Eight key takeaways from DATT Unplugged Virtual | MMA
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DATT Unplugged Virtual, held on June 9, 2020, took place during a tumultuous week in which protests stemming from the killing of George Floyd were peaceful and widespread and the number of COVID-19 cases increased in areas across the country. More specific to the marketing industry, CCPA enforcement was due to begin in a matter of weeks and cookies were disappearing.

In that context, hundreds of people took the time to hear from marketing thought leaders who shared guidelines for navigating these minefields, examples of successful campaigns, and even inspiration for improving results for good in addition to sales figures. Here are eight takeaways that can help modern marketers acquire data transparently, manage it safely, and use it profitably:

  1. Technology has scattered audiences, but data can help you connect with them.

    Systemic changes in consumer media behavior (e.g., 46 million people having cut the cord recently, plus the millions now who have never even subscribed to cable) are a direct result of new technologies. While finding audiences and unreachables is a bigger part of the battle for brands than ever before, technology also offers solutions. Brad Feinberg, VP of Media and Consumer Engagement at Molson Coors gave the example of using data from cellphone GPS signals to reveal where people shop, what they do, and where they are now, offering brands an opportunity to deliver a hyper-relevant message.

  2. Customers have no time for you – unless your message is relevant to them right now.

    Consumers won’t spend time with content that doesn’t instantly engage them, feel relevant, and meet an immediate need. In other words, finding them is only part of the battle. Messages have to resonate with them in the moment you reach them, too, whether they’re seeking adventure, setting fashion trends, or binge watching when they get it.

  3. We’re in the next normal – question all you think you know about your customers.

    In an insightful presentation, Natasha Stevens, EVP – Strategy and Product Innovation at GfK, told audiences that a blended approach to market research combines attitudinal and social data to reveal all dimensions of a target audience. The blended approach comprises three essential ingredients, behavior, motivation, and context, to align stated and actual behavior and paint a more comprehensive – and accurate – picture of an audience.

  4. Data builds personal connections between brands and consumers.

    In a Fireside Chat with Greg Stuart, MMA’s CEO, Lou Paskalis, SVP, Enterprise Customer Engagement and Investment at Bank of America, talked about the shift underway from quantity of data to quality. That is, asymmetric data that gives brands insights into an individual’s interests and allows them to connect through human messages. How does that work? By building up insights into aggregate clusters of people who have similar interests and pushing relevant information on an individual level.

  5. Consumers trust other consumers, not you.

    According to Sarah Din, Director of Product Marketing at Survey Monkey, 82% of people trust customers over brand or product messaging. Capitalize on that trust by incorporating customer testimonials in your messaging. It will make your marketing overall more relevant, authentic, and credible. Of course, it also helps to listen to your customers at every stage of their journey, capture insights, and know what matters to them.

  6. Data should align with your business objectives and company culture.

    80% of DATT Unplugged Virtual attendees who responded to a survey during a panel discussion on “How Data Transparency Is Driving Customer Trust and Loyalty”

    said that data privacy is a primary consideration when they plan campaigns. Yet data privacy is messy. Brands are grappling with how to comply with GDPR and CCPA, then everything might change again when (or if) a federal data privacy law is enacted. Given the only certainty is change, the panel recommended that companies establish a set of globally acceptable principles that align with corporate objectives to ground data privacy policies and how data is managed and used. It’s worth the effort, and maybe any sacrifices that have to be made, to build trust with consumers.

  7. Build trust – and your databases – by getting consumers’ consent.

    New regulations about how marketers can obtain customer data often conflict. For example, GDPR requires opt-in consent before you can cookie, while the CCPA requires that individuals be able to opt out of the sale of their personal information, but doesn’t mandate an up-front opt-in. What’s a marketer to do? Ian Mundorff, Global Head of Media at HP, suggests marketers think of asking for consent as an opportunity to interact with customers. Yes, the bar is raised because now brands need to offer people enough of a reason to share their data, but people are clearly willing to trade privacy for certain benefits, such as personalization. The upside for brands is that by being more transparent with consumers, they’re likely to get higher quality, more valuable data.

  8. Let’s strap in.

    Marlon Romulus, Performance Marketing Manager at GSK Consumer Healthcare, took our audience through Excedrin’s most successful campaign ever. He closed with a powerful, passionate appeal about marketers’ role in addressing racial injustice: “Ignorance is a choice. We need to come together to solve this problem. And like many are saying, this is a marathon, not a sprint. So let’s strap in.”