Companies Are Data-Rich and Insight-Poor [Report]

Today’s consumers share tremendous amounts of data about themselves through social channels. The amount of customer data can be overwhelming, and some companies therefore fail to turn the data into useful information and insight. The report Data-Rich and Insight-Poor Marketers Planning to Turn Information Into Intelligence in 2013 Survey Report by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive states that consumers are overwhelmed by the amounts of messages. To get their attention they therefore expect to receive brand messages that reflect their interests and behaviour. This puts focus on the need for marketers to become increasingly relevant and engaging in their consumer communication.


Companies are learning

While almost 80% of the respondents plan to make greater use of customers’ social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013, companies are still learning how to analyse that data. In fact, 39% said they rarely or never customize their messaging by channel based on data insights.



Real-time data collection a challenge

Many marketers aren’t sure how to apply real-time data to their businesses. However, they are starting to grasp the importance making more timely use of customer data to drive marketing campaigns that are personalised to the individual user. More than half of the survey respondents said they have already started implementing real-time data and plan to make greater use of it, and another 30% said they plan on using it for the first time or will start considering it. The real challenge is where and when to inject real-time data in order to create the most impact. Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive, noted in an interview with that in fact, “people are desperate to understand more about their customer. Data can now drive how I would look at you, what I know about you as a customer, and allows me to personalize experiences in a meaningful way.”



One of the most important findings from the report is that marketers do in fact recognize the importance of real-time data, but are still lacking the ability to make use of it and to apply insights at the individual consumer level across customer touch points multiple channels. Good news is that over half of marketers intend to invest in people and technologies that will help them understand their customers on a much deeper level across channels.


An overview of the key findings:

  • 68% of marketers said they expect their data-related expenditures to increase in 2013.
  • 56% plan on hiring new employees to handle data collection or analysis, with the most common position being a data analyst/strategist.
  • Almost half of the respondents said analyzing or applying data will be their biggest data-related challenge in 2013.
  • More than a quarter of marketers can’t remember the last time they performed quality control on their customer data.
  • Almost 40% said they rarely or never customize their messaging by channel based on insights from customer data.
  • 83% plan to at least consider making greater use of real-time data in 2013.
  • The majority of marketers use insights from customer data to drive marketing campaigns across the single channels of: website (83%), email (72%), and social media (59%).
  • Almost 80% plan to make greater use of customers’ social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013.



Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?


Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.


Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.


The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.


Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.


A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.


Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.


At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.


If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.


*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!