Data comes with an ‘expiration date’

NEW YORK Data acquisition and analytics are needed for marketers and agencies to target audiences and identify purchasing trends, but there is an expiration date for it, said experts at the 4As Data Summit this week.

As consumers interests and shopping habits change over time, so should the data, stressed Shenan Reed, MEC president, digital, North America, during a panel discussion titled Empowering Marketing through Data. According to Reed, The older the data gets, the less consumer value it has.

Using outdated data wasnt the only concern expressed by the panelists. Large companies that may rely on one analytics group, either in-house or third party, risk the chance of not working with new and specialized business analytics software and services that may offer brands information their personal data providers may not have, such as social media or influencers insights, they warned.

Radha Subramanyam, iHeartMedia president of insights, research and data analytics, said data-retrieving services are the most cost-effective way for marketers to access current information. Hiring full-time analysts is expensive, she said, and buying analytics software requires continual upgrades as data-gathering technology advances.

You can rent data, and you can borrow it, but you dont have to buy it, Subramanyam said. You should find your strategic partnership on an idea-to-idea basis. Keep your mind open to changing companies, and keep the data flow changing.

Views differed on the amount of data on which agencies should rely. During a fireside chat, Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group, said he believed that the more data available the better. In contrast, Starcom USA President Amanda Richman told attendees of a panel discussion titled Data at the Heart that the industry relies too heavily on data. Instead, she said, brands should focus more on figuring out which analytics were relevant to their consumers interests.

Tina Allan, executive vice president and director of data solutions at BBDO New York, agreed. Brands should work more on gathering smart data, focusing on the quality of information received, and less on gathering the most data available, he said, during the Empowering Marketing panel.

Agencies and marketers are increasingly relying on the up-to-the-minute consumer data available from analytics firms or companies like Google and Facebook to create more real-time promotions for their campaigns, Allan added.

For example, BBDO teamed up with Twitch, an online video and community platform for gamers, to create live-streamed videos for its Youre Not You When Youre Hungry campaign in September. In the clips, famous and hungry gamers switched into total strangers when they were hungry and returned to normal once they ate a Snickers bar. The Twitch videos were shared 130,000 times through YouTube and Reddits forums the day they were released.

Data tells us, the who, the why, the where, and how consumers are going to be, and what they play on, Allan said. Were not only watching campaigns on the web and market, were optimizing on real-time events.

The best way to use data, for planned campaigns and real-time strategies, is through the media mixed model, where agencies, marketers and … read more