Author Archives: NatalieBering

Data: The New Creative

What do you think of when you think CES? Gadgets, TVs, Cameras? Most of us do, but the panel assembled for the session on Contextual Media & Advertising was here to discuss the “now what?” of technology.

We have all of these screens, devices, and channels but how do we serve up what the audience wants? It became clear that these devices are giving communicators two things: a place to talk to us and a place to learn about us. Where we are, what we are doing, what price point is the threshold for an impulse purchase, what are we doing after we are served relevant content?

Harnessing that data to accurately communicate and serve up relevant and timely content is the holy grail. According to this panel, we are getting there, but haven’t cracked that code. We are no longer looking at the data as “good to know” historical information, but we are looking at that data to assist in more accurately guessing what comes next.

On a panel that was mostly media or media adjacent companies, there was a lone soldier of the “traditional” in Ellis Burgoyne, Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President of the United States Postal Service.

It is with Burgoyne that I think the disruptive use of data in a creative way was most exemplified. He spoke of a world where the USPS could tell you what is in your mail box, a world where campaigns are hyper targeted to specific users at specific times in both digital and physical mediums. He also spoke about the ability to have print come to life.

Turns out that the USPS has partnered with Aurasma to create an augmented reality experience for direct mail, a true convergence of traditional and digital. (The video at the top of this post demonstrates some of the other augmented reality experiences Aurasma has developed.)

Burgoyne eloquently painted a picture of a person being alerted to a timely piece of mail that can be scanned to provide additional information revealing a time sensitive offer. Thus engaging with the consumer based on reliable data. The data telling when this person likes to shop, what type of device they use, what action was generated and ultimately how much that person spent. The consumer has a personalized experience and the marketer has a gold mine of information to help them accurately market to that individual.

A little creepy? Maybe, but how many of us get frustrated when we get served up irrelevant ads on our social sites? The only way to get accurate ads is to mine the data that we give when we are online and in store.

The conversation turned toward the success of data mining done by President Obama’s campaign. Joan Hogan Gillman, EVP, Time Warner Cable, Inc. and President, Time Warner Cable Media talked about the level of flexibility and creative pre-planning the campaign did so that they could adjust and adapt as the data streamed in.

Laura Caraccioli, EVP of Advertising at Electus, proposed why not share your data and insights with your creative team? Let them figure out how to design the campaign to adapt to how you want it to ebb and flow.

After sitting in that session it was apparent to me that if we aren’t contextualizing our data to the creative teams we are missing a huge opportunity.

If cats have nine lives, why can’t our content?

PR Newswire staffers Malcolm Atherton & Natalie Bering are on site at CES 2013.

PR Newswire staffers Malcolm Atherton & Natalie Bering are on site at CES 2013.

The day before the show floor opened CES 2013 booths received their finishing touches and exhibitors descended on Las Vegas. The lesser known fact is that CES is not just more than 1.8 million net square feet of exhibits, but it is also a learning conference with industry and role specific tracks.

Yesterday I was able to attend Women in Advertising: Innovation in Digital Technologies where eight accomplished and powerful women were poised to share their experiences with us. The landscape of the panel spanned from large agencies to small start-ups.

In the course of the discussion, the panelists encouraged us to think about our own messaging. Is our content relevant? How do we get the content to those that matter? What is our story? How do we tell it? I sat in the audience thinking that this is the same conversation that all communication practitioners are having – no matter if you’re in marketing, PR, or at an agency.

What was interesting was the digital perspective. The revolution is not necessarily the technology but how the content is being consumed and how to get where your audience needs you to be. Beth McCabe, VP/Group Director, Social Marketing & Technology, Digitas mentioned that it isn’t always about marketing using the latest and greatest technology but being inspired by it. For example, they have a MakerBot in their office, they are not exactly sure what is going to come of it but they are playing with it to see what it sparks. A Death Star, maybe?

The point that resonated the most for me was how are you making what you’re doing function across platforms? Does it relate and is it seamless? One example was if you are creating a innovative interactive digital board how are you then taking that content to create long tail success for the parts that make the whole? The videos to be used via social channels, and iPad apps for your sales team to leverage, in addition to weaving the assets to tell your story from different vantage points.

Again how are we as communicators supposed to repurpose our content to tell our story to that specific segment of our audience?

An audience question about if gender played a role in how these women create their strategy was answered in an array of strange recounts of being in male dominated fields, but I found the most satisfying answer to be from Kristin Ganong, VP, Digital Strategy and Engagement at Diageo. She acknowledged that gender shapes us, but that her strategy comes from being relevant to her customer needs and their audience.

Audiences in today’s landscape is looking for a personal and targeted experience, which necessitates communicators to meet them where they are on the devices they use with content that matters to them.

We are creating great content, why should it only have one life?