Archive for the ‘database marketing’ Category

Eric Schmidt says online more analytical??

April 30, 2008

No kidding…. The Google CEO made this comment at the recent American Association of Advertising Agencies Leadership Conference in Laguna Niguel. This is a no brainer comment coming from the leader of the market leader in online marketing.Just consider how much more data is available through online marketing than traditional print, tv and radio. All this data allows technology firms to be close to the hip to agencies and media companies to provide analysis and reporting.

He predicted firms will look to hire new skill sets to maximize the ever growing potential of online marketing and the vast amounts of data that can be collected depending on the client and goal of the campaign. I see this as nothing new, as Curt Hecht made it clear at teh recent ad:tech keynote speach that Starcom has already made the transition to new skill sets and has Ph.D’s in their office providing analysis and recommendations for their clients. The money is in the data! No longer can agencies just say they provide creative solutions. They need to understand the data and be able to find interesting tidbits to make actionable suggestions. Clients continue to ask harder and harder questions that agencies must be able to answer.

So even though Eric said it, its nothing new. If this is news to agencies, they are in trouble!

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e-commerce- the relationship-less sale

February 15, 2008

I wonder if e-commerce sites will try and create a better relationship with customers like myself, rather than try and sell things that other people bought when they bought the same item I did. I understand math and statistics and database modelling and how in an ideal world it all makes sense, but from a customer view, I want a trusted relationship with a site. If I trust a site and felt that they understood my needs and situation like a brick and mortar sales clerk, I would be inclined to purchase more.

My example was when I went to a Banana Republic recently. I had a good conversation with their employee about what I was looking for and why. She helped me find some items, but then let me know that they were getting the new spring line in a couple of days and theme matched what I was looking for. I am not suggesting sites become the obnoxious sales force like some retail stores have and ask “Can I help you?” every two minutes, but I believe they could possibly build a relationship better. Hell, their emails seem to act like there is a relationship, just don’t relax when I get to the site. This is the kind of relationship that I would love to see from e-commerce platforms. Suggest some items I might be interested in, and allow me to enter what I am looking for and give me suggestions and then keep that established “e-relationship” alive throughout the visit. Retail salesman can read cues from shoppers about their shopping habits, the person who tries on everything, the person who buys all and returns 90%, and the shy guy who walks in and looks around and doesn’t do much and buys a few items without help. Now in an online world, web analytics can help us tell some of these cues. The person who clicks on a bunch of items and then clicks back, the one who views every single image of the product, length on site, returning customer, etc. etc. E-commerce sites now just need to be more progressive with the data and think in terms of relationship selling.

Some platforms are more progressive than others like iTunes and Amazon, but most are a little behind the times. In order to decrease abandonment rate and increase the industry average conversion rate of around 3%, I suggest e-commerce sites look into the psychology of a purchase, rather than strictly rely on what people “like me” bought.

Acxiom uses offline data to hyper target online ads

December 10, 2007

Acxiom launched a new service that allows companies to take data collected online and append with Acxiom’s offline data to create a user profile. This is a similar privacy issue to Facebook’s Beacon program as consumers might not be aware hat companies are taking data they collect from purchases, web forms and other online forms which are then run against Acxiom’s database to create a user profile. A cookie for this profile is placed on the users machine and ads can be targeted by profile.

I hope that Acxiom has better success with Relevance X than Facebook has had with Beacon. The argument that consumers will see ads that are more relevant to them is a little far fetched. Reality is that they want to sell this information for advertisers who are trying to find the most effective way to get to consumers.

Acxiom reports that many clients are familiar with this kind of targeting through offline marketing and have continued to ask for this kind of targeting for online marketing campaigns. Doubleclick had initially tried this razor-sharp targeting methodology, but backed away as they feared rejection once consumers saw they were taking offline data collection and appending to online behaviors.

As an online marketer I like the idea of being able to use as much data as possible to target consumers, but I am not sure I like the “black box – opt-out” method that so many companies are doing. Acxiom allows users to opt-out by calling an 800 number or by going to their website. However, I doubt many people even know who Acxiom is, let alone they are collecting data and selling it to advertisers. As there are so many new ideas and products being introduced, I think the IAB needs to work on creating a standard for data collection and usage so the consumer becomes aware. Once that is established and standardized, I believe these new targeting methodologies will be much more successful.