Understanding Big Data and Delivering Personalized Ad Experiences

understanding big data
Nic McPhee

Marketers are well aware of data’s extraordinary potential. 45% of them consider it their organization’s most underutilized asset.

Until recently, advertisers had to gather data piecemeal, relying on third-party sources and ad hoc information collection methods. It was like trying to solve a puzzle with the pieces scattered across the table; there wasn’t a seamless way to tie data together and use it to deliver the personalized ad experiences customers prefer.

Today, advertisers are starting to put the pieces together. They’re relying on new tools to gather comprehensive data about their target customers—data that allows them to separate individuals from analytics reports and deliver unique, granular experiences.

The benefits of personalization are real. But as more advertisers embrace big data, they’re encountering new obstacles to overcome along the way.

Big Data: The Top Challenges Digital Advertisers Face

What are some major issues keeping advertisers from getting the ROI they hoped for?

The most common one is failing to have a process in place to use all the new data they’re collecting. Now that the technological roadblocks to comprehensive data collection have disappeared, advertisers are up to their ears in information. This can be overwhelming if they don’t have a plan to manage it.

Another obstacle: a lack of analytical skills needed to assimilate large amounts of data and pull out actionable insights to optimize ad campaigns. Media buyers are developing these skills as they grasp the importance of data-driven advertising, but many face a learning curve to integrate them into their existing skill sets.

Recently, concerns have shifted to focus on data security, a lack of data within certain departments, and CRM databases not being able to keep up with all the new data being collected.

How to Overcome Big Data Challenges and Deliver Personalized Ad Experiences

Addressing the challenges above will help you with understanding big data to deliver the one to one personalization your customers crave.

But how do you do it?

1. Get your team on board

The first step is getting every department within your organization to recognize data’s inherent value. This could take anything from a brief meeting to an all-out cultural shift; it just depends on how receptive your organization is to newer ad tech.

2. Build a Data Roadmap Framework

Once your organization has adopted a data-friendly culture, it’s time to build a data roadmap framework. What’s your ideal vision for all this data? How will you use it? What’s the plan to get there? The better you tackle these questions up front, the better your organization’s chances of using data effectively.

Finding a way to properly store, manage, and organize your data is an important checkpoint along that roadmap. Figuring out which digital management platform (“DMP”) to use is becoming an important first step.

Focus on DMPs that allow you to integrate any type of data source/API, overlay third-party data sources, and ensure all data in the system is identifiable (and usable) based on source and recency information. Also, your organization should be able to use the DMP in all necessary marketing areas—whether it’s website personalization (CMS integration), digital marketing campaigns, or email/CRM initiatives.

3. Execute your strategy

When it’s time to put your strategy into action, empower your marketers to work across departments on a variety of technologies. Delivering personalized experiences to customers takes a team effort.

Seek out the right data partners with the right technology to execute your framework. You can lean on their experience as they help you execute campaigns (and you continue to develop new skills).

4. Protect your data

Understand that any data about your business is your data. Before working with any partner or vendor, incorporate language into contractual agreements that:

  • Ensures your access to the data
  • Limits how the partner or vendor can use the data
  • Keeps the partner or vendor from using the data after ending their business relationship with you

5. Celebrate small wins

Finally, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to deliver Amazon-level customer experiences right off the bat. Start small, and rack up wins. A string of positive results is one of the best ways to get everyone in your organization excited about data’s potential.

Big Data and Personalization Are the Future

Advertisers have known about the potential of big data for quite some time now. Now they have the capabilities to utilize it to its full potential.

It might take some time to integrate it into your advertising strategy, but it’s the most effective way to deliver the one to one personalized experiences that resonate with customers.

 

Sources

http://www.cmo.com/articles/2013/8/27/data_is_the_most_und.html