A Personalized Future, with Mike Barclay of MoEngage

Personalization in marketing is nothing new; since the dawn of the internet, brands have been able to customize messaging to specific groups or even individuals. However, we haven’t always used this engagement superpower for good. Many brands have been guilty of getting a little too personal and creeping out their customers in the process. But today’s guest says there’s a bright future for personalization as a cornerstone to modern marketing. Mike Barclay of MoEngage joined the pod to discuss the highs and lows of personalization, and what brands born before the dawn of the internet can do to get in on the personalization game.

> See all episodes
QR Codes: Are they Back for Real This Time?

QR Codes are an extension of the barcode, and were first introduced as a way for manufacturers to scan larger amounts of data quickly. By 2011, retailers and tradeshows were able to take advantage of smartphone technology to utilize QR codes in their inventories, badging, and check-ins — and slowly there emerged consumer usage in the form of online offers.
The process, however, was clunky and involved third-party app software to get QR Codes to work. Fast forward to 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic raged, and the need for contactless interaction became paramount. It was during this time that QR Code technology could now exist on everything from packaging to OOH signage, and with a simple hover of a smartphone’s camera send consumers to microsites, check-in pages, and offers.
This has allowed marketers to take advantage of QR Codes in ways previously unthought of; however, like most technologies, there are privacy and safety issues to be aware of — and the current speed and ease of QR Code usage means large untapped potential for marketers in the future as well. Read on to see how marketers are using them and addressing issues with QR Codes.

> See all issues
Pulse Issue 24

Who's on First? Party Data Efficiency in the Wake of the Cookie's Demise

December 2020

By Josch Chodakowsky, Senior Manager, Research & Innovation at Ask the Expert
By Josch Chodakowsky, Research Manager at Ask the Expert
As the news of the cookie’s so-called demise has spread far and wide (and we’ve previously discussed here), there have been a number of potential strategies laid out for marketers looking to navigate this brave new world. While further leveraging influencers or re-designing loyalty programs have emerged as two possibilities, we’ve also witnessed a natural tendency to focus on party data above all. This makes sense, as it’s the “death” of third-party data (in reality, privacy regulation barriers) that prompted a re-examination of how to properly use consumer data in the first place. Enter (or, re-enter, as it may be) first- and zero-party data, best explained by this chart from Cheetah Digital:
By relying more on data that consumers willingly supply, marketers can both adhere to privacy regulations and gain consumer trust in how and what data brands are collecting and utilizing. To learn more about how to effectively utilize different types of party data, see the resources below.
Owned media (websites, content hubs, and commerce platforms) are core pieces of a digital strategy. But confusion abounds over their ability to collect audience data – what can be acquired, how it’s governed, and how it can be used in content strategies. Add the GDPR and CCPA regulations, plus Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies, Apple’s new bar for data privacy, and other data-related changes, and you’ve ended up in a date mire. And now another confusing concept has popped up: zero-party data.
To help marketers understand zero-party data’s place and purpose, the Content Marketing Institute described what zero-party data is, why it matters, and the role it might play in the future of marketing.
The collective digital ecosystem, and the ongoing privacy and brand safety tangle, has got marketers “stuck.” And the only way to get unstuck is to acknowledge that we got here because of insufficient data collection practices and disrespecting user data ownership rights. The associated brand safety issues that stem from the broken data collection dynamics are just the latest symptoms of what ails us. But we can heal ourselves if we move from third-party data to zero- and first-party data. The first step to getting unstuck is to understand the different types of data that exist, and this article from CMS Wire breaks down the different types.
Earlier this year, Think with Google explored how first-party data can help brands improve their digital marketing capabilities, and connect with consumers as they adapt to a changing world. According to the Boston Consulting Group, the benefits of using first-party data are clear: incremental revenue from a single ad placement, communication, or outreach is up to twice as high as that of companies with limited data integration. They also typically perform 1.5 times better in cost efficiency metrics. Yet despite these potential gains, just 1 percent of companies actually use first-party data to deliver a fully cross-channel experience for customers. There are challenges associated with achieving this, of course — such as access to consumer data, and concerns around data sensitivity — but tackling these can bring clear and notable benefits, and this article tells you how.
Dun & Bradstreet’s Gino Palozzi authors this guest post on Marketing Dive, writing that, “the digital advertising industry has found itself grappling with privacy regulations, pending elimination of third-party cookies, and a massive shift to remote work, which is impacting digital tracing. The changing environment has left advertisers seeking the next holy grail of targeting. This opens a door for publishers, who have a unique opportunity to reposition themselves and monetize their digital audience. Publishers who were disintermediated by digital transformation of their industry can take back control and become the preferred and primary provider for targeted advertising, but they need to start preparing now for the impending disruption.”
Whether it’s layering second- or third-party data, harnessing machine-learning or, using a hand-crafted model, marketers need to collaborate to find a combination of behaviors that reflect what is happening right now with their target consumers. While accruing data is easy, passing it along to an agency or audience partner can prove to be a challenge. These organizations are the ones that need to rebuild models and deliver audiences that more accurately reflect their current, ever-changing buying cycles. The best way to do this is through a fast, clean sharing of data.  ClickZ explains that marketers need to focus on cleaning up their first-party data, ensuring they can pass it along to their partners easily to maintain a customer-informed edge.
Are you an ANA member with a research request? Contact Ask the Expert to submit your question.

About ANA Marketing Futures

Knowing that marketers are increasingly challenged in their efforts to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) tasked itself with creating a program designed to help marketers anticipate—and prepare for—the future of marketing.


ANA Marketing Futures is what emerged. With a focus on innovative topics and emerging trends, ANA Marketing Futures provides resources that will influence and inform via member cases, research studies, and insight from industry innovators. Check back often to learn about emerging trends and become inspired to take steps toward the growth of your business.


Copyright © 2021 Association of National Advertisers-established in 1910


10 Grand Central

155 E 44th Street

New York, NY 10017

Phone: 212.697.5950

Email: marketingfutures@ana.net