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.

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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.

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Pulse Issue 32

iOS 15: Apple Pushes Consumer Privacy Further with Email Protection

August 2021

By Josch Chodakowsky, Senior Manager, Research & Innovation at Ask the Expert
By Josch Chodakowsky, Research Manager at Ask the Expert
Apple announced earlier this year that with the update to their operating system with iOS 14, consumers would have more control over the information that apps could track via the IDFA (we explored the effect this would have on marketers here). Now with the announcement of iOS 15, Apple is putting yet more control in the hands of consumers by extending privacy protection to email and other often-used services on all their devices.
These include "Hide My Email" and "Mail Privacy Protection", both of which limit how much data can be collected and tracked from email clicks and opens, especially targeting the swath of junk mail that comes in through an IP identification. This of course also affects marketers, who rely on this same data to serve personalized messaging to consumers. Rather than look at this as a hindrance to marketing efforts, however, brands can use this as an opportunity to increase trust among consumers, but also to rely on forming different types of relationships with them that still protect their privacy.
For instance, brands can use the kind of first-party data that comes from being a direct-to-consumer company or those that offer honest, engaging subject lines that they want to open. The resources here discuss some of the ways marketers can prepare for the effects of iOS 15.
The next version of the iOS software for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac will give Apple's customers several ways to limit or prevent data-sharing. Those privacy features include technology to mask the email and internet addresses of Apple customers, making them less effective as a unique identifier for online tracking. These planned changes, estimated to launch this fall to coincide with new device announcements, will force marketers to develop alternative ways to find potential customers and engage with existing ones. A key strategy will be to position themselves as direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that gather first-party data from consenting customers.
When an open rate is high, it hints that your subject line did its job to pull readers, the email has been sent at the most engaging time of day, or your subscribers are eagerly waiting to get your content in their inbox. When it's low, it signals that your email subscribers might not even be reading your content.
However, now the way email marketers leverage open rates could change with Apple's recently announced iOS 15 privacy features. Although this move might seem scary, it isn't too surprising as it follows a trend of internet privacy rollouts from tech giants. To help email marketers navigate the potential changes that could happen, HubSpot offers a few tips and strategies teams can consider as the iOS 15 rollout gets closer.
Email marketers at ecommerce brands use traditional reporting data such as open, click, and conversion rates to measure email campaign performance. But what happens when you suddenly take away one of those long-established data points? It’s not all doom and gloom for marketers, even if 61.7 percent of all emails are opened in Apple Mail; this is an opportunity for ecommerce brands to work on what really matters. My Total Retail lists six ways you can prepare your email marketing program for the death of the open rate:
  • Focus on effective subject lines.
  • Use pre-header text to support the subject line.
  • Make content and calls to action (CTA) a priority.
  • Reinforce competitive differentiators.
  • Use marketing automation to its full potential.
  • Adopt SMS.
Apple shook digital advertisers to the core with the introduction of several new privacy-focused features designed to protect users and their data. For email marketers especially, this update will impact several key components of the marketing funnel, primarily how advertisers collect and measure customer data. As marketers approach iOS 15 and with Q4 just around the corner, advertisers and brands need to have a plan of action in place. Here Tinuiti looks at what’s coming in the fall release of iOS 15, iPad 15, and macOS Monterey; the resource covers everything email marketers need to know about Apple’s latest privacy update, including expert recommendations for next steps.
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.


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