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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 all the news to find relevant industry updates?

Recognizing that this is an issue for many of our clients, we cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. 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 is keeping track of this week.

  1. Amazon’s Ad Network Growth Has Created an Ecosystem of New Vendors

It’s not uncommon for the reach of new Amazon products to outpace their ability to provide a decent user experience. For example, in the early days of Amazon Web Services (AWS), setting up cloud infrastructure became so complicated that a cottage industry of vendors sprang up to help customers. That is now happening on the advertising side, where vendors, often staffed with former Amazon employees, are popping up to help advertisers navigate the sprawling Amazon advertising ecosystem.

Takeaway: As with many other Amazon products, user experience will eventually catch up, suggesting that these vendors may have an imminent end date. However, Amazon may follow in the path of Google, where many certified partners now handle the ancillary services that Google does not want to resource. It will be a little while before we see how Amazon evolves so an experienced vendor is a good idea for the time being.

  1. Podcasts Continue to Show Strength

It’s no secret that podcasts have seen a meteoric rise in popularity, and this new Adobe research confirms that the trend is continuing. More importantly, this research shows that podcast advertisements, more than many other channels, are breaking through to listeners. If you’re not thinking about podcasts in your media mix at this point, it’s worth a look.

Takeaway: Podcast advertising is not without its challenges. Coordinating with talent, finding inventory and keeping messaging consistent in a fractured market is extremely difficult. At W2O, we have the expertise to create podcasts for our clients, providing them with value while minimizing the headaches.

3. Nike Acquires Data Science Company Celect

Data science is the backbone of solid analytics and many other data-driven functions at any company. That’s why finding a good partner is so critical. In the case of Nike, it wasn’t enough to partner so they recently acquired data science company Celect.

Takeaway:  Because not every company has the resources to acquire an entire data science company, partnerships with agencies that specialize in this area is essential. At W2O, we are intensely focused on getting to know our client’s data before we apply any modeling or product builds. This allows us to act with the expertise of an internal team but with the resources of our 100+ analysts.

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 and Analytics pages.

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

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Data privacy concerns are on the rise in the USA, and consumers are starting to take action! A recent survey by data company SAS showed 77% of consumers have changed their browser privacy settings, 56% have deleted an app due to privacy concerns and 36% have removed a social media account. In the same survey, more than 66% of consumers are also encouraging the government to do more to protect consumer privacy. Some governments have responded, most notably the California legislature’s passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect January of 2020. There’s also a host of other pending state privacy legislation that marketing and communications teams will need to adapt to in the coming years.

Data privacy has officially moved from a topic that’s discussed at the fringes, to one that inspires emotion and a desire for action. If you have not already, your brand and business need to embrace data privacy and protection now, or risk negatively altering your audiences’ views.

Looking to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as our ‘canary in the coal mine’, it’s already clear that brands who embrace data protection as a core value are making gains. CMO Council studies have shown that organizations meeting and exceeding GDPR standards are seeing increased trust and engagement levels with their audiences. Transparency, consent and data protection are driving increased trust, which is building additional loyalty and deepening their relationships with their clients.

The first step most firms should take is to establish and reinforce a robust data privacy practice. That means committing to personnel, resources, and budget to ensure that the business is not only compliant with current and future legislation but is also building privacy by design into their processes, products and services.

W2O has always focused deeply on data privacy, particularly in our analytics practice. Now, with global legislation growing more complex and privacy concerns continuing to rise in the public’s awareness, we are formalizing our own data privacy practice to ensure both we and our clients are at the leading in both compliance and data ethics.

As the new Global Data Privacy Officer, my focus, like everyone else at W2O, is on our clients and how their programs are impacted by the changing data privacy landscape. My goal is to help clients not just be ahead of compliance needs with appropriate privacy legislation, but also identify strategic opportunities to take advantage of the rise of privacy awareness in the public’s consciousness.

What does that look like? Primarily, I will be working with clients on marcom and business strategy, with privacy communication positioning, online privacy platform workshops, product privacy assessments, privacy legislation awareness training, incident response planning, as well as corporate positioning strategy in order to drive our client’s reputations as privacy leaders

W2O will also offer privacy operational strategy, including privacy governance program design, website cookie consent management tool implementations, data subject access request processes, data mapping recommendations, processing activity records processes, vendor risk management evaluations and more.

As legislation changes around the world, W2O is committed to ensuring our work is uniquely innovative, effective and built on the bedrock of data privacy, helping to fulfill our mission to make the world a healthier place through marketing communications.


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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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 news we’re paying attention to right now.

1. Facebook GDPR Investigation Nearing End

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is currently investigating no less than 11 separate cases of complaints against Facebook under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has given Facebook copies of its final reports. The DPC has indicated that it aims to send circulate decisions and any proposed fines by the end of September. These decisions are among the first tests of GDPR involving large US-based tech and social media companies.

Main TakeawayBrands and marketers should watch these impending decisions for indications of possible future impacts to the online advertising ecosystem. While GDPR initially resulted in a shift in spending towards Google and Facebook, targeting strategies could be affected similarly to when Facebook removed third-party data options earlier this year. Marketers ad communications professionals should be considering other privacy-friendly options such as contextual targeting, including new AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) driven methods.

2. GDPR and Right of Access

An Oxford University researcher recently revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas the ease of which personal data can be obtained by bad actors through use of a data access request. The GDPR specifies that Data Subjects have a right to access and to receive the personal data companies hold on them, and the researcher exploited this by making several data subject access requests pretending to be someone else – in this case his fiancé with her full knowledge. Most companies did request proof of identity and throughout the tests the researcher only provided information that a stranger could reasonably get. He was able to obtain very sensitive information including the social security number, usernames and passwords, his fiancé’s history of hotel visits, account deletions and more.

Main TakeawayBrands and marketers must be aware of this exploit, and consider a variety of identity verification solutions. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) recommends avoiding asking for copies of ID documents such as passports or driver’s licenses, and instead seek other solutions such as a digital authentication mechanism utilizing log in credentials, and other mechanisms such as the US Government NIST guidelines. If all else fails, GDPR allows for the refusal of a data subject request unless the data subject provides more information. Third party identification services are also widely available.

3. PwC Receives GDPR Fine Over Employee Data

Consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) received a 150,000 Euro fine from the Greek data protection enforcement body, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority. The fine is specific to PwC’s use of consent as a legal basis for processing the personal data of its employees.

Main TakeawayAll MarCom’s organizations need to be aware that the GDPR applies to employee data, and consult with their legal teams to ensure they are fully compliant.


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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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 all the news to find relevant industry updates?

Recognizing that this is an issue for many of our clients, we cut through the noise and deliver updates on the most impactful trends in digital marketing and analytics. 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 is keeping track of this week.

  1. JICWEBS Tests Blockchain Solution for Ad Spend Transparency

 The complicated and intricate nature of internet advertising has provided many alcoves for those committing ad fraud and other malfeasance to hide. That’s why ad spend transparency has long been a top request of advertisers. While many attempts have been made to address this and overall transparency has increased, there is still no ultimate solution. JICWEBS, the UK’s digital ad standards organization, announced in May that it was creating a blockchain-based solution to ad transparency. Although there was some initial skepticism, major companies such as Nestlé and McDonalds are now trying out the technology, indicating that this could be a major advance.

Takeaway: There will likely never be one solution to keep tabs on everything that could go wrong with digital ad spend. Instead, it’s best to take an approach that uses tested methods of monitoring along with new approaches, such as JICWEBS’ blockchain solution.

  1. Amperity Receives $50 Million in New Funding

 At W2O, we’ve long been proponents of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). We often advise clients on how to get the most out of marketing and analytics tech, and CDPs are top among these platforms. Over the past few months, it has been clear that the rest of the industry is taking note and making bets on which CDP will be the next big blue-chip player. That’s why major investors including Goldman Sachs just invested $50 million in Amperity, a leading CDP, in order to get a foothold in this expanding market.

Takeaway: CDPs are a valuable platform to any marketing stack. However, there is a lot of hype in different areas of the market that doesn’t necessarily translate to better marketing or measurement quite yet. It’s important to make sure your CDP fits with your existing tech and data before investing.

  1. Adobe and Microsoft Integrate with the Help of Avanade

Competition among big tech is fierce whether in consumer applications or enterprise software. That’s why it’s always encouraging to see an announcement like this one in which two of tech’s biggest players, Microsoft and Adobe, have decided to make every IT expert’s life a little easier. Now, Adobe’s Experience Manager will have an easier time integrating with Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, as well as Dynamics 365.

Takeaway: Many times, we find that companies are looking for a big tech player to offer an all-in-one solution to their tech needs. This solution would be ideal, but a best-of-breed approach almost always works better. This creates the need for cross-platform integrations like these.

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 and Analytics pages.

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

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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 news we’re paying attention to right now.

  1. GDPR Fines Rolling In

The UK’s data privacy authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced its intentions to fine Marriott $123MM and British Airways $230MM – about 1.5% of their respective annual revenues, and the largest penalties yet under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Both fines relate to data breaches and poor data security. Some observers feel these fines may be prescient of further punitive actions by regulators to come, particularly targeting Facebook and Google.

Main Takeaway – Brands and marketers that haven’t engaged a data privacy program along with IT security need to take action. GDPR particularly, and coming US regulation coming soon such as CCPA impact both security and privacy. A transparent and robust data privacy and protection program not only reduces the impact of breaches (ant the potential for fines), but also builds trust and engagement with audiences.

2. Some CCPA Amendments Passed, Some Defeated

Rushing against a mandatory deadline, California Senate committee members voted on several amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which comes into effect January 2020. One of the more contentious bills, 1416, which would have provided exceptions to allow businesses to sell personal data to third parties and allow data transfer to government entities, was withdrawn. Bill 25, which would have provided an exemption for employers related to job data, was amended to require employers to tell employees the types of information collection, and not the detailed data itself. The tech industry supported Bill 873, which would have changed the definitions of personal information essentially exempting IP address and browser fingerprinting, failed to pass.

Main TakeawayAll US businesses should be paying close attention to CCPA developments, especially marketing and communications teams, and ad technology vendors. While the guidance from the attorney general isn’t expected until at least September, brands should be taking action now to prepare.

3. ICO Guidance on Cookies Released

For websites that target EU-based persons, the UK’s data protection authority, the ICO, has released detailed guidance on the use of cookies and similar web tracking technologies (including device fingerprinting) as they relate to GDPR. Some of the highlights include that tracking cannot occur until opt-in consent is given, analytics cookies such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics are not considered strictly necessary and must be opt-in, and that emphasizing an “agree” or “allow all” mechanism over a reject or block message – often called nudging – is considered non-compliant.

Main TakeawayThe guidance provided by the ICO is highly detailed, and any operator of a website aimed at, or any company tracking and collecting digital data on EU located should review it in its entirety. There is direct guidance on providing users with clear and comprehensive choices, how to set cookie expiries, and responsibilities for cookies set by third parties on a website, such as Facebook.

* The opinions expressed in this post do not constitute or represent legal advice. No liability is accepted by the authors or W2O Group for any action taken or not taken based on the information or any associated communications.


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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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 all the news to find relevant industry updates?

Recognizing that this is an issue for many of our clients, we 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 is keeping track of this week.

  1. Dun & Bradstreet Moves Beyond Data with Acquisition of Lattice Engines: Dun & Bradstreet has a 178-year history of providing B2B data and analysis. Now, D&B has placed itself in one of the newest technology platform categories – Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) – with the acquisition of Lattice Engines. That company focuses on making customer data more accessible and usable for its B2B clients, so this marriage makes sense on paper. However, it will be interesting to see how old and new combine to tackle current industry challenges.

Main Takeaway: Data companies can no longer rely on solely providing data. Instead, they need to also provide the technology that comes with it. This can be seen with a similar announcement from TransUnion’s purchase of TruSignal. For users, this means more functionality to come with their data purchases. However, it can also mean more integration headaches between multiple tech vendors.

  1. Amazon Opens Its Personalization Services to Everyone, for Free: Amazon’s rich customer data and heavy investment in technology has made it the north star of personalized marketing. That’s why it’s so exciting that Amazon has opened up its personalization tech, Amazon Personalize, to all AWS users for free. At W2O, we’ve used personalization with a number of clients to improve results, which is why our tech team is already getting to work on this new service.

Main Takeaway: Even with the best data and tech, personalization is really difficult to get right and so easy to get wrong. This announcement represents a low-risk way for marketers to get started with personalization. However, Amazon Personalize is not no-risk; proper testing and monitoring is necessary with any updates to the customer experience and personalization is no different.

  1. Salesforce and Google Invest Big in Data Visualization: Salesforce announced its acquisition of Tableau, a leader in data visualization and dashboarding. Salesforce has been known to scoop up leading Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors so this purchase was not surprising but the price tag of $15.7 billion was stunning. Similarly, Google shelled out $2.6 billion for the business intelligence (BI) platform Looker.

Main Takeaway: Salesforce and Google made these acquisitions in part to gain access to Tableau’s and Looker’s large user bases. However, these moves also speak to the importance of not only gathering data but also making sure it is presented in a way that is insightful. We often hear our clients’ frustrations in receiving data-dump style reports with no context. That’s why our analysts work hard to create custom reports for every use case.

 

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 and Analytics pages.

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

Read More

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. Salesforce Pardot Outage Impacts the Marketing Technology World: Last month all users of Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform, Pardot, experienced a 15-hour interruption. An outage on a platform of this size would normally raise quite a few eyebrows but the cause of the outage was even more concerning. The outage was reportedly caused by an errant update that resulted in being able see and edit all the organization’s data regardless of their permission level. This exposure could cause all kinds of security and privacy concerns within any impacted organization.

Main Takeaway: The entire marketing technology world has grown at lightspeed mostly due to the ever-expanding demands of marketers and analysts. This has led to a pace of innovation that is truly impressive. However, it should also be no surprise that this pace has resulted in a huge security risk stemming from one the industries biggest platforms. Organizations should hold back from pushing their technology functionality forward, but they should also be planning for every contingency at the same time.

  1. Foursquare Acquires Placed to Strengthen Location-Based Attribution: Consumer check-in app turned location data vendor, Foursquare, used a recent $150mm investment to acquire Placed, a location-based attribution vendor. Foursquare has quietly worked to establish itself as a leading location data vendor and this acquisition will certainly strengthen that position. By acquiring Placed, Foursquare users will have access to enhanced attribution features that include TV and Out of Home media.

Main Takeaway: Attribution is the analytical process of connecting marketing impressions to user conversions. Often attribution is talked about in the scope ecommerce; in other words, users purchasing online. However, it’s not uncommon for conversions to happen off-line (e.g. purchases at brick and mortar stores). At W2O we use location data as one of many inputs to build off-line attribution models.

  1. Bankrupt DSP, Sizmek, Quickly Acquired by Amazon: We’ve talked a lot of by the growth of Amazon’s advertising business through their Demand Side Platform (DSP). This acquisition makes clear that Amazon is serious about become a major player in this area and even give Google a run for its money.

Main Takeaway: It’s not just the potential scale of Amazon that should grab advertiser’s attention; it’s also the strategic moves, as this acquisition shows, that indicate Amazon is serious about investing in digital marketing. We are now at the point where Amazon should be at least considered as part of any well-rounded digital marketing mix.

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 marketing and analytics trends.


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

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

Read More

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 news we’re paying attention to right now.

  1. GDPR 1 Year Anniversary

The implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) marked a watershed moment and has raised awareness of digital privacy in particular around the world, including the United States with the impending implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The European Commission marked the anniversary with a press release noting that the GDPR has “become a global reference point”, and that nearly 6 in 10 people in the EU know about the data protection authority in their country.

Main Takeaway: Privacy protection is not just a compliance problem, it’s a key differentiator for brands. Marketers need to take action now by embracing privacy as a key component of programs and products. Personalized experiences are not only still possible, but likely even more effective between brands and their audiences when done in a transparent and trustworthy way.

2. Preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act

The CCPA comes into effect January 2020, and has a one year look back window – meaning that technically any data collected this year will have to be accounted for. While EU regulators have not been quick to impose major fines yet, it’s reasonable to assume that California may be stricter. Brands who have already dealt with GDPR compliance may be ahead, but still have steps to take, and marketers who have not yet dealt with privacy compliance may be surprised at how rigorous and intensive coming into compliance will be.

Main Takeaway: While the fight over the CCPA and a potential federal regulation to pre-empt it is not over, brands and marketers should be preparing now. As of now, only 14% of companies report being ready, and complex organizations will have a great deal of work to do. If CCPA compliance isn’t a priority yet, now is the time.

3. Irish Regulators Begin Investigating Google under GDPR

This week the Irish Data Protection Commission opened an inquiry into Google, who’s EU headquarters is based in Ireland. This inquiry is focused on “processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertising transaction” – and is in a response to a complaint by Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer at web browser Brave. The complaint is focused on Real-Time Bidding (RTB), and whether the way that RTB is conducted represents a data breach.

Main Takeaway: If found to be not in compliance, a judgement against Google would require them to change how their ad systems work at a fundamental level. This is the first major face-off under GDPR of how programmatic advertising general works, and all digital marketers should be paying close attention to this as a potential test case as it could result in massive fines and impact the ad-tech ecosystem significantly.

* The opinions expressed in this post do not constitute or represent legal advice. No liability is accepted by the authors or W2O Group for any action taken or not taken based on the information or any associated communications.


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

Want to chat? Drop us a line.

Read More
Tags:

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. New Report Details the Effectiveness of Personalization: Personalization is loosely defined as customizing individual user experiences based on past behavior and predicted user preferences. It has been one of the most sought after, as well as the most elusive, areas of digital marketing. Personalization requires many things to be executed well – customer data, scalable infrastructure, a creative UI team and more. That is why many marketers never get past including a user’s first name in the corner of their website. This report from ARM Treasure Data and Forbes, however, explains that personalization is still worth striving for because it drives results; 54% of companies who use personalization exceed their revenue targets.

Main Takeaway: Personalization is now expected from users. So, while it remains difficult to execute, it’s more important than ever to invest in personalization. We’ve helped many clients go through the process of organizing data, understanding users, and delivering personalized experiences. We often see this as one of the most impactful efforts a marketing team can go through.

  1. Mailchimp Becomes Full-Service Marketing Platform: Mailchimp has long been known as the CRM and email platform of choice for small businesses. It was seen as a great platform for flower shops and local restaurants to get their word out through a simple and intuitive email interface. That was until two years ago when Mailchimp listened to its customers and started to add a broader array of marketing tools like Facebook ads, display ads, and more. This week’s announcement solidifies the scope of Mailchimp’s expanded functionality which will allow small business owners to spend less time switching between marketing tools.

Main Takeaway: The right marketing tool or tools completely depends on the size and needs of the business. For small businesses with limited resources, the ease of platforms like Mailchimp is imperative. However, for larger companies with complex marketing campaigns and a need for detailed analytics, a best-of-breed approach may be best. At W2O we pride ourselves on being platform agnostic, which means we can work with any existing platform or recommend and implement new platforms.

  1. OpenAP Aims to Bring TV Ad Buying into the 21st Century: Last month, WarnerMedia pulled out of OpenAP, the consortium that planned on building an ad network that would allow advertisers to buy audience-based media across major TV networks. The future of OpenAP, and TV ad buying generally, was left uncertain but the consortium has announced that they plan to move ahead without WarnerMedia.

Main Takeaway: Audience-based TV advertising hold so much promise because the TV clearly commands a captive audience but has been difficult to target thus far. However, the ecosystem of platforms and partners continues to be messy which is making it difficult for advertisers to place bets on any one horse. We recommend staying flexible while this nascent area of digital marketing sorts out. That is why we review platforms and partners at the beginning of every TV buy to make sure new opportunities do not pass our client’s by.

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 marketing and analytics 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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