It's easier than ever to obtain data about consumers, but if we can't make sense of these new sources of information, then we have to change. Here's how I-Behavior can help.
For marketers with too much "big data" on their hands but not enough time, expertise, or resources, I-Behavior's David Valdez, vice president of interactive sales, outlined essential tools for marketers to properly and intelligently interpret the mountain of user information coming at them from a multitude of digital channels.
In a presentation titled "Turning Research into Reach," Valdez took the iMedia Agency Summit audience on a review of the days when "analog was the monologue." There were only three major TV networks, and the same limited choices for radio and telecommunications. But today's world is remarkably different with the onset of digital devices, smartphones, and a radical shift in music and media consumption patterns.
"Digital is dialogue," Valdez said. "But with all of these new distribution channels, how do brands keep up?" It's now easier than ever to obtain information about consumers, but if we don't adapt to these new sources of data, then we have to change, he added.
Valdez pointed to the fact that most companies used to have a director of research who was responsible for making sense of different data points. But in the digital world, the value of that collected data -- and the sheer volume of it -- is so instrumental to the success of a brand marketer that they are now called "data scientists," "digital analytics specialists," or "solutions engineers," to name just a few of the more all-encompassing titles that now define this area of expertise.
"We have multiple points of access for media planning at our fingertips," Valdez said. "We know a lot more about who we're talking to and what the dialogue is than ever before. But there is a chasm between point A and B that needs to be bridged. The digital world is no longer that simple, and data is still very disconnected."
The challenge then becomes turning research into reach when meeting your data initiatives that involve media in a digital capacity, which is where I-Behavior can help with its data intelligence and statistical expertise from more than a decade of aggregating and modeling the purchase history of a 190 million individual consumers.
I-Behavior provides consumer and business transaction data for multi-channel merchants to invest marketing dollars that help online and direct advertising campaigns reach the individuals who are most likely to purchase products and services -- as determined by past buying behavior.
To conclude the point that marketers need more than just a "data scientist" to make sense of it all, Valdez cited a recent study on how marketers still struggle with "big data" and digital tools from the Columbia School of Business and NYAMA.
The key findings included:
- Marketers are quick to adopt the newest digital tools, but they struggle to measure them
- ROI – marketers know they need it but cannot agree on its meaning and implementation
- Getting traditional and digital to work better together is a goal for 77 percent of all marketing departments
- 50 percent will reorganize their marketing departments to improve traditional and digital integration
- 91 percent of corporate marketing leaders believe that successful brands use consumer data to drive marketing decisions
- The sheer quantity of data isn't the problem, but 36 percent report that they have lots of consumer data they don't know what to do with it
- 42 percent said they aren't able to bridge the gap from traditional to digital
- 40 percent admit they cannot turn their data into actionable insights
"If you cannot leverage insights as a marketer, you really need some help," Valdez said. Effective client engagement is key, along with tools that include research, recommendations, execution, results, and ROI analysis.
"It's time to reposition ourselves for the future," Valdez said.
Gretchen Hyman is Editor-in-Chief for iMedia Connection.
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