In the hyper-paced world of digital marketing and analytics, marketers are often hard pressed to keep up with the constantly changing news of the day. Between planning, executing and optimizing campaigns who has time to dig through the news to find relevant industry updates?

Seeing that this is an issue for most of our clients, we often cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. Now we’ve decided to open these insights up to everyone by publishing a weekly roundup of the most important news.

Here’s what our team of digital marketing and analytics experts are keeping track of this week.

  1. Taptica Invests in Video Advertising by Acquiring RhythmOne: Advertising technology company, Taptica, made its second investment in TV by acquiring RhythmOne for a reported $176mm. This is after acquiring Tremor Video DSP in 2017. It’s clear that Taptica is placing a big bet on Connected TV (CTV). We’ve been watching this space evolve on both the consumer and technology sides for a long time and agree that it’s going to be a hotspot for advertising growth.
  2. Google and Salesforce Team Up to Provide Better Analytics: It’s rare that large marketing technology and analytics platforms decide to ‘play nice’ because they are constantly battling to gain a larger and larger share of client’s advertising dollars. That’s why it was both surprising and refreshing when Google and Salesforce announced a partnership between their Analytics 360 and Marketing Cloud products respectively. This week it seems the two have made good on their promise by opening-up the interconnected functionality. We often talk about the need to integrate platforms, so it will be great to see how impactful this massive partnership will be for marketers and analysts.
  3. Cision Acquires TrendKite to Provide Better Insight into Communication Programs: Global PR and Communications vendor, Cision, acquired measurement tool TrendKite to provide communications teams with better visibility into the performance of their efforts. Measuring PR and Communications programs has traditionally been difficult to do. At W2O, we’ve created a team of experts with deep industry knowledge and analytical skill to help clients gain visibility into program performance.
  4. Cisco Report Shows Benefits of Companies Securing Customer Data: After the European Union enacted the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) last year, many companies were left scrambling to come into compliance. While this report shows that many companies are still not quite there, it also shows that many are already receiving the ancillary benefits of gaining better control of customers data including fewer data breaches and shorter sales delays. W2O has taken a special interest in helping new and existing clients stay or come up to compliance because we’ve seen these benefits as part of the process as well.

Those are the four pieces of news we are watching closely this week. Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital marketing and analytics trends.

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In the hyper-paced world of digital marketing and analytics, marketers are often hard pressed to keep up with the constantly changing news of the day. Between planning, executing and optimizing campaigns who has time to dig through the news to find relevant industry updates?

Seeing that this is an issue for most of our clients, we often cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. Now we’ve decided to open these insights up to everyone by publishing a weekly roundup of the most important news.

Here’s what our team of digital marketing and analytics experts are keeping track of this week.

  1. Facebook Opens Up Brand Safety Partnerships: Facebook has long been in beta with brand safety vendors DoubleVerify and OpenSlate to help brands ensure their content is being represented responsibly. Last week, Facebook opened the program to all brands. This brings Facebook up to parity with most other publishers. However, it may also create an extra bit of trust that Facebook desperately needs at this point with both advertisers and consumers alike.
  2. Qlik Acquires CrunchBot for Conversation Analytics UI: There always seems to be news coming out regarding chatbots and natural language processing (NLP), regardless of how enthusiastic consumers actually are about the platforms. Qlik’s new acquisition of CrunchBot continues the trend of interesting news with a questionable amount of utility for end users. The acquisition is meant to create a platform where users can make analytics queries through chat/voice UI like Slack or Alexa. The concept is certainly more convenient for many users than using code like SQL to retrieve data. However, given the current accuracy with most chatbots and voice assistants, data queries seem like a tall task.
  3. Confluent Raises $125mm to Further Event Streaming: Real-time event processing vendor, Confluent, raised a staggering $125mm to further build out its platform. Event processing consists of tracking user actions in real-time and making them available for other systems to act on. For example, a user’s action may trigger an alert or an update to a predictive model. This investment highlights the importance not only of data itself, but also how quickly that data becomes available.
  4. Salesforce Bolsters Datorama’s CDP Capabilities: There was some exciting news in the world of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) last year when CRM giant, Salesforce, purchased Datorama. It seems that Datorama has taken that investment and quickly reinvested it into enhanced features. Last week it was announced that users would now have access to a slew of new features around analytics and activation. We see CDPs as a marketer’s best tool yet to attain the coveted ‘single view of the customer’ so its exciting the see the space generally, and Datorama specifically, continue to evolve.

Those are the four pieces of news we are watching closely this week. Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital marketing and analytics trends.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About or Analytics page.

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On January 21st, 2019 the French data protection authority CNIL (the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) announced a €50 million fine against Google for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding the ads personalization.”

Read the original release from CNIL in English here.

The fine stems from complaints originally submitted in May 2018 shortly after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. While not the first fine levied, it’s the largest to date and the first levelled against a major player like Google. The complaints came from two organizations – None Of Your Business (“NOYB”) – headed up by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, and La Quadrature du Net (“LQDN”).

While Google famously “does not sell user data”, and eliminated what little data sharing it did before GPDR, brands who use Google to advertise should be paying attention to how they respond to this enforcement action.  €50 million is a drop in the proverbial bucket for Google, but it’s also clear that regulatory authorities will not give the duopoly a free pass.

And this action against Google may be the first of many fines to come. While CNIL started investigating the matter on June 1st  2018, their online inspections did not occur until September 2018, and the announcement of the fine came yesterday – the complaint this fine is based on was one of the very first ones submitted under GDPR. NYOB has since submitted several GDPR complaints, including last week against Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Spotify and YouTube. CNIL itself received 3,767 complaints from May 2018 to October 2018 alone.

One key question is – how quickly will Google and other big platforms move towards full and real compliance? Once Google does comply, and consumers do have a clear and informed choice along with the ability to control their own data, will targeted advertising capabilities be severely compromised or will Google adapt with new strategies?

Privacy is an opportunity for brands, publishers and platforms – not just a compliance burden.

It’s already clear that brands can and should use new privacy legislation as an opportunity to focus on developing transparency and trust with their customers. Consumers will exchange data with brands they trust for the right value exchange, and consumer comfort levels are much higher with direct brand relationships versus third-party data sharing.

Even as companies like Apple are differentiating themselves on the basis of privacy, at the same time data-intensive advertising continues to increase in Europe. Strategies like direct buying from publishers that have developed consumer trust through privacy and excellent user experience are not only filling but exceeding any gap caused by the GDPR.

GDPR hasn’t caused the end of the digital advertising industry. The wave of privacy legislation we are experiencing now will have some losers and some winners – the big winners will be the brands, advertisers, publishers and platforms that seize this moment to change and innovate.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Analytics pages.

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In the hyper-paced world of digital marketing and analytics, marketers are often hard pressed to keep up with the constantly changing news of the day. Between planning, executing and optimizing campaigns who has time to dig through the news to find relevant industry updates?

Seeing that this is an issue for most of our clients, we often cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. Last year, we opened these insights up to everyone by publishing a weekly roundup of the most important news.

To start 2019 off, our team of experts have picked four items of news that we believe exemplify trends that will be most impactful this year.

  1. Google and Facebook Will Continue to Dominate Ad Sales (but Amazon Will Catch Up): It’s no secret that Google and Facebook dominate the digital ad sales space. Including Google and Facebook in the digital media mix is standard practice ensuring the two giants will receive at least some part of most marketer’s budgets. We don’t expect this dynamic to change much in 2019. However, Amazon is coming up fast with their Amazon Advertising Platform. While it may not seem like a great option to allocate budget to another tech behemoth, Amazon is probably the only company with the scale to take on Google and Facebook; it should be interesting to see what a dose of competition brings to the market.
  2. Marketers Will Continue to Try to Make a Shifting TV Landscape Work: The shift to Over The Top (OOT) streaming services has been a headache for some marketers as two of the most popular platforms, Netflix and Prime, do not sell traditional ad-space. Further still, very little of OOT inventory is integrated with digital ad buying platforms; this limits the promise of enhanced targeting over traditional TV inventory. However, for all of TV’s issues, it’s still one of the most powerful media channels so, we expect the space to become more functional as both marketing technology vendors and advertisers continue to invest.
  3. Identity Management Will Continue to Rise in Importance: It used to be that only brands too small to manage their own customer’s identities would hire out the responsibility. However, in an increasingly sensitive space around protection of consumer data, these specialized vendors are growing more important. We’ve recommended these types of solutions to many clients and have found great success.
  4. Cross Channel Attribution Will Continue to be the Egg That Everyone Tries to Crack: Cross channel attribution has long been the holy-grail of digital marketing analytics. However, it’s very difficult to do, especially when the conversion is offline. There are many approaches to solve this, with varying success rates. At W2O we’ve invested heavily in offline data sources, as well as the data scientist who know how to use them, to provide this service to clients.

Those are the four pieces of news we are watching closely this week. Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital analytics and marketing technology trends.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About or Analytics page.

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Earlier this week, crowds of excited journalists, brand reps and PR folk descended on Las Vegas for the annual celebration of technology and innovation that is CES. We were there, and saw lots of demos, gigantic booths and overwhelming displays; and some unexpected and quirky products. We at W2O looked high and low to find what we think will be the most important topics for you as you look to the next few years:

Autonomous Transportation

Watch out for news from the sky coming to a smart city near you, but it isn’t just drones this year. The Bell Nexus is an all-new hybrid electric aircraft designed to be an ‘urban air taxi’ as soon as the early 2020s working with companies like Uber to ease congestion and speed travel. On the ground, Mercedes showed off a prototype modular system with different pods using the same chassis, while Aptiv offered autonomous Lyft rides for attendees to and fro. BMW, Audi and others showed off their AD partnerships with tech companies like Intel and Bosch (respectively), with vehicles loaded up with 360 AR entertainment systems from partners like Warner Bros and Disney. When you don’t have to drive yourself, you’ll have plenty of time and space to enjoy all kinds of work and entertainment options!

PCs are Back?

After a multi-year streak of declining or flat sales, many analysts are predicting that 2019 will be the first year to see Y/Y growth (though small). Security improvements, along with Windows 10 performance improvements and supply availability driving reduced cost have finally broken the dam on companies holding back on refreshing their inventory. Additional improvements in laptop screen quality, battery performance, 5G and network improvements, voice and biometrics and other form factor changes will delight users that have grown accustomed to tablet use. We saw loads of great, high-end product launches from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Sony and others, as well as Chromebook-style updates for less expensive models.

5G is Everywhere, Again

It’s the announcement that we’ve heard before, but this time it’s being put into our devices – and cars – and towers – and everything else. 5G, the promise of faster networks and deconflicting traffic, has been all the rage, but hasn’t come to life just yet for 99% of the world. This year, we are watching for devices to become equipped with the ability to work on the network, signaling that reality is just around the corner. Development sandboxes from Intel and Verizon as well as development kits indicate that it’s safe for organizations to start planning for integration.

Voice Control + Personal Assistants

We had a chance to check out cute and cuddly robots as well as industrial ones, but the improvements were really in increased integration for voice commands with smarter responses and more helpful utilities (aka just a little smarter). Personal assistants, both virtual and robotic are maturing in skill set and utility and are beginning to offer real value to users of all kinds. Users are increasingly comfortable with voice commands and the devices becoming easier to manage, integrating with personal assistants in new ways. No major announcements are expected this year on the voice front, though Google and Amazon both made some incremental updates and integrations with transportation (Alexa on bicycles) and physical devices (Google Home has over 30 languages).

Folding Screens

Have you ever wanted more visual space on your mobile device or laptop, but still wanted to fit it into your bag? The new generation of strong-but-flexible folding screens promise just that, with mobile devices that you can expand and contract, as needed. This may be one of the more high profile announcements of CES, but it isn’t quite ready for primetime just yet. However, the implications for incredible user experiences is truly exciting and makes this one a space to watch.

So How Does all of this Apply to Healthcare?

As with any trend, we believe you need to start with your strategy first, and then the right solution for your audiences will be evident. The technology above might be right for your audiences in health facilities, practices or at-home care with telemedicine. Improvements in AI, networking, security, wearables and voice control will continue to change how care is delivered to patients within facilities, as consumers, and for systems as organizations, but it’s never a one-size-fits-all. Some of the interesting digital health previews included ‘powered suit’ body-sized wearables that help with physical therapy and provide feedback that teach patients how to rebuild strength, even scaling down to ‘power gloves’ for arthritis. We saw backpacks that let the hearing impaired experience music and biofeedback wearables that improve quality of life through sensing what patients can’t – helping with Afib, Diabetes and other chronic conditions.

And finally, integrating user data with AI from systems, plus other personal historical information and context to enable better and more insightful recommendations for every patient or user. Whether the personal data comes from the individual only, or is blended with data from other blinded medical records and macro data from all available trend data, that information adds invaluable detail and reference to enable better solutions for all patient challenges. We expect to see interesting announcements from organizations large and small detailing how to connect data with real patient challenges in the rest of 2019, so watch this space for more!


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Privacy and data protection regulations impact the work of every advertising, marketing and PR communications professional around the globe, and the focus on privacy by consumers and regulators continues to increase. W2O’s team is tracking the most important news and changes that directly influence our industry, including the latest on legislation, new privacy technology, enforcement actions, analysis and thought leadership in privacy and data protection.

Here’s the latest news we’re paying attention to right now. This week’s updates include a 60 Minutes news feature on GDPR, Dutch Regulators finding Microsoft GDPR violations, and new surveys indicating the rising importance of privacy protection for both consumers and marketers.

GDPR and the Marriott Mega-Breach

Last week Marriott revealed that a Starwood guest reservation system had been hacked in a breach going back to 2014, potentially exposing the personal data of 500 million people. It is not currently known ifMarriott reported the breach to EU data protection authorities within the 72hour maximum allowed by GDPR – but assuming that data of those based in the EUis included in the breach, Marriott could face a massive fine. That said, it is likely that any fine will depend on how quicklyMarriott acted and an investigation will likely take many months.

What this might mean for brands

Adding fuel to fire, this breach is already causing US senators to call for both data breach penalties and more robust privacy laws. Specific to GDPR, attention will be given specifically to “data protection by design” and “purpose and usage limitation” clauses. Expectations of data privacy will continue to rise, particularly for brands who hold very sensitive information such as passport data. Brands who hold personal data should expect further media and public attention, and be prepared with full data privacy programs.

Irish Data Protection Commissioner Investigates LinkedIn

A recent report published by Ireland’s Data ProtectionCommissioner (DPC) lists several investigations that have previously been widely known about, including Facebook and several others – and it also included an investigation that had not been previously reported detailingLinkedIn’s use of email addresses to target advertising. The DPC discovered that LinkedIn had obtained 18 million emails from non-members, and used these to advertise for new members on Facebook. The DPC indicated the complaint was ultimately resolved thanks to LinkedIn making several changes that stopped the use of the data in question – although it is not clear how LinkedIn obtained the email addresses.

It was also revealed in a resulting audit that LinkedIn was using algorithms to “suggest professional networks” for non-members in attempts to get more people to join. The DPC ordered LinkedIn to cease the “pre-compute” process and delete all personal data associated with it. Fines have not been issued, likely because the infractions mostly took place before GDPR came into effect.

What this might mean for brands

Brands should be conducting comprehensive audits of their data sources and uses as part of their overall GDPR programs. Particular attention is being paid by regulators to third party data usage for marketing, and documentation of the lawful basis of processing, and if needed consent, are key to ensuring compliance.

‘Consent String Fraud’ Worries Appear

Consent strings were first created by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe as a relatively easy method for tracking consent between various parts of the advertising technology ecosystem. These numeric strings act as a record of consent combined with vendor id numbers assigned by the IAB, and Google has their own version which is not interoperable with the IAB version. This record is then used by adtech to determine if personalized ads can be served or not with a simple 1/0,Yes/No verification.

Unfortunately, it’s relatively easy for vendors to either mistakenly or fraudulently change a 0 to a 1. Errors can and do occur when moving back and forth between the IAB and Google frameworks – which is a technical challenge to solve, and changing the value as part of an ad fraud scheme is also happening. It is currently unclear how regulatory authorities will react, and legitimate vendors are beginning to express their worries.

What this might mean for brands

With GDPR well established and California’s CCPA on the way, brands should be auditing their ad tech ecosystem to ensure their consent frameworks are compliant with all applicable legislation.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Analytics pages.

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As a digital marketer responsible for planning, executing and optimizing campaigns you have a finite amount of “free” time. You are constantly trying to ensure that the objectives of your campaign are met, and you are delivering value to the business. Some days it probably feels like you have very little time to breathe, let alone think about the strategic direction of your organization.

So, when you see announcements or articles in the marketing trade press about news regarding digital analytics, marketing technology or advertising technology it’s likely impossible to keep up. Even more so because digital analytics and marketing technology are two of the fastest growing industries in marketing today. You probably would love to learn more about how these data and tools could be used to help further your business objectives, but there is simply no time.

That’s why our team of experts is releasing weekly recaps to keep you up to speed. Here’s what we’re watching this week.

  1. Instagram Attempts to Get Ahead of Inauthentic Activity: Instagram is releasing a new machine learning algorithm that hunts down accounts using third party services connected to inauthentic behavior. Inauthentic (fraudulent) behavior in the form of fake likes, shares, etc. is hardly unique to Instagram. However, Instagram’s simplified user experience has quickly gained popularity as other legacy social platform have gotten noisier. To preserve that experience, Instagram is not only releasing an algorithm to clean up behavior, but also publicizing it.
  2. Claritas Combines Segmentation with Attribution by Acquiring Barometric: Connecting the marketing funnel into a single platform has always been the desire for marketers. In today’s crowded tech landscape, vendors who used to specialize in one area of marketing are feeling more pressure to expand their offerings. So, it should be no surprise that segmentation and targeting vendor, Claritas, recently acquired attribution vendor, Barometric, to combine activation and measurement. With all deals like these, the synergy looks great on paper, but the devil is in the integration. We’ll be keeping a keen eye to see how Claritas progresses.
  3. Marketers Prioritize Integrations when Picking Platforms: Speaking of integrations, MarTech Today reported that marketers are consistently prioritizing integration with existing platforms when evaluating new vendors. This makes sense – what’s the value of a new vendor if they do not work with your existing technology? We see a lot of clients take this to mean that their options are limited to big cloud vendors, like Salesforce or Oracle, if they want an integrated stack. However, many smaller vendors have done a great job opening their platforms and connecting with others. At W2O we often help clients connect many different vendors to construct a full marketing stack.
  4. Ad ID Consortium Continue Momentum: As I’ve written about before, the Ad ID Consortium is on a mission to create better cross-platform identity resolution. This is especially important as cookie syncs become less and less effective. Getting all of these platforms to work together has not been easy; as a result, we’ve seen a number of public shakeups. However, the consortium just recently released news that a new proof of concept has been completed. Marketers will continue to stay optimistic as positive as news like this continues to slowly roll out. However, it seems the Ad ID Consortium is far from operational.

Those are the four pieces of news we are watching closely this week. Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital analytics and marketing technology trends.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Analytics pages.

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

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Leveraging AI, machine intelligence, language translation, and localization can have tremendous benefits for our society. According to this week’s guest, when utilized in the correct way, these tools can greatly improve our world.

For today’s episode, I had the pleasure of sitting down with John Fennelly, CEO of Lionbridge. I am fortunate to know John and the incredibly smart team at Lionbridge, because they are a client of the firm, so I knew this would be a fascinating discussion.

We explored how we can use AI and machine intelligence to enhance the world around us, chatted about Jefferson Airplane, and bonded over having puppies. Take a listen below.


Don’t miss an episode of What2Know, subscribe to our podcast on iTunesStitcher or Spotify!

If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Analytics page.

As a digital marketer responsible for planning, executing and optimizing campaigns you have a finite amount of “free” time. You are constantly trying to ensure that the objectives of your campaign are met, and you are delivering value to the business. Some days it probably feels like you have very little time to breathe, let alone think about the strategic direction of your organization.

So, when you see announcements or articles in the marketing trade press about news regarding digital analytics, marketing technology or advertising technology it’s likely impossible to keep up. Even more so because digital analytics and marketing technology are two of the fastest growing industries in marketing today. You probably would love to learn more about how these data and tools could be used to help further your business objectives, but there is simply no time.

That’s why our team of experts is releasing weekly recaps to keep you up to speed. Here’s what we’re watching this week.

  1. Zendesk Open Source CRM: Because Salesforce has become the dominate CRM player, many marketers gloss over other vendors that could meet their needs. Each CRM is set up to serve different types of customers. That’s why it’s surprising that Zendesk is taking on Salesforce right in their wheelhouse, the enterprise open source CRM platform. The biggest differentiator for Zendesk is their ability to connect their existing expertise in service with the sales side of an organization.
  2. SAP Acquires Qualtrics: Cloud software company, SAP has been just as aggressive in acquiring new software as a service (SaaS) vendors as it’s cloud behemoth peers. Last week SAP showed no signs of slowing down as they scooped up research and survey tool, Qualtrics. The biggest surprise was the massive price tag at $8bn in cash. This acquisition shows two things 1) cloud vendors are doubling down on growth through acquisition and we can expect more consolidation to come and 2) in a world with disappearing cookies and tightening data restrictions, insight into consumer behavior and preferences is become more valuable than ever.
  3. Screen6 Launches idSync and Ditches Cookies: Cross-device identity graph provider, Screen6, announced a new product it has named idSync. idSync is meant to identify users across multiple platforms, include over-the-top TV. This follows a strong trend in the industry to move away from cookie syncing and build identity-graphs that can track consenting users via other means. At W2O we are seeing these identity-graphs popping up all over the place. However, they are not all created equal so it’s important to do a thorough evaluation before choosing a vendor.

Those are the three pieces of news we are watching closely this week. Watch this space weekly as we’ll continue to keep you updated on digital analytics and marketing technology trends.


If you’re interested in learning about W2O, check out our About and Analytics pages.

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

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