As I get ready to embark to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) inaugural 2020 Masters of Data and Technology Conference (beginning today), I’m very curious to listen in and learn how brands see themselves transformed by all the digital (and offline) data surrounding prospects and customers. With CMOs telling ANA that this topic area is a strategic priority, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed this week in Orlando’s Magic Data Kingdom.
Are “they” — the brands — finding answers to these questions?
- Do they have command of data in all the channels of customer engagement?
- Are they deriving new sources of customer intelligence that had previously gone untapped?
- Can they accurately map customer journeys — and their motivations along the way?
- Are they truly able to identify customers across platforms accurately with confidence?
- How do data science and creativity come together to make more effective advertising — and meet business real-world objectives?
- What disruptions are shaking the foundations of B2C and B2B engagement today?
- Are investments in data and technology paying dividends to brands and businesses in increased customer value? Do customers, too, value the data exchange?
- Is there a talent pool in adequate to deliver data-derived, positive business outcomes? What more resources or tools might they need?
- What impacts do barriers on open data flows — walled gardens, browser defaults, privacy legislation, “techlash” — have on relevance, competition, diversity in content and other business, economic and social concerns? How can these be managed?
- Are “brand” people and “data” people truly becoming one in the same in marketing, and in business?
Admittedly, that’s a lot of questions — and perhaps the answers to some of these may be elusive. However, it’s the dialogue among industry peers here that will matter.
The mere emergence of this conference — “new” in the ANA lexicon — is perhaps a manifestation of where the Data & Marketing Association (acquired by ANA in 2018) hoped to achieve in its previous annual conferences and run-up to acquisition. The full promise of data-driven marketing — and “growth” in an Information Economy — can only happen when brands themselves (and, yes, their agencies and ad tech partners, too) have command of data and tech disciplines, and consumers continue to be willing partners in the exchange.
Imagination lives beyond the domain of the Magic Kingdom (where we all can take inspiration from Disney, nearby). Likewise, aspirations can be achieved. Let’s listen in and learn as ANA takes rein of this brands- and data-welcomed knowledge share. Growth is a beautiful thing.