What Is Predictive Modeling -- And Why Should Publishers Take Notice?

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, June 16, 2016
At the recent Modern Marketing Summit, I moderated a panel, "Know Thy Customer: Predictive Modeling And Brands Doing It Right," in front of over 100 attendees in the very cool Altman Building on West 18th Street in Manhattan. I must say, I'm always impressed with how much our industry gets ahead of itself.  

I was lucky it was a smart panel, featuring experts Anthony Iacovone, founder & CEO, AdTheorent; Jackie Mockridge Mattina, vice president/director, strategy & analysis, DigitasLBi; and Will Phung, VP, media, M&C Saatchi Mobile.  They were ready to engage in a deep discussion about the strategy and forthcoming technology bound to change our industry. 

My first question went to the audience: “A show of hands. Who knows what this topic means?”

One hand raised.  

Then I turned it over to the panel to help explain predictive modeling and why it matters.  What are its benefits to media buying and planning?  How can brands/advertisers use this to better inform, engage and delight? (I'm not sure I used the word "delight," but I'm in marketing, so I probably did.)



Here are the big takeaways:

Big data provides more opportunities to understand specific consumers across media: This single view allows for personalization and insights. This understanding, used well, adds value to the individual, marketers, and the media industry.  
-- One may have advertising in view that is really helpful and interesting.
-- One may find convenience in the opportunity to complete previously started videos, forms and articles.  
-- One may not be served things people don't want or need, like heavy files when there's poor connectivity.

Ad creative is a challenge, but advertisers and agencies are figuring out systems to help generate dynamic ad creative to meet one's dynamic needs.

A long way to go, but the future is bright: We're still in the early stages. Smart people and companies, powered by unbelievably rapid technology and machine learning, will help us further understand our customers, as well as serve and engage with them even better.

Serving audiences is a popular topic today. There are well-publicized campaigns from Target and Intel geared to delight customers.  At the Grammy Awards, Target took over an entire TV commercial block (4 minutes) with the first music video ever created on live television featuring singer Gwen Stefani.  Intel did something similar, showing its tech powering a new basketball app during a break in the Golden State Warriors game. 

It makes sense. Consumers tuning in to watch music and basketball probably want to see more music and basketball.  Those brands know their customers!

Now's the time for the rest of us.  Mobile, online and cross media technology is driving individual experiences and advertising in real-time.  The future is bright, and that light is shining right on your customer.

Know them, serve them and they will appreciate you.

Can I get a show of hands who think that's a good idea?

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