The use of big data in advertising is still a relatively new thing, but it is already having an impact on the industry across all sectors and channels – an impact that is only set to increase. The data used to create audiences is coming from a wide range of sources – customer data from previous transactions, information collected from partners, consumers engaging via websites or social media, or from third-party data providers. The key point is this valuable information is opening up new possibilities in hitherto reach-based channels and will drive improved advertising return on investment.
With the right data and analytics in place, big data can be used to take targeting to a higher level. Indeed, the greater the insight, the greater the accuracy. It is with this greater accuracy that brands can more effectively and fruitfully engage with consumers – building relationships with new customers and strengthening those with existing customers.
We can be sure that media owners will seek to drive innovation around the advertising solutions they offer by having more accurate and granular data with which to target audiences. This might be TV channels offering clients the opportunity to target only their own customers or segments of their customer base – imagine a high quality customer retention ad served via TV – or suppressing those for whom the product isn’t right – maybe serving loan or credit offers only to those who can definitely make the monthly payments. Whatever happens, this capability will drive a more sophisticated advertising solution that will add value and will demand new thinking, not only in terms of the solution but also the commercial models.
One burgeoning area from which more and more data is coming from is social media. As we all know, social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have grown tremendously in recent years – with the social giants boasting more than 500 million users and 1.1 billion users respectively. For many consumers, social media has become the home of their media consumption – they see stories, pictures, videos and more (much of which is advertising or sponsored) shared by their social community. As much of the content viewed by consumers is from this trusted and valued source, social has a degree of credibility and reliability other channels struggle to provide.
With this in mind, brands have flocked to social sites, even if some have had more success than others. Not only do social platforms offer brands the opportunity to personally engage with consumers, they also allow them to collect valuable pools of data.
The volume, depth and detail of data available on such platforms is remarkable and just keeps growing as consumers like, share and comment on a wide array of content. The key is for brands to harness this data and use it appropriately to inform future social campaigns.
Of course, to truly make the most of social data and indeed any other data, a holistic approach must be taken. It is vital to share data resources – analytics as well as just the information – so that advertising and marketing teams can understand how the consumer engages with channels in order to serve the most appropriate messages.
Consumers now have very high expectations. They want always-on access to services, mobile access and seamless experiences across channels. So joining up the data should mean that ads and messages are presented to the right audiences in the right channel at the right time.
Producing a coherent cross-channel approach best serves the consumer and the brand. Indeed it helps create the best environment from which consumers can engage with the brand and extend advertising messaging through their own network. Consistency and accuracy sit at the heart of this - and this can only be informed with data.