NBCUniversal Launching New Ad Division For Data-Driven, Multi-Channel Targeting

What Happened
NBCUniversal is launching a new division designed to allow marketers to target audiences across its TV, digital platforms, and social media channels. Dubbed Audience Studio, the new division aims to offer brand marketers a one-stop shop for ad buying and cross-platform targeting by tying together four platform-specific ad buying products NBCU has introduced over the last few years. Audience Studio’s new data management platform will allow brands to combine their first-party data with data from NBCU and other third-party services, and use the data set to target audiences across NBCU platforms.

What Brands Need To Do
Previously marketers had to manually navigate each product to execute a multi-platform campaign. By unifying these platforms under one division, Audience Studio simplifies advertising across all channels using the same set of targeting data, making it easier for brand advertisers to plan and execute a multi-platform campaign that focuses on the people instead of the channels.


Sources: Wall Street Journal

Adobe Makes Its Ad Platform “History-Aware” For More Effective Retargeting

What Happened
Adobe promises to help retailers eliminate ads for products that the targeted consumer has already bought. It is making its Marketing Cloud ad platform “history-aware” by incorporating past behavioral data including purchase histories into retargeting, the company announced at the National Retail Federation’s annual retail conference earlier this week. Moreover, Adobe is also tapping into contextual data to help retailers send more relevant triggered messaging to prospective customers via email, texts, or push notifications.

What Retailers Need To Do
Adobe’s new addition to its ad platform helps eliminate one particularly annoying part of digital advertising – being retargeted by ads that are no longer relevant. It also highlights the value of integrating customer data into their digital efforts, something that retailers should work with their ad tech vendors to implement, which will make for more effective retargeting and ultimately drive better sales.


Source: VentureBeat

CES 2016: Under Armour Teams Up With IBM’s Watson For Smart Fitness Data

Under Armour has been developing “connected clothing” for a while now, and at CES 2016, the sportswear maker announced a new partnership with IBM, integrating the computing power of IBM’s AI platform Watson into its health and fitness app, UA Record to analyze users’ fitness data and give them actionable insights on healthcare and exercises.

Moreover, Watson will also use other data in making those fitness and health suggestions. For example, it can pull real-time weather data from The Weather Channel app, which IBM recently acquired, to figure out the optimal time and temperature to suggest a run outside. This signals an exciting new direction for the fitness wearables to tap into big data and AI to expand its functionality and offer added value to users.


For more of the Lab’s CES coverage, click here.

How Amazon Powers Its First Physical Bookstore With Data

What Happened
Amazon may be responsible for the demise of traditional bookstores, but that certainly won’t stop the ecommerce giant from opening one itself. The company that first started as an online bookseller has opened its first ever physical retail store – a bookstore, to be exact – in Seattle’s University Village on Tuesday.

Unlike other brick-and-mortar bookstores that typically categorize books by genre, the store will be relying on Amazon’s existing data — including customer ratings, sales totals, and Goodread popularity — to decide which books to stock and how to display them in store. In addition to books, Amazon is also setting aside a section of the store to its hardware products such as the Kindle, Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet.

What Retailers Need To Do
Amazon’s physical bookstore showcases an interesting example for retail brands to take advantage of the data it gathers from online shoppers and use it to optimize the offline shopping experience. Visiting physical retail stores also allows customers to browse at leisure rather than searching for specific items, encouraging the kind of serendipitous buying that is rare in ecommerce. With some ecommerce brands dipping their toes into the brick-and-mortar space, it is key for retailers to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping with user data.


Source: The Verge

Comcast To Harness Audience Data From Set-Top Boxes

What Happened
Comcast is reportedly in talks with some TV networks and measurement firms to license audience viewing data gathered from the set-top boxes and streaming apps used by its millions of cable subscribers. As the nation’s largest cable service provider, Comcast says it believes licensing its data could help bolster the TV ad market with improved targeting capabilities.

What Brands Need To Do
As TV advertising continues to be eroded by the rapidly growing spend on digital ads, Comcast is hoping that its viewing data can help media owners gain further insights into audience behaviors and better compete with their data-rich digital rivals such as Google and Facebook. Therefore, brands should keep an eye out for the new types of viewer data and resulting targeting options that may soon become available.


Source: Wall Street Journal

Pinterest Goes Hyperlocal By Adding Location Data To Its Pins

What Happened
On Tuesday, Pinterest introduced an update to its Place Pins feature, which automatically expanded location data to approximately 7 billion pins. When users save a Place Pin, its app now shows a map with other pins saved from the same location and nearby. Designed to increase its local discovery capability, the updated pins with geo-tags will also allow users to get directions through Google and Apple maps, call a local merchant, or check reviews from previous visitors.

What Brands Need To Do
Pinterest has long enjoyed its reputation among social networks as a “Sales Conversion Powerhouse,” beating all other social media sites in U.S. ecommerce conversion rate and accounted for 22 percent more sales than Facebook despite far fewer users, according to a 2014 study by Shopify. Therefore, local businesses should consider leveraging this new feature on Pinterest to organically reach new customers by correctly indexing the location information of their businesses and creating appealing Place Pins for their products and storefronts.


Source: The Next Web

Salesforce Launches IoT Platform To Gather Data From Everywhere

What Happened
Last month, popular CRM solution provider Salesforce announced its entry into the Internet of Things (IoT) market with IoT Cloud, a platform designed to help businesses connect with and respond to their customers using connected devices. Powered by the company’s new real-time processing engine Thunder, Salesforce aims to process huge amounts of IoT device data, while helping businesses build customer profiles and provide better customer experience based on the data acquired. Similarly, last week, Amazon also launched its own IoT platform to support the growing market of connected devices, posing a formidable competitor for Salesforce.

What Brands Need To Do
The new IoT platform from Salesforce provides a platform for connected device makers to help their clients better monitor and respond to their customers, while Amazon’s new platform allows connected device makers to tap into Amazon cloud services for voice interaction with Alexa or data processing on EC2. Brands can benefit from IoT data through partnerships with a device maker to tap into the capabilities these platforms boast. For example, a bread brand may learn valuable insights on breakfast preferences from connected toasters, just as auto brands can utilize data from connected cars to better serve their customers.


Source: Marketing Land

Verizon To Share Its “Supercookie” Data With AOL For Ad Targeting

What Happened
When news broke back in May that Verizon acquired AOL for a whopping $4.4 billion, we made an educated guess that the telecom giant must be after AOL’s impressive arsenal of ad technologies and platforms. This has been proven correct today as Verizon is now reportedly going to combine data from its “supercookie” — a Unique Identifier Header (UIDH) cookie that tracks Verizon’s mobile users — with AOL’s expansive ad network for better mobile targeting. Also, about a month ago, AOL quietly acquired mobile ad platform Millennial Media, which marked Verizon’s official entry into mobile advertising business.

What Brands Need To Do
By adding its supercookie data into the mix, Verizon is aiming to up its ad targeting capability and appeal to mobile advertisers. While Verizon’s use of supercookie has been controversial, there will likely be improved targeting tools for brands and marketers can use to provide a better, more personalized ad experience. Verizon also says in their privacy docs that they will use the data for its new ad-supported video service, Go90, offering brands another way to reach today’s mobile-first audience.


Source: Marketing Land

Event Recap: “Meet Link” LinkNYC Media Event

On Thursday afternoon, IPG Media Lab attended a media event for LinkNYC, an ambitious project that will turn old payphone sites in New York City into a network of state-of-the-art kiosks that offer free services like high-speed Wi-Fi, phone calls, and device charging, along with outdoor advertising displays. Following the debut of the newly designed “Link” kiosk on stage, the event featured a panel discussion on the marketing potential and the social utilities this program could bring to the five boroughs. Moderated by Miko Rahming, SVP of Innovation/Creative at Intersection, the panel consisted of Susan Seller, Head of Design at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Company, and David Rosenberg, a managing partner here at the Lab.

During the discussion, all three panelists commended the social good this program can bring. Seller singled out the “de-cluttering” effect LinkNYC will have on the city’s appearance by removing old payphone booths, a sentiment echoed by Rosenberg. Dixon, on the other hand, highlighted the “profound effect” that LinkNYC will have on people that don’t have access to high-speed internet, as it provides them with basic connectivity and services and helps the city bridge the digital divide.

Moreover, the panelists discussed the marketing potential of the program. They agreed that, as a dynamic digital experience supported by ad-serving platform and technology, LinkNYC would allow for creative flexibility, real-time ad delivery, and data-driven targeting. It will offer mass connectivity and city services via digital touchpoints, while also enabling brands to reach millions of New Yorkers and visitors with their messages. As Rosenberg aptly pointed out, this program taps into the ongoing trend of brands “starting to move into the space of providing utility and service in order to earn a place in consumer’s life.” After all, when brands provide real value in addition to their ads, consumers would be much less likely to block them out.

Overall, the consensus among the panelists seemed to be that, LinkNYC represents a new breed of hyperlocal ad platform that blends social utilities and branded content, heralding the future of digital outdoor advertising. The program is set to launch later this year, and brands looking to connect with New Yorkers on the go should definitely take this innovative, data-driven OOH ad space into consideration.

Rebecca Minkoff Shows The Usefulness Of In-Store Behavioral Data

What Happened
Women’s clothing retailer Rebecca Minkoff opened its first “connected store” in SoHo, NYC last November, integrated with in-store tracking technology powered by eBay. The platform identifies how customers are interacting with products, such as which items are taken into the fitting room, and what’s being purchased or left behind.  The brand has also made changes to its collections based on the insights gained from the tracking data. Almost a year later, the brand has seen some great success, reportedly selling three times more than anticipated.

What Brands Should Do
Traditionally, retail brands tend to focus on analyzing purchase data to determine inventory and corresponding promotional strategies. Rebecca Minkoff’s successful experiment with comprehensive in-store tracking shows that retail brands need to pay attention to other behavioral data that indicates purchase intent, even on a granular item-by-item base, so as to better understand their customers.


Source: Digiday