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When Content meets Data, Real Conversations Begin

Rico Chan - Vice President and Head – India, South East Asia and Hong Kong, Yahoo | July 12, 2016
Data is incredibly important for brands today, as the competition for the user’s attention and engagement has moved from the real-world marketplace to the mobile marketplace.

When brands successfully weave in content marketing with data insights, it is indeed a win-win for them and audiences. A quick look at how data powers content marketing for brands:

1.    Being relevant, by cutting through the clutter

a.    Surfing through tons of content to reach the one article of value, is a frustrating experience for the consumer. As brands turn publishers, their content strategy needs to be powered by relevance and consent - both of which can be determined by data insights.

b.    It's not enough to have a generic idea of what interests their target audience, they need to have more nuanced understanding of actual tastes and interests - based on what is read and the feedback that is generated.

c.    One of the fastest growing advertising formats today is Native Advertising, which takes into account the importance of context - and makes ads hyper relevant to the user, in the most non-intrusive way possible. We have seen over 300 brands come on board with Yahoo Native ads since this format was launched just over a year ago.

2.    Responding fast, by focusing on two-way easy communication

a.    Social media has given a voice to consumers such that any dissatisfaction with a product or a service or an endorsement gets immediate negative feedback. Brands need to have analytics and tracking tools surface these instances as soon as possible, and with as much coherence, so that they can shape their responses better.

b.    At the same time, observing trends and narratives can also throw up opportunities of engaging with audiences. Brands are under pressure to engage in real time, as things develop. The best way to do this (and perhaps the smartest) is to bring in data analytics to power conversation and marketing decisions.

3.    Being sensitive to local issues

a.    With leaner teams and centralised ways of messaging, sometimes, social media campaigns can lose sight of local issues. For eg, a message of condolence in a certain market, which say has been subject to a terror attack, cannot be followed by promotional content. Brands need to bring in data which helps them track and engage with local issues as players with more skin in the game, than only sellers of goods and services.

b.    The global themes and local nuances are of fundamental importance to brands' content strategies.

4.    Personalisation: Keeping the focus on 'What's in it for me?'

a.    With advertising and content moving onto mobile screens, the user's attention cannot be taken for granted. The mobile screen is no bill board for a brand's message. It is an intimate interaction for the user, which needs to be personalised - in tone, content, format and most importantly answer WIIFM (What's in it for me?).


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