3 Key Learnings from Ensighten’s AGILITY World Tour 2016

AGILITY  World Tour, hosted by one of our partners -  Ensighten, brings digital marketing experts together to share stories on optimizing the consumer experience and driving real ROI. We’ve been a long-time partner of Ensighten and were happy to attend and present at their recent Agility event in Chicago.
As a representative from our Advertising Intelligence practice, my goal in attending the conference was to take grasp of the current digital analytics landscape and learn more about the other side of what we do for clients, customer experience.  I was excited to take a deeper dive into the world of customer experience and multi-channel analytics and what to look out for in the future … and this year’s event didn’t disappoint.
Key Takeaways
Data layers, cognitive advertising, mobile personalization… oh my! After a full day of presentations on the innovations of digital marketing and the customer experience, the future of web and mobile analytics looks bright. If you missed it, don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of my three key learnings from the sessions:

1. The importance of being “vendor agnostic.”

The event kicked off with an interesting topic revolving around the importance of being vendor agnostic via modern data layer implementation. But what is a data layer exactly? Simply put, and according to Matt Gallion of Ensighten,
 a data layer is a centralized abstraction layer that sits between your website and your third party marketing tools.
These layers harmonize multiple data points with differing formats from multiple vendors so that all tools are pulling from the same data pool. In short, one central source of data for all of your tags.
Data layers are important to consider as they offer efficiency and optimized control to the tag management system that’s in place. To implement a Data Layer properly, companies must be ready to invest. Regular engagement with IT and Development teams is an absolute must to create, enhance, and maintain it. But the takeaway when done correctly seems like a no brainer.
With a single source of data values and coding in an apples-to-apples format, teams will avoid vendor lock-in and can freely tool-swap and change applications as needed, have quicker tag deployment, simpler IT troubleshooting and modifications, more precise data collection, less stressful data migration, and in the end, faster and more stable websites for the user experience. Learn more about the importance of strategic data layers HERE.

2. Cognitive Advertising could be a game changer.


It’s been almost six years since IBM’s Watson took the world by storm while appearing and winning big on the Jeopardy! gameshow. Since then, the question answering supercomputer has taken on various roles in bettering the world, such as optimizing healthcare and weather forecasting. As IBM’s overall goal for Watson is to have computers interact in natural human terms, it makes sense that brands are starting to implement this into their own efforts.
This is exactly what Amy Dowsek of The Weather Company highlighted during the Lunch Session. The possibilities for website display ads to actually interact with users and make recommendations based on location, weather, and a particular consumer need is an exciting thought. One example given involved seasonal allergy medication ads that gave real-time pollen levels and the ability to answer any individual viewer concern within the ad itself like, “is this safe for my 7-year-old son?”
The ability for ads to pivot messaging at an on-demand basis for is an absolute game changer for the digital industry itself and poses a significant opportunity for brands in highly competitive fields. As Watson continues to learn and become more innovative, the advertising world will surely benefit in upcoming years. For us at Ebiquity/ Stratigent, it will be interesting to see how we can help brands incorporate this technology to optimize their digital display efforts.

3. Brands should take a hybrid approach to mobile.

Within the media world, mobile is where the most significant growth potential lies. But in a world of data collection and analysis, there seems to be a disconnect on how to track it as 57% of business professionals are still not using analytics to optimize their mobile platforms. Our VP of Business Development - Stratigent, David Johnson, and TD Bank’s, Marie-Pierre Dery, focused on the two ways to measure mobile activity and how Stratigent and TD Bank partnered and worked closely together for a successful mobile analytics solution.
The result of the partnership was a combination of two common and viable primary approaches to implementation which helped TD use both approaches strategically to provide maximum flexibility:
  • Class/Method approach: the original and still valid approach is called “class/method” where tools track certain user events occurring in the mobile app. An effective method that is quick to deploy, this approach can be fragile, difficult to amend, and requires strict governance.
  • The Data Layer approach: also referred to as a message bus, mirrors the use of the data layer object on desktop (what we went over earlier). This structure does require time and development, but the payoff is stability and lower ongoing IT involvement.
By utilizing both, the hybrid approach which included the mobile data layer was crucial for new and upcoming features within the TD Canada Trust banking app and gave TD Bank the freedom to add tags outside of a code release and turn around quick and stable tagging solutions.
The future of mobile analytics for brands is definitely bright as hybrid approaches and innovative partnerships continue to rise. If you missed this presentation, you can watch it here…

Mobile Apps: No Longer a Black Box of Digital Measurement from Ensighten on Vimeo.

An Agile Conclusion
The big takeaway with this session was the idea of partnership. Brands must work cohesively with technology vendors in order to more effectively and efficiently achieve goals. This approach creates truly blended teams to ensure that the right resources are available, right when they are needed.
For more information on upcoming events or to speak to someone about data layers, mobile implementation, or other multi-channel analytics solutions, contact us at info.US@ebiquity.com
By Michael Reynolds
About the Author:

Michael Reynolds is Director, Advertising Intelligence at Ebiquity, plc

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