Input sound file: 0490_The_BeanCast_Marketing_Podcast_Experiencing_Data
this episode of the BeanCast is brought to you by FlavaNaturals. See for yourself what a superburst of flavanols can do for your brain and physical health. Go to FlavaNaturals.com and use the offer code, Bob, for 20% off your first order. Bandwidth provided by Recurisve Squirrel Interactive. Transcription services provided by TranscribeMe.com. Visit them on the web at TranscribeMe.com/BeanCast for up to 25% off. That's TranscribeMe.com. Episode 490. Experiencing Data. [music] For Monday, April 2nd, 2018, it's time for this week's edition of the BeanCast, a weekly discussion about the news and issues facing marketers today. I'm your host, Bob Knorpp. Thanks for joining us. There has always been an uneasy alliance between creatives and data geeks in the ad world, but as marketing automation continues to force the two together, we find that the worlds are more complementary than many believed. How so? Tonight, we'll discuss. Also, whether it's time for new brand experience metric, the value exchange for data, why Facebook Solution causes more problems, plus this week's [inaudible]. That's the lineup. Let's meet tonight's panel. Thanks for joining us for this week's BeanCast. I'm Bob Knorpp, and with me on this panel for this evening, we start with the founder and principal of Beetle Moment Marketing, Miss Emily Binder. Hi, Emily.
Hi, Bob. Thanks for having me back.
My pleasure. Now, next, we have our good friend, founder of The Idea Integration Co., Mr. Saul Colt, is back. Hi, Saul.
Hey, Bob. As excited to be on the show.
Now, also with us, we have the executive vice president, creative director for digital at Avrett Free Ginsberg, Mr. Colin Glaum, joins us. Hi, Colin.
Hey, Bob. Happy Easter.
Happy Easter to you, as well, and finally, we have with us the managing director of an agency called Cult Collective. Mr Mark Whitehead is back. Hi, Mark.
Mark, Canadian content. Happy to be with you, Bob.
Love having this panel here, because we have a lot to cover. And it's a really super interesting agenda we have lined up for this week. First up, I had the honor this past week of attending Adobe Summit in Las Vegas as a guest of the conference. That's in full-disclosure. They paid for me to go. They did not pay me, but they did comp me the experience. And well, yes, it's a giant self-serving event geared towards cementing and growing Adobe's profits. They did offer me a lot of heavy stuff to chew on. A lot of great content. Most notably, though, focus on using data to guide and enhance creative output and consumer experience. It seemed like everything that they were talking about fell in line with these two principles, so Colin, outside of response advertising, the very idea of all creative being led entirely by data seems kind of counterintuitive, at least to the creative sensibilities that are inside me, yet that seemed to be Adobe's core premise in every feature that they demonstrated in their Experience Cloud. So in your opinion, can all consumer experience be reduced to a series of equations, and even if so, does that hinder the natural intuition in the creative process. What's your take on this idea that data and creative need to be completely intertwined, joined at the hip, and informing one another? Collin, are you still there?
I am. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. I was in here. I'm just taking a deep, pregnant pause [laughter] because I have a lot to say about this subject. I've espoused the same point of view on this very show a number of times before. So, at the risk of being redundant, I'll say it again. If you're a creative director or an aspiring writer or designer and you're not flanked by a strategist who's giving you data to react to, if you don't have a line of sight into what's working for you or what's not, then ultimately, you're just guessing. And there really, in my opinion, isn't an excuse for this in our line of work anymore. The reason that you've referenced direct marketing before or at least response marketing before is because we're all kind of being shoehorned into what's now considered funnel marketing, right? There's the idea that everything that's digital is measurable. And almost every touchpoint that I know of now is in some way, shape or form digital and measurable. So while still a big fan of--
Which is part of the problem because for a lot of creatives, to make everything measurable seems like it's-- again, going back to that counterintuitive word. It doesn't make any sense to somebody who's creating an ad that's supposed to be more visceral and feeling, and more emotional, and connecting with the audience in a memorable way that's not necessarily measurable. How do you rectify those two? How do you justify one against the other?
So as an example, with our clients, we do a lot of testing and learning in the social space. So we'll take ad-like objects that are based on headlines and a simple image. And we'll run them through Facebook or Instagram. And whatever comes back as the most viable is the thing that we sort of blow out or the strategic direction in which we take. It's a very inexpensive way to learn what's going to actually move the metric-- move the metrics or the KPIs that our clients are going after. It's way faster than taking an ASI study, and three months out of your schedule, and tens of thousands of dollars to develop stuff that's kind of-- [inaudible] I would argue that in a lot of instances, those are artificial constructs and bad [rubrics?]. You're asking people to sit in a room for an hour and a half and talk about advertising, when in reality, you want to know if whether or not somebody's going to click on an ad and move you a little bit closer to downloading an app or taking a look at a website or making a purchase online. And those things are now happening in the digital space where we can actually test and learn much faster and much more readily than you can if you sit a bunch of consumers in a room-- or 30 consumers in a room. I can talk to thousands of them in an afternoon.
The problem with what you're saying, Collin, is it's a little bit of inferred research as opposed to clean research because who are these people on Facebook and Instagram that you're going to? It doesn't sound very targeted when-- I agree with you, why take three months out of the line when there are products like Methodify, which I dig a lot, and they're automated market research that you describe the target, you send out your creative to give you an answer within 24 hours and-- because, as you said, why would you make creative without somebody strapped to you? I agree with that. But I don't think you need that much beforehand. You need the middle end and there's sort of like three touchpoints of the research that you need to do because creative and data do work together. You don't want to end up with a Pepsi ad which was only tested at the beginning and not tested at the end. But you also have to make sure you're testing it with the right people. And Facebook and Google, they're sending out your messages. And Instagram is curating who they think you should be wanting to speak to, where you should be using a clean data source like someone like Methodify, who I think are great. I've used them a bunch of times. Inferred data won't get you want you want because [laughter] my Google search of the same word is going to be different than your Google search based on our history. And that's the problem with doing survey monkeys and Facebook polls and all that stuff. You have to use something a little bit more robust.
I don't know that we're talking--
I don't disagree--
--about the same thing, though. I mean I think all of you so far or both of you so far have been talking specifically about market research and how market research can inform the creative team about ways to reach into the audience and I think that every creative would agree with that. It's more from the standpoint of tying data sources directly to creative output. And usually it's reserved for-- well, data usually in this scenario plays the role of informing the creative about what kind of message should be provided, not dictating which ad performs best, how to optimize that ad, how to bring in the right image that's going to have the right effect at any given time. I mean a lot of that kind of metric that's being applied to creative dictates what the creative will be and creatives hate that. And it's become such an ongoing feud between the creative side of the business and the data side of the business because the data has gotten it down to the point where we know what we need to do in order to be most effective. And the creatives out there are saying, "Well, but this is my job. My job is to come up with something that is intuitively better for reaching this audience that's artistically pleasing, that's elegant, and well written," and all the things that creatives love to do, it's all being taken away from us from the data side of the business.
I don't think it's necessarily taken away, though. I think it's just being refined, right? So I might, as a creative, start off with four different hypotheses as to what that actual ad unit should be at the very end. Now, I have the opportunity because it's so inexpensive, whether it's-- sorry, Sal, is it Methodify? Or [inaudible] target market or Facebook and Instagram. You can actually take those creatives, put them out in the wild, and actually get feedback as to what's working and what's not working. And then, from there, refine what the ultimate campaign is supposed to be. And that, to me, is the power of having data support you. You can't walk into a-- how ideas have died because a creative director had his own biases as to what he thought the ad unit should be or what the output of the creative should be. Now, in hindsight, you can take 16 or 30 or 50 of them, put them in market, and then have the real audience, the people that really matter, give you the feedback that's ultimately going to drive your ROI.
Yeah. That makes sense if you're being measured on--
I completely agree with you, Colin.
Well, one second. Let Emily go first. Emily?
Oh. If you're being measured on clickthrough rate on Facebook or Instagram, that's exactly the place you want to test it. If you're looking for testing your copy for a broader audience, maybe these outside tools-- I've never heard of Methodify, but might be better-- Sal, what makes it clean?
My understanding of it is they've got just a crazy number of email addresses of people who are incentivized to respond and they've got it segmented so you can say, "I need women 18 to 24 with X number of household income." You basically describe your target. They send it out and you get a clean, unbiased, unfiltered, uncurated impression as opposed to a Facebook poll that only X number or 5% of your wall is going to see and all sorts of things along those lines.
But that's not necessarily informing the creative, that is just a complete pure play targeting of an audience. I mean, we would need to have--
No, but you're getting opinion back on your creatives who's saying left or right and being-- like these are the two options. You inform your creatives of different things.
So for creative testing? Okay. Now I understand where you're coming from and then it makes a little bit more sense. One of the interesting things that came out of the event was that they centered most of the conversation on the understanding of data versus the collection of data. Because first of all, what was interesting to me about the event and about Adobe's products, overall, was that they're not focused on data collection or about data warehousing or being a CRM platform. It's more about analytics and truly understanding the data. And for me, that's something that I think a creative can get their teeth into. If the data is not being forced on you as a black box opportunity in which you can target a little bit more efficiently and you don't know why it's more efficient, that seems a little bit more useful. It can inform a creative about how I should maybe-- in other words, it gives the creative tools and understanding so that they can make better choices rather than dictates to creative how they should be doing things, like getting back the feedback that red works better is not effective or efficient as saying, "We've seen these types of images or these type of colors be more effective. How can you mix this up and come up with a better product?" It seems to me that this distinction between understanding data versus collecting data helps to erase the tension between creatives and data geeks. Now, Mark, am I right about that? Is that something that as a creative, you can get your teeth into and say, "Yes, this is is something that makes me more willing to work with the data side of the business."?
Well, what I was going to say a little bit earlier, and I'm sure that people on your show have said this a million times, the world doesn't need more data. It needs more meaning. And just providing more data and, in fact, in particular, raw data is not helping anybody. It's what you do. It's how you analyze that data and how you bring meaning to it that is important. And that is certainly where I agree with Collin, that this idea of making sure that any creative thinkers have, alongside them, some audience understanders, for lack of a better word, that can help creatives go deeper than just the data and really get into, in particular, what we focused on is the emotional side. How can you take a lot of qualified information? Quantify it. What are the feelings that people have or want to have about you? What is their belief system about your brand and how do they feel? And what do they believe about not only your contenders but the ideal non-existent in the category that are going to be the gateways for you to do some productive thinking that's going to get you somewhere? I am not a big fan of testing creative. I'm a big fan of testing strategy, of testing thinking. I'm trying to understand if you got an idea, hypothesis, around an insight that's going to get you somewhere that is going to be the father that creatives are really going to make [inaudible] and do some great thinking around.
But how do you test strategy without testing creative?
You get into a conversation with consumers and you help ask questions that enable them to reveal, not tell you. Stated answers, stated questions rarely get you anywhere. I'm more interested in connecting the dots between a number of different answers that I've gotten from a research study and how that reveals a certain pattern of the way they feel, or their belief system towards a brand.
And I agree with you wholeheartedly, Mark. I think that too often we get lost in our focus groups when we start to test creative against each other and we try to say, "How do you react to this ad?" You're not really getting an impression back about the strategy and the thinking. What you're doing is getting an art critic who's coming at you with the mission to give you criticism, which is what they're being paid to do, as opposed to revealing their true wants and their true needs. And that's kind of what a lot of the marketing automation platforms are striving to do. Your Salesforces of the world, your Oracles, your Adobes, your Microsofts. Every single one of them is trying their best to bring meaning to this data and give insight to the marketer, as opposed to just dictating what you should do because this is what the numbers reveal that is the most effective. The classic example I always give is we tested and tested and tested in the direct mail era and we ended up with a white envelope selling credit cards. And we erased all the brand value just because the data told us that this was the most effective way to meet our numbers. In the end, what it also did was erased brand value in the process and a lot of the credit card marketers had to back pedal and come back into more of a brand stance so that they could establish some kind of differentiation between the products. And I think that's what a lot of the digital marketing platforms, a lot of the marketing automation platforms, are starting to really come to grips with now and starting to provide to the marketers out there. They're trying to make sense of all this data and bring meaning to it where it's most effective. Most data conversations in advertising these days, they're focused on empowering programmatic efforts, whereas at the event I heard more about unifying customers' experience online and offline. Now I know everyone here thinks that that's a noble vision. We all talk about this on the program constantly about bringing the online world to the offline world so that we have one customer record that is unified across all channels and we can bring some kind of unified vision to the whole process. And every platform out there's promising some version of this and I gotta ask you guys, and I'm going to start with Emily, is it reasonable to think that brands are ready to deliver on this promise and what do we need to do to move the ball forward?
To deliver on the promise of having a golden customer record?
Yeah. The promise of having one unified customer record that unifies the experience across all channels so that the ads that are being created for the offline world marry up with the online world and are personalized specific to the record of the customer so that the customer has a unified experience at every touchpoint with the brand. I know the marketing platforms are all out there saying, "We can do it, we can do it," but I don't know that that's true yet. So what do we need to do to move the ball forward so that we get to that stage?
I don't have--
It's absolutely possible.
How is it possible?
Well, I mean as an example, we built one for a very large luxury-- it's expensive, right? So a very large luxury car company I had as a client a number of years ago, they had four different agencies and 24 different touchpoints for each one of their consumers. They were all not unified in any way, shape, or form. We took all that data in-house. We ran one system of touchpoints so that it was all about, Okay, you have a birthday? We know when we're gonna touch you then. You have an annual checkup for your car? We're gonna reach out to you then. We have your anniversary with us, we have financing, we have your-- what do you call it when you have a car? I don't even have it. When you have your monthly-- not mortgage.
Your lease payment.
Your lease payment, thank you. When you have your lease payment, each one of them is a touchpoint. When we were using them, they were originally conceived by four different agencies and brought to random different people. We brought that all into one agency, streamlined the entire thing, we were 24 touchpoints down to eight or nine. They were much more meaningful because they were personalized, and we actually started using visuals that were reflective of the car that they had and the one that we ultimately wanted to upgrade them to next time their lease was up. We did that ten years ago. That's entirely possible. If you want to talk about companies that are doing this extremely, extremely well, look at hotels. The high end luxury hotels have personal dossiers on each of their high net worth people that come into their door. They speak to them by first name. They know who they're married to, they know their kids' ages. They send birthday gifts. It's all possible, it's just whether or not companies want to invest in caring that much about their consumers.
I think that's a--
So it's not so much-- you're talking about hotels, you're talking about car dealerships, but you're not talking about major retailers. You look at Macys, you look at whoever you want to single out, a lot of their equipment is antiquated, like the registers and things like that. They're not even tracking at the sales point of what you're buying, or at least it's not being tracked in the most easy, shareable, lightweight way. So for anyone to say we can figure out-- so I skimmed this article and what I gathered from it is, you basically find something online, you put it in the shopping cart on your phone, and it'll ask you if you want to buy it in person or do you want to buy it online. If you say in real life, it tells you where the closest store is and that's their solution but that's asking a lot from the consumer to actually go online, figure out what you want and then say, yeah I want to buy it. It's one thing if you just say I'm going to pick it up at Best Buy or whatever. It's another thing to change the whole way you shop when most people do it the other way around. They go in person, they look at it, they touch it, they feel it, and then they just have it delivered to their house by Amazon or whatever. I think there's a huge leap of faith in this particular solution, if I'm understanding it correctly, in the way they've designed it.
I just don't think that having information on your spouse and your kids and how many times you stayed at a hotel or let's say what car you bought, means that you have a total unified customer record of everything from which ads they've seen and clicked and purchases they've made on a different credit card, or maybe they were logged in with a different email address, they were on a different device. It's still disjointed, it's not a perfectly unified picture. I haven't seen it.
Yeah, and I think--
So you're right. But you know what, there could be an interesting way that you could do all of what you're talking about that is seemingly as simple as this. Most of the research that's done that I've experienced in my career talks with hundreds or thousands of people, and once they start to cluster them, they cluster them according to how the researcher or the brand sees these clusters of audiences. If we could simply turn that on its head and start to use and ask questions in a way that helps audiences self-identify the communities that they feel they are part of, to me that's the getting between answering a very one on one way to understand the portfolio and the very specific and distinct prefaces of an individual with understanding in a broader sense, how a group of people is going to be moved and motivated and driven to have a particular behavior towards a brand. I don't think we do that often enough. Start and begin the conversation with, "How does the audience see themselves and how can we take clues from that to start to categorize them in ways that when we speak to them, is going to resonate stronger?"
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You did catch me off guard there for sure.
Well, one of the more fascinating conversations I had at the event was with Tamara Gaffney, an Adobe director, charged with developing a brand experience index that is actionable in determining, not just how the brand is perceived, but also in determining where the brand should focus on in the future. Now, before we have our conversation, I'm going to do something new for the show, something that I don't typically do. I want to play a little bit of the conversation where we discussed a bit of the metrics to that effort. Can I have the panel listen in along with the audience? And then we'll see what we think, so roll the tape.
What I'm doing right now is I'm compiling ideas of the types of encounters that people have that are experience breakers or experience makers, so I'm putting these into a big list. And I'm tagging them along the lines of what kind of backing system, or organizational design changes, or whatever has to happen in order for that breaker or maker to work, and so as I gather more and more different things. So I'll give you an example. One of the makers is the ability to not have to print something that you used to have to print like your airline ticket, right? This has gone from something that was very delightful a couple years ago to something that is expected, and we've measured the fact that it's kind of table stakes now for airline to have the mobile device with the ticket embedded that you can use the QR code and not to have the paper. Another thing that it's expected is that when I have a mobile application, I can log in with the biometric identifier and not have to remember a whole bunch of that finger-typing things. That's another expected experience, and if you don't get that experience, it's kind of a breaker at this point. Then there are true breakers which would be something along the lines of, I bought something that had a data component to an Internet-of-Things device. And I thought that the features that I got with that device were included, but then they all turned off or not all of them. Most of them turned off at 30 days because it was a ongoing subscription required, and I didn't know that. And I've been collecting those ideas of what kinds of experiences either make someone really upset or make someone really happy. And I kind of want to continue to collect those ideas because that's the basis on how we built experience index itself rather than going and asking people, "Tell me how you feel about-- on a scale of one to five, do you agree or disagree that you're happy?" Well, that's difficult. You can present someone with the case study. This happens to you. Are you going to expect it? Are you going to be upset about it? Or are you going tell your friends, "I don't want to do business with this company anymore." I talked about the tenets of an experience like this and this. Those were: know me and respect me, kind of important topic right now, make technology transparent, speak in one voice, and delight me. And delight would be pushing innovations that are brand new in your category. So those four tenets, we scored them right now, and we want to understand where the marketers feel like they are. So we can understand how much difference there is. The scoring that we've got from consumers, the highest score was 61 out of 100, and that was know me and respect me.
What I thought was really interesting about that, Emily, is the focus on understanding and quantifying experience makers and experience breakers especially the consideration given to the fact that the experiences are fluid, that you can't say that it's just because it's an experience maker today, it's going to continue to be an experience maker tomorrow. What was your take on the ideas here? What are your immediate thoughts after listening to this conversation? Not in terms of Adobe's particular spin on it but more in terms of the overarching thinking about evaluating brand experience health.
Well, collecting experiences of what makes or breaks sounds like a really deep dive of kind current surveys and even NPS. I mean, when they drill down onto questions about certain aspects of the customer experience. So if you triangulate all teh data that, let's say Adobe has, and you're incorporating social posts and purchases, clicks, everything, you could get closer to finding what customers want or don't like and that's good but the problem with relying on this metric, if this tool came to be, while it seems like a faster way tot get to the pain points and what's working, is teh prerequisite which is that customers are sharing those breakers in a place where your measurement tool [can?] find them. And some customers, most customers, don't share feedback at all, the ones in the middle.
Yeah, and that was kind of my initial take about it as well. When I started to talk to her about it, I mean, I initially thought she was talking about brinigng in the data sources and supplying [Sensia?], their AI with this information so that you would get intelligent recommendations bout teh brand helath and what to do next but this was entirely survey based as of now and my question about surveys is whether or not you're accurately getting the information that's most important at any giving time because you're-- if you get realtime data in, you're actually dealking with the shifting marketplace but when you're doing surveys you can get in answers such as, well, we want transparency but we want you to know us. We want you to know me when I come to your brand or you come to your webpage but then suddenly the whole thing with Cambridge Analytica happens and everybody's like, "Delete Facebook.I don't want anybody to know me" and--
Yeah, go ahead.
Didn't mean to interrupt you. That first tenant, like you said, know me and respect me, is paradoxical at this point because we don't have adequate data privacy to respect any [lay?] user and we have enough data to halfway know someone or predict their needs but that's faulty. So I think it is a case of a leading question, this multiple choice survey. Somebody picks that but really you could only have one. Know me or respect.
Right, right, absolutely.
Colin, what's your take on this? Is it reasonable to expect brands to be able to use a tool like this and stay as fluid as their customer bases expect them to stay? I mean, because that's really whats driving this. It's an understanding that's what's innovated today becomes expected tomorrow. So understanding your brand, the health of your brand experience, is a really essential thing. I just don't know that it's possible given the realities of business today. What's your take on that?
I think it's two slightly different conversations, to be honest. I think anytime you bring, like the survey. The gold stand for a number of years have been will you endorse us to your friends? Right? Will you be an advocate for this brand? Do you believe in us enough?
And that's because--
But the real--
Let's put that in perspective too before you breeze off there because I want the audience to understand that when you talk about a net promoter's score, you're talking about something that is phenomenally easy. Essentially you're asking someone, will you recommend this brand or recommend this product to someone who you care about? And from that, you get an average that tells you how healthy your brand is. But it's flawed dramatically with all kinds of problems. I mean, it's just like some people can end up with the same score who have both high and low as opposed to just mid-range responses. So it's flawed, and it seems like it needs to have something more to put meat on the bone. But the trouble is when you put meat on the bone with additional survey questions, you get reduced response and you don't get a wide-range of responses from a whole bunch of different people to give you a nice sample size of understanding. And just to put perspective on it-- I'm sorry to take you far afield here, Collin. But you want to take over from here?
Yeah, yeah, no. I totally agree with what you're saying. I think that the idea of using it as a-- even if it's a two-question survey, it's still incredibly flawed. But to answer your question, is it possible? It absolutely is possible. I think that there's-- let's take it from a broader context. I was going to talk about a hotel because I already spoke about that. They seem to be the best at it right now. But I think a lot of luxury brands are pretty good at it. [M life?], for any of you who watched the Cannes awards last year, cleaned up. They did real-time problem-solution scenarios, listening to social media, and then empowering people on the ground to enhance the consumer experience in their Marriott properties. And they were doing it in flawless execution at a really, really high level. It was fascinating to watch and if it's something that they could do for a short period of time just to test it out, it's something they could be doing all the time. And I would become a very, very loyal Marriott user if this was something that I ever experience. To take it outside of that, I worked almost exclusively on CPG. There's a lot of evidence that this kind of high-touch, low-cost experience is something that everyone should be focused on. Zappos made an entire career of it. Chobani does the exact same thing. For CPG companies who don't have that same one-to-one relationship in many instances, it's something that they can foster over time if they really, really spend the money to do it. I think one of the best examples of it, if you've never read the book, is Chocolates on the Pillows Just Don't Cut It Anymore, I think, or some title thereof by Jonathan Tisch. If you read that book, you understand what dedication it takes to understanding and caring about your consumer. And that word care is what I think we really need to be talking about. If you look at the standard bearer for brand value, it's BAV in my opinion. The brand asset valuator. This is a longitudinal study that's been going on for 30-plus years.
Yeah. It's Y&R's creation.
Say it again.
Sorry. It's Y&R's creation, right?
Correct. Yeah. And that's been spun off into it's own company because it was so powerful. That study really gives you idea of relative brand strength. And it really dials into what it is that you might be falling a little bit short on, what you were over-indexing on, you don't need to spend much money on, and why you need to adjust your brand accordingly. And for those brands that have been lucky enough to have been in that study for 30 years, you can really accurately chart and predict your revenues over the course of a year based on your relative strength within that study. Now, not everyone is a part of that study. But for those that are, even that study isn't a pure play indicator of what you need to be doing two years down the line, three years down the line, four years down the line. And in this day and age, going back to Emily's point, you need to understand and assume what consumers are going to take as a gold standard for treatment. And it's going to change with the wind. Today, [it's?] like, "I don't want to give you my information." I think that this whole thing that Cambridge Analytica is going to blow over in three weeks like every other thing that happens with our current government administration and it'll just be another footnote in history and we'll go back to things the way they were. But you have to be sensitive to that and right now it's not a good time to be asking people for personal information. You need to be able to juggle that on the fly, and knowing how your consumer is going to perceive you, understanding how they're going to react in a fluid and dynamic way is really, really critical to being a marketer and just basically a great brand steward in this day and age, in my opinion.
Well, good thoughts all on that and it's just like-- and I want to continue this conversation about data because of the Facebook scandal, which you just brought up. In light of all this data conversation happening in the wake of the Facebook scandal, I found myself many times this past week engaging on the value exchange question. [Saul?], does the question of consumer trust surrounding data still come down to how much value they derive from the exchange, or do the wounds to consumer trust run much deeper than that? What's your take after talking about it last week on the show, living with it for another week, are the wounds too deep to heal at this point?
So you guys may be surprised by my answer here, and feel free to pile on. I think for the most part people still don't understand the full extent of how much of them is out there, or they just don't care, so. I read an article recently that 90% of people have done nothing as a result of the recent Cambridge stuff, and out of the 10% remaining, all they've really done is start to use privacy mode on their browser. So that, to me, means we've given up, and we've given up either knowingly or we've given up never realizing that there was something to give up on. So the same article said that people would rather, and this was still the 10% or whatever, but the same article said people would rather untargeted ads than targeted, so that makes me wonder if the day will ever come when people hold onto their data better. But I suspect that we're never going to be more than 10% of the population, and that's just a crazy assumption on my part, but when you say, "Are people panicking?" I've had 25 or 30 crazy conversations with people over the last two weeks about Cambridge where everyone's asking, "Are you going to delete Facebook? Are you doing this, are you doing that?" But nobody's actually done it. So yes, it's a topic of conversation, it's watercooler stuff, but the value of Facebook in a lot of people's minds is way too high to give up and I don't believe they even think of the other side of the coin. It's just this is what I'm getting. So it's not a trade, it's just a consumption.
But it's a--
I agree with you, [Saul?].
But we're not talking necessarily about just deleting Facebook as being the only option for consumers to take. I mean, the option for consumers to take would be to be more reluctant to share personal information, to be more reluctant to give brands access to their data, to be reluctant to go onto a website and have cookies track their experience. I mean, there's lots of things that could happen. Ad blocking is a direct result of consumer distrust and consumer dissatisfaction with the way the brands are handling their data, and I'm wondering whether or not the answer used to be we give a value exchange like Gmail was okay reading your emails in a non-identifying way because Gmail was awesome. And we still use Alexa, now that I've set off a million devices. We still use Amazon Echo because it's a great experience for the people who use it even though it's collecting data and there's an open microphone in your house. It seems like value--
If you would ask 100 people did they know that Gmail was reading their email to build the translation service of now Google, the further you go away from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, I'm willing to bet it'd be like 95% of the people had no idea that their emails were being read. They thought the ad words being delivered was magic.
I'm sure most of the people who decided to turn off their privacy were just told by other people on Facebook to turn off their privacy. I don't know that they really understood what they're doing or why they would be doing it, but it just seemed as though they were doing something that was the right thing. I agree with you, [Saul?]. I think there's an incredible amount of ignorance around all of this stuff, and I think that will continue. And I don't think there's going to be a lot of behavioral change.
Yeah. Well, the question is, is it Facebook's job to really spell this stuff out? I mean, technically, all of this has been in the TOS. They have had rights to listen to your microphone on your iPhone, look at your text messages, and look at everything else you've done. But the other thing is Google has way more data on people than Facebook and people aren't really talking about that very much. There's an article in The Guardian where you can click to either download your entire Google record or Facebook and it's, for a lot of people, about 5.5 GB on Google over--
Did you do it?
Not yet [laughter].
I did it when Dylan Curran's-- so the original article, or the original thing was a series of tweets from Dylan Curran and so I went [crosstalk] in there--
What did you find?
Oh man, it was kind of-- I mean, I'm not a huge Google user. I'm a Mac OS person. But that just made me like," If Google has all this stuff, Apple certainly has this about me [laughter]." So the two things-- I mean, when you see his tweet stream through that Guardian article that Emily was talking about, it is pretty invasive.
Yeah, I don't think we have to really make it black and white in the sense of should people delete Facebook or stay on Facebook. It's a behavioral thing like you were saying, Bob. So for example, stop sending messages through Facebook Messenger when you could use Telegram instead. Why are you giving Facebook all this extra information? Is it just more convenient? You just open another app on your phone.
That's great consumer advice, but it's terrible advice from the standpoint of an advertiser or a brand. I mean, we need that data. We need access to more information. That's one thing that we learned from the marketing automation revolution is the fact that the more data, the closer we can get to the consumer, the more we can service the consumer, the more we can know and give them the experience that they expect at every turn and every touchpoint. Without that data, it's kind of left high and dry. We can't actually deliver on these promises. And I'm wondering, how do we establish a value exchange that's appropriate? And before we go on with this conversation, I do want to play one more clip real quickly. Again, this is Tamara Gaffney. I loved speaking with her so I'm sharing one more clip from her. This is about a conversation that she had with Ray Wang at the summit and it offers a few thoughts that he offered on stage about the value exchange for data. So this clip is a little softer, so you might need to turn this up.
But I did a session yesterday with Ray Wang of Constellation Research. He and I have done our future predictions four years in a go now. And he said something that I think was, I mean, I stood onstage, and thought, "Huh." Okay. And here's how it goes. It's like blending all kinds of concepts into one, and I'm not going to take credit for it, but I just want to throw it out at you because it is a fascinating topic that you might want to talk about with your panelist in the future. What he said was, "There's a value exchange for information and there may be a opportunity to create a mechanism for sharing that value with the people who give you that information via cryptocurrency type program [laughter]. And that that may actually work out as the method that a minimum living wage could occur allowing us to shift from where we are to the more automated society we will be." And I was like, "Holy cow. You just blended four concepts into one [laughter]." And I was like, "Whoa."
I fully agree. I fully agree that there needs to be a value exchange all the time. I don't know that cryptocurrency needs to be a good answer, but I do know that--
How do you take privacy, blockchain, AI, and minimum living wage and put them all in one thought? And he had done that onstage. And I thought, "Holy cow. That is fascinating [laughter]." I could see lots of reasons why that wouldn't work, but at the same time, I'm thinking, "Well, you know what? Maybe we all kind of do have to have some sort of new way of thinking about how we're going to societally kind of be where we are and get to where we need to be in a proactive and positive way?"
What I liked about that particular clip is that it kind of took on a whole bunch of different concepts about a future state where basic living needs could be obtained through exchanging your privacy, which I find both exciting and extremely troubling, Sol. I mean, I don't even know where to begin with this. I mean, if we're-- can you picture a future state where suddenly your basic living needs at the absolute minimum level can be taken care of by the value exchange of your privacy? Do you think consumers would go for something like that? It seems science fictiony and a little bit scary, but almost plausible. So what's your take?
I think you can get a small subset of the population to agree to anything. I wouldn't be doing it and I have nothing to hide, but the whole concept of turning over everything-- well, if you-- if everyone's making the same amount of money, if everyone's doing a living wage, I mean, things probably going to be nothing that interesting to turn over. You're creating kind of like a utilitarian society, but I think there's always going to be people who are willing to do it, but I don't believe it'd be the majority.
It could be. I mean, the majority are giving up their data to Facebook. And it's like the new donating plasma. People who need money might do it. People who use Facebook don't have other tools or I mean, don't think about other ways they could communicate. It's just like a lowest common denominator, which is common.
Well, but, and here's the argument in favor of it in my mind is that data brokers take our information, clean it up, make it accurate, as accurate as possible, and sell it to brands. Why can't that transaction happen at the consumer level? Why can't a consumer guarantee the accuracy of a piece of information or a data record in exchange for some kind of valuation that's placed on it by the brands who buy it? In a lot of ways, that's what we do already. We already give people a discount for the products that we offer. Why can't we just pay them directly? It's an interesting premise when you think about it. I don't know, again, that it's completely legitimate but it's worth pondering.
It is. There's a--
There's a gentleman named Ryan [McConville?], and if you're listening, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. He had an idea that I heard, this was a while ago now, but it was called locker. And it was basically this premise, it was a way to protect all of your personal data but you would get paid for who you wanted to share it with. So they would be the arbiter or the marketplace essentially and you would always know who was going to have what and how much you wanted to be paid for access to that data which I thought was a pretty genius idea.
I think that's the next Facebook. I've heard a few people who were talking about this very same idea, Collin, and I believe that could be the next Facebook.
Well, speaking of Facebook, we're running out of time and I do want to make a quick conversation around the Facebook solution. Basically, this solution that they've come up with to handle the data privacy issues and to make Facebook a little bit safer for their user population is by tossing out third-party data providers. Mark, does eliminating partner connections close a privacy loophole or simply solidify Facebook's own strength? I've heard mostly a lot of skepticism online about this move as if it's somehow consolidating all the power in Facebook and it's not really doing anything to a protect user's privacy. What's your take on that?
I was really hoping that last week's [inaudible] was the final was the final installment in the series of what would Facebook do that defies logic [laughter] but apparently, we're going to keep this going. So in my opinion--
No, every week, every week.
--this is [laughter] this a classic narrative redirect. Facebook seems to be spinning this as an issue of who should users really trust? Is it us, Facebook? We've been in your lives for years and years. Or some third party data cruncher with a name that you've probably never heard of? And I think the real issue is more about something completely different. This is about how Facebook can avoid government regulation and they're saying, "No, no, no we're going to finally learn how to self-regulate." But I mean, I heard Tim Cook talking last week about he certainly, as Apple, would never have gotten into this mess which is debatable, but that he believes it's just likely too late now. And it's not only Facebook that's going to suffer. So I think they're just basically throwing under the bus companies like Oracle and Axium who are pretty annoyed about this. Not just about the fact that they've done this but that they were given no warning and although they can certainly continue on in their businesses of providing third-party data without Facebook because they have a lot of different sources of information, they feel as though they're kind of being painted as the victims. And I think, really, it's going to be-- it's going to take some time to see whether Facebook is really going to consolidate security and trust with consumers as a result of this particular move.
Anybody have any counter opinions about this? Because I just really do not see this as being a solution, Collin. I mean, I see this as being a solution that is incredibly self-serving. But that's about as far as it goes.
It's not going to be a solution. I think, again, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I'm kind of in the [inaudible]. This is not going to be something that is more than a blip on the radar for a couple of weeks and it's going to go away. I just don't think that the general populace is that informed or cares that much and the benefits of what the two companies in question provide far out [strip?] the need for privacy in many regards.
Yeah, I agree with that. I think in a world where facts are relative, trust is preeminent. And I've just been waiting for the shoe to drop with Facebook. I mean, he keeps it's chipping away and it's going to get to the point where people have had enough and they just want to put everything back in their sock drawer or feel just used.
Yeah, I can see that happening, except that the phonebook existed forever and the phonebook was not exactly great about keeping privacy. It allowed stalkers to find people and yet we still had a phonebook. So I think Facebook is here to stay. I don't know in what state and I don't know in what state of profitability it's here to stay. And that's the big questions for me, whether or not the lack of trust, the broken trust that's happened among users is going to drive people to be a little bit more careful about what they share and where they share it. Of course, most of the people's conversations that I was reading online said, "Why wouldn't you just go to Instagram?" And I'm just like, "Okay, read this BuzzFeed article."
Right, and 60% of people don't realize Instagram is obviously owned by Facebook [laughter].
I know [laughter], it's just nuts. Well, with that, it's time for the Ad Fill Five. But before we get to that segment of the show, I do want to take this quick opportunity to thank my guests again and allow them to each do a shameless plug, starting with Emily Bender. You can find her at beetlemoment.com. Tell us what's going on at Beetle Moment Marketing and what would you like to promote?
I've been working on something new that will be useful to most of you who are listening to the BeanCast. We spend so much time creating buyer personas that we don't get around to building the content we want to. And I come across and work on personas from various industries. Often times I have clients who are recreating the same personas and I thought why not make it easier for them. So my partner, Sandra, and I, we said there should be a place marketers can go and just download customer personas for free and also share the great personas that they've built. So we built an early version of a site that will save you time and pain when it comes to creating personas, and it's kind of like a Pexels or a Pixel vid to help marketers do their jobs faster. Free customer personas at your fingertips. And this is a kickstart, it's not at a be-all-end-all, but it will get you going faster for your clients this month and we're just getting started. And I would ask everybody listening to please help us launch and go to personabay.com, upload and share your buyer personas. They don't have to be perfect or uniform. It takes 10 seconds and right now they're just going to waste on your desktop, so personabay.com.
That sounds awesome. I'll definitely check that out. Now, next up we have Saul Colt. You can find him at theideaintegration.com. That's the home of the Idea Integration Company. He's experiential marketing concern or experiential marketing consultancy. So tell us what's going on in your world, Saul. What would you like to promote?
I have something really exciting, Bob. You've just mentioned the Idea Integration Company. I actually have the very rare window of bandwidth to take on new work and I'd love to do something interesting for BeanCast listeners. If you guys have been following along for the last year or so, you know I've just been doing a huge project, building a national event that goes every month and I'm incredibly proud of it. It's still alive but I've got time to do something else. So if you have anything, if you need experiences, you need messaging, you need brand podcast, brand content, anything like that, please reach out theideaintegration.com.
And Saul is fantastic to work with. I know that from personal experience so definitely check him out. Next up we have Colin Glaum. You can find him at avrettfreeginsberg.com. That's the agency where he is the executive vice president and creative director of digital. Tell us what's going on, Colin, and what would you like to promote? well, thanks for the opportunity. We're working on a really cool project with Clear Eyes, the eyedrop company. We're doing a nationwide tour, trying to collect peoples' shining moments, the point in their life when they felt most themselves. We have an amazing photographer named Bridges Aderhold who is doing eye portraits, because we believe the eyes are the window to the soul. And we're doing those eye portraits right after people tell us about this really emotional time in their life, or the time in their life when they were most themselves, or the best version of themselves. So the eyes are telling the amazing story visually, while we have the audio of them telling the actual story of when they felt most proud of themselves. So it's a cool, interesting sociological project that has a branding component to it, and we're really excited about the next year of activations that we're going to be doing. So look online for that and see if you can join us in one of the cities, if you're listening across the United States.
That's fantastic. That sounds really, really cool. And last but not least, we have Marc Whitehead. You can find him at CultIdeas.com, that's the home of The Cult Collective, or the Cult Collective, the agency where he is managing director. Tell us what's going on in your world, Marc. What would you like to promote?
First off, I have to give kudos to Collin. I love that idea. It sounds like a TBS kind of thing, so I'm looking forward to finding out more about that.
Thanks so much.
I've been on The BeanCast before, but not under the auspices of Cult Collective. We're an audience engagement agency, as per the name. We help brands build cult like followings. I'm going to be talking a bit about this in Sydney, Australia on the 19th of April, I'm giving a keynote to the ADMA about remaking retail down there. So if there are an Aussie BeanCast listeners that are going to be there in person, make sure to say hi. Otherwise, beyond the website that Bob gave, I also want to plug another website called CultGathering.com. If you go there, you can learn a little bit about our annual business summit that we hold every year, every February in the Rockies, just west of Calgary. And it attracts thousands of the kind of who's who of marketers from across North America, who come to swap stories about what audience engagement really looks like for their brands, and how they can cultivate and reward it. So we would love to have some of The BeanCast listeners come to that event.
That sounds awesome. That definitely sounds great. So if you are in the area, check that out. And as for me, for more information about me or the show, visit TheBeanCast.com. There you can find a complete show archive, you can find out how to consult with me. You can even find out how to advertise on the program, so check it out at TheBeanCast.com, and don't forget, if you need transcriptions of the show, we now provide transcriptions through TranscribeMe.com. TranscribeMe.com is a fabulous service. They're doing great work for us, and if you would like to get your stuff transcribed, go to TranscribeMe.com. They got a special offer lined up for you, just for being guest listeners. And now it's time for the Ad Fail Five, a rundown of the lowest moments in advertising, marketing and public relations from the last week. And first up, add Under Armour to the list of brands trying to explain how hackers access usernames and passwords. Collin, 150 million users-- someone put this in perspective. This has got to be one of the biggest data breaches of all times, in terms of amount of names and passwords that have became, you know, now useless to people. So what's your take on this situation?
It's just another day [laughter]. Just another day in the data security privacy conversation. Unfortunately, I would have to go with the fact that Equifax is probably the largest breach of trust considering what was stolen. I think I think this one here. obviously, it's names and passwords and email addresses and things of nature. But, again, I think this is just part of being online and we are not going to be able away from it, unfortunately.
Is it weird that it scares it more that some hacker knows my calorie intake than my browser history [laughter]? I don't know.
Well, I think there's going to be a business opportunity here for somebody to create an app that will track how many different list you've been hacked on.
It's actually becoming a-- it's a top of the conversation. I saw it today in a commercial and it was-- I can't remember who it was off the top of my head, but somebody was advocating for they will actually search the dark web for you and find out what of your information is available in nefarious hands or potentially in nefarious hands--
There's lots of them.
-- and not getting part of their--
Yeah, there's lots.
Yeah, exactly. And so it's like we'll actually get a tour and we'll go into the dark web for you and find out what of your information is already available online. And so I thought that was kind of fascinating actually.
Well, next up, Laura Ingram had to learn the hard way that your advertising goes away when you mock survivors of a school shooting, which when you think about it, Saul, you didn't really need to go the hard way to figure out that mocking survivors of a school shooting is a bad idea and something that advertisers will not be pleased with.
Yeah, I can't comment on [laughter].
Okay [laughter]. Anybody else want to comment on this one?
I will. I think the last person that you want to mess with is a Generation Z kid who understands social media so much better than you, that they and their friends have propelled and reignited a national movement. And what do you expect?
I completely agree with you.
Now, next up, the things that--
I thought that beautiful that he was able to pull that off so quickly.
Yeah, it was really effective.
Now, next up, the thing about memos is that they tend to get leaked at the least opportune moment, like the Facebook memo that asserts that not even people dying should get in the way of Facebook's growth mark. I know this is an old memo and everybody disavowing saying that it was not the general opinion of the executive committee at Facebook. But at the same time, this memo is incredibly damaging to the brand reputation of a brand already being damaged [laughter].
It sure is. And I'll be you there's lots of Fortune 500 companies that have similar kinds of memos in their archives. So I don't know what to suggest around this because the truth is, its two years old, it was disavowed even shortly after it was written just about everybody and certainly, its been disavowed again. But one of the points that was brought on earlier on in the conversation is, unfortunately, I think i.ssue is going to go away in the news circle. It's the reality of the way we keep archived communication.
Now, YouTube has banned 30-second ads, except some partners who have a bit more autonomy are completely ignoring the ban because, Saul, advertising, right? I mean, it's just like you've got NBC's of the world still running 30-second ads even though YouTube is no more of these ads, but we can't really stop you.
Yeah. Well, asking people to be under 30 seconds is unfair. How are you going to tell a really great story to sell a slimming vest in just 15 seconds?
I don't know. It's just like, I guess we are going to find out.
And last but not least, the trouble with bringing European ads to the US is that sometimes the ads come off as culturally insensitive. Sucha as the case for Heineken which-- who found themselves in trouble over their sometimes lighter is better column. I mean, at first glance, I can see why people didn't think anything about it being that I'm white. But when you think about it from the standpoint of anybody of a skin tone other than a Caucasian, you're going to see that this ad is completely culturally insensitive. So, what's your take on this?
I guess it's not too dissimilar to the-- I think it was dove just a couple of months ago that had a similar situation about making things whiter or more purer. Maybe t was white or something like that. These are-- unfortunately, if you're not being 100% culturally sensitive, you're going overlook something like this and it's going to-- if it slips through the cracks, it slips through the cracks, but it can be a huge, huge black eye. I'm sure there's 25 people that looked at this work before it went out the door and of course, it ended up being a mark on the brand. So it just pays to double check, triple check, get some looks at it that aren't part of the normal everyday advertising approval cycle, get some consumers to look at it, and then at least you've kind of run the gauntlet to make sure that you're doing something that's not culturally insensitive.
If you're a global brand, you've better have global looking at it.
Correct. Great way to say it.
Absolutely. Well, have something to add to this list or just want to discuss it, comment online, use the harshtagatphil5, that's pound, add Phil and the number five. Well, that does it for this week show. If you'd like to subscribe to this podcast, visit our website at the beamcast.com and click on the subscribe link. If you're an iTunes listener, we've also provided a direct link to the iTunes music store or just search for the beamcast in the podcast directory of iTunes. And whichever podcast directory you use, when you subscribe, please leave us a review. Got a comment, have a question, we'd love to hear from you. Just send your emails to beamcast.gmail.com. Opening theme was performed by Joe Sybil, closing them by CJacks. Thanks for listening, I'm Bob Knorpp. We'll be back again next week. Hope you'll join us then.