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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Sylvester Stallone wanted Apollo Creed to appear as a ghost in 'Creed 2' — here's why it didn't happen

Sylvester Stallone wanted to show the ghost of Apollo Creed in one scene of "Creed II." But director Steven Caple Jr. didn't know how to pull it off in a way that would work with the tone of the movie. Caple also wondered, would actor Carl Weathers reprise the role as the way he looks today or would he have to be de-aged to look like he did in the "Rocky" movies? Instead, Caple tried to include the voice of Creed talking to his son at a dramatic point in the movie. Caple told Business Insider why he ended up scrapping the whole idea.


Warning: Minor "Creed II" spoilers ahead.

"Creed II" does an excellent job of paying homage to the original "Rocky" movies, but there's one aspect of the franchise both Sylvester Stallone and "Creed II" director Steven Caple Jr. wanted in the movie, but sadly could not pull off in a way that satisfied them. 

When Caple signed on to direct the movie a year ago, Stallone, who along with playing Rocky Balboa in the movie is also a co-screenwriter on it, told Caple about an idea to get Apollo Creed in the movie.

"Sly had a ghost version at one point," Caple told Business Insider.

The idea Stallone had was that while Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is recovering in the hospital from his first fight with Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), for a brief moment while in and out of consciousness he would see his father, Apollo, standing in the corner of the room.

"In regards to tone, it wasn't on my level of where I was going with the film," Caple said. "Sly had it in just as an idea we could use, but I thought it might throw people off. And then I was thinking what does Apollo wear? Is it [actor] Carl Weathers today or from back in 'Rocky IV'?"

So Caple came up with another idea: Why not have Apollo's voice come up at an important moment in the movie?

Caple felt at a key point in the final fight, while Creed is trying to get up off the canvas, he would hear his father's voice say, "Get up, son."

"I felt that was going to be the moment," Caple said. He was going to have Weathers come in to deliver the dramatic line. But when he edited the scene and included the line (which at that point was recorded by someone else as temporary dialogue) it didn't work.

Read more: The director of "Creed II" describes the conversation with Sylvester Stallone that convinced him he'd have the freedom to make his mark on the franchise

"It just felt like it came out of nowhere," Caple said. "At that point it's his own family that's making him get up, not his father anymore."

During "Creed II," Adonis and his now fiancée Bianca (Tessa Thompson) have a baby.

As a fan of the franchise, Caple was disappointed he couldn't get Weathers in the movie. He admitted that he even wondered if there was a clever way to get Mr. T (who was in "Rocky III") in "Creed II." But when it was time to lock picture, the best way to celebrate the myth of Apollo Creed was through pictures and old "Rocky IV" footage. 

But you can't say Caple didn't try.

"Creed II" opens in theaters on Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: How the directors of "Ralph Breaks the Internet" explored the toxic parts of being online without losing the Disney fun

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