What do the Apple and Google changes mean for 3rd party attribution providers?

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Within a span of 2 weeks, both Apple and Google have made announcements related to changes associated with the data they will cease revealing to 3rd parties, including measurement and attribution companies. These companies rely on Apple and Google passing various unique identifiers (not personally identifiable info) that these companies use to measure ad effectiveness across multiple media platforms. I agree with most that these changes further the walled garden initiatives by the big three (facebook, google and apple), all while capitalizing on the privacy debate that has engulfed Facebook. It’s a very convenient excuse for these big companies to their agenda.

 

Many analysts believe that there will be a backlash against google and apple for making it a harder for attribution providers from doing their job. In Apple’s case, they’re not necessarily making it harder for attribution companies, but rather easier for all sorts of companies to get the information they need directly from apple in a much easier way, which many fear could render 3rd party attribution providers useless. Many analysts argue that marketers will fight for more neutrality and need/want 3rd party attribution providers even more.

 

While potentially true, one can try to fight the tidal wave that is now upon us. But smaller companies will continue to fight for scraps given the strategic advantages the bigger companies have. Some marketers will go with the “easy button” and consolidate media and measurement with the big guys. Others might be big enough to push back and advocate for 3rd party attribution tools.

 

I’m just not sure that fight can be won. It’s a game of surviving right now and figuring out how to out flank companies with market caps over $100 billion dollars. No small feat.

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Webinar: Using Behavioral Economics to Identify What Motivates Shopper Behavior

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Check out the latest thought leadership piece on behavioral economics from RevTrax with Cornell University PhDs. Check out the webinar here.

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The crazy things artificial intelligence can do

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In a recent article on HRB, I read some interesting things about “Deep Learning” for artificial intelligence. I got a view into how it is opening up almost endless possibilities. The applications in the real-world are amazing. As a tech and data nerd, I’m so excited about these possibilities but a little scared too.

Companies are spending years and millions of dollars (or multiple of that) to build core capabilities. They are either opening up to others for commercial applications or to build out themselves.

Like any breakthrough innovation like artificial intelligence, time is always a factor. Hardware, software, processing power, and availability of big data are all referenced as gating factors. This has historically made this breakthrough impossible. Not anymore…

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What if marketing cloud providers could have a personality?

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In a recent Chief Marketer article, found here, the author highlighted a funny exercise performed by the IBM Watson evangelist at the London MarTech event. He profiled all major marketing cloud providers and gave the outputs of each, which detail their distinct personalities. Fun exercise for a big data analytics provider in a room full of tech and marketing geeks…

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Challenge for CEOs and cost of moving too slow

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In a recent article by HRB, I loved the juxtaposition between the older ways of making decisions, deliberating, taking time and the necessity for leaders to make the best decisions they can with best information as fast as they can. Focus is key, but balancing risk-taking (faster decisions with partial information) and innovation with core business strengths will be a challenge for CEOs going forward.

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Mobile coupon usage on the rise

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With almost 100 million people using mobile coupons, it’s clear the trend has continued for mobile adoption and overall adoption of coupons in general. The story and study by media post and Koupon Media shares some interesting insights. It’s not as simple as people using paper less and mobile more. People are using coupons more in every vehicle. Mobile is growing for coupons albeit at a rate less than mobile advertising or commerce ironically. One needs to ask why…

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Case for rethinking omni-channel retail priorities

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In one of the better recent articles focused on OMNI-channel retail strategy, this article from HBR really hit home for me. It outlines a research-driven process for testing several hypotheses about merits of OMNI-channel. In short, getting shoppers to buy online had a negative effect on retail profitability. However, getting online shopper to buy in-store gave a major boost to profitability. Perhaps the article is biased toward brick and mortar, but not blindly so. There are some good insights into what criteria make for more profitable channel shoppers, including a shopper’s proximity to the store. The conclusion I drew from this was that if retailers can win shoppers in any channel, go for it. But if they can get online shoppers to go in-store, they will boost margins and sales. That’s why ship-to-store is the best OMNI-channel strategy to capture this online to offline customer behavior.

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Trend for purchase-based data appetite continues among marketers

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In a recent article by AdAge, a variety of companies shared their approach and desire to use purchase-based data to enhance targeting of digital ads, specifically by CPG brands. Epsilon, Acxiom, Datalogix among others are referenced. Lots of talk around high-level trends, but not as much discussion around what specific data is being used, where it comes from and how marketers are using it. Devils always in the details.

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Does urgent trump important?

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I read a post from Seth Godin recently focusing on the fatal dilemma of focusing on the urgent matters often in lieu of important matters. He puts it in simple English what the perceived versus real trade off is between the two. I venture to guess that he is suggesting to focus on the important item that can impact the long-term and help avoid the urgent. Sometimes you can’t, which means that it’s a matter of time management and prioritization so we don’t focus exclusively focusing on putting out fires versus figuring out how to prevent them in the first place.

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Retail industry troubles continue 

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The retail industry, specifically large brick and mortar retailers, is continuing to struggle against fierce competition and changing consumer tastes. This article highlights some specific reasons why Macy’s, KOHLS, and JCPenney have suffered and have closed stores as a result. Malls continue to see traffic shortfalls, and large anchor tenants like these retailers suffer proportionately. Plus, lower pricing and availability of trendy merchandise elsewhere for retailers with faster supply chains make it hard for these big guys to compete. Troubling trend and not sure there is an end in sight. Check out the full article for some details I missed.

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