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If you’re a marketer at a brand of any size or shape, you’ve more than likely dissected or at the very least skimmer the most recent Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report. It is a must read for sure.
However, there are in fact other reports that are equally important that should go on the must read list. One such report is the LUMA Partners State of Digital Media report. While the Meeker report takes a broad look at Internet trends, the LUMA report is more specialized and focused on digital media
After reading over the LUMA report one clear takeaway for me was marketers, if they are not already — and quite frankly they should be by now, absolutely have to start wrapping their head around the myriad new ways that data is changing the way brands can interact with customers in the digital space.
Here’s my 3 key takeaways from the LUMA Partners report AKA 3 Big Ways Data Is Changing The Way Brands Interact With Customers:
1. Mobile, Data And Location
Take the rise of mobile, for example. As mobile devices and smartphones become ubiquitous, that’s leading to an exponential rise in the amount of data that brands can now collect on consumers — everything from location and device type to gender, interests and purchase intent.
The key, though, is figuring out a way to use all that data intelligently, especially when it comes to location. With customers carrying their phones everywhere, location matters more than ever before. “We are very bullish on the role of location in marketing, and are seeing some good momentum in the sector,” says Dick Filippini, Partner at LUMA Partners.
Being unable to use customer data efficiently leads to a lot of wasted opportunities for brands. As LUMA Partners points out, it’s like trying to target a male NFL football fan who loves the Chicago Bears with mobile ads for women’s coats and Snickers candy bars. In one case, you’ve got the gender wrong. In the other, you’ve got the intent wrong.
One company that seems to be doing things right is Snap, which recently debuted its “Snap to Store” product. LUMA referred to Snap as “a new entrant with promise,” since “Snap to Store” is a clever way to measure and monitor the effectiveness of different geofilter campaigns. On a daily basis, there are 1 billion snaps that have geofilters applied, so it’s up to restaurants, gyms and retail stores to use them effectively.
2. Data And Identity
As important as mobile is now, it’s also important to spot a key trend on the horizon, and that’s a move from the mobile-first world to an AI-first world. And, as might be expected, data is absolutely crucial for the rise of effective AI-based marketing tools. Having the right data is just the first step. Feeding it to the right AI-powered algorithm is the second step.
Getting both steps right means having the ability to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person. That’s why it’s important for brands to think in terms of a data management platform. They need to have a way to take all the data they are collecting from several different silos and then use it effectively.
3. The Changing Face Of Retail
The classic model of online e-commerce can be conveniently thought of as a Google-centric model. You search for a product on Google, wade through the first page of search results, and decide which product to buy. Since Google is so central to the buying process, it’s no wonder companies have spent so widely on Google ads and search optimization.
But now Amazon is set to disrupt the retail landscape once again. Analysts are already discussing the “Retail Armageddon” as Amazon puts long-time retail stores out of business. It’s cheaper to buy online than in stores, and Amazon is winning more than ever.
And now Amazon is developing voice search and intelligent digital assistants like Alexa that can order for you. That creates new opportunities. As Conor McKenna, Vice President at LUMA Partners points out, “While Amazon was by no means the first to use voice assistants, they’ve used Alexa and their Echo products as a Trojan horse into your home.”
Keep in mind – the average online consumer has already been trained in “showrooming” (visiting a brick-and-mortar location to see a physical product and then ordering online via Amazon.com for a cheaper price), and now Amazon is set to leverage its data advantage once more to create a new kind of digital retail experience.
For brands, it’s absolutely crucial to get ahead of this trend. If customers are ordering products like toothpaste via Amazon Echo, you want to make sure that your brand is top of mind. You don’t want to be blindsided by the “Amazon Effect” which may or may not be overrated depending on who you ask.
As LUMA points out, “Like all Amazon products, we expect Alexa to drive commerce.”
So remember — “data is the new oil.” If you’re not thinking of the various ways that data is transforming customer experiences within the digital landscape, then you’re potentially leaving a lot of money on the table as a brand owner.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.