CIOs can help CMOs leverage data specificity to engage new customers

Break through the noise with data-specific advertising that leverages information collected at every stage of the customer experience.

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The internet can be a surreal place. It seems to understand you – who you are, what you are looking for, and especially when you are ready to buy something.

Because we spend so much of our lives interacting with it, this ability is not surprising, and we quickly become numb to it. But occasionally the gears behind the scenes take a leap forward and surprise us again.

Data specificity Is the new cutting edge of advertising

Today, the frontier of online advertising is using highly specific forms of data to create ads that tap into a consumer’s sense of identity. Until recently, advertising companies could track which websites consumers had been to, what they were searching for, and some information about their demographic. While that kind of data can inform well-targeted ads, there is so much more to accomplish.

CMOs need to know exactly what the customer was looking for. It may be possible to discern someone was looking for a plane ticket, but going where and over what dates? Or consider a consumer searching for a car. The ability to drive consumer attention to ads relevant to the specific kind of car the consumer wants is powerful.

But the power of this type of advertising – called behavioral advertising because it targets consumers by their online activity instead of their demographic – is more involved than it seems. And that’s where CIOs begin to play an increasing role in areas traditionally headed by CMOs.

And CIOs shouldn’t try to dodge the bullet. This stuff is exciting! Researchers have found a profound and unexpected psychological link between behavioral targeted ads and consumer self-worth.

Researchers at the Journal of Consumer Research writing for HBR noted that, “...participants evaluated themselves as more sophisticated after receiving an ad that they thought was individually targeted to them, compared to when they thought the same ad was not targeted. In other words, participants saw the targeted ad as reflective of their own characteristics. The ad told them that, based on their browsing history, they had sophisticated tastes.”

The researchers go on to posit that the quality of the targeted ad also mattered. Recipients of ads who felt like the ad fit into the context of their preferences and interests were more likely to make a purchasing decision.

The goal of CIOs to deliver seamless tech to a demanding consumer can offer opportunities for better, more contextual data collection.

“Each successive advance in online advertising technology that leverages more data to better understand the consumer and produce better results points to a fundamental truth,” asserts Vitaly Pecherskiy, co-founder and COO of StackAdapt. “Brands must be digital natives. They have to fully understand their customers in a digital environment and curate seamless experiences that augment real world customer journeys.”

Creating seamless customer journeys online is a different challenge than accomplishing the same thing offline. Everyone is aware that surfing the internet is all about bouncing from one distraction to the next, but professionals in marketing and advertising have studied this issue and statistically summarized it. Online interruptions can consume up to six hours of your day and once distracted, it can take up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to where you left off.

How do you cut through the noise with advertising? One way is to better understand the consumer and play on their sense of identity. By “understanding” the consumer, meaning serving them with precisely relevant ads and content, brands stand out from the deluge of flashing distractions they are competing against.

“If you are researching a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo, and then twenty minutes later see an article about the ten best restaurants in Tokyo, you are more likely to read that article,” asserts Pecherskiy. “But in order to know a consumer is researching that specific flight, you must be able to capture and analyze specific types of data from internet browsing. That is what next generation marketing and advertising technology companies are doing now.”

Break through the noise with data-specific advertising that leverages information collected at every stage of the customer experience.

A consumer browsing the internet steps out of their distracted surfing when they stumble onto a chain of information that seems relevant to a strong desire of theirs. Advertising that connects to these deeper levels of interest will drive seamless conversions and connect consumers with brands in a new way.

But this begins with specific data and succeeds with excellent creative work on the part of advertising professionals. To win, CMOs and CIOs need to become chummier than ever before.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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