Describing it as a “game-changer,” Ogilvy Labs today announced a deal to begin using a new mobile-based technology enabling brands to quickly and simply develop incredibly intricate profiles for targeting consumers. The technology, dubbed Autograph, utilizes a simple flashcard-style interface that captures 5,500 attributes about a consumer in about 30 seconds.
The technology, which was developed by Seattle-based nFluence Media, is being introduced as a simple way for consumers to opt into content and brand personalization, and merely requires them to swipe “yes” or “no” in response to a series of brand logos.
“Actually, it takes only 26 seconds on average,” says nFluence CEO Henry Lawson, about the interaction time required to complete the consumer profiling process. Once that data is captured, Lawson says, the autograph profiles can be used to target consumer interests in content and brand messaging with a level of precision he claims Madison Avenue has never seen before.
Lawson, who earlier in his career was a top executive at agency data processor Donovan Data Systems, says the real breakthrough of Autograph isn’t time-saving, per se, but its ability to help agencies and brands understand “when to advertise and when not to advertise.”
In fact, Lawson says, nFluence is building sophisticated modeling systems to predict the “yield curve” of exposing an ad to various types of consumers, and the ultimate goal is to ensure that only the “right ads are delivered to the right consumers at the right time.”
Importantly, the process is 100% opt-in, and is privacy compliant, and is generally used as part of a mobile phone interface when users are registering their phones and/or setting up personalization features. For the consumer, the process is a time-saving way to personalize the content that is targeted at them. For the brands, it is a detailed view into a consumer's personal attributes that can be used to target them more effectively and efficiently.
To date, nFluence has beta tested the technology with two major brands, an undisclosed U.K.-based wireless phone brand, and U.S.-based Westfield Malls, which is using the personalized data profiles to help navigate consumers through its shopping centers, including when to make specific offers and promotions about brands that are explicitly relevant to them.
“Its ability to nudge people into communicating 5,500 clear interest signals, by way of an intelligent and personal mobile environment, will radically change the economics of mobile advertising,” states Nicole Yershon, director of innovative solutions at Ogilvy & Mather, which identified the Autograph technology as part of Ogilvy Labs’ biannual “Semesters of Learning” research and development initiative to utilize social science to “change people’s minds and behavior for the better.”