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Expressed Engagement in Data-Driven Marketing?

00:42 04 June in Digital Advertising
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I was reading an article by Shelly Palmer this morning (you can find it here http://www.shellypalmer.com/spb/digitally-enhanced-marketers-will-be-unbeatable) that I enjoyed very much. Shelly talks about two parts of Data-Driven Marketing—Active Engagement and Passive Engagement—and, using a trip to Disney as an example, postulates what that means for the future of marketing to consumers. I thought, however, that Shelly missed a Part Three – Expressed Engagement. It’s the part I’ve been talking about a lot lately, and it relies on conversational targeting. Conversational targeting is the ability to market to people based on what they’re expressing directly, not by drawing predictions and inferences.

So let me pick this up where Shelly left off: Data-Driven Marketing Part 3 – Conversational Engagement

Imagine I’m at Disney, and during the course of the day I’m doing something most people would do: posting my status and pictures of what I’m doing at various times. I’ve posted what entertainment choices I’ve made, maybe even offered up my assessments. I’ve posted where I’ve eaten or what I’ve snacked on (we’re at Disney, so I’ve probably made some remark about the cost of these items as well).

I probably posted about how long lines are, or what we’ve really enjoyed. I might have posted about the weather and other generalities. Stop for a second and add that data I’ve been streaming out there to what Shelly said. These streams of data are completely and totally complementary to his discussion. In fact, I’d venture to say that when they are available, they greatly enhance marketing in ways we’ve never been able to do in the past.

Let’s take Shelly’s example of water for sale. Drawing on the status updates and timing, there could be some very important indicators to take advantage of here. One is that I could come right out and say it’s hot, and we’re thirsty (cue an offer for a beverage, since I made a sideways remark about prices earlier). Think about that! No predictions, no fancy algorithms, no past buying experience to analyze. I just told you all you needed to know. Stop and consider how many times you’d do this. A lot.

Another path could be that you can infer intentions from what I’ve posted. I’ve said it’s hot, I’ve told you when the last time we ate was, I’ve told you what we’ve done. Time for an offer on a snack near where I am, where the timing is as close to perfect as you can get.

I also want to emphasize a point that I’m sometimes very subtle about. This is not marketing in any scattershot or completely predictive way. This is marketing tailored to expressed wants or needs. It’s also making an offer timed to be the most applicable to the situation. It’s using data from what people have put out into the world; there are no privacy issues or the “creepy” factor. The consumer controls how much everyone knows exactly by what they say. They also control what they see for advertising and marketing material in a much more direct way, leaving them less annoyed by messaging because it’s now completely matched to their particular situations.

This data is available right now, and at Mblast we’ve worked hard to process it and make sense of it so that and slips right into any data-driven marketing program. It doesn’t matter what digital stream people express themselves in, the key is extracting those expressions in a timely manner to act on them without prediction, using the context to enhance the messaging and match it best to the person doing the talking.

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