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The amount of personal data that companies are now able to collect about their existing and potential customers has grown exponentially over the past few years.
The amount of personal data that companies are now able to collect about their existing and potential customers has grown exponentially over the past few years.

What to do with all that data?


By Grant Shippey CEO Amorphous New Media - May 15th 2017, 10:51

The amount of personal data that companies are now able to collect about their existing and potential customers has grown exponentially over the past few years. In 2014, tech manufacturing giant IBM estimated that collectively, people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. 

It anticipated that by 2020 we will have created 40 zettabytes of data. A zettabyte is a byte with 21 zeros after it or, in simple terms, a gigantic amount of information. But how can companies use all this data to effectively engage with their audiences?

Savvy marketing companies are now using programmatic advertising, which harnesses all this collected data to help advertisers target their audiences with precision. This cuts out wasteful advertising for companies and reduces the irritation factor for consumers because they are now getting pertinent information that is tailored to their preferences in terms of delivery method and timing.

People consume media in many different ways and on multiple devices. An integrated approach to marketing with programmatic advertising lets brands track consumers across their devices, and then guide them through the sales process, from making them aware of a product to the sale, and then to retaining them as a long-term customer.

A truly integrated experience has data at its core – whether that data comes from CRM, research, sales data or programmatic data. It puts the customer at the centre – all the communication is tailored to their interests, behaviour, location, and, in some cases, time of day when they are most likely to respond.

People often resent the idea that they are being ‘watched’ and their data is being collected against their will. But much of the data available comes from sources where people have voluntarily offered their information – such as store loyalty cards, fitness trackers that openly share information with health rewards programmes, transport, and food delivery apps, and online shopping.

Effective programmatic advertising data matches a message to the right audience by using both information collected directly from each person through things like loyalty cards, website visits and call centre interactions, which is called first-party data, with third-party data, like location-based information and contact details, that can be bought from service providers.

For companies to make the most of programmatic advertising, it’s important to start by knowing what type of person they are trying to reach, understanding their habits, preferences, what devices they use and when they are most likely to interact with a message. For instance, though a message about a special on nappies will be interesting to a mom with a toddler, there’s no point sending it to her during bath time when her hands are full. When a message is relevant, interesting and well-timed, a person is much more likely to interact with it.

Even though all of this data-based and strategic marketing is made possible through technology, people want to be recognised as individuals, not just account numbers. When it’s used well, big data makes it possible for companies to treat their customers in a way that feels personal and humanised.


Read more about: marketing | ibm | data

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