The introduction of GDPR in May 2018 is going to cause a significant shift in how companies carry out personalised marketing.
However, for savvy marketing leaders, it represents an opportunity to significantly improve customer engagement. Those companies who are prepared, are thinking holistically, and who can demonstrate value back to their customers, are well-placed to succeed in this new world.
Restricted use of Personal Data
An increasing number of marketing channels use Personal Data, such as Programmatic Display and Addressable TV (and online identifiers such as cookies will be considered as Personal Data within GDPR). This type of targeted media does not always use personal data which is controlled by the advertiser, but still requires the use of personal data collected by a third party. The new regulations do not solely impose obligations on data controllers but also on data processors i.e. advertisers buying in personal data from a third party.
This means that advertisers will be obliged to apply much greater scrutiny to the way in which the third party has communicated to the consumers whose personal data it is now selling on. There is a real risk that the pool of available third party data will be considerably reduced. All marketing that uses Personal Data (including third party data) should be identified, and then reviewed from the perspective of the customer.
Add Value to Customers
The increased requirements in obtaining consent for the use of personal data to direct marketing activity has the potential to lead to a much lower percentage of customers that can be marketed to. Therefore, marketing content will need to be viewed in a positive enough light by customers that choose to receive it.
In practical terms, GDPR is making us stop and think harder about marcoms, going back to basics and re-evaluating key questions such as ‘do our customers benefit from receiving our marketing?’. If the answer is ‘no’, then this type of marketing activity will no longer be viable in the post GDPR world, as why would any customer actively choose to receive marketing that does not benefit them? If the answer is ‘yes’, then the customer has a reason for choosing to receive marketing, and for many customers it will be in their best interests to do so.
So, in the run up to GDPR, marketers need to think about how their content and communications demonstrate value to customers. Consider the following points:
- Authenticity: marketing must be clear and honest in its purpose. Content should offer customers genuine value. For example, avoid embellishing an offer which sounds good but has lots of restrictions.
- Personalisation: demonstrate to customers that their personal information is being used for their own benefit, by providing tailored content that meets the customer’s needs.
- Creative Execution: try to make the content stand out to ensure it is seen (but not at the expense of authenticity).
- Frequency: as tempting as it might be to push out as much content as possible before GDPR comes into force, this might be counterproductive. Lower frequency but high impact (authentic, personalised and valuable) is the best strategy to influence customers’ perceptions of marketing content.
Think Holistic and Cross Platform
Personalised and direct marketing needs to be viewed as part of a holistic marketing strategy, not just in isolation. Whilst non-personalised marketing such as above-the-line advertising will not be directly affected by GDPR, it still plays a key role in influencing customers’ brand and marketing perceptions. Think about the messages you are putting out in the run-up and around GDPR to help underscore value in the customer’s mind and ensure your cross-channel messages tie up. If direct marketing is not aligned to other marketing content, it will appear inauthentic regardless of the truth of the content.
Whilst it is easy to view GDPR negatively it is, in fact, driving many good practices in marketing and not only in the day-to-day stewardship of personal data itself. A truly customer focused approach to marketing has been an ambition for many companies, and will now become a necessity. By forcing marketers to think hard about how to improve the perception of their marketing amongst their customers, this regulation will help companies become more customer focussed and lead to an improvement in the overall quality of individual marketing.
GDPR AT A GLANCE
What is it?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new EU-wide regulation for personal data that takes effect on 25th May 2018. This regulation will give individuals more control over how their Personal Data is collected, stored, used and deleted. Note that Personal Data includes a wider range of information than PII (Personally Identifiable Information), especially when it comes to online identifiers.
The primary concern for any business should be to be operating legally within the GDPR as soon as the new regulation comes into force, as failure to do so could lead to a heavy fine. Many companies that use personal will have a Data Protection Officer who is responsible for compliance with GDPR (this is a legal requirement for some types of processing activity only). A good starting point for any marketer would be to talk to your organisation’s Data Protection Officer (if you have one).
What this means for marketers
The most important consideration for marketers is that they must have a legal basis for processing personal data. Where they rely on consent as the legal basis the new regulation raises the bar for that consent and it must be “freely given, specific, informed” and signified by an “affirmative action”. This means individuals must actively signal their agreement to the use of their personal data (pre-checked opt-in tick boxes and offering an opt-out tick box for example, are unlikely to satisfy the regulations). It also means that clear, plain English language, must be used to explain what the individual is agreeing to and the specific use cases need to be carefully explained. Furthermore, at the same time as obtaining consent individuals must be told how they can later withdraw their consent at any time.
This will impact any marketing activity that uses personal data, so the largest impact will be on Direct Marketing (both direct mail and email). Online advertising using customer information that falls within the GDPR description of Personal Data, such as programmatic display, will also be affected. Companies must assess in respect of all customers (new and existing) what the legal basis is upon which they rely to validly use their personal information for marketing purposes – to use it without a legal basis will be unlawful.
REGISTER FOR PREMIUM CONTENT AND UPDATES
We are proud to announce Manjiry Tamhane, our Global CEO named as one of the 20 Women in Data & Tech initiative, led by The Female Lead and Women in Data. The initiative showcases inspirational female role models who are helping to transform our world using data and technology.
At the helm of the initiative Edwina Dunn and Payal Jain say ‘For the two of us that share a career in Data Science, we frequently find ourselves the only senior women in a room. We have enjoyed this privilege but are also aware of the lack of balance and diversity, and the impact this has on business decisions and outcomes’.
The purpose behind the Female Lead campaign is to make women’s stories more visible and to provide positive role models for future generations.
With over 20 years’ experience in the marketing effectiveness industry, Manjiry has been integral to Gain Theory’s success since inception. Throughout her career – client side (Penhaligons and Debenhams) and agency (Ohal and Gain Theory) – Manjiry’s guiding principle has been about delivering actionable recommendations that maximize the benefit of marketing investment.
Speaking to The Female Lead in an interview, Manjiry says what she finds satisfying about working in the data and marketing industry is ‘Being able to see data actually drive business decisions that result in a change in the creative output’.
You can watch Manjiry’s interview below.
For more inspirational female role model stories visit The Female Lead website 20 Women in Data & Tech here.
With a global partnership in place between The Marketing Society and Gain Theory, we strive to empower marketers to be braver, bolder, faster and smarter.
The Marketing Society is a global network of senior marketers that aims to inspire bolder marketing amongst their senior client-side marketer membership. Client-side members come from top global and local brands including Diageo, Unilever, Samsung, HSBC, Disney and many more. The Marketing Society and Gain Theory have co-hosted a successful luncheon and dinner this past year where senior marketers gathered to discuss the challenges and pain points they face as well as how to be brave with marketing effectiveness.
With the official US launch approaching, we are kicking it off with an exclusive invitation-only cocktail party on September 26th at The Attic Rooftop Lounge in New York. This event will bring together top CMOs to discover what we have proposed for the future, including a program of world-class events.
In addition, we are co-hosting a Leadership Lunch with Dr. Thomas Graham, senior VP of strategic alliances, partner at Northwell Health and former Chief Innovation Officer, on September 28th. An intimate group of senior CMOs, including HSBC, Samsung and many more, will gather to celebrate our launch, listen to lessons from a renowned surgeon who has lead innovation in the medical field, as well as lessons we can learn as marketers.
If you are a senior client-side marketer and want to attend any of these events, please email Elisa Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gain Theory, the global marketing foresight consultancy, today announced the appointment of Russell Nuzzo as Global Head of Attribution and Marketing Technologies.
Nuzzo will spearhead Gain Theory’s innovation strategy helping clients solve marketing effectiveness challenges by leveraging business intelligence analytics and marketing technologies.
Formerly Head of Digital Analytics Services at GroupM, Nuzzo led the company’s proprietary Attribution solutions. Understanding media drivers at a granular level and informing media investment decisions is central to Nuzzo’s expertise. Nuzzo has delivered Multi Touch Attribution solutions on behalf of brands such as Target, P & G, Volkswagen and Dell.
“Russell is a rare and precious find in the data world,” said Manjiry Tamhane, Global CEO, Gain Theory. “He possesses deep analytics acumen as well as the ability to clearly articulate recommendations and actions that drive business benefit. It’s this unique ability to translate numbers into actionable intelligence that is core to Gain Theory’s offering and invaluable to our clients. We couldn’t be more pleased to have him on board.”
The appointment of Nuzzo is the latest example of Gain Theory’s commitment to building faster, smarter marketing effectiveness solutions that deliver business results.
Nuzzo holds a Masters of Science and Bachelors of Science in Economics from Auburn University. His career has seen him hold multiple senior Analytics roles across Wunderman, RAPP Collins and MediaCom in North America.
“I’m delighted to be joining Gain Theory,” says Nuzzo “Both the team and client base are fantastic and there is huge scope for game-changing analytics.”
London, New York, Shanghai (July 27, 2017) – Gain Theory, the global marketing effectiveness consultancy, is proud to announce a partnership with EffWorks, an initiative that champions accountability in marketing and is committed to promoting a culture of marketing effectiveness from C-Suite, all the way through organizations.
EffWorks, an initiative led by the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising, aims to achieve culture change across the industry and will focus on three key areas:
- Promoting marketing: raise the awareness for robust and consistent measurement to support marketing investment in the short, medium and long term.
- Managing marketing: provide guidelines and best practice on how marketing works. How to develop the best processes for planning and executing marketing programs
- Monitoring marketing: help the industry raise the bar to develop the best models, tools and techniques to plan, monitor, direct and measure the impact of marketing activity.
The initiative is championed by a heavyweight list of client side advisors from brands including Diageo, Jaguar Land Rover and O2 and is supported by various industry associations across US, UK and China including ANA, ISBA and CAA.
As well as taking part in advisory groups to lend an unbiased perspective on marketing measurement, Gain Theory will lead a project, collaborating with the likes of Google, Facebook, L’Oreal, Thinkbox and many more to create a green paper provocation piece around Marketing Measurement Strategies in the Digitized Era which will form the basis of ongoing research to help the clients and industry determine best case studies and ways in which to solve common measurement challenges.
Manjiry Tamhane, Gain Theory’s Global CEO says ‘Championing marketing effectiveness best practice and culture sits at the core of our business. We truly believe that by collaborating with clients, industry bodies and media partners we can unlock the challenges and pain points we hear around marketing effectiveness to enable faster, smarter decision making that positively impacts the bottom line.’
Janet Hull, Director of Marketing Strategy at the IPA, who has spearheaded the project says, “Having Gain Theory on board will lend an unbiased view on marketing measurement from one of the world’s leading marketing foresight consultancies.”
ABOUT GAIN THEORY
Gain Theory is a global marketing foresight consultancy that brings together data, analytics, technology solutions and consumer-insight capabilities. It combines WPP’s intellectual capital in media, marketing, data and technology to create a consultancy that helps brands make smarter, faster, predictive business decisions.
The Gain Theory team is a fusion of 200, world-class creative minds from the data, technology, marketing analytics and effectiveness domains operating out of hubs in New York, London and Bangalore.
Global clients include: Diageo, Target, Unilever, HomeAway, Vodafone and Aldi.
EffWorks is a reservoir of learning, research and debate about marketing effectiveness. It was established in 2016 by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and a host of industry partners. The ambition is to set the agenda for marketing in the digital era, to inform and inspire all stakeholders, and to create culture-change. Truly accountable and effective marketing is a key agent of business transformation and growth.
Effectiveness Week 2017 is sponsored by Facebook, Gain Theory, Google, Newsworks, Royal Mail, System 1 and Thinkbox.
For more information on Effectiveness Week 2017 and to book tickets visit http://effworks.co.uk/.
Through Q1 2017, the major talking point in marketing, especially in the U.S. and U.K., was brand safety. This is a challenge which has existed for years, but two events caused a brighter light to be shone on the issue.
First, Marc Pritchard of P&G called for more transparency in media buying, honestly admitting that he did not know where and how some of his advertising was being used. Second, a front page on the Times, a U.K. newspaper, revealed that some of Britain’s top brands were being seen alongside unsafe often highly explicit and violent content, setting off a chain reaction of brands boycotting platforms like YouTube.
Since then, as we would expect from marketers, there has been a lot of chatter. But is online brand safety the only issue here?
The short answer is no. The main issues in digital marketing are still viewability, robots and bad measurement, all of which have their roots in short-termism. Here’s why:
Let’s consider, for a moment, the type of people who would be consuming unsafe content for brands. There’s an argument that frequent viewers of this kind of stuff are beyond reproach to start with; if they already have such a low opinion of themselves, then who really cares what they think about a Jaguar XJ or Head and Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo?
However, what is true is that this advertising is wasted, because if you think they’re contemptible enough to not care for their opinion, then you shouldn’t be advertising to them in the first place.
So this media buying goes into the waste basket, alongside non- or barely-viewed videos or display ads.
As an aside, let’s take a second example. Let’s say a German discounter takes out a full-page ad in a leading right-wing tabloid newspaper, which goes directly opposite a Brexit polemic. Suddenly, a 2 million-strong group of people will associate, consciously or unconsciously, this company which is not from Britain with the very closed-ranks Britishness of the Brexit tribe.
Which is more damaging to a brand? Two million people or a single loser?
But what does this have to do with short-termism? Short term KPIs, such as conversions, or clicks, or impressions or reach, can easily, and badly, be achieved with a spray and pray approach. This kind of approach often results in low levels of viewability and an unsafe environment — making it tricky to deal with.
A lot of companies use white or black lists — the difference being that white lists aggregate sites on which you can advertise; blacklists, conversely, identify which sites should be avoided. The challenge for blacklists is that bad sites continue to proliferate and, for whitelists, there will be some sites previously labeled safe which suddenly become unsafe due to some regretful content. Keeping both lists up to date can be a Sisyphean task.
And even if the buying is against a specific audience, be it demographic or behavioral, showing no care for which sites the content ends up on, or where on that site it exists (i.e. if it’s viewable or not), is going to get you into trouble.
The bigger picture
This is why brands should focus beyond short-term, easily measurable metrics, and into the complex but ultimately more rewarding world of long-term payback. Remember, not everything that can be counted counts.
The best brands are those which are salient, different, and meaningful; the best brands outperform the market. No brands achieved salience, difference or meaning by having un-viewed or bot-viewed advertising, or by being in unsafe environments.
The real concern for advertisers should be about how to change hearts and minds of consumers by telling a great story to the right audience. Brand safety is only one part of the puzzle, and when advertisers are trying to measure payback, they need to look at the whole picture.
Read the original article here.
Predicting the future requires understanding the recent past.
The world changes in an instant. Just a few months ago, political experts confidently explained why Donald Trump could never win the Republican nomination; now he is president.
Many marketers are equally challenged at making predictions. They approach data analysis and predictive metrics under the same general assumption that the world will remain fairly static.
Brands put past campaigns under the microscope, assess what did and didn’t work during an activation. Essentially, they look in the rearview mirror and apply that knowledge to the road ahead. It’s a disaster waiting to happen for business planning just as it is on the open road.
We live in a world where anything from the economy to a tweet can shift our priorities and behaviors. Data that was valuable months ago are far less significant today and essentially useless tomorrow. Hidden within the firehose of data are the metrics that matter: leading indicators that are most predictive of future business outcomes.
These insights are truly crystal balls providing a clearer picture of how various marketing initiatives will perform against a brand’s business objectives. More importantly, these metrics can be re-aligned as the world changes, providing early warnings if a planned media activation will no longer achieve its intended goal. Ultimately, they can be used to optimize marketing expenditure and mix to maximize the likelihood of success.
But how do marketers pan for gold in a never-ending stream of data? How can they know what matters now let alone next quarter? Typically, marketers have made the mistake of turning to market mix models, using advanced statistical techniques to relate movements in key explanatory variables like price or advertising to a business outcome. This technique is great for establishing an ROI for each media channel and can be of use for media planning and phasing. However, it can be slow and cumbersome to build and implement and, most importantly, generates results by looking at historical data, often the past three years—a pivotal mistake if you want to foresee future trends.
Key Lead Indicators
While marketing mix modeling will continue to be an important tool, marketers should supplement this work by identifying key lead indicators through advanced analytics. Key lead indicators are the set of recent factors most strongly correlated with future business performance.
The technique has been successfully applied to highly seasonal businesses, discrete sales events and new product launches. Take, for example, retailers who have periods of peak demand: Mother’s Day, back-to-school season, Halloween, Christmas, etc. Marketers might find that 20 weeks out from the event, the lead indicators that are best correlated with success are fairly general, such as the general state of the economy, consumer purchasing power within the target segment, confidence and usually unaided awareness.
As we get closer to the launch date, from four weeks out, things start to get a lot more specific. Unaided awareness will still feature, but we’re also looking at data from Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, time spent on website, depth of website visit and so on. Things are now more specific as consumers have already decided they will spend; now they are deciding where.
Using retail as an example, Pinterest provides an example of a strong leading indicator. The number of pins begins to increase steadily long in advance of the event as users are posting pictures, discussing within their social network and generally becoming engaged with the event.
There are three important things to note with the leading indicators approach.
1. It’s not a forecast: Rather, it is a course correction framework that lets us know the probability of hitting key business targets and, critically, what to do if the probability is low.
2. It shows correlation, not causation: Rather than being direct cause and effect, the lead indicators should be thought of as indicators of customer engagement, which itself is indicative of future success.
3. There’s no one set of indicators: Lead Indicators vary by vertical, brand and across time.
Predicting the future requires understanding the recent past. What happened a year or three ago will not only fail to accurately predict the future but may lead you down the wrong path. Marketers need to look at the leading indicators around them every day to find their crystal balls, rather than trying to drive their business full force ahead with their eyes firmly planted on the rearview mirror.
Read the original article here.
We all thought Google had injured paid search as we know it.
The company rolled out significant changes to its desktop Search Engine Results Page (SERP) layout last year. Essentially, it removed the sidebar of paid search results to the right of the page, leaving paid search with up to four ads at the top and three new added ads at the bottom of the page, leaving organic search sandwiched in the middle.
The sidebar change caused much panic among search marketers, who anticipated an increase in costs due to the reduced inventory, but some months in, there seems to have been minimal impact in cost. However, there is a casualty: paid search’s overlooked counterpart, Organic Search (SEO). Now pushed further down the page, reduced and generally maligned, it’s caught between two big paid search slices.
The SERP changes were followed by the arrival of extended text ads, arguably the most significant change in many years, which gave advertisers double the characters available. It was designed for mobile experience and the name of the game is now making sure you are taking better advantage of the longer ads than your competitors. This often means knowing when not to use them, but generally speaking, more text should equal more information to searchers, more pertinent responders and thus better Click Through Rates (CTRs) and conversions.
The quest to improve paid search has diminished the real estate for organic search results. And there is a less noticeable consequence: as traffic through free Organic Search decreases and is replaced by traffic through paid ads, there is actually a decrease in the incremental impact of Paid Search.
What do I mean by this? Paid Search incrementally is the proportion of visits to a site, coming through the paid search channel, which disappears if the search ad doesn’t run. Incrementality excludes visits coming from alternative channels. A large factor in incrementality is the likelihood of getting to a site in the absence of a paid ad.
Every action that Google takes to expand Paid moves traffic away from Organic. This is a zero sum game for visits: the same number of people are making searches, arriving at the SERP, but are ever more likely to click a paid ad. Marketers are paying for a proportion of clicks that would have come anyway via organic. Paid Search is cannibalizing clicks from Organic Search.
This cannibalization has always been happening, but it is a growing and becoming a bigger problem for the advertiser. Google has addressed this by suggesting the cannibalization is small. It calculates that only 8 percent of paid ads have an associated organic ad on same page, but that still doesn’t address a number of key issues.
Firstly, the scope for direct cannibalization may be smaller across all paid ads but it will be larger for the bigger brands that have a strong organic ranking. Secondly, it does not take into account indirect cannibalization. Paid search is usurping more traffic from Organic on the whole.
At the individual advertiser and SERP level, one brand’s PPC ad is stealing clicks from another brand’s Organic ad, whose own PPC ad is stealing from yet another’s SEO. There are winners and losers, but indirect cannibalization is difficult to quantify. One thing for sure is Paid is improving at the cost to Organic and delivers “less bang for your buck.”
Search can be a zero-sum game. The silent decline of SEO is matched by an increase of Search Engine Marketing. It’s generating a revenue boost for Google, but at the expense of everyone else. The more paid search, the more advertisers will pay for what was once free.
Article originally published by Campaign here
We are proud to announce that the Gain Theory team in India scooped the Best Omnichannel Customer Experience Initiative at the Customer Experience Awards for ongoing services delivered to Nestlé, India.
The awards, now in their tenth year and part of the Customer Engagement Summit in Mumbai, honour the highest level of achievement in customer experience across the Indian community and pay tribute to organizations that lead the way in providing best-in-class customer service.
Winning this award validates Gain Theory’s outstanding delivery to create a world class consumer engagement services model for Nestlé.
In the digital age, the ever-evolving world of consumer services either makes or breaks the way in which an organisation is perceived – all it takes is one tweet or a Facebook post for a trivial issue to be blown out of proportion. The Gain Theory Customer Engagement Services (CES) team for Nestlé India ensured customer service is approached holistically with the help of our multi-channel engagement process.
The Approach: Enhancing Consumer Experience 24/7
The number of consumer contacts received at the CES centre has increased almost three-fold. The goal for Nestlé India was to produce a multi-channel always-on engagement strategy that could successfully handle consumer complaints and queries received at the centre.
With this goal in mind, a three-step strategy was created:
- Cross platform consumer engagement (social to ‘traditional’ and vice versa)
- Personalising the experience
- Keeping consumers involved in the engagement journey
Execution of this three-step strategy was enabled via the help of our cross-platform engagement process. When a query or complaint is received it is approached with a 360-degree perspective – the communication medium is made irrelevant and consumer experience is given the highest priority. A complaint received on Facebook, for instance, is immediately picked up by our social media team, the consumer is contacted directly to get a better understanding of the complaint and a resolution is provided in the shortest possible time.
During the engagement journey at the CES centre, a consumer is kept involved in the resolution process. From the moment a complaint is registered until it is resolved, all concerned stake holders are kept updated every step of the way.
At Nestlé’s CES centre in India, Gain Theory has consistently set industry standards for others to follow. Customers now determine the experience they want and expect companies to deliver it. Our trail blazing approach to consumer engagement has not only delivered beyond these expectations but also made competitors stop and do a bit of course correction. Our approach has resulted in:
- Leaving consumers feeling pleasantly surprised off the back of real time responses to positive and negative queries on social media
- Helping Nestlé India earn the trust of the consumer
- Helping to create a positive outlook about Nestlé and give consumers the confidence to register a complaint with the guarantee of a resolution to a query or complaint.
- Developed a positive environment not only for the consumers but also the employees, who take pride in resolving consumer concerns.
The awards and accolades have further strengthened Gain Theory’s resolve to provide best-in-class consumer engagement.
To read excerpts from the interview with Mr. Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, Head of Communications, Nestlé South Asia Region, published in afaqs! click here
AI and voice recognition promise to accelerate consumer adoption of smart devices, writes the global CEO of Gain Theory.
Last year, CES was most aptly described as more of an evolution than revolution. The reverse is true in 2017. This year’s event was a complete game-changer. Behind the high-profile, attention-grabbing gadgets is a very clear commentary on how voice recognition, artificial intelligence and smart technology have combined to irrevocably change the relationship between brand and consumer for the better.
“Smart” was the prevailing theme at this year’s event—and I saw (and heard) it everywhere. From lightbulbs to toasters and TVs to vacuum cleaners, the devices on display didn’t just “do”—they thought. Smart devices themselves are not the real game changers here. It is AI and, in particular, voice recognition, which promise to accelerate consumer adoption.
Relevance, ease-of-use and trust have all been barriers to consumer adoption and, until recently, many smart devices were controlled by a smart phone. The ability to turn lights on and off via a smartphone has been around for some time but not necessarily widely adopted. Frankly, why get off the sofa to grab your smart phone to turn off the lights when there’s minimal additional effort to simply walk over to the light switch? Voice recognition was the crucial missing component—and it was all over CES.
So it wasn’t surprising that Amazon’s Alexa stole the show.
Next generation smarter devices
With seven microphones embedded into the Echo device and machine learning at scale with automated speech recognition, Alexa’s response is almost instantaneous in helping to control lights, thermostats, door locks, sprinkler systems and even order an Uber at the command of voice. Amazon has opened up Alexa for integration using a free API and, according to GeekWire, Alexa now has over 7,000 “skills” (Amazon’s word for integrations) from just a 1,000 in June 2016. With reportedly 5 million units of Echo sold to date and fast growing integration of Alexa with other devices, the ease of use and relevance of smart devices is likely to accelerate consumer adoption with some predicting that 2017 will be the year smart home goes mainstream.
On another front, traditionally non-tech brands are moving into the smart device market, partnering with tech creators to fashion an array of new products. For example, Hair Coach, the world’s first smart hairbrush, is a collaboration between Kérastase (part of the L’Oréal Group) and Withings, who bring sensor technology and app connectivity to everyday products. The brush has microphones that pick up on various audible cues on the state of your hair and shares its data via a mobile app.
There were also a multitude of toys and educational devices for children. Fisher Price announced its intent to launch a high-tech exercise bike for toddlers and Lego announced a robot-making toolkit for kids. Lego’s “Boost” toolkit enables children ages seven and up learn to code and build robots, bringing their creations to life by adding movement, sound and personality.
Manufacturers as maintenance managers
Until recently, retailers held the keys to unlocking direct conversations with consumers. Having a detailed understanding of customers purchasing habits and demographics have helped them to communicate one-on-one with consumers, build strong relationships and increase future sales.
Manufacturers, on the other hand, have remained relatively in the dark beyond the number of units distributed, relying on third parties to help inform them of the end sales volumes, pricing and demographics of customers. The advent of smart technology has the potential to change that by enabling the manufacturer to gain a deep understanding of customer behaviour after the product has been purchased (assuming the customer grants permission). Smart fridges will automatically reorder items when they run out. Automotive manufacturers will know when your journey cannot be completed with your current fuel levels and alert you when driving to your nearest/most convenient/cheapest gas station.
Implications to marketers
Smart devices with voice recognition and AI will not just dramatically change the way in which consumers interact with computers, but also the way in which brands market to and build relationships with consumers due to the vast increase in data and resulting insights.
Retailers of consumer electronics, manufacturers, energy providers, telco operators and others will have a real opportunity to build even stronger relationships with customers by helping them to navigate the smart home. Joining up all the devices, ensuring strong security, diagnosing and solving problems for consumers as they integrate new technology as well as providing on-going subscription based support will strengthen brand relationships if done at a level that results in surprise and delight.
Machine learning, the ability to process data at scale and make intelligent decisions and recommendations in real-time will require a different approach to marketing in the future.
On its 50th anniversary, CES has indeed (re)found its voice and it’s clear that there’s a major step change in the technology we interact with every day, with voice recognition likely to be the biggest revolution in our lives since the smart phone.
—Manjiry Tamhane is the global CEO of Gain Theory.
Article originally published by Campaign US here