It’s no surprise that the Digital Analytics track at Infinitive Digital BrainFest 2013 raised many challenging issues and big opportunities that mark the fast-changing space. Here were the big ideas that were top of mind for me:
- People, Not Cookies: Concerns about cookies, consumer privacy and “do not track” have become the biggest issues for stakeholders across the industries. Publishers, advertisers and technology providers all recognize the potential for major impacts on their businesses. One key idea that sometimes gets lost in the details is that advertisers are focused on tracking people, not cookies. That makes sense as people are the ones who consume the content, purchase the products and like, follow and friend brands.Cookies are also falling short in a multi-platform world – they can measure silos of activity for individual devices or browsers, but face challenges in tying it all together. This fundamental fact is beginning to shape the debate about tracking as much as regulatory factors.
- New Approaches to Multi-Platform Tracking: As marketers seek a unified view of consumers, they are adopting new techniques to ensure that they can accurately track the lead that starts on a PC and converts on a tablet or phone. Email addresses, log-in information, and device identifiers are effective means to unify cookies to create persistent profiles of people as they shift channels and switch devices.There is also excitement about emerging technologies that use algorithms to enable more sophisticated cross-device measurement. The software isn’t quite ready for widespread use, but early adopters are experimenting. We recommend companies clarify their objectives and ensure strong linkage with business strategies as they consider deploying new tools.
- Consistent Metrics for Video: As tablets become the primary video screen for many users, the need for consistent metrics has never been clearer. Advertisers who seek convergent ad buys across TV and digital face different pricing and business models and have difficulty understanding their holistic effectiveness. Hybrid measurement platforms that include panels, meters, and census digital tracking have, so far, proven most effective at gauging audience overlap.Additionally, the gap between traditional TV industry metrics like gross rating points (GRPs) and digital video metrics like Unique Vistors (“Uniques”) and Impressions needs bridging. The end game for digital video is a unified view of reach and frequency, but it will take some time to get there.
- The Funnel Is Dead: What’s increasingly clear is that the traditional marketing funnel is dead. Drew Burns of Adobe pointed out that consumers simply don’t follow a linear process through content to conversion any more. Instead, they hop around from channel to channel and device to device. The journey from awareness and interest to intent and action looks a bit like an airline route map these days, with consumers using any variety of jumping-off points to access the content, products and services they want. The challenge for marketers is to make sure that all the “destinations” and “connecting flights” are coordinated and consistent with high-quality content and compelling offers.
The Do Not Track controversy continues to hit the news cycle with this recent article in AdAge. The big story here is that Mozilla decided to test requiring users to opt in and enable its third-party cookie blocking feature themselves, rather than opting them in to cookie blocking automatically. It’s quite a turnaround from the company’s controversial announcement earlier this year that it planned to include default settings in its browser Firefox that would disable third-party cookies. Continue reading
Recently, we highlighted our excitement at the new baseball season, and how analytics has become as important as strong pitching and defense. Of course, analytics is revolutionizing other sports as well, several of which are enjoying their playoffs, big competitions or important off-season events. Continue reading
We’re delighted that it’s baseball season – and not only because things are looking good for the Washington Nationals, our favorite team. The new season reminds us of how much digital analytics, big data and technology have revolutionized baseball as a game, pastime and business. Continue reading
Digital analytics success is less about having the latest, greatest, whizz-bangiest tools and technology, and more about first knowing how to make sense of your traffic and user behavior data and then taking decisive action to drive toward business objectives. Continue reading
With regulatory agencies dialing up their interest in do-not-track legislation and browsers acting independently to adjust default settings for cookie usage, the controversy over consumer information and tracking is heating up again. This piece highlights the perspectives of all major stakeholders, including publishers, marketers and big brands, as well as the huge ecosystem of digital advertising firms that rely on third-party data collection. Continue reading
The Infinitive Analytics team recently traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit. As usual, this was a powerhouse conference, attended by top digital marketers and analytics practitioners. A huge number of digital innovations, best practices, success stories and lessons learned were shared. Continue reading
Nielsen’s big announcement that it would begin to count Internet-connected TVs as part of its standard ratings for TV struck us a big deal, especially when paired with Billboard’s decision to include YouTube views in its calculation of the Hot 100 chart. However you feel about “Harlem Shake,” this is mostly good for marketers and publishers alike. Continue reading