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Big Data Transforming the Industry

4A's Transformation Conference

From interviews with Fortune 100 CMOs to future outlooks by Out of Home media companies, the topic of Big Data has, not surprisingly, permeated throughout this week’s 4A’s Transformation conference. Every communication and sales touch point—from TV watching to social media interactions to coupon redemption—offers an opportunity to collect customer information. But what do we do with it? How do we manage it? And, most importantly, how do we develop insights from this data to help engage with our customers better and drive more efficient marketing decisions?

Big Data is transforming the industry, as evidenced by the shift to Programmatic Buying and the continued focus on understanding target audiences not by the traditional demographic profiles, but as individuals. More consumers expect a personal, relevant exchange with marketers.

One of the challenges the industry faces is that current measurement models and metrics do not follow the way individuals behave and consume media today. While tools like Google Analytics and TV set-top boxes allow us to capture great information, they don’t take into consideration that consumers today are consuming multiple media sources at once. Picture your family sitting in front of the TV with music on in the background, the tablet on your lap and your daughter on her smartphone. This is a typical scenario and measurement models must evolve to enable marketers and agencies to collect the truly meaningful metrics that represent how customers interact with brands.

As data becomes more and more important, so does having the right talent within agencies and companies to analyze that data. Francois de Gaspe Beaubien, Chairman and Chief Coaching Officer of Zoom Media, likened it to “Mad Men becomes Math Men.” The new marketing professionals are less likely to have majored in graphic design and English and more likely to have degrees in computer science, psychology and math.

And it’s important not to forget the important role that creative messages play. As Gayle Fuguitt, CEO and President of the Advertising Research Foundation said, “You can’t count your way to growth.” The best balance is one that leverages the insights developed from data to deliver the right creative message via the most targeted vehicle to engage customers.

By Stephanie Crockett, Account Director