Lessons from an Internationalist Think Tank

December 4, 2018

By Emily Apisa

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On November 2, The Internationalist, a resource for global marketing, advertising, and media professionals, hosted a Think Tank where industry leaders shared perspectives on the conflict and communion of data, privacy, and marketing strategy. Data is central to business decision-making, and it allows brands to create personalized brand experiences that consumers have come to expect. As increasing amounts of data are collected and analyzed, how can marketers unlock the opportunities and prepare for the challenges that come with being stewards of this precious good?

Global CMO of international retailer JD Sports, Steven White, kicked off the program. He shared how JD Sports uses data to develop a holistic understanding of its customers as shoppers and as people. Using insights derived from data, the brand has delivered musical performances, parties, and fashion show access to its target audience. The data derived from events and in-store experiences is funneled into a single platform, allowing the brand to respond quickly to market changes and enable growth.

Following White's presentation, Tom Denford, CEO of North America at ID Comms, reviewed the roles that trust and transparency play for marketers. Two years have passed since the ANA published a report that confirmed the pervasive nature of non-transparent business practices at media agencies. The industry is still recovering from the disruption it caused, and Denford anticipates another challenging year ahead for the client-agency relationship as trust levels have dropped since 2016. It's essential that marketers demand transparency from their agency partners and take back control of the supply chain, data management, and decision-making.

The Think Tank's final presentation was a panel discussion featuring Julie Chan, the global consumer engagement lead at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare; Erin Bruehl, brand promotions and social media lead at Priceline.com; Stephanie Coruble, managing director at RTL AdConnect; Jennifer Goforth, SVP of Promotion Operations at Scripps; and Richard Jones, CEO of Wayin.

The industry leaders unpacked the intersection of data and privacy as pertains to the advertising industry. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Respect consumers' data privacy. Collecting and analyzing data is an essential part of marketing, but to engender trust with consumers, brands should be transparent about what data is collected, how it's being used, and give consumers the ability to opt-in or opt-out when it comes to sharing their personal information.
  • Democratize data at your organization. To get the most out of your organization's data, it is necessary to tear down data silos. By making data available across the organization, brands can assess what data they have and what they need to do their jobs better.
  • Provide value to collect data. For Priceline.com, collecting email addresses is important for driving consumer engagement. To go beyond requesting email addresses via pop-up windows, the brand created a sweepstakes that required an email address to enter. Consumers were motivated by the chance to win a free trip, and the brand was able to secure additional email addresses. This campaign created a win-win for brand and consumer.
  • Data sits at the center of it all. Marketers are challenged to serve consumers relevant content. To know what content to create, as well as how and when to deliver it, marketers need data. Data is the glue that holds these variables together, and with it, marketers can forge connections between consumers and brands.
  • Organizational alignment matters. Sharing data among internal partners increases organizational integration. The resulting synergy helps the brand deliver an enhanced and seamless customer experience across channels and products.
  • Consider collecting zero-party data. Zero-party data refers to data that is not inferred and is collected directly by brands from individual consumers. This data delves deeper than demographics. It unveils consumer interest, desires, and motivations. Small data and direct consumer connections are the future, and technology can enable personalized brand experiences at scale.

Emily Apisa is a manager of content creation at the ANA.

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