Industry Index
January 24, 2018
The Importance of Audience Data

If your marketing strategy were a Tesla, your Audience Data would be its battery pack. Why a battery pack? A Tesla battery pack not only powers an electric car – but also a home, or even an island. Similarly, audience data will not only help you to better understand who is engaging with your brand, but also help to personalize messaging to different audience segments at the proper times, at scale.

With this framework in mind, consider these questions, and their answers below:

  1. How valuable is Audience Data?
  2. What is the most valuable type of Audience Data to collect?
  3. How willing are consumers to give up their data?
  4. Which tech partners can help to build strong Audience Data foundations?
  5. Looking Ahead…


How valuable is audience data?

In short, very. Back in May 2017, The Economist compared the value of data to that of oil… That’s right, the same oil that powered some 263.6 million vehicles in 2015. Yet marketers still rely on “in-market” and “purchase intent” data (e.g., views, impressions, visits, clicks, leads, conversion, etc.) to build advertising campaigns. This may work while a brand is still in its early days, but changes rapidly when a brand begins to expand to more cities, states, and regions. The scary part is that,

”Nearly two-thirds of marketers are not entirely clear on the origins of the data they employ in their ad campaigns.”

According to a recent AdAge article, three-in-four marketers are not fully-confident that the data they're using reaches in-market consumers.


What is the most valuable Audience Data to collect, if not "in-market" or "purchase intent"?

According to University of Pennsylvania computer science professor Michael Kearns, the most valuable data is that which cannot be easily measured. He calls this “intimate" data. Kearns states,

“Intimate data can be consumer opinions, attitudes, beliefs and moods that aren't written down anywhere, but can be inferred from online (and mobile) behavior.”

Some examples of intimate data are Facebook likes, shared photos, videos watched, items purchased, search queries, location, and user behavior within an app. At first glance, this data seem hard to collect – but it isn’t. The hard part is aggregating audience behavior across different platforms and syncing it to the correct consumer profile.


How willing are consumers to give up intimate data?

This may be obvious, but is important to note nevertheless: Consumers will not "give up" their data unless they get back some type of value or utility from a brand in return. In fact, when surveyed, 80% of consumers are willing to share a non-required piece of data for rewards points (value), and a majority will share data for more experiential benefits, such as product recommendations, or a tool which aids in making complex decisions (utility). Below are two charts that go a bit deeper.


People are more senstive about personal identifying information...

"Q. Please compare and rank the following types of personal data in terms of how senstive you believe them to be, from the most senstive to the least senstive."

... And yet personal identifying data is also what people are most willing to share

"Q. Please indicate how you would plan or expect to share the following types of your personal data in order to purchase products/services."

Strategic map of offer influence

"Q. Please indicate whether you would be willing to share each of the specific types of informtion in order to benefit from each of the following offers."


Which tech partners can help to build strong Audience Data foundations?


Overview: mParticle helps mobile-centric brands aggregate Audience Data from different sources, and create custom audience segments in real-time to deliver personalized creative across ad networks, paid social, email, push, and more.

Why you should care: The beauty of mParticle is that once their SDK is added into a brand's app, no other SDK is needed to integrate other services such as Salesforce, AppsFlyer, SendGrid, or marketing-related platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. All integrations are all done through one API.

Additional Details: mParticle is integrated into apps including Airbnb, Spotify, Etsy, SeatGeek, and




Overview: Cognitive3D is an analytics platform for 3D experiences (i.e., virtual reality, augmented reality and mobile augmented reality). They enable marketers to track traditional mobile metrics, how users behave within a 3D experience, and collect qualitative feedback via interactive survey questions and voice feedback.

Why you should care: They have four products that comprise their analytics suite: SceneExplorer, Core Analytics and ExitPoll. SceneExplorer is able to track how users move and behave within a 3D environment. The data is displayed through heat maps allowing marketers to see where users are looking, what they are engaging with and for how long. Core Analytics are traditional metrics such as unique users, total sessions and time spent, hardware used, etc. ExitPoll enables marketers to capture qualitative feedback.

Additional Details: Recently graduated from the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio with R/GA.



Samba TV

Overview: Samba TV uses visual Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology that is embedded in Smart TVs to understand what audiences are watching in real-time. This allows marketers to target and/or retarget audiences based on programming they are watching or have watched. Because their technology is embedded into the TV, Samba is able to identify from what and from where the content is coming from (e.g., OTT devices, gaming consoles, apps such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go).

Why you should care: Their visual content ID technology enables marketers to understand how, when, where, and what consumers are watching, as well as to activate cross-screen ad campaigns.

Additional Details: Samba’s technology is integrated into OEMs such as Sony, Sharp, Philips, Sanyo, Magnavox, Element, Seiki, and Westinghouse. This makes their addressable audience about 13.5 million households.

Competitors: Samsung in-house ACR offering, AlphonsoTVSquared


Looking Ahead…

This has probably been said many times before but brands, and especially retailers, need to start connecting with their audience on a one-to-one basis. This isn’t just for targeting and retargeting purposes but it goes for product recommendations, customer service and future brand offerings/products.

In fact, according to research from Accenture cited by eMarketer, 44% of US consumers said they are frustrated when companies fail to provide relevant personalized experiences and some 50% of US consumers said they switched companies they buy from this year because of poor customer experience.

The way brands need to begin is to capture audience data across multiple channels, identify behaviors and create audience segments that can be accessed by their marketing, customer service and in-store retail teams, as well as emerging platforms such as chatbots and voice-enabled services. All this will lead to a personalized experience every time a consumer interacts with a brand.



Angel Mendoza is the Partnerships Director for the IPG Media Lab - a specialized group dedicated to bringing innovation to brand clients across Mediabrands. Mendoza is tasked with understanding how new technology trends will impact media consumption, consumer behavior, and evaluating startups for client test pilots. In addition, Mendoza provides clients with actionable insights to help navigate the evolving media landscape in the form of editorials and through the IPG Media Lab’s podcast called Floor 9.

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DIGITAL HEALTH BRIEFING: Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan crown CEO of health venture — Salesforce targets payers with CRM suite — Breach exposes 270,000 patients' records

Welcome to DIGITAL HEALTH BRIEFING, the newsletter providing the latest news, data, and insight on how digital technology is disrupting the healthcare ecosystem, produced by Business Insider Intelligence.

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CORPORATE GIANTS NAME CEO OF HEALTH VENTURE: Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have appointed Dr. Atul Gawande as the head of their newly formed healthcare company — which was announced in January 2018 with the lofty goal of lowering the cost of healthcare in the US. Employers bear the brunt of rising healthcare costs: US employers contributed more than $13,000 per covered worker with a family health plan in 2017, according to Kaiser Family Foundation estimates. That’s up about 60% from 2006. With more than one million combined employees, the corporate trio has a strong incentive to reduce healthcare spending.

Dr. Gawande’s appointment could provide some insight into the possible avenues the partnership will explore. Gawande brings a background in surgery and a focus on improving the delivery of care to the partnership. Perhaps most indicative of the joint venture's future endeavors is Gawande's role as founding executive director of Ariadne Labs, a Boston-based innovation lab focused on improving the delivery of care of serious illnesses, childbirth, and surgery — three areas that have a significant role in employer-based healthcare spending.

Given Gawande's background, here's what the new company might explore:

Treating chronic illnesses and delivering end-of-life care. Chronic illnesses are already the biggest strain on the healthcare industry, accounting for 86% of the $2.7 trillion spent in annual health care costs in the US in 2014 alone. That’s set to rise as the US stares down an expanding aging population. Improving childbirth delivery. Gawande could apply his expertise from Ariadne Labs to reduce preventable pregnancy-related spending, such as the use of medically unnecessary cesarean sections, which adds billions in avoidable healthcare spending each year. Avoiding unnecessary surgeries and medical tests. Gawande has been an outspoken proponent of reducing unnecessary medical tests and surgeries. In his writing, Gawande pointed to a Walmart-sponsored program that found that about 30% of the spinal procedures employees were told they needed were inappropriate.

SALESFORCE PLATFORM HELPS PAYERS CAPITALIZE ON CONSUMERIZATION OF HEALTHCARE:  On Wednesday, customer relationship management (CRM) vendor Salesforce unveiled Health Cloud for Payers, a suite of new tools to help insurers improve the consumer experience. Salesforce will make the suite available to insurers in October 2018, with solutions that offer members greater transparency in claims processing and plan coverage, as well as new provider-member communication tools.

Salesforce's platform could help payers meet the rapidly shifting patient demand for an improved healthcare experience. Younger generations are leading the consumerization of healthcare — they’re more likely to research their plan's coverage and cost, and seek out convenient ways to engage with healthcare professionals, for example. Providers and payers are already investing in addressing this demand — 91% of healthcare businesses have launched or plan to launch a tech adoption initiative to improve the patient experience in the next 12 months. Moving forward, successful adopters of solutions that emphasize consumer convenience and transparency for healthcare delivery will have an opportunity to drive customer retention and differentiate themselves from the rest of the industry.

Salesforce’s aggressive push into the healthcare industry may signal ambitions to launch its own health platform. Salesforce has ramped up its healthcare play since it identified the sector as a $1 billion revenue opportunity in 2014 — it’s added telemedicine tools, given its customers new features to identify at-risk patients, and joined forces with analytics solution provider Geneia to launch a new app focused on population health and value-based care. Salesforce’s efforts to build out its healthcare offerings could hint that the company’s gearing for the launch of its own health IT platform.

270,000 PATIENTS' RECORDS EXPOSED AS LATEST ORGANIZATION FALLS VICTIM TO DATA BREACH: A hack on Med Associates, a New York-based healthcare claims billing vendor, may have exposed more than 270,000 patients' records, according to Healthcare IT News. Med Associates provides claim services for 70 providers in the US. The company says affected data includes Social Security numbers, medical data, and insurance identification numbers, which can be used by hackers for medical fraud.

This attack adds to several others that have already occurred in 2018 and highlights a growing concern for healthcare organizations. Four in five US doctors say they’ve experienced a cyberattack, according to a study by Accenture and the American Medical Association. Despite this, only 15% of organizations employ a designated C-suite leader to manage enterprise-wide data security efforts, according to a Black Book Research study. This failure to adapt leaves legacy data security systems vulnerable to hackers, and the results are costly — the average healthcare data breach puts a $700,000 hole in a health system’s pocket, according to Net Diligence. As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly digitized, the volume of health data being collected and stored will grow exponentially, making the healthcare market a particularly attractive target for nefarious players. It’s integral that health businesses commit more resources to shore up their IT security against impending threats.


MAYO CLINIC EXPLORES USE CASES FOR BLOCKCHAIN IN HEALTHCARE: Leading US health system Mayo Clinic has partnered with Medicalchain, a London-based healthcare blockchain startup, to test distributed ledger applications for medical data sharing, according to Healthcare IT News. By making the patient the access point for medical data, blockchain could offer newfound speed, affordability, and data integrity in electronic health record (EHR) systems. Health systems could leverage this tech to improve data sharing by bolstering security and reducing friction when sharing data across different departments. Moreover, blockchain could help reduce data management costs, which currently run providers more than $2 billion annually.

Despite the myriad potential for cost savings to providers, we're probably a long way from seeing pervasive clinical adoption — a February 2018 poll on whether blockchain was ready to enter the healthcare space found that nearly 50% of physicians weren't even aware of the tech. In the meantime, piloting blockchain tech can help health systems prepare for its eventual arrival in healthcare and provide clinicians with evidence-backed use cases. The Mayo Clinic isn’t the only health system exploring blockchain — Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center piloted blockchain for improved interoperability in 2016.


Pennsylvania-based health insurer Capital BlueCross has seen a surge in demand for its telehealth services, with over 2,000 visits already in 2018, up from 1,500 total in 2017, according to mHealthIntelligence. The payer plans to expand its telehealth program to include behavioral health. Facebook announced plants to redirect individuals trying to use its platform to purchase opioids or find addiction treatment to a federal crisis helpline, according to MobiHealthNews. In May 2018, Facebook unveiled a designated area for its blood donation feature — available in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan — that lets users see donation opportunities nearby.

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