EASTON, CT -- Data scientists may be the new rock stars ofMadison Avenue, but there's a reason they don't write copy for ads and Arun Kumar, Chief Data & Marketing Technology Officer of IPG and CEO of its Kinesso unit, proved it Tuesday when he presentedrecommendations for the ad industry's new language for consumer "targeting" during the day's opening keynote at i-com's Global Data Summit online.
Instead of the word "targeting," Kumar saidIPG is advocating words like "reach," "reaching, "connect," "connecting," "addressable," and "personalized."
Instead of a term like "recognizing actual people," Kumar said IPG recommends"identifying customers consistently as the same person across multiple channels and touch points."
If that copy sounds a bit squishy, it's intentional, because Kumar said IPG and otherindustry research shows most consumers, regulators and other key stakeholders have become acutely concerned about the power of marketing data science to identify and target people, and the new, softerlanguage is a way of assuaging those concerns. Ironically, it also seems like classic Madison Avenue' copysmithing intended to obscure, redirect and create less transparency, not more.
ButKumar acknowledges that the marketing industry is between a "rock and a hard place," and the new-and-improved language is intended to lower the temperature surrounding the broader debate so thatMadison Avenue can focus on the benefits that responsible use of data has for consumers and society at large.
Kumar cited research conducted by IPG's Acxiom unit indicating that when askedabout their data-privacy concerns, most consumers are not concerned about being targeted per se, but that they are actually worried about potential "identity theft," and that there has been "a lot ofconflation between many of those terms and marketing."
That helps explain IPG's recommended new language, which grew out of broader "digital responsibility program" launched by IPG, which hasmade the ethical use of consumer data a core focus of its organization.
During his presentation, Kumar provided examples of data-based marketing campaigns in the telecommunications andautomotive category that generated improved "lifts" utilizing privacy compliant techniques developed by the agency. He said they achieved these improvements by utilizing safe identity resolutiontechniques that reduced "customer churn" by making ads more relevant and "stickier with our products and services."
In the end, Kumar told the i-com data marketing attendees that they shouldthink about what they do the way consumers would.
"If you are a consumer, think of the number of times that you've had an experience and shook your head and said, "That branddoesnt know me at all. Ive just bought that product and theyre still chasing me with ads.'"
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