Connected Devices, Connected Data

“The only reason people are here is because Facebook tells them to come here…The whole world is connected now. It’s all connected by Bill Gates and that Rain Man, Zuckerberg. He and his Jews have connected the whole world, and now they’re toppling regimes.

Mac, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, S7:E8

Jews aside, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks on connected devices and the wider issue of data. On a micro level, Digital Strategy Consulting  discuss how the internet of things means we can now tell John Wanamaker exactly which half of his advertising budget is wasted. 

We now have more data points per person than we have ever had before, crucially increasingly coming from devices where browsing the web is not the primary function.

In fact, in a separate article from Marketing Magazine, the second annual John Lewis Retail Report, entitled ‘How We Shop, Live and Look’, reports that users are taking an increasingly fragmented journey towards purchase and are also quickly adopting internet enabled devices.

Obviously the John Lewis product range and average customer may be more suited to the wealthy early-adopter, but what it does mean is that it’s here. Fridges that order your food before you know need it, BARB-panel-slaughtering TVs that track real time viewing habits and smart Washing Machines mean that we have an inordinate amount of data points to profile people and therefore customise content to people.

However, the problem is tying these all together. The looming doom and gloom about cookie-less ad targeting means a hell of a lot of sophisticated technology will soon be redundant. The companies that do not rely on txt files in browsers to target, but have a tie in to people through real IDs will become the power houses. Not only can they offer the most targeted ads, but they will also be able to bridge the device gap – anywhere a user logs in, they are being seen, rather than being seen anywhere a cookie goes.

The last few years seem to have not been the Year Of Mobile (YOM) but rather the Year Of Data (YOD). With the huge amount of data that programmatic gives us, DMPs came to tie everything together, clean it up and spit it out as segmentable streams by which to customise.

Great, but now Google are going to stop any 3rd party DMP from dropping cookies on GDN (soon to be ADX IMHO). This means a marketer or agency has to buy into the whole Google Stack in order to be truly efficient across the campaign.

This was in the same week Amazon’s VP of global ad sales Lisa Utzschneider was questioned about Amazon’s use of data, where she said they are not planning to take it offline, but focusing on making in house engagement the priority – but for how long? Peer 2 years into the future and we may see Amazon release their own ad-server and essentially ad network and cross device tracking system, a la Facebook.

What this means is that there is a huge amount of data being collected on us and the big players – Facebook, Google, Amazon specifically – are silo-ing their proposition from a data and tech perspective. This means the digital community will has the same question to answer, but in a different context. 

Previously ‘How do we connect the dots?’ referred to connecting devices & consumers ids to our message. Now we have the potential to do that, neatly packaged with individual partners. Now the partners have taken ownership of users as individuals across all devices, the dots are multiple campaigns and multiple data owners. There’s a war coming.