Big Data Lessons for Brands from Obama’s Chief Scientist Rayid Ghani

Read the original post published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on May 2, 2013.

Big data means nothing without action. That’s a key takeaway from a May 2 presentation delivered by Rayid Ghani, chief scientist for the Obama for America campaign, at the iCrossing CMO Summit. Ghani’s discussion focused on lessons that brands can learn from the success of the 2012 campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. According to Ghani, brands can build strong connections and trust when it matters most by applying data in real time – and acting and reacting in real-time, too.

As Ghani asserted, big data can – and will – touch everyone in all industries and fields. Brands need to dive into data to understand audiences, become comfortable with it, and derive insights to build closer relationships with their audiences. But brands also need to use data to get people to complete an action.

During the Obama for America campaign, Ghani used data to inspire action. The Obama campaign collected data from one-to-one interactions with individuals. Based on this data, the campaign utilized multi-channel marketing, connecting offline and online marketing tactics, to build stronger connections with those individuals in order to improve persuasive interactions — and to encourage people to get out of the house and go vote.

“Embedding analytics into Obama’s campaign was as much a cultural shift for people as it was literal,” he said.

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Making Connected Moments That Matter

Read the original post published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on May 2, 2013.

iCrossing’s 2013 CMO Summit, Connectedness: Marketing in the Moment, kicked off with a bang May 2 with a presentation by Adam Lavelle, iCrossing’s chief strategy officer. Lavelle’s presentation, “Marketing Moments That Matter,” asserted that digital marketing is all about creating moments across digital media. He discussed how companies can build connected brands (or close relationships with their audiences) in real-time.

“Digital marketing is all about the moment,” he asserted. He explained that people experience many, many moments throughout a day — and in those moments, marketers need to connect with individuals to ensure that a brand’s customers, prospects, network, and influencers know and trust the brand.

As Lavelle explained, the way in which we access the web has shifted drastically in recent years. In 2013, the number of smartphones and tablets is greater than the number of desktop and laptop computers. Consequently, consumers are connected to their networks 24/7. Brands can – and should – connect with their audiences around the clock, in the places and spaces in which they are most comfortable.

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Be Human: Takeaways from Chicago’s Social Media Strategies Summit

Read the original post, published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on April 26, 2013.

To build a connected brand, be human with your social media marketing. That’s the main takeaway from the April 23-24 Social Media Strategies Summit, which featured content on how social media is changing the world and how marketers can capitalize on those changes to build better brands.

Being human means connecting with your audience at their level, in the spaces in which they are participating, and in the matter they are participating. Shouting your marketing message from the rooftops is not going to fly in social media. “Ditch the pitch,” stated Maya Grinberg, chief evangelist and social media manager of Wildfire, a Division of Google. The social community – what Maya called Generation C – is creating, curating, connecting, and communicating content more than ever, and they want to be addressed in a way that allows them to continue doing so naturally. Ditching the pitch means the engagement level with your content will go up, improving your brand awareness, trust, and, ultimately, sales.

Ed Brill, director of product management of IBM Social Solutions, built on the idea of being human as well in his session Opting In: Lessons in Social Business, An IBM Case Study. Brill stated that, in order to be considered a social business, a brand needs to engage with its customers on a human level – but also be transparent and agile while optimizing interactions between these customers to gain a competitive advantage above others in your industry.

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