OMD MENA hosted its very first conference under its new series Sense. Communicate spoke to Seb Hernoux, Chief Data and Technology Officer at OMD USA, about how advertisers and marketers need to utilize consumer data safely and efficiently in the age of digitization.
Advertisers and marketers are effectively marketing to consumers in a meaningful, scalable, personalized way using several digital techniques. While brands and their consumers are able to make the best out of it, when implementing their strategy, marketers must find a balance between building positive experiences and not being overly intrusive.
With a multitude of ad-tech solutions being offered across all platforms, marketers must look for solutions that have struck an ideal middle ground. Chief Data and Technology Officer at OMD USA, Seb Hernoux tells us what they need to keep in mind before choosing their approach to collecting consumer data.
What do marketers need to do differently with the consumer data that they have access to?
Marketers need to rethink their data strategy entirely. They have to look across first, second, and third parties and really make sure that they have the right data to power all of the marketing campaigns. It's not about only media investments, it has to be across, paid, owned, and earned assets. And this is the leader, a renewed data strategy that needs to be aligned with the changes that we are going to see in the next couple of years.
With speculation and doubt about overexposed data spiking amongst consumers, how can marketers regain trust and assure consumers that their privacy is protected?
It's really about trust, to make sure that you're only using data that was consented, and consumers need to know how you have acquired the data being used. Consumers want to know that you're using that data ethically, advertisers and marketers shouldn’t give an experience that's going to create a relatively ‘creepy’ approach. There's a thin line between personal and personalized in today’s times, I think this is what brands need to do and make sure that they do not cross the line and deliver an experience that is positive and not unexpected.
How are marketers and advertisers lacking in interpreting the collected data to use?
I don't think something’s lacking. Everyone has a different sensibility. Depending on your brand's identity and culture, you're going to use data differently. Brands that do a good job of using data, usually, have very clear boundaries on how they're going to use it. They have carefully planned their cases. So, it's not only about the targeting, but also about the insights that you can get without being invasive. Then comes the measurement like how you measure the impact of the data you're using. Finally, advertisers need to make sure that it drives positive sentiment and experiences amongst customers.
In what ways can marketers collect efficient and useful data in the age of inevitable digital advancement?
Identifying the right cost-benefit ratio is crucial for data acquisition. Data acquisition is going to become more expensive since everyone is trying to acquire data today. So, it's about finding the right balance and finding the point of diminishing returns when you're collecting data. Marketers also need to identify the right partners. Most brands don't have a direct relationship with their customers and there are only a select few. For instance, it's easy for Airbnb and Uber to have access to all that data. But the truth is, that most brands don't have that direct relationship and don't have the capabilities that the digital natives have. Finding the right incentives for consumers, and then making the most ethical use of that data in everything in all the use cases that they have is what marketers need to do.
How important is personalization in your opinion? What is the biggest challenge facing advertisers and marketers in the coming years?
Personalization should not be the target. Yes, it is a way to reach your brand's objectives. It is a way to deliver better experiences, but it's not the end goal. There are some basic principles that you need to apply. But I think most brands are still struggling to understand how much they need to invest in personalization. As an industry, we have probably over-promised on what personalization was going to deliver. And today, I prefer to talk about connected experiences and making sure that you deliver something that's consistent across all your channels. Personalization is one way to do it, but it's not the end game.