The Consumers Behind Big Data

Posted by Taylor Haney on Mon, Dec 9, 2013

Kicking off our December posts we have data and analytics insight from Rick Chavez, the Chief Solutions Officer in the Microsoft Advertising Business Group. Rick gives some great insight into the importance of having both logical as well as emotional consumer data and how this can be applied.

Rick headshotFocusing on the automotive, retail, and consumer packaged goods sectors, he leads the marketing solutions efforts of a team of over 30 from his Bellevue base and offices in Studio 415, San Francisco. Rick has 25+ years of experience as an entrepreneur and advisor, helping organizations build substantial market and competitive value technology practice at CSC/Index, and served on the management team, North America, with CTP. through commercializing technology products, services and management approaches. Prior to joining Microsoft, Rick was a managing director at TCG Advisors, a boutique strategy and transformation firm based in Silicon Valley.

Consumers are more aware than ever before that their data matters and has real value. This fundamental finding surfaced in our Digital Trends 2014 study, which included in-depth workshops and interviews with early technology adopters and trend experts, as well as a global survey of 8000 consumers. We partnered with the Future Laboratory and IPG Mediabrands to uncover eight emerging trends that will impact the way we market to consumers both on and offline. We unveiled two of these trends at Advertising Week in September: Value Me and Enhancing the Real. In this post, I’ll be discussing two more of the trends that we launched at ad:tech in November: IntelligentlyOn and the Age of Serendipity.

These digital trends tend to skew into what we refer to as ‘left brain’ and ‘right brain’ buckets, where ‘left brain’ has to do with analytical, data-driven trends; ‘right brain’ ones are more emotive, experiential, having more to do with how people feel and engage. Most of us think of ourselves as having strengths in one area or the other, e.g., I’m logical, I like numbers, I’m left-brained. But, as we’ve discovered in the many research studies we conduct with consumers, most of us aren’t one or the other; we’re both; and importantly for marketers, we leverage both when we make decisions about buying products or services. So we’ve been unpacking these trends in pair-wise combinations in an effort to reflect whole brain experiences.

Our new digital trends can help identify how to use data to deliver more immersive, intuitive and valuable experiences to consumers.

The two trends we’ve unveiled are logical and data-driven (Value Me and IntelligentlyOn). The other two trends are more emotive, experiential and creative (Enhancing the Real and The Age of Serendipity). For example, with increasingly blurred boundaries between digital and non-digital worlds, people are seeking more intelligent relationships with technology—we call this IntelligentlyOn. We want intuitive ‘off’ modes that don’t require action, but that can be fully trusted; we want technology that disappears, but that doesn’t disconnect. In short, we want technology that’s on in the right way, and by ‘right’ we mean responsive to our needs in the moment.

Why do we want this?

Because we’ve entered the Age of Serendipity. While in the marketing world, we may feel like it’s all programmatic all the time, consumers want encounters that surprise, challenge and enhance opportunities for discovery. In other words, we’re not ready to abandon our right brains. Give consumers a pleasant surprise and they’re more likely to build a long-term relationship with you. 50% of consumers are interested in using products and services designed to surprise and delight them, such as Xbox Music, Spotify or Pandora—all services that serve up new music and artists based on consumers’ individual preferences.

This is a rich conversation that is in fact best as a conversation. So I welcome you to respond to this post, and engage with us as we co-create solutions catalyzed by these patterns of consumer adoption. For us, this is the next leg of the journey toward digital transformation – starting not from industry patterns and products/services that we’d like to sell, but instead, from deep desires, goals, needs and habits of people as they live their lives – at work, at home, and on-the-go.

For the near term, the key takeaways that I’d like to leave behind for marketers as food for thought include:

  • Create ‘whole brain’ experiences that align the logical with the emotive

  • Consumers will give greater permission for marketing interaction as long as they receive value in exchange for their data. Value exchange can start with a better experience: one that gives the consumer more of what she wants, less of what she doesn’t.

  • Leverage technology to channel consumers’ natural intention– versus focusing on more classic ‘attention marketing.’ And use this intent to shape experiences that feel serendipitous

  • Move faster to future-proof your strategy… many of these trends are not future forecasts about the future but reflections of current and therefore underserved demand.

For more insights like these and a deeper look into these trends, please visit our Insights Library here or comment below to keep the conversation going!