Chronicles of Data

Data is the truth that exists. These are facts that we draw from to act upon. It allows us to navigate our way through complex challenges. Over my last decade work on Data & Planning, here are my thoughts on why we should not fuss over the world of data. What we need to pour in our energies is on the Intelligence that data opens up.

Bringing it alive with some examples.

  1. Same Data — Different Lenses

Advertising in high cluttered category we are forced to outshout against competition. Brands have to navigate clutter. Period. Associations are one of the routes to address this clutter. Our dilemma, does this end up becoming a blind spot? We knew as a team (all partners involved) that we should not deviate from the path of associations, then how does one address this challenge. We picked up existing Data variables (across brand, digital, media, business) and applied statistical techniques to build relationship amongst variables. This exercise aided in reassuring that the association is giving 2X returns and also acts as a barrier to leakage to competition. Outshouting works.

Now in this case the data already existed, we had worked with this data in various forms. Its about posing a different challenge to same data.

  1. Data at Large — collective wisdom

Hail Social data. Its all around us. We are constantly feeding into social media, what we read,see,hear,think… etc. At the other end, in TV world there are popular programs. Popularity is a derived from TV measurement tools or basis tweets (hashtags) about the program. This is where Social & TV come together. Both these data have co-existed since evolution of social media. We tapped into both sets analyzed and clustered to decode what viewers see and say via our proprietary tool Synapse. The application of the learning’s ranged from optimizing Niche channel plans to sponsorship on niche, to content associations etc.

Here — Data as independent sets didn’t add any value. Collectively they provided far richer wisdom to make actionable decisions for brands.

  1. Small Data –compelling impact

We do linear planning. Meaning our TV plans many-a-times takes a linear view. The data is restricting itself to that specific medium TV. Challenge was to make this broader and making the medium work harder in interacting with the consumer. Technology & data came together in form of audio beacons. When a ad gets played on TV, a handset (apps) could read the audio signals (ad playing) and signal back the brand who heard and what the person is all about right pincode level data.. Mobile targeting bought alive receptivity moments.

Small points of data came together to get the message across and make it more powerful in engaging with consumer. This is ongoing for a lot of our clients

Allowing the medium to playback — TV and mobile meshing in, unlocked the potential of small data and its ability to create a compelling impact.

  1. No Data — Breaking Barriers

A leading retail store realized that to achieve 3X growth, they will have to open 100 stores. The challenge that faced them was where to open and will it be viable enough. Traditional data sources reached a dead end. What was then needed are newer ways of looking at data that can help. 100+ data variables were collated, analyzed and modeled to arrive at how many stores and if it should exist in current markets or newer markets

The opportunity for us here was that we reached a deadlock, so naturally we look at opening new doors.

  1. Big data — Smart outcomes

Programming buying allows for big data at play. This in-turn gives us the opportunity to plan and target consumer using behavior metrics and move away from old way of demographic targeting. In such a world the challenge was to accentuate our planning approach. DMP aides in understanding key audience segment and we can interposed the data to plan for traditional TV. Using this DMP like a census data on consumer behavior we could gather content consumption preference of the brands target audience. Feeding this into the TV content approach, helped the brand refocus its TV approach and hence better outcomes on brand and business metrics.

Big Data is doing its job of collecting lots and lots of information about the consumer. It’s the smart alignment with outcomes that will bring the magic of big data alive.

  1. Data Art — Science-ing it up

Movie industry lives and dies every Friday. Brands associating with movies can work on that faith. How can we built the science behind this art. We looked over 5 years of movie opening day collections as key measure of success. Then we categorized these movies basis celebrity, director, social conversations and 25 other variables. Today basis our tool we can confidently (92%) predict an opening day collection.

Giving a science to a emotional view of an association, can reap huge benefits to long term planning for brands on cinema advertising. Here the challenge was to overcome the belief that data and art don’t talk to each other.

As we know now, these are tip of Data iceberg. Data will continue to grow in size and volume. Lets not get intimated, but should welcome with open arms and use Intelligence. Go back to basics.

Heres an easy framework for any to start the data journey,

About the Author:
Priti Murthy
Chief Strategy Officer, Maxus India I Breakthrough Facilitator I Change Agent

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