies they are using in order to create something that stands out. One example is Sound Cloud’s depiction of The Berlin Wall.
  2. Stop stand-alone transformation units or labs. Companies need orchestration and support of a creative moderator who can handle the creative process and attach the philosophy to the core of the business, so that values are consistent throughout. An example is Volvo’s life spray.
  3. Focus on people and their customer journey. Your ideas must be user-centric and allow you to make a relevant case to expand the business. An example is German Wings Corridor Targeting (with Skype).

Brands shouldn’t be talking about ‘Big Data’ anymore, Schiek concluded, they should be talking about ‘smart data’ and use it contextually to understand how their users think and feel – because that’s how you create value.

Key takeaways:

  • Brands must ensure they are creating value and are human-centric with their campaigns. They should be thinking about ‘smart’ data, not Big Data and be using their data contextually.
  • Those who think their sector is safe from digital innovation have become complacent and will not survive.
  • Three recommendations to brands are:

-        Be innovative through radical collaboration.

-        Stop stand-alone transformation units or labs.

-        Focus on people and their customer journey.

The mobile canvas

Facebook’s UK and Ireland director Steve Hatch outlined the  mobile landscape in his keynote session, highlighting three key trends that should be noted by marketers:

  1. The transition from desktop to mobile

TV took 67 years to reach 1 billion outlets, yet the smart phone only took 5 years to do the same, highlighting the immense speed of digital development. Mobile growth is also synonymous with the growth of video. There are currently 25 million mobile daily active users in the UK and 4 billion video views per day on Facebook alone (compared to 1 billion one year ago)

  1. The move away from text based communications to visual communications

We process visual imagery 60,000 times faster than words. Nearly ¾ of an advert we remember occurs in first 10 seconds, and half of that is within 3 seconds. Brands are underestimating the indvidual’s capacity to retain visual communciations. The use of image has also extended into Instagram – brands upload photos without taglines and must understand the implicit power of visual.

  1. The shift from search to discovery

‘Everything competes with everything that has ever been made’. The gap between content creation and capacity is widening, meaning that there is heavy competition. Our capacity as humans to consume has increased, but it is not keeping up with the amount of things requesting our attention.

Brands should consider changing ‘from physics to chemistry’, Hatch told attendees. Those in marketing can understand the ‘physics’ of targeting and finding appropriate moments, however they must now find the connection (aka chemistry) with the consumer in order to be effective. There are a number of ways that brands are able to do this:

  1. Personalisation – this makes thing more valuable for the consumer, and the US are emerging as leaders of personalised videos to those on social media.
  2. Storytelling – consumers need to be taken on a journey in order to maintain their level of interest.
  3. Pivoting – this places relevance on certain aspects of your campaign that appeal to the consumer.

Depending on the audience, brands are changing their videos in order to create a connection, said Hatch. Examples of this include EE and Interstellar, who use details such as age, gender and location in order to make their videos more relevant. This requires different levels of execution. But there’s now a way brands can personalise content on a large scale by using information they know about their audience.

Hatch also reminded those in the audience that the answers that brands need are always with the customers. Often the biggest barrier is changing their habits, or being brave enough to move away from reworking campaigns they have ran before. Brands that simply rework are behind where their customers are. Business processes need to be looked at, and some marketers find it a struggle to communicate the value of video and personalisation to the business. This is largely due to businesses being transfixed on numbers and where the return on investment can be located.

Data is not a barrier to creativity – it’s a muse, Hatch concluded. It’s always best to share your data with creators so that the end result is relevant – it’s much better to use insight to shape a campaign as it’s cheaper to test and adapt ideas rather than leave the whole campaign behind. Companies must re-evaluate their exisiting KPIs as click-based metrics don’t tell the whole story. People who like to share content represent less than 1% of those that go on to buy a product. Campaigns that are engineered only for engagement are riskier in terms of ROI. Engagement should be an outcome and not an objective set at the beginning of the campaign.

Key takeaways:

  • Growth in mobile is moving at a faster pace than ever  before, but the story is about people, discovery and sharing, and not about technology.
  • It is not possible to talk about the rise of digital without considering the impact of mobile.
  • ‘From Physics to Chemistry’ – those in marketing understand the physics, targeting and appropriate moments, but they must find a connection (e.g. chemistry) with consumers through personalisation, storytelling and pivoting.
  • Personalised content is twice as effective in business outcomes.
  • Barriers and challenges for brands include; habit and reworking ideas,demonstrating value for their business, underestimation of video, underestimation of customer retention.

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