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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 26, 2018

Expert: How to use data post-GDPR

Just over three months since GDPR went live in Europe, changing how merchants, marketers, and brands collect and use audience data, many are still struggling to manage and implement audience information. One expert offers advice for marketers to improve their cross-device strategy to offer a better customer experience post-GDPR.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: With digital and social channels drawing so much consumer attention, how are brands adapting?

Jim Johnson, Vice President of Account Planning, Exponential: Brands are focusing more on user context and interactions across multiple devices. With social media, ecommerce, traditional brick-and-mortar and mobile devices, etc., brands are equipped with more touchpoints and media channels  than ever to connect with their consumers. More importantly, brands are beginning to think about how users interact on different platforms and devices, and how to best conduct outreach accordingly. For example, integrating a store locator into a mobile video experience for a fast food restaurant is key for ensuring your location is viewable for users at the time they most need it, which is when they are on the go. Understanding that user context and utilizing the best device for the situation allows the brand to connect with consumers where most spontaneous dining decisions are made. Digital video ads are also changing as brands continue to grow with their customer base. Many are moving towards creating custom video experiences with the user's intent and interests in mind.

Kristina: What could they be doing better?

Jim: Video advertising is still largely a vehicle for push messaging, forcing its viewer into an experience without providing the option to opt-out. By utilizing this approach, the effectiveness of the ad is capped since the consumer is not as receptive to the message as they could be if the message was opt-in, data driven and interactive. However, when executed properly, the impact of video advertising is undeniable. There is currently no other widely available medium that offers the mutual benefits for consumers and brands that video can, namely emotional impact, interactive functionality, and storytelling capability. Considering that data-driven targeting, measurability of direct response metrics, and opt-in consumer experiences are now available at scale, video offers the most well-rounded creative format available to advertisers today.

Kristina: We are hearing more about the importance of the customer experience - does "experience" mean a simple checkout process or is it more involved?

Jim: Before the digital age, customer experience was mostly about creating an efficient checkout process. But with the shift to digital, "experience" is more involved - it touches on everything from loyalty programs, to personalized shopping experiences and curated promotions. The importance of customer experience is also key for brands who are constantly developing their customer base. We have more products at our fingertips than ever, and more ways to access them. People don't have to be loyal to a specific brand anymore, instead, they can play the field. For brands, it's about understanding what individuals want at certain times  and catering to those needs with relevant products and solutions

Kristina: What can brands do to ensure they're offering a top-flight experience?

Jim: Invite them into your brand with relevant messaging, but don't force the issue. 30.1% of Internet users currently use an ad blocker of some sort. While this can be for a slew of reasons, the biggest is that ads can be annoying and/or invasive to the user experience. Try testing an engaging, interactive opt-in video format using data to create relevancy, and run it alongside your general pre or mid-roll video messaging. I think you'll discover that your prospective customers appreciate a format that respects their user experience while possibly solving a problem or need they have, moreso than a generic message broadcast to the masses.  

Tags: advertising, advertising data, advertising data strategy, ecommerce, ecommerce strategy, Exponential

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