We’re all using many more devices than we used to – phone, tablet, laptop, smart watch, smart TV – and this is causing headaches in the marketing world. This was the main topic at the Connected Consumer Conference in June 2017 in London, where speakers discussed how these problems could be solved by measuring behavior across multiple devices, using behavioral science, and introducing machine learning.
Connected devices are causing problems for marketers. Users aren’t completing purchases on the same devices they’re viewing ads on, making it difficult to track the effectiveness of campaigns, and they switch between devices so often that marketers have to change strategy throughout the day to reach the right audience.
Not all speakers at the conference agreed on the best way to do this. Tapad demonstrated its device graph, which links consumer behavior data over multiple devices using probabilistic data such as location, time, and behavior. RadiumOne and The7stars showed how they helped drive traffic to food retailer Iceland and boost its conversion rate by showing video ads at the exact air time of their ads to social-media users who post food- and drink-related content. VCCP Media demonstrated capturing underindexed audiences for News UK by diving into data to see who isn’t visiting News UK properties and identifying how they could interest them.
However, improved use of consumer data isn’t the whole story: panelists agreed that advertising content must also be made for specific devices. Using a clip from a TV commercial as a mobile video ad simply isn’t good enough in today’s world, where consumers are increasingly seeing advertising as a burden and avoiding it via ad blockers. One of the panelists described ad blocking as “the single biggest boycott in human history.”
Speakers also outlined the importance of understanding consumer behavior through scientific principles such as neurology and behavioral science to transform that data into real knowledge about what the consumer wants and needs. The most successful brands are adept at putting consumers first and giving us what we want rather than what the data says we need.
While the speakers demonstrated different ways of reaching and connecting to connected consumers, they were all in agreement that there is no “right” way of doing so and that there is not likely to ever be one source of connected consumer data. The key takeaway: All the examples of best practice use data to answer highly specific questions, rather than fishing in a lake of connected consumer data hoping to find the answer to a question they didn’t know to ask.
Charlotte Palfrey, Senior Analyst, Digital Media
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