Commentary

Advertisers Must Learn How To Use Data

The future of brand advertising and targeting resides in data, but too many companies still struggle with learning how to use it. That topic hung like fog over Advertising Week in New York, according to some executives Data and Targeting Insider spoke with.

Most advertisers "understand the potential power, and a very small number are figuring out how to build a group of data scientists and use the latest technologies to drive their business," said Jason Seeba, BloomReach head of marketing and the company's former chief of marketing technologies. "Even at BloomReach, we're really early in the way we use data."

"There's data for data sake, data for reporting, and data that helps to change behavior to help consumers take action," he said. "They are very different. People struggle to determine which is which. Finding those nuggets that change and influence behavior are a huge deal."

IBM seems to have found nuggets in location and weather.

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The Weather Company, an IBM business, develop Watson Ads that integrate cognitive learning into ads that can listen, think and respond, enabling one-to-one communication between brands and consumers.

At Advertising Week, The Weather Company demonstrated its first cognitive ads, as the company prepares to roll out the first campaigns since announcing the project in June.

"We're going into auto and then into insurance and retail," Jeremy Steinberg, Weather Company's global head of sales, told Data and Targeting Insider. "We'll learn with our partners and then scale the platform outside of weather."

The companies will eventually take the technology to display ads on publisher sites, but for now it lives on The Weather Channel mobile app.

In June, The Weather Company announced it had signed on Campbell Soup, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare, and on Tuesday Steinberg said Toyota became the first automaker to take the leap. 

1 comment about "Advertisers Must Learn How To Use Data".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 29, 2016 at 2:38 p.m.

    Laurie, most advertisers in the top 500 or so, served by sophisticated branding agencies as well as professional media buying shops, have a pretty good idea what kinds of consumers buy their brands ( and product categories) and have had such information for many decades. Also, many brands single out subsegments of the product user base to target in their positioning strategies and the way their ads are executed. Here, too, they have a very good idea what they are trying to do.

    Using "data" is nothing new---except among digital media people who seem to think that using "data" is something new. What they are actually talking about is person by person "data" used mainly fo rdigitalĀ  media buying and primarily by attribution-oriented advertisers who, in the main---but not exclusively---are looking for a direct response from each "exposure". In that, more limited sense, using "data", as defined digitally, is certainly a good idea, but it is not the be and end all for all kinds of advertising and all kinds of campaigns.

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