Agencies

Transform Customer Experience through Cognitive Engagement

Posted May 28, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 4:12 am

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Data protection is the order of the day following the European Union’s release of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) on May 25th. The data protection furor arose with the breach of data by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica who mostly used those data to interfere and influence the user behavior. But data is not only helpful for manipulating the consumer behavior but also acts as a first step towards a customer-centric marketing as well. Once this data gets under control, a world of cognitive-enabled insights and engagement opportunities become available. For general customer experience, cognitive engagement becomes highly productive.

What is Cognitive Engagement to enhance customer experience?

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Cognitive Engagement can be understood as the next era of marketing where the marketers and businesses are introduced with precision levels. These capabilities reduce the time and efforts necessary to draw critical insights on current customers. It can also be valid for the potential customers as well. Marketers have increasingly powerful tools at their fingertips to execute personalized, contextual interactions at the scale and with the speed needed to meet the ever-increasing expectations of customers. Cognitive Engagement can open enormous opportunity for the marketers while improving customer experience also.

How can the Cognitive Engagement open marketing avenues?

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A recent survey covering 3100 global executives reveal that less than 10 percent were investing in cognitive technologies and machine learning.  Building these capabilities takes time, so investing now will pay off as a differentiator for many years to come. But when the opportunities and data sources are practically endless, where do you start? And how do you set yourself up for success in this emerging frontier of cognitive insights and engagement? Here are some of the Keys to a successful cognitive engagement program for better customer engagement –

Start the Cognitive Engagement Program Now

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Success really depends on gaining experience and building internal capabilities. That includes helping management understand what these technologies are and what the best use cases are for early returns. Marketing organizations may be plagued by countless data platforms and analytics tools, so start by understanding what data exists, what platforms exist, and what grassroots efforts are underway, so you can collaborate.

Smart Cognitive Engagement Program

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Pick attainable and worthwhile projects that are going to have an ROI without significant investment in the short-term. High-impact projects don’t need to be expensive or complex. So start with a set of use cases that can become relatively quickly. Try and demonstrate the possibilities of wider adoption. It’s also critical to select the right vendors and partners who really understand how these technologies can function.

Innovation -A key for Cognitive Program

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Cognitive engagement technologies do not have to be “greenfield.” Identify opportunities to make existing platforms more impactful and existing products more personalized and enhance existing business processes. A traditional retail sales channel, for example, can be transformed by empowering reps with data such as customer purchase history, product preferences, social media interactions, and customized recommendations. Cognitive should focus on innovation that will drive top-line and bottom-line growth.

Re-invest your short-term wins

You can understand the impact of cognitive engagement can quickly, with real value to the organization. Align with leaders on your ambition for value creation, assessing strategic, financial and organizational impact. Use early financial savings to continue to innovate through larger transformation efforts. Architect the appropriate transformation based on your ambition, with more extensive platform modernization or integration potentially required over time.

 

How Should You Build a Customer Intelligence Based Data Plan?

Posted May 24, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 5:10 am

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Behind any industry and trade and product, data metrics play an important role. It’s the deal which brings the revenue for the companies and with GDPR in the town, the data plan might need to be revoked. The private data needs protection and in that scenario, the businesses need a proper planning. But data and data processing are not just a commodity but the necessary means to run the companies these days. It helps to understand the user pulse and their behavior over a longer period of time. These data channels help the brands to get closer to their potential customers and prospective buyers. They tend to make brands aware of the impediments their marketing lack. So, there is a requirement of a customer intelligence-based data plan for a resurgence of businesses.

What is the need for Customer Intelligence based data plan?

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Over the period of time, the brands who have created meaningful and transparent customer relationship have thrived for longer durations. Those who imbibe by the customer values have survived the long rope. Not because they have more data, but because they have more intelligence. So, in these scenarios, how would you rewire your strategies given the fact that the user intelligence has changed. How can the businesses use the customer intelligence-based data plan to accelerate their lead?

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The key to resurge your business will begin with a proper strategy. How can you build a more direct relationship with your customers? What do you have of value to offer them? How can you use data to enable that value and is it worth the value exchange required? How does this advance your customer relationships and how can you now serve them with greater care, personalization, and distinction? Here are some of the methods in which you can build Customer Intelligence based data plan –

Data should be aligned with Stakeholder Requirements

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The data you have been storing or marketing must have the consent of the stakeholders. It must be cleansed, corroborated and connected to solve the business problems. Privacy by design should be at the core of any data-enablement strategy, with good responsible governance as a foundation. Bring your IT, legal, and privacy teams together to create sustainable policies around data collection, processing, and management. And never collect data for the sake of having it for future use – if you don’t have a plan and policies set up in advance of any data capture, go back to step one.

Format Your Data

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To establish a good relationship with your customer, your data must be correct. It should be clean and formatted so that it matches with other attributes and signals. There can be some inaccuracies in the data like mistyping of information, data that’s been poorly vetted. They must be properly formatted before you create Customer Intelligence Based Data Plan.

Resolve to a single identity

This is the hard part. To resolve multiple fractional profiles to a single identity, you need a partner with a robust identity graph—one that provides a single unified 360-degree view online and offline, across channels and devices, that is accurate, persistent over time, and works as a durable match key underlying all use cases you are looking to employ. This identity then maps to everything from upstream customer intelligence and segmentation through onboarding and activation through all of your measurement efforts, then feeds it back again to make your activities smarter, more effective, and more efficient. An end-to-end system of identity is the key to successful data enablement.

Filed under: Advertising,Agencies

Three Ways in Which Traditional Media Companies Can Catch the Online Media Bull by its Horn

Posted January 10, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 2:02 am

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There has been a huge shift in the stance as to where the Traditional Media Companies stand today as they have faced a huge competition from technology-based sites such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Though this might not look to be a real tug of war, traditional media players have already been pushed to the corners defending their own den. The technology-oriented digital platforms have been winning the ad serving battles online at a greater rate than expected. On the other hand, they have also entered the realm of creation and distribution of content too with significant investments, a forte of traditional media platforms. So, this has raised an alarming issue for the traditional media firms who have lost the account in this sector.

What Problems are being faced by Traditional Media Companies?

The race to the center has now started and the traditional companies have started facing the competition of their life but what can they do to rescue themselves? Various content-based companies who delve into technology have entered the market. For example, there are direct to consumer cover the top (OTT) services such as DirectTV Now or Sling TV, which generally involve repackaging linear television networks, putting the, on broadband and charging a fee. Also, they are facing a tough challenge from an online platform such as Amazon Prime, Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix, the biggest of them all. These platforms have the technological infrastructure, a ready audience, and viewership and most importantly the capability to serve ads. What is more worrying about traditional media players is the funding these technical sites have received over the year. The challenge therefore to traditional TV companies has been to make such content to get accepted in the general consumer lines. The problem that TV companies have faced is the execution of a content-specific platform for the users. They have switched to an IP infrastructure and migrated the content library and applications to the public cloud as well as migrated to the physical data centers. They are also utilizing the board data for decision making and technological usage.

Some of the ways in which the traditional media players can still contest with the technology-oriented platforms are as follows:

Technology-based customer experience

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User satisfaction information can be one of the possible ways to make specific content and the technology has that tool to enhance such experience. The content companies need to engage the consumers in their content to gain maximum popularity. For that, they can use the Artificial Intelligence as well as Virtual Reality to backend Infrastructure. Some of the companies have switched from traditional liner SDI video to IP which has enabled liner television to work a little more like the online world.

Personalized Programming Choices

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There have been ongoing innovations in the field of targeted programming choices where the user-specific content gets materialized. This is a give and takes world where the traditional media players need to give viewers what they want when they want it based on real data. If you know the consumption habit, you will get to know what the consumers want in these times. So, for example, if someone only wants one type of show, you can give that person the option to binge watch that shows and create a personal network beneficial enough for everyone. Personal preferences will have to be taken in cognizance if you must stabilize the network you wanted.

Focus on Advertising Efforts

We often see the online content providers understanding the needs of the consumers even in the field of advertisements and this becomes evident when they prefer user-specific ads too. Changing the value proposition by delivering relevant, less obtrusive ads — in new and creative ways — to a cross-platform audience creates a better experience for the consumer and is far more efficient to your advertisers.

 

Filed under: Agencies,Digital

How Blockchain Can Prove Godly for Media and Entertainment in 2018

Posted January 7, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 8:04 pm

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Blockchain has been a phenomenon ever since its release in other sectors but Media and Entertainment can be one sector where it can transform itself into a cosmic phenomenon. It can prove godly for the sector in various ways. Bitcoin made news in the last month of the year 2017 when the cryptocurrency surged past $10,000 mark to a peak of $20,000. There was the launch of Bitcoin Futures and its acceptance by Australian Stock Exchange for stock settlement made it one of the most sought-after cryptocurrencies in the world. So, it won’t be late or wrong that we see the impact of Bitcoin in the field of Media and Entertainment in the year 2018.

Why Blockchain in Media and Entertainment Sector?

 

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Blockchain has been one of those entities which enable a digital marketplace – both decentralized and tamper-resistant altogether. The transactions are recorded chronologically in a distributed ledger which makes it transparent to the users but encrypted so that nobody can change or fake any transaction made on it. ‘Smart Contracts’, which can also be understood as automated transactions through agreed business rules, logic and contract, can also be programmed to make it more connecting. In the Media and Entertainment sector, there is a potential market for Blockchain technologies where participants would benefit from both security and transparency in the field of Payment, funding, monetization and contract enforcement. Let us check out the benefits of the cryptocurrency in the field of Media and Entertainment –

Royalties

It is always a possibility in the Media and Entertainment sector that the producer, distributor, and others do not come to terms as far as the monetary distribution is concerned. Because of sharing and distributions of copies, the music streaming sites and rights holders often struggle to agree on compensation for trillions of song streams leading to legal fights and loss of money. Royalty payment methods can be one of the ways to rectify such mistakes as the Open Music Initiative (OMI) composed of 200 members including Sony Music, Warner, YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify. OMI revealed to CNBC that it is considering Blockchain as a foundational technology. The vision includes a Blockchain-based ledger which contains music assets and their rights holders. Smart contracts can then automate royalty payments based on a song’s consumption including streaming.

Crowdfunding for Creative Productions

Blockchain start-ups across industries marked the uprising in the year 2017 where funding was made through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) which cryptocurrency like bitcoin to crowdfund new ventures. This can be used by creative productions to leverage ICOs for crowdfunding. Many of the funding sites such as Indiegogo launched its own ICO platform. So, these ICOs for films and other creative ventures could ramp up in 2018, contingent on how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) applies and imposes securities laws to ICOs.

Digital Advertisement

In the partnership with Nasdaq, NYIAX has recently launched a Blockchain-based ad exchange platform which allows the publishers and advertisers to efficiently trade advertising contracts. Richard Bush, Chief Product and Technology Officer states ‘With Valuable experience in capital markets, NYIAX has a long-term vision to create a more financially rigorous model leveraging fin-tech best practices with advertisement and media.’

 

 

 

 

Media and Entertainment Stock 2017: Amazon, Netflix Biggest Winners

Posted January 2, 2018 by Abhishek Pandey @ 2:15 am

The Media and Entertainment Stock for the year 2017 has spoken the minds of the market and its astonishing as to how the stocks have performed over the year. As it shows the traditional media conglomerates can’t even match the momentum which has gotten behind the technologically sound and craftily managed digital media sources such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and others. These companies have a stronghold driving into the content production and distribution fields. The big winners in the Media and Entertainment Stock for the year 2017 have been Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google and that’s not surprising as well because these tech giants and conglomerates have completely overturned the Media industry in the recent years. Netflix emerged as the biggest winners of all but Amazon has not been far behind in the race for stocks.

Who was the winner?

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Netflix was the clear-cut winner and remained a darling of the industry in the year 2017 with a huge surge in its global subscriber base. Its closing price on January 3 was $127.49 billion with its shares tearing into the rooftops. Amazon was closer to its media revenue generation and was an instant hit in the Asian Countries as well.

Disney has once again the highest share price amongst all with a big margin over the Hollywood studio conglomerates. But the mighty owner of Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm, ESPN, and ABC has been battling high expectations and nervousness about a changing business climate and one that goes beyond the traditional media into a more sophisticated digital media genre as well. The stock in this sector gained 3.2% this year after a flat performance in the year 2016.

21st Century Fox, due to its surprised acquisition by Disney, delivered double-digit gains due to inflationary effect of the acquisition. Sinclair Broadcast Group and Scripps Networks Interactive have also closed out the year with a double-digit bounce on the heels of M&A activity. On the other hand, Comcast which had a shoddy 2017 weathered the storm around the year into its core business such as cable and broadband service and NBC Universal’s content operations. It could then make a 16% gain without any big transactions.

Discovery, the buyer of the Scripps Networks, had the worst of all the year among all the media conglomerates and it dropped with an 18% drop. Concerns about the fate of its pure-play cable programming operations, as consumers embrace lower-cost streaming and skinny bundle options, have been a dark cloud over the shares. John Malone, one the long time’s investor Discovery shelled out more than $6.5 million to scoop up more shares. He thus demonstrated his faith in the company and there is more than one way in which he expects the shares to cut roof.

AMC Networks has been facing the similar conundrum about the investor problems in the same way as Discovery. But the home of ‘The Walking Dead’ managed a slight gain for the year making a big improvement over 2016’s 30% plunge.

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AT&T, CBS Corporations, and Time Warner were all down to a single digit while Time Warner and CBS were the top two gainers in the Big Media in the year 2016. AT&T has been handicapped by the uncertainty surrounding its core wireless business and the effort to scoop up Time Warner following the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block the union. Viacom too had a long year after a whirlwind of restructuring to do under the new CEO Bob Bakish. The company was rocked in the year 2016 due to corporate warfare between Sumner Redstone and former CEO Phillippe Dauman. Viacom did see a late-year bounce on the speculation about Media M&A heating up in the wake of the Disney-Fox merger.

 

 

 

Age Specific Job Ad Target: How It Provokes Age Discrimination?

Posted December 25, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 6:37 pm

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British Companies were accused of provoking age-based discrimination through their job advertisement on Facebook which allows them to relay older candidates from seeing the job postings. The advertisement and the publishers were heavily criticized for gestures termed as targeted or class action and are not viable for a society. Shell, a UK based Petroleum company, ran a Facebook advertisement calling for job seekers to be part of a better future restricting the age of candidates who can see those. While it can be completely understood as the needs of longer-termed employees for the company, it received flak for denying opportunities to older age people. The firm had used Facebook targeted-advertisement tool to ensure that only those in the age bracket of 18-35 should see the sponsored post in their feed. This led to a widespread criticism involving Facebook too. Sunday Times found more than three similar companies including the Retirement Firm, who had set age limits on their Facebook posts to restrict who could see their ads.

How Has It Breached The Legal Parameters?

After the Sunday Times posted such article, some of the experts raised the question of whether it is fair for the employers to target specific age groups for job ads especially at a time when the older people have been finding it hard to get the job. The question also included Facebook if it should have made such a tool to exclude a specific age group while posting an advertisement. Some experts in the legal field also asked if the age-targeted job ads are in compliance with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which forbids prejudice against people aged 40 or older in employment or hiring situations.

What does Facebook have to say about it?

Facebook, which has been widely criticized on many occasions this entire month, let out a defense statement which read, ‘Used responsibly, age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice that helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work’. The company did also mention that it has been protected by the Communications Decency Act.

LinkedIn also clarified on the issue saying that it now has a self-certification step in its tools which requires the employers to declare that they will not discriminate based on age if they are creating job ads while Google said it will still permit the practice

Who were the defaulters?

Apart from Shell, three other firms were found to have been using the similar practice of barring a certain section of people from receiving the job ads. HubPost targeted people with age group between 27 to 40 years and it did come out with an apology statement right after the criticism went viral. It labeled the ads as a mistake for using the Facebook’s age targeting feature for a job advertisement.

Ellie Bothello, HubSpot Spokeswomen, in an interview to BostInno said that the job listing was posted on various sites including the company’s website and that it was one of the several paid experiments the company ran between October and November. ‘Use of the targeted age range selection on the Facebook ad was frankly a mistake on our part given our lack of experience using that platform for job postings and not a feature we will use again’, she added.

Filed under: Advertising,Agencies

Relations Between Agency and Marketer Depends on Trust

Posted August 23, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:12 am

Agencies and marketers should rebuild fractured relations, continue partner on industry initiatives and keep open the lines of communication

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Agencies work for marketers and every brand has its horizon of work. As the marketer or brand has the responsibility to develop a product, they lend emphasis on product development rather than on the creative visual communication needed for marketing or selling of the product. That’s a full-time job done by ad agency professionals and it’s just not the core competence of the marketer. At the same time, it’s a critical part of the marketing exercise and so a lot depends on how well the brand marketer and the ad agency is able to sync and coordinate on a common strategy to implement the ideas generated by the ad agency. Here it boils down to ‘trust,’ which is a very big factor between the brand and the agency.

As far as the brand marketer is concerned, it is absolutely essential to treat the ad agency as a partner and not just as a vendor that will work according to the brief. Here it’s important to understand what exactly is the ‘brief’ – it is actually the guideline that the brand marketer provides to the client about the strategy to be followed. It is for the brand to understand why it has hired an ad agency to work on its creative communications and leave the arena free for the agency to come up with interesting ideas based on the strategy that has been outlined.

On the part of the ad agency, it is important that it should not step into uncharted territory by raising questions about the brand’s product offering. The agency’s job is find the best and most interesting way to communicate the benefits of the brand’s product. It should not exceed the brief or try to get involved with product development. Of course, these are not hard and fast line that either the brand or the agency doesn’t ever cross, but these are always exceptions and not the rule. That’s why in cases of misunderstanding or any gap in communication between the brand and the agency, there should be CBMs (confidence building mechanisms) available to handle crises.

Filed under: Agencies

Brand Union CEO Toby Southgate Quits to Join McCann

Posted July 27, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:54 am

Southgate’s new role at McCann will be that of global chief growth officer who will operate across the IPG network

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Toby Southgate, who was the youngest ever CEO of WPP branding agency Brand Union, has joined McCann Worldgroup in the capacity of global chief growth officer. He quit Brand Union a couple of months back and now at McCann his area of focus will be to boost on new business efforts, and strengthen the agency’s relationships with existing clients and work on developing partnerships globally with all the agencies across McCann’s network. Southgate has replaced Alex Lubar, who was McCann’s global chief marketing officer till about the end of 2015 before moving to the agency’s London office as CEO.

Southgate, who is a native of the UK, had joined Brand Union in 2007 and worked his way up within the agency’s network. He had been the managing director in its Abu Dhabi office and headed its operations in the UK and Ireland before becoming CEO of the Americas. Thereafter he was made head of the agency’s global operations in 2015 and during this time, he handled accounts like Bank of America, HSBC, Sony and Vodafone among many other global giants. Chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup, Harris Diamond, said, “What makes Toby so effective in business development is that he relishes the complexity of brand challenges in today’s complex business environment and he knows how to harness resources to create innovative multiplatform solutions for clients.”

For his part, Southgate said, “Three things have made me hungry for this role: a magnetic culture, world-class people, and a relentless, unifying focus on doing great work for great clients. For a 100+ year-old business to sit at the cutting edge of our industry is something special. I’m excited to get to work helping clients do more with their businesses and brands.”

Filed under: Agencies

Hackers Paralyze WPP, the Largest Ad Agency in the World

Posted June 29, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:26 am

WPP workers using Windows operating systems were badly affected by the attack while those using Mac systems were unaffected

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Many of the WPP agencies like JWT, Y&R, MediaCom and GroupM among others have been affected by the worldwide cyber attack, called Petya on 27 June 2017. A press release from WPP on the day of the attack said, “We are working with our IT partners and law enforcement agencies to take all appropriate precautionary measures, restore services where they have been disrupted, and keep the impact on clients, partners and our people to a minimum. Having taken steps to contain the attack, the priority now is to return to normal operations as soon as possible while protecting our systems. Our operations have not been uniformly affected, and issues are being addressed on a company-by-company basis. Many of our businesses are experiencing no or minimal disruption. We will provide further updates as the situation develops.”

Interestingly, Petya could not penetrate Mac computers even though it played havoc with PCs running on Windows operating systems. An intra group email alert sent out to all employees of all the WPP group agencies had asked employees to immediately shut down all PC running on Windows, till further notice. An internal memo attributed to WPP chairman, Martin Sorrell, said, “Many of you will have experienced significant disruption to your work. However, contrary to some press reports, WPP and its companies are still very much open for business. We are a group packed full of highly creative, ingenious and dedicated people. I urge you all to put those qualities to use in making sure that what our clients experience in the hours and days ahead is as close to business as usual as we can possibly manage.”

Is this attack a variation on the ‘Wanna cry’ attack that happened last month? Many experts and analysts now believe that the Petya attack is, in fact, a variation of Wanna Cry, which also targeted Windows systems and demanded ransom in bitcoin payment. Although Microsoft developed a series of “patches” in March, both the Wanna Cry attack and Petya cause a lot of damage to numerous businesses and departments of government bodies. “Enterprises are clearly not prioritizing patches effectively. While some organizations may have situations where they are unable to patch, that excuse doesn’t scale when you get a worm causing damage on this level,” says Josh Zelonis, senior analyst at Forrester Researcher.

Filed under: Agencies

Marketers Use Identity Mapping to Reach Customers with Offers They can’t Refuse Off-hand

Posted June 7, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:02 am

Narrowing down preferences of customers through identity mapping helps drive customer relationships at scales never known before

Marketers Use Identity Mapping

For brands and agencies that want to deliver and operate a truly customer-focused business model, the personalized experiences of customers can be a much-needed resource. The key to this resource is what has come to be known as identity mapping, which not only connects the dots across screens but also offers a better understanding of the needs, desires and actions of customers. Such marketing that is focused on people’s needs can happen anywhere, and not remain confined to a particular geography or niche.

So what makes identity solutions so important for marketers? To begin with, customers interact and transact with brands in more ways and across multiple places than ever before. The same customers could be found using different devices and it’s a challenge to avoid duplicating messages to these customers across devices. Finally, a growing number of customers today are not obsessed with brands and don’t show the kind of loyalty toward brands as before; instead they are showing an increasing preference for personalized services. In other words, they have redefined the typically held views about value for money.

Now, where does identity mapping come here? Merely gathering all of the data from the different points of interaction with customers isn’t enough as it just offers data from all interactions and transactions with those customers. This is where identity mapping becomes critical because it allows marketers to identify customers as individuals and not just the device they use. The process begins with a persistent identifier that is created on the basis of the data at hand. When this persistent identifier is used to map customers to second and third-party data, a much more vivid, actionable picture of the customers emerges. This is what empowers the marketer to engage customers, one-on-one, via people-based marketing, narrowing it down to the customer’s preferences in ways that were never tried before.

Filed under: Agencies
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