Provided by Behavioral Insider
Written by Phil Leggiere
We've come a pretty long way in 40 years from "the medium is the message," the mantra of the modern mass market, to the consumer is the message. Or so it often seems. A huge gap remains, however, between recognizing the need to customize both medium and message for each consumer and actually doing so, as Brian Deagan, CEO of Knotice, explains below. Successfully bridging that gap, he predicts, will differentiate the winners from the also-rans in behavioral marketing in 2008.
Behavioral Insider: What's been the biggest missed opportunity over the past year as far as optimizing the potential of targeting more fully?
Brian Deagan: There's a need for a comprehensive online marketing suite. Today, with everything everybody is doing, the fragmentation of the online space has accelerated to an unworkable extent. The impetus of that fragmentation has been that media buyers and planners still organize their online initiatives in a channel-centric way. In order to move toward some synthesis of all these channels, there will be a need to be a changeover to a customer-centric approach.
BI: Are you seeing any signs of overcoming that?
Deagan: Internally, within the organizations of large marketers, I think they are finally getting it and beginning to realize there are incredible efficiencies to be gained by optimizing and integrating workflow and creativity between all the channel silos. You can talk, for instance, with the economics director for a consumer package goods firm, and they're becoming acutely aware of the fact that email drives people back to their Web site, but they are at a loss so far as tying together behavior in the email channel to yield results, say, with Web site conversions.
BI: What's the current status of your platform Concentri, and how does it address that context?
Deagan: The key to how we bridge that gap is to wed for the first time anonymous channel activity with preferences and interests culled from the CRM center. In tandem, each piece of information is far more compelling than either alone. The continuing challenge we face is in getting the right people in the room to span expertise between channel disciplines. Integration will be a constant byword in 2008.
BI: BT in particular is facing a lot of new skepticism because of privacy concerns. How do you see that playing out?
Deagan: All our consumer profiles are based on information volunteered by consumers. The way it works is, say, a consumer is interested in golf. They search for golf clubs on Google and go to a golf Web site where they browse different bags in different colors and styles, along perhaps with some golf shirts. But before buying, they abandon a cart. Based on this behavior the next time they go to that site they are served personalized information based on what they last browsed for.
BI: So how does that expand beyond what we know as retargeting?
Deagan: What takes this beyond basic retargeting is the next step. Consumers are given a discount offer based on their behavior. They are invited to give their email address and join a loyalty program. The coupon might be delivered over cell phone, email or Web site. In order to get their discount, they fill out a form with some personal information. After they convert on an order, they are delivered a further welcome email, which allows consumers to build a detailed personal profile of interests and preferences. Subsequently, when they visit the site they are served ever more personalized content based both on browsing history and profile. After subsequent purchases, they can create a 'Wish List' which they can add to a Facebook or MySpace page, for example. So not only is the message customized, so is the medium.
BI: You've just become a partner with Omniture. What motivated that?
Deagan: Beyond delivering integrated, personalized, customer-centric information across channels, the next step is integrating analytics. The partnership with Omniture, we think, moves that process forward in a major way. By combining Omniture's new Genesis with our own Concentri Omniture, customers can now measure campaigns across channels in a seamless way, spanning email, mobile and the Web.
BI: What are your goals for 2008 as far as the evolution of behavioral targeting?
Deagan: Looking ahead, we see the goal for 2008 will be to make thinking in terms of targeting separate channels obsolete. Both technology and consumer behavior are moving faster than marketers in that direction. After all, on an IPhone the distinction between the mobile Web and the Web doesn't exist. That's just scratching the surface. When the time comes when you can easily watch your favorite YouTube content on your cable, my mother won't be able to tell the difference between TV and IPTV.