IAB Annual Leadership: Big Data Big Ideas

This week I am at the IAB Annual leadership meeting where advertisers and publishers meet every year to further the vision of a creative, innovative and brand focused industry. I will start start with the feature presentation on big data by Jim Speros of Fidelity Investments

The opening story about big data started with this "data" quote: 9 of 10 people think of sex while jogging. 1 of 10 people think of jogging while having sex.

He then showed a series of commercials from ATT in the 80s "you will". The capabilities promised in the commercial did not yet exist but the became technologies now known as Skype, ezpass, touch screens. The common backdrop to all these technologies is the new wealth of information and data they provide us with.

The explain the complexity behind big data Jim shared the enormity of big data challenges one needs to understand the scale that Fidelity operates on.
Volume - 17m customers
Variety - social and moile channels, voice recordings, imaged documents and web interactions

Big data allows more precise targeting (who), more relevant messaging (what), more timely segmented messages (when) and pinpoint people by location (where) all to deliver more efficiency (why). Those are the basic five whys of marketing.

"Data is becoming as important as raw materials"
Turning mountains of data into insights allows companies to respond quickly and turn opportunities into profitability. Fidelity produced a compelling video about the relevance and importance of data. How data analysis helps answering questions about pricing, opportunity and predictive analysis. The video was part of a fidelity digital campaign.

Target has been cited is as one of the great big data companies. Target would like to identify a pregnant woman and get her into the store to become a customer for life. Using their guest ID, 3rd party data, analytics and analysis - if you bought soap, cotton balls, hand sanitizer, unscented lotion and vitamin - you are probably pregnant. And they beging efforts to recruit you into their store.

Simply collecting data is not an end onto itself. Data hoarding without knowing what to do with it results in chaos. Clarifty is the result of making data accessible and easy to digest.

The issues are:

Lack of analytical capabilities - not enough analytics inside the company who can connect the dots together. McKinsey noted we will need another 190k people who are data savvy and 1.5M managers who are data literate.

Siloed systems/no data management platforms - most companies have system that grew up in stovepipes and do not conenct together. To harness the power of big data you need to have systems that work horizontally (calls centers, marketing, etc)

Access to data - there is a training regiment that needs to be put in place to teach how to use data once it is collected

Privacy - Big data is the electronic microscope of the 21st century. It allows to peek into consumer patterns and behaviors. There is a responsibility that comes with this capability to prevent a tremendous backlash if we dont protect consumer privacy

Difficulty keeping pace - new technology, media and services are all shouting for our attention as leaders. You need to become a student of the industry to build critical understanding and rely on other people as well.

Lack of alignment within organizations

Too much data - we have far too much data to deal with. Fortune cited last year that from the beginning of time to 2003 we collected 5M Gb of data. In 2013 we will generate that much data every 10 minutes. The ability to absorb that much data is critical moving forward.

What happens when most companies learn to harness big data and the playing field is leveled?

What are the roles of brands?

A brand is a trustmark and the most important asset with the consumer.

A brand is a prmoise to deliver a set of qualities

A brand is a relationship (think of smartphone and android products) - people are loyal to their products and develop a deal relationship with them

A brand is a desire

Advocacy is an important part of our world today. When people love our products so much they become advocates for it

It is as important to keep customers loyal as it is to gain new customers

The power of emotion in the context of big data

Fidelity is running a phenomenal campaign. They have a video of a 90 year old woman telling a 5 minute story about how she saved money in a jar to jump out of an airplane. The spot is all about what retirement CAN BE if you save for it:

Fidelity personal economy (fiedlity.com/personalEconomy)

Fidelity uses data very intensively but the most important use of this data is finding ways to make emotional connections with their customers. That is the basis for an enduring long term relationship with your brand

Key take-aways:

- Friend your CIO
Embrace data and analytics as much as creative
Brands built on deep human insight provide during relationships that transcend transactions

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