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BizReport : : November 27, 2019

Expert: How 2020 will impact digital campaigns

With Thanksgiving upon us, the countdown is now on for January, updated campaign and marketing strategies, and whatever else the new year brings. Just what might merchants and brands find with the change of the calendar? We asked a digital expert how blockchain might impact marketers in 2020.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: As 2020 approaches, how should brands and marketers be updating their campaign strategies?

Gowthaman 'G'Man' Ragothaman, CEO, Aqilliz: There are two key trends that will influence strategies.

The fragmentation of platforms to reach consumers will continue to rise on the back of new and emerging OTT. A fresh look at the "subscription vs subsidy" model of advertising funding the platforms versus the opportunity to directly reward the consumer for communication is definitely needed.

The second trend is the increasing awareness of safe, secure and consent-driven use of consumer data and the related increase in both the volume and velocity of data. Marketers will need to take a deep and hard look at their data strategy and how they can get a unified view of their consumer at one end and on the other, identify what can be done with data in a more agile way that influences outcomes.

Kristina: We're hearing more and more about the difference in personalization and individualization - what are your thoughts on this?

G'Man: Personalisation is an approach to use a particular consumer's data to give that consumer something back in return as a reward, one that enhances and/or makes the consumers experience better. In my personal view, individualisation takes this one step further where the data is used to prescribe something from a position of authority, where a specific need or want is asked by the consumer. Personalisation can be made serendipitous, whereas individualisation is addressing a particular need, upfront.

Kristina: How important is it for brands to stay true not just to their brand's image but to the wants/needs of their core shoppers?

G'Man: This is extremely important. A brand has a particular personality and stands for certain values that differentiate itself from other competing brands. The needs and wants of the core customers can only be enhanced if there is some consistency in the brand's positioning, otherwise, the brand can quickly degrade itself to a commodity.

Kristina: How can data help brands better engage as we enter 2020?

G'Man: Right now, companies have access to untold amounts of data and overall, the marketing industry, in particular, is still grappling with what can be done with this data. The ideal approach is to test a hypothesis with the data, verify it, and fine-tune it. Secondly, we also need to "cut the junk" from the cacophony of information and make some "music" out of it. We need to create "events" out of the data, that can then be meaningfully attributed to brands sales or growth. These "events" can then help in exchanging value with consumers, in return for the sharing of their information.

Kristina: We started hearing more about blockchain this year - what is happening with blockchain currently?

G'Man: "Is blockchain a solution looking for a problem?" -- you may have heard this oft-quoted question a number of times over the past year. It is sufficient to say that across many industries, we have moved on from the position of identifying specific problems, issues or opportunities that need a solution, to implementing the technology and solving the problems at hand. In this process, we have also identified problems that cannot be solved by blockchain. As we reach the end of 2019, I think there has been a tremendous focus on the areas that blockchain or the wider distributed ledger technology can play a meaningful role, driving both efficiencies and effectiveness.

Kristina: How will this impact 2020 and beyond?

G'Man: 2020 is the year that we will significantly graduate from identifying use cases of blockchain, to providing proof of concepts and delivering business benefits. At Aqilliz, we have identified three core areas where blockchain can help marketers - building trust, providing transparency, and delivering convenience. Blockchain has the potential to become a very valuable facilitator to brands, platforms and the consumers -- this is Aqilliz's core proposition.

Kristina: How might blockchain help brands and marketers improve their transparency?

G'Man: Transparency is a very powerful word. Blockchain is a team sport and cannot improve transparency on its own. It needs willing partners to come on board who have a genuine interest in making this industry a better place. When partners are willing to collaborate, the improvements in campaign metrics are significant. Collaboration helps in managing the campaign in a much more agile way that helps not just brands, but equally the platform and its consumers. In a simple way, there are too many "point solutions" to solve many problems in the AdTech ecosystem today - from audience profiling and discovering the right inventory, to measuring whether an impression is fully viewed or not, and whether the impression appeared at the right place, right time or in the right context -- the technological interventions are endless. These point solutions are now being used as a "post facto" report but unfortunately the system is not able to assemble all the information at the same time in order to reconcile and authenticate that the impression that is truly delivered in the correct way -- blockchain helps in doing this whereby transparency is applied for delivery; not just for reporting.

Tags: advertising, advertising tips, advertising trends, Aqilliz, ecommerce, mobile marketing

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