Blockchain reality and digital currency are two emerging factors that will forever alter how marketers capture the data needed to capitalize on AI-driven insights.
From 2021 to 2023, brands have been and will continue to be challenged by growing privacy regulations, Apple putting major restrictions on mobile device IDs, and Google bringing "death to the cookie."
All of this comes down to balancing how you manage first- and third-party data, tools, and analytics efforts. At MAICON 2022, Tim Hayden, CEO of Brain+Trust, discusses leveraging data, machine learning, and what matters most to ensure you are future-ready.
Like the connotations of the term artificial intelligence, Hayden demystifies Blockchain and explains the opportunities for marketers.
“It helps you understand who your best customers are, even more important than some calculation. It allows you to be much smarter about your advertising, personalization at scale, relevancy at scale." - Tim Hayden, Brain+Trust
Data Challenges and Opportunities Abound
In 2021, Apple’s iOS 14.5 update gave control back to their customers, in essence pulling data and dashboards from app developers. Great for customers and data privacy, not so great for brands using that data to enrich customer experiences.
The death of cookies will make it harder for marketers to collect data on customers and get signals we need to build the AI future we want.
Google is going to stop supporting third-party pixels, cookies, and other tracking measures through Chrome.
Laws are changing, and customers are becoming more savvy and protective.
What is Web3? According to Ethereum offers a few core principles guiding its creation:
- Web3 is decentralized: Instead of large swathes of the internet controlled and owned by centralized entities, ownership gets distributed amongst its builders and users.
- Web3 is permissionless: Everyone has equal access to participate in Web3, and no one gets excluded.
- Web3 has native payments: It uses cryptocurrency for spending and sending money online instead of relying on the outdated infrastructure of banks and payment processors.
- Web3 is trustless: It operates using incentives and economic mechanisms instead of relying on trusted third parties.
Because of this, companies are already working toward ownership of all you’re doing:
- Apple: Users are watching TV through Apple TV, and own multiple devices—iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more. CarPlay is now an operating system knowing not only your music preferences, but where you’re going, and more.
- Amazon: A partnership with BMW has Alexa in vehicles, and the company has made similar arrangements with big brands and partners.
- Google: Google Fiber is making its way through the country, and Nest is showing up in homes. Google operating systems are inevitable in cars in the future.
- Samsung: Samsung has the largest installation of connected televisions in the US, and they heavily suggest customers pair their televisions with their mobile devices.
This leaves a lot of data in the hands of large corporations and tech companies. However, they are also great examples of what’s possible with Web3, and how this can benefit us as marketers and business leaders.
According to Hayden, “Blockchain is an answer to clean things up and bring integrity to the data that swims between us. Make it more secure and make it more clear.”
One of our first steps is future readiness. By doing this, you’ll be able to adhere to data privacy laws and be prepared if (when) a customer comes to you and wants to see the data you’ve collected and stored, they want to see how it has been used, and they want to either update or have you delete their data. Data unification is the way to make your data future-ready.
What Is Data Unification?
Hayden explained it in very simple terms. You have a customer, Cliff, who interacts with your brand in 15-20 different ways. And in each touchpoint, he’s identified slightly differently:
- Instagram: Cliffster
- Search: Clifford
- Credit card: Cliff B. Smith
- CRM: C. Smith
- App: Cliff
How can you link all these instances of Cliff into one member record? Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) can help.
CDPs are data lakes that have 100% of your customer-related data “swimming through it,” not always stored there. These CDPs can analyze, reconcile, and associate data and help connect and correlate everything.
Because of this, brands need to start collecting information from customers engaging with us and digesting our content. This helps us establish consent with a CDP.
As AI practitioners, we’re processing data. As laws change, in order for us to do this legally, we need consent to build that golden customer record (think about Cliff!). It’s time we think about all of our data sources, work with our teams to streamline processes and technologies, inform team members, and continue to find ways to engage our customers to grow our first-party data.
“Many CIOs and CTOs already have pretty rigid documentation of what exists in the organization, but I haven't met a CTO yet who knows everything that goes on in the company in terms of tools people are using to manage marketing or communications. But you want to map all that because then you're going to understand where there's a common opportunity to establish a taxonomy and how you want to tag information and that data as it's swimming in and out of the CDP, and I'm generalizing here for you for the sake of time, but at the end of the day, you'll be able to prioritize. You don't plug everything in at once. You plug in two or three things, marketing automation, maybe a CRM…
"But you know, basically the information that you are able to pull from social media. Pulling those things in, and then over time, testing, making sure that everything's working and then saying, 'Hey, these are the next three things we were going to plug in.' 'These are the next 20 things we're going to plug in,' until you have a hundred percent of that data in there.”
That sounds like a dream for most companies, but more intelligent technologies have afforded us the opportunity to better manage our customer data to the benefit of our teams and our customers.
Become a next-gen marketer by checking out the resources at the Marketing AI Institute. Read our blog posts, take our Intro to AI for Marketers class, attend webinars, join our community, download reports, guides, and templates (all free), read Marketing Artificial Intelligence, look into AI Academy for Marketers and Piloting AI Bundle, and our annual MAICON—Marketing AI Conference.
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Cathy McPhillips is the Chief Growth Officer at Marketing AI Institute.