• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

How Digital & Data Go Hand In Glove

The hyperconnected world we live in is continually exploding with newer platforms and devices, which are further creating newer connections everyday. According to Cisco, on an average, there are 3-4 connected devices per person around the globe today.In the next 5 years, with the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), this number is expected to double.This staggering number of connected devices is going to allow for incredible human experiences through continuous patterns of information sharing.
With programmatic buying and real time bidding (RTB), we find ourselves in a fast paced world with every aspect playing out in real time. From optimising plans to adjusting creatives to improvising offers – everything is in real time, and it is data that is enabling real-time marketing. Unlike for media such as TV and print, where planners are dependant on a few sample-based syndicated research, digital data is based on census-level, actual consumer behaviour. 
To make best use of data, there are certain basics which must be in place:
Collaboration: Newer platforms and technologies are emerging everyday. Consumers lap up anythingthat adds value to their lives -be it a taxi app for convenience,a music app for entertainment or a traffic app for smarter driving decisions.In this fast changing digital landscape, it is important to have the right kind of collaborations in technology and data so that a brand becomes an enabler, a friend even,and not anintruder. There are plenty of free tools, technology providers, 3rd party providers of data, etc - it is absolutely critical to identify the right partners to collaborate with.
Collection :In India, we are yet to start collecting and integrating all digital data in one place. In most cases,different agencies handle display, search and social for the same client.Theremay be a separate performance marketing agency with the website being managed by yet another company or by clients themselves. This leads to data remaining in silos with multiple, narrow stakeholders. Even if a single agency manages the entire gamut of digital services, the right kind of tools and technologies are not being used to integrate data. A very simple start would be to look at display ad serving. Ad serving is a basic mechanism to track a campaignin terms of performers vs non performers, real time optimisation and to gauge campaign performance.
In the absence of ad serving, one has to rely solely on publisher reports which are individual reports that cannot be integrated.The next step would be to integrate campaign data with social and website data on a Data Management Platform (DMP). While the right technologies willcome at a cost, it will definitelylead to better consumer understanding and far better ROI,based on deeper analytics.
Insights: With the lines blurring between the physical and the digital, consumer purchase pathways do not follow always the traditional AIDA model anymore. In the digital world, because it is possible to identify which click led to conversion, a sale or lead is usually attributed to the last click that resulted in the conversion. However, in reality, the discovery of the product or offer would have happened at a different stage altogether.Through appropriate data collection, digital attribution modeling can help identify contribution of each digital channel to conversion and optimisation of these channels can drive better ROI. The wealth of data can also help in better audience segmentation and to deliver more relevant communication to consumers.
The success of Google and Facebook lies in their consumer centricity -  they are using their data assets to deliver incredible consumer experiences.A couple of examples of how basic data has helped in delivering a little surprise to consumers are that of KLM gifting its passengers based on their likes on Facebook and Flipkart gifting its customers with items in their ‘wishlist’ on their website.
We have heard enough about coffee machines that, in the near future, will pre-order to replenish stocks and that IoT will revolutionalise healthcare, shopping and other every day experiences.  The common thread between these myriad advancements lies in their basic requirement of data. Each of these devices will collect consumer behavior data and, based on trends from this data, will prompt a preset action in the form of a message/ alert/ order or others. As part of the marketing fraternity, it is our job to help brands stay connected in this network and thus, deliver memorable consumer experiences.
The author, Geetha Shiv, is National Director - Analytics and Insight at MEC.

Top themes and market attention on: