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8 Ways your Mobile Monetization Platform Leaves Money on the Table

August 27, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “8 Ways your Mobile Monetization Platform Leaves Money on the Table”

Business relationships are often a complex weave of competing incentives, with suppliers, sellers, and other actors each trying to take a larger piece of what the consumer actually spends. In-app monetization isn’t exempt from this trend, and still presents an environment where different players in your advertising stack are incentivized to do what’s best for them and not for publishers. These choices typically present as closed systems, features that don’t address major pain points for you, and a general lack of transparency.

None of this seems terribly shocking, but realizing how much your monetization platform is leaving on the table probably will. In our experience running a DSP, we’ve gained a unique perspective on how the buying side views publishers. Let’s take a spin through eight ways your mobile monetization platform leaves money on the table.

1. Not structuring bids as a simultaneous auction

This is probably the most obvious entry in this list, but it’s worth going over since it makes such a significant impact on revenue. Like, really significant. Pretend not to hear your CFO on the conference call when he asks “why didn’t we implement this sooner” significant.  Imagine you’re at a traditional auction and instead of going through the normal process the auctioneer just accepts the first reasonable bid from one of the regulars. This makes about as much sense in real life as it does in an ad stack.

Read up on how Timehop moved to a simultaneous auction setup and increased their daily revenue by as much as 1200%!  

2. Not being open to work with any exchange

Even in-app header bidding platforms can miss high priced bids for your inventory. This is not to say they are ignoring high bids that are present, but they can just skip networks that could bid on them all together.  While this doesn’t make sense to you as the publisher, it can make sense to the platform provider who may have cut side deals to funnel inventory to specific exchanges. Which brings us to the next item..

3. Not providing access to bid information

As mentioned above, business relationships involve competing incentives. Some industries can get by on trust alone, but the mobile ad world can be rife with hidden fees, alternate revenue calculations, and even outright fraud.  With ad revenue being the lifeblood of most apps, it’s paramount to have faith that your monetization platform isn’t leaching from your company in a way that isn’t obvious. Access to bid information reveals exactly what’s going on with your apps monetization. It’s not difficult to provide this information, and yet many platforms choose not to in order to obfuscate the multiple ways they take pieces of your revenue.

4. Not allowing you to make changes on the fly

Money doesn’t just come in the form of a revenue check. It can also be represented by opportunity cost–the amount of money you are wasting when your developers could have been doing other things.

Platforms can cause you to waste valuable developer time by needing to redeploy your entire app just to make changes to your ad stack.  Redeploying your app can also mean segmentation of your username between different versions, fatigue from users having to update their app frequently, and can affect the display of your App Store ratings.  Most importantly though, it can cause you to avoid updating your ad stack and skip making changes that could mean a meaningful increase in revenue like adding another demand source.

5. Not providing easy access to customer support

Switching monetization platforms can be a stressful operation involving both technical effort and taking a risk with critical revenue streams.  That’s why it’s vitally important to vet the responsiveness and knowledge of the support team that will help you through the process and after. Some of the larger scale platforms will simply not have time to help you through your issues in a meaningful way. Instead they will run your problem through an escalation ladder until it’s cleared to be asked to one of the actual engineers who knows the product.

Like in the other examples this is driven by a competing incentive. Where platforms with accounts much larger than yours simply will make a cost/benefit analysis to help their very large scale partners first and you second due to the sizes of the companies.  The best choice is to go with the platform that values your business enough to give you fast and accurate support when dealing with something as sensitive as your ad revenue.

6. Stuffing yet another bulky SDK into your app

If you’re like most developers, you probably are fairly sick of seeing the letters SDK in your inbox. SDKs can drastically streamline the development process or unlock powerful features, but there is such a thing as too many SDKs. Cramming your app full of bulky SDKs that attempt to do complex functions locally can lead to a large app size, and potentially can prevent users from installing or keeping your app on their device. Monetization platforms with their publishers’ interests in mind should be keeping as much functionality as possible server-sided to decrease SDK size and complexity.

7. Not allowing you to manipulate price bands

Price bands are the tools with which yield managers work their magic and tease more and more ad revenue from inventory.  While some platforms may claim to manage this, what typically happens is that a one size fits all model is applied to all apps. This may result in a slight improvement in yield, but effective manipulation of price bands is both matched to the app and changed frequently to match the fluctuations in the market.

With ClearBid, we wanted to go a step further than this and have price reserves based on things like location and day of week, allowing us to get even more out of our existing inventory. Our dynamic price floors allow ClearBid to maximize yield with minimal effort on the part of the publisher.

 

8. Not being ClearBid

Okay we cheated a bit with this one, but UberMedia’s ClearBid platform really does provide the most publisher-friendly solution on the market. After all, we built it for our own apps  before deciding to release it to the world. ClearBid is an open platform, free to work with any exchange. It’s server-sided, so you can make changes on the fly and only install a tiny SDK. And finally it’s transparent: Anyone is free to examine bid information and see that we’re delivering great value for an honest business partnership.  Finally, we’re confident in our platform because we use it ourselves. One where our incentives are aligned to support publishers and not big exchanges.

 

Join our Publisher Group

ClearBid is live and currently boosting revenue for our own apps and the apps of some of our publisher friends. Reach out at contact@ubermedia.com if you’d like to be a member of our publisher group, we’re already seeing significant boosts in revenue and are happy to share with the publisher community.

Why Did We Build ClearBid?

August 23, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “Why Did We Build ClearBid?”

UberMedia has been a publisher of mobile apps since 2010. With apps like UberSocial, Echofon, and Plume, we’ve provided millions of users with feature-rich Twitter experiences crafted by our team. Despite an official Twitter client release, revenue from these apps has remained steady and even grown while the user base has not.

How have we managed to create revenue growth without growing our userbase or alienating them through aggressive monetization? By developing our own ad tech focused on getting the most relevant (and highest CPM) ads to our users. In our early days, this meant leveraging all the data the user was willing to provide to match them with the most relevant ad. From this sprung forth our DSP and mobile data businesses. Today, we’ve found ourselves on the forefront of another major innovation for publishers, in-app header bidding.

As technologists, we were aware of the massive change header bidding brought to the desktop world, increasing revenue and allowing publishers to benefit from the true value of their audiences. However when we evaluated the landscape for in-app header-bidding (aka parallel bidding), we only discovered platforms that didn’t offer a truly level playing field and barely qualified as a simultaneous auction.

Faced with this, as publishers we decided that the upside of a true header bidding platform was absolutely worth spending development time on. We turned to a recently acquired team of SDK developers who previously were known for creating the first truly battery-efficient location tracking SDK. This team leveraged their existing SDK technology to create a platform that dramatically increased revenue without interrupting our ad stack or significantly increasing the size of our apps. We can even manage the entire thing server-sided and make changes without re-deploying to the app store. Pretty incredible!

The in-app header bidding landscape has grown since we began using our own solution, but we have been surprised to see that things still haven’t really changed. Platforms are still being created by exchanges to favor their own supply and by players that don’t understand what’s important to publishers. Some publishers have built their own in-house solutions and are seeing great results, but they’re built specifically for their own app.

We built ourselves a platform that had all the features we would want as publishers. It’s open and ready to work with any exchange so we can find the best CPMs across the entire ad ecosystem. It’s server-sided, so we can make changes or use our additional tools to fine tune the auction on the fly. It’s transparent, we want to know exactly what’s going on with our monetization after running a DSP showed us the shenanigans that can happen to publishers. And finally, we wanted to use our platform in all of our apps, so we built a platform that can be used in any app with or without an SDK.

After word got around of the results we were seeing, being able to use our platform with any app suddenly became relevant and we decided to share it with a few friendly publishers. We’ve now improved yield for a variety of mobile apps, and have decided to open our publisher group so that we can offer a publisher friendly alternative to some of the more unfair or indifferent in-app header bidding platforms in the ecosystem.

We’ve been fortunate to have a collaborative environment in our group of publishers, who’s feedback has been invaluable in helping us prioritize and come up with new ways to improve our own revenue and theirs. For example, we’ve begun development on integrating dynamic price floors to optimize auctions even further using machine learning. We’re also using our experience in mobile data to add unique parameters to ClearBid impressions that make them even more attractive to demand partners.

Consider this to be our invitation to the world of in-app header bidding. Reach out below to have a conversation about increased revenue without disrupting your existing ad stack. We’d love to give a tour of what we’ve done with ClearBid, and what’s coming next..

Mobile Location Data Reveals Possible Expansion Opportunities

August 7, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “Mobile Location Data Reveals Possible Expansion Opportunities”

Following Oath Craft Pizza’s announcement that they will be opening 20 new locations this year, UberMedia took the liberty of utilizing its powerful mobile location data analysis platform to suggest where we think Oath Craft Pizza should move next.

Oath Craft Pizza, the fast-casual pizza restaurant taking New England by storm, announced that they are planning on opening 20 new locations by the end of 2018. Opening their first location in Nantucket, Mass. in 2015, the chain quickly expanded to 8 locations in Massachusetts and Virginia, and has decided to bring their ethically sourced ingredients to Washington, D.C. and New York.

And while their avocado-oil infused pizza crust sounds tasty to us, our team hypothesized that their target consumer would not be your average run-of-the-mill pizza lover. We decided to look at New England shopping centers with device profiles that matched the device profiles we saw at Oath Craft Pizza locations.

Using Vista, our simple yet powerful tool that enables businesses of all sizes to access, analyze, and visualize high quality location data at scale, we took an aggregated look at what types of devices are seen at Oath Craft Pizza locations, identifying average age, race, education level, and household income. We then compared those demographics to that of devices observed at almost 1,000 different shopping centers in New England.

Our methodology cross-references our list of shopping centers whose visitors had nearly identical demographic profiles to that of Oath Craft Pizza visitors with our location affinity report, showing which brands or categories of locations a set of customers are more or less likely to visit when compared to the average American.

Port Plaza, Port Jefferson Station, New York

Port Plaza features many retailers and restaurants, independent theater PJ Cinema, and a gourmet grocery chain known as UncleGiuseppe’s. According to their website, Uncle Giuseppe’s customers love the quality and selection of goods available – including a meat department with a selection of the best steaks, poultry, roasts, and Italian sausage made daily in front of customers, organic fruits and vegetables, an Italian bakery, freshly made pasta, and more. Since one of Oath Craft Pizza’s main selling points is its ethically sourced ingredients, our analysis concludes that they’d make great neighbors.

Bedford Marketplace, Bedford, Massachusetts

Recently renovated, Bedford Marketplace redesigned their consumer experience, including beautiful facades, a newly designed parking lot, and the addition of bicycle racks to promote alternative transportation. The shopping center includes Whole Foods, the eco-minded chain with natural & organic grocery items, and B.GOOD, whose menu is inspired by the seasons and ingredients rotated with the local harvests, meaning that Oath’s ethically sourced ingredients will fit in just perfectly.

An unsurprising affinity for Shake Shack

When comparing the location affinities of Oath Craft Pizza visitors and our list of recommended shopping centers, an interesting trend emerged: Overwhelmingly, these devices were much more likely to also be observed at Shake Shack locations. Shake Shack, a fast casual restaurant, started as a hot dog cart in NY in 2001, is another fast-growing food chain. The company says it uses all-natural 100% Angus beef only and that its meat doesn’t have hormones or antibiotics.

Shake Shack’s rapid expansion, focus on quality ingredients, and a trendy, fast casual restaurant experience sounds incredibly similar to the story Oath Craft Pizza is currently writing. We believe this further validates our findings.

Big brand ambitions on a small business budget

When a brand is rapidly expanding, they rapidly need accurate recommendations as to where they should put their new locations. That is why we built Vista, an insight-as-a-service platform providing mobile location data, analytics, and media measurement for businesses of all sizes.

Heatwave Hotspots: The Impact of Rising Temperatures on Businesses in Pasadena, CA

July 31, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “Heatwave Hotspots: The Impact of Rising Temperatures on Businesses in Pasadena, CA”

Recently temperatures rose across Southern California for the second time since the initial heatwave weekend following the July 4th holiday. We decided to use our mobile location data to  analyze how hot weather impacts visits to local businesses. To do this, we looked at the percent increase/decrease in foot traffic to movie theaters, coffee shops, and restaurants in Pasadena from the weekend prior to the July 6 heatwave through the weekend after. When comparing to the average traffic observed in the weekends before and after the heatwave, we found some compelling insights.

More people visit movie theaters

While there were some compelling movies showing that weekend, visits were more likely driven by air conditioning rather than the appeal of the latest blockbuster. Overall, movie theaters saw a 6% increase in foot traffic during the weekend when compared to the average foot traffic of non-heatwave weekends.

When looking at each day over the weekend, our data reveals a delay between the increase in daily temperature and the increase in visitation. It wasn’t until Sunday, a few days into the heatwave, that theaters saw a significant change in visitation. Pasadena theaters saw a 20% increase in foot traffic on the Sunday during the heatwave when compared to the average Sunday.

Coffee shops slow down

Coffee shops saw a steady decline in foot traffic over the heatwave, with a 10% decrease in foot traffic overall when compared to the average weekend. Saturday was especially hard for coffee shops, as they saw a 28% drop in visitors when compared to the amount of visitors seen on the average Saturday.

During the peak of the heatwave, restaurants saw more patrons

Restaurants were a mixed lot. The onslaught of the heatwave brought a wave of visitors staying out of the heat of the kitchen. Restaurants in Pasadena saw a 11% increase in visitation during the peak of the heatwave when compared to the previous/following Fridays. Although it stayed warm throughout the weekend, Saturday saw 30% less visitors than the average.

There are countless unforeseen circumstances that can impact how many patrons visit a business on any given day. While we can’t change the weather, we can help coordinate with businesses to adjust their strategies based on the actual performance of their unique locations in relation to real world events.

We’ve updated our branding

July 30, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “We’ve updated our branding”

We’re excited to announce an updated look for UberMedia. As market leaders leaders in mobile data, our mission is to make powerful mobile data easy-to-use. As with any complex subject, the best way to make it easy-to-use is to make it easily understood. We’ve created a new website, updated our look, and reorganized our offerings to focus on bringing clarity to mobile data.

Take a look at our new website, and keep an eye here on our blog for even more great content based on the most powerful and easy-to-use mobile data on the market.

More people visit Kohl’s after opening Amazon Return Centers  

March 22, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “More people visit Kohl’s after opening Amazon Return Centers  ”

In October 2017, select Kohl’s locations across the Chicago and Los Angeles areas designated a portion of their stores as Amazon Return centers, allowing Amazon customers a brick and mortar location to make returns free of shipping costs.
Our primary objective was to measure whether partnering with Amazon and becoming a Return Center affected overall foot traffic to the location. When compared to the previous year, Kohl’s locations that became an Amazon Return Center saw a measurable increase in foot traffic (12%).
Using UberMedia’s proprietary retail boundary technology, we identified Kohl’s locations across the country and recorded when devices visited these locations. By measuring the daily visits of both Amazon Return centers and non-Amazon Return centers over the course of 2016-2017, our team was able to control for the typical increase in foot traffic we see in Q4 due to holiday shopping while observing the significant effect becoming an Amazon Return center has on daily visits.
The presence of Amazon Return centers in Kohl’s led to a significant increase in visits when compared to the year prior (and controlled for holiday foot traffic). Specifically, non-Amazon Return centers had a 36% estimated daily visitors rise by 36% vs. before October 2017; while the Amazon Return centers rose by 48%, indicating an additional average 12% increase in average daily visitors after the launch above the normal holiday increase.

Kohl’s Weekly Visits 2017

Kohl’s Weekly Visits 2016


The Amazon and Kohl’s partnership is another example of innovative retailers offering consumer experiences that differ from typical “off-the-shelf” brands. By combining the convenience of an Amazon Return center with the variety of products offered at Kohl’s, the department store may attract a new consumer base that would have otherwise ordered online.
To learn more about the Kohl’s-Amazon partnership and how mobile location data is changing today’s competitive commerce landscape, read UberMedia CEO Gladys Kong’s thoughts at CIO.com : Using mobile location data to track the Amazon bump, and other retail innovations.

With Toys R Us gone, who will become the main toy retailer?

March 15, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “With Toys R Us gone, who will become the main toy retailer?”

In response to the news that Toys R Us will be closing it’s 800 U.S. locations, we decided to conduct a location affinity analysis, a report that reveals what brands consumers are more or less likely to visit. This allows us to predict where Toys R Us visitors will shop once the big box retailer has closed its doors.
While there is no denying that Toys R Us was feeling the effects of Amazon, big box retailers are also becoming major players in the toy business. In fact, Hasbro and Mattel, which each report 10% of overall sales from Toys R Us, are also sold in Target and Walmart. According to CNNMoney, Target meets Toys R Us’ share of sales, while Walmart exceeds both retailers, accounting for 20% of overall sales for both toy makers. Will Target or Walmart win Toys R Us shoppers?

Toys R Us shoppers choose Target over Walmart

Our analysis suggests that although Toys R Us shoppers are more likely to visit both Target and Walmart than the average American consumer, they are 1.7x more likely to visit Target (96.22%) over Walmart (56.65%).

Bargain retailers to see a Toys R Us bump

Expanding analysis to include kids’ resale store Once Upon a Child and the official Disney retailer, The Disney Store,  Toys R Us shoppers are almost 2x more likely to visit Once Upon a Child (110.27%) over The Disney Store (56.04%), suggesting that Toys R Us parents appreciate affordable products over the often pricey licensed Disney merchandise.

Analysis in this report was done with UberMedia Vista, an insights-as-a-service platform that provides mobile location data, analytics, and media measurement for businesses of all sizes. Mobile data used in this analysis came from UberMedia’s aggregation of multiple sources and advanced data processing.

Retail Roundup: The State of Brick and Mortar in the United States

May 17, 2017 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “Retail Roundup: The State of Brick and Mortar in the United States”

There is no denying that the retail industry is changing. But is this change an actual retail apocalypse, leaving thousands of storefronts empty in its wake? Or is this shift in how consumers relate to offline brands ore of a regenesis, making way for a new and improved shopping experience?
Here is our current “Retail Roundup” keeping tabs on the people talking about the state of brick and mortar in the U.S.
 
What in the World is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?
From rural strip-malls to Manhattan’s avenues, it has been a disastrous two years for retail. There is no question that the most significant trend affecting brick-and-mortar stores is the relentless march of Amazon and other online retail companies. But the recent meltdown for retail brands is equally about the legacy of the Great Recession, which punished logo-driven brands, put a premium on experiences (particularly those that translate into social media moments), and unleashed a surprising Golden Age for restaurants.
To continue reading, please visit Derek Thompson’s article for The Atlantic.
 
Is Amazon to Blame for Slew of Retail Store Closures?
As digital transformation continues to engulf everything in its path, opportunities and challenges will co-evolve. With this in mind, maybe it is time to adopt a proactive approach rather than the traditional, reactive response?

Let’s not mistake the symptom for the cause.

Rather than pointing the finger at Amazon, diagnose and treat the inability to adapt. Without a mobile-first approach, a seamless user experience across devices, and a digitally literate workforce, every day is a missed opportunity to be the disruptor, and not the disrupted.
To continue reading, please visit Anurag Harsh’s article for The Huffington Post.
 
Nearly Every Retailer Says This is How They’ll Bring Back Traffic. But Few are Truly Delivering
It’s one of the most common responses when retailers are asked how they plan to bring customers back into their shops: make the in-store experience more exciting.

But few have figured out what, exactly, that buzz phrase really means — and fewer still have made meaningful efforts to roll out an effective solution.
Time is running out. With mall traffic deteriorating in nearly every quarter since 2014, retailers need to hone in on what makes their brand unique and find a way to bring it alive for customers.
To continue reading, please visit Krystina Gustafson’s article for CNBC.
 
The Death of Retail is Greatly Exaggerated
Retail isn’t dying, it’s changing.

Let the malls implode. Young retailers will remake them in their own image, gutting the old Gap stores and putting in a coffee shop. Large buildings will be repurposed into markets and micro-retail will replace maxi-retail. And the process will repeat – small becomes big which topples and the small rise again. While the seismic effects of retail death are real and dangerous in the short term I’m optimistic enough to bet on the small scale in the long term.
To continue reading, please visit John Biggs’ article for TechCrunch.
 
Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?
Store closures, meanwhile, are on pace this year to eclipse the number of stores that closed in the depths of the Great Recession of 2008. Back then Americans, mired in foreclosures and investment losses, retrenched away from buying stuff.

The current torrent of closures comes as consumer confidence is strong and unemployment is low, suggesting that a permanent restructuring is underway, rather than a dip in the normal business cycle. In short, traditional retail may never recover.
To continue reading, please visit Michael Corkery’s article for The New York Times.
 
‘The Dominoes are Starting to Fall’: Retailers are Going Bankrupt at a Staggering Rate
Retailers are filing for bankruptcy at an alarming rate that’s quickly approaching recessionary levels.

It’s only April, and nine retailers have already filed for bankruptcy since the start of the year — as many as all of last year.

“2017 will be the year of retail bankruptcies,” Corali Lopez-Castro, a bankruptcy lawyer, told Business Insider.
To continue reading, please visit Hayley Peterson’s article for Business Insider.
 
Urban Outfitters CEO Says Retail Carnage Proves ‘Bubble’ Has Burst
Stores, particularly those focused on apparel, are grappling with drops in foot traffic in the order of 6% a year, and an increasingly promotional environment as consumers shift spending away from clothing, the surfeit of which has made it a commodity. That, coupled with years of overbuilding has led to dismal comparable sales results for specialty clothing stores and department stores in particular.
“Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage capacity added in the ’90s and early 2000s. Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble. And like housing, that bubble has now burst,” Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne told the Wall Street analysts.
To continue reading, please visit Phil Wahba’s article for Fortune.
 

Anomalies and False Narratives: Finding Truth in Big Data

April 13, 2017 Posted by Blog, Thought Leadership 0 thoughts on “Anomalies and False Narratives: Finding Truth in Big Data”

By Kerry Pearce, SVP, Product Development, UberMedia
It’s rare for marketers to find clear answers in Big Data. But for inquisitive marketers, Big Data is incredibly helpful for identifying the right questions.
Recently, a fitness apparel brand sought to identify potential customers by analyzing mobile location data. We focused on gyms, public recreation areas, and stand-alone fitness locations like yoga and cycling studios. We found the audience, but we also found something unexpected: a large overlap with audiences that frequent fast food establishments, none of which could be classified as healthy options. To the client, this looked like the kind of previously unseen and counterintuitive insight Big Data is famous for. Yes, the client reasoned, logic dictates that you’re unlikely to find a significant audience of gym rats who also have a serious French Fry habit. But with so much data, how could that conclusion be wrong?

Big data is really about picking the relevant “small” data

For all its emphasis on scale, Big Data is really about analyzing the small fraction of collected data that is relevant to the inquiry. This is because collecting Big Data, by definition, means collecting even more noise. This is why data scientists talk about “cleaning up” the data as a prerequisite to analysis – the idea isn’t to find the needle in the haystack, but rather to locate the relevant haystacks.
So is it possible that people who workout a lot also enjoy eating unhealthy food? Of course it’s possible, and we can even come up with some behavioral theories to explain why. Perhaps, these gym rats workout to offset junk food. Or maybe, the appeal is convenience, because people who workout are pressed for time. Neither of these theories is inherently wrong, but the further down the road we go with this particular data-driven narrative, the more susceptible we become to our own bias. Put simply, we want to believe we’ve discovered a new audience segment, and so we tell ourselves a story where Big Data unearthed a hidden clue. But is it truly a relevant data point; or put another way, is this insight one that will move the needle for a marketer?

When the data adds up, worry

One constant requirement of narrative is that the storyteller ties up loose ends. But that’s not how the real world works because the real world is messy. So if the data adds up to a tidy story – the audience segment for fitness apparel is huge because everyone is passionate about fitness! – it’s time to worry.
Too often, marketers seek out only data that confirms narratives they already believe to be true, or narratives they want to believe to be true. All humans are susceptible to this problem, by the way – it’s why we want to believe news reports about studies that tout the health benefits of drinking alcohol and eating dessert. But marketers can be especially prone to this type of bias because marketers are the guardians of a brand’s intangible qualities and values. They know their brands, which simultaneously makes them experts and the least likely people in the room to see the bias of their own assumptions. They believe everyone cares about fitness – whether they actually demonstrate that care or not – because everyone who works at a fitness brand is demonstrably passionate about working out. The question is not how to get rid of that bias – you can’t – but how can marketers use Big Data to seek out deeper truths that may upend what we think we know for sure?

Embrace the anomalies

The overlap between the fitness and fast food audiences is an anomaly – one we must embrace. If taken at face value, the overlap seems to prove what we want to believe: everyone is passionate about fitness. But the same data can actually be used to tell just the opposite story. People who go to the gym and frequent fast food may not be passionate about fitness at all. True, they do exercise and so may require workout gear, but their level of enthusiasm for exercise might actually be diminished by their interest in fast food. Put another way, the anomaly didn’t enlarge the fitness audience, it actually made it smaller because the deeper we dug into the data, the more nuance we found. And in that nuance we discovered a subset of the fitness segment that doesn’t really share the primary values associated with the overall segment.
Of course, trading a large data set for a smaller, albeit more useful one, feels counterproductive because doing so forces us to abandon the story we told ourselves. In embracing the anomaly, we found hard evidence that the passion for fitness is not universal. But in exchange for letting go of that false narrative, we put ourselves in a better position to locate that passion. It’s not an easy trade, even if it is a good one. In fact, for marketers, letting go of stories that neatly summarize brands and customers is terrifying. But the alternative ought to be even more frightening, because a strategy based on a false narrative is one that is inevitably doomed to fail.

Pumping the Brakes: Is Technology Really Disrupting the Car-Buying Experience?

April 4, 2017 Posted by Blog, Media Coverage 0 thoughts on “Pumping the Brakes: Is Technology Really Disrupting the Car-Buying Experience?”

“Data in the Digital Age” is a monthly blog written by UberMedia CEO, Gladys Kong, sharing her views on the new data landscape. 
April 4, 2017 – CIO.com – It’s often easy to get swept up in the excitement of technological disruptions. Just looking at the news coming out of both the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress earlier this year, one would think flying cars are just around the corner. Clearly, technology is quickly driving connected cars and autonomous vehicles forward. In these cases, technology is certainly disrupting the driving experience. However, it’s not disrupting the buying experience as much as one might be led to believe.
Let’s take a look under the hood of the automotive market. Perception assumes few people shop in person anymore, with mobile and digital greatly disrupting the car buying experience. While there is certainly a shift in using mobile for research, data tells us consumers in market for a new or used car are still heading to physical dealerships to augment digital research. In fact, more than 40% of Millennials/Gen Y cite visits to the dealership as an important factor in purchasing a new car, according to Deloitte.  And, Gen Z is no different, with 66% preferring an in-store experience, says a new survey from Euclid Analytics.
To continue reading, please visit CIO.com.