Philip Macartney on Personalizing Data-Driven Content - ArabNet Digital Summit 2016

Alexis Baghdadi, May 05 2016

Everybody knows Big Data is a big deal, and analytical tools have made it easy for virtually anybody to collect and analyze such data.

But when it comes to leveraging this data, that's where things get trickier. Most traditional businesses who have begun collecting big data are content with doing just that, and take a quantitative approach to the issue. This results in "dirty data" (duplicated, outdated, incorrect, or incomplete data) which eventually finds its way into the system and corrupts analysis.

On the other hand, storing data without integrating it with operations across the board creates "data silos" which limit vision and reveal only a partial picture.

Then, there remains the thorny question of how to translate audience analytics into a marketing strategy that works.

Such problems are of course expected in enterprises with a heavy legacy system that are only just beginning to adopt digital systems. As for startups, they do not always have the resources to curate data effectively. This means a lot of missed opportunities to reach customers and improve business results.

The question of how to reach customers with big data more accurately and personally will be among the hot topics tackled at the upcoming ArabNet Digital Summit 2016 in Dubai.

Philip Macartney, VP Head of the EMEA Region at Affinio, will discuss how to create data-driven content based on users' interests and passions and deliver this content via the most effective channel.

Macartney managed to find some time between his lectures for the Digital Marketing Institute and interventions at different digital and social events (in parallel with his day-to-day job) to chat with ArabNet and give us a taste of things to come at the summit in Dubai:

1. 'Affinio markets to people, not to demographics' - How do you do this, exactly, and how are you different?

Affinio illuminates audiences that no one else can see. Our technology is different from the social data marketplace approach and therefore uncovers new data previously unavailable to clients. The typical social insight tool looks at audience engagements (what they say) in order to gain insight into an audience. This typically gives them a view of around 10%-15% of any social audience, since the majority of social users are relatively silent. Affinio understands an audience in a different way. It looks at who and what the audience are connected to, their social graph, to understand them. In looking at this data, we are able to see the passions and interests of an audience, and segment them accordingly. This revolutionary viewpoint helps us see beyond the demographic makeup of the audience and into what makes them tick, their passions and interests.

2. What are the similarities and differences the MENA region audience has to elsewhere based on the regional data you have collected?

The MENA region has been a heavy adopter of the Twitter platform and this makes it an ideal audience set for Affinio. We work across a number of platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest but the widest range of insight at the moment comes from the Twitter platform. To that end, we are seeing passions and interests that were never really seen before now in the region. We are getting a more holistic view of audiences contained in the region and we are able to deliver much more focused and relevant content to these audiences. The region is incredibly similar to Europe and the US in so many ways in terms of the interest graphs that we are seeing. It really shows that we are very much part of a global economy and culture now.

3. Can you list up to 3 advantages of utilizing Affinio's marketing intelligence platform?

1. Better Marketing - Understand your audience in a new way. You can now have data that would have taken weeks to find on your desktop in under an hour.

2. Better Creative/Content - Identify HOW to talk to the different parts of your audience. Use our data to create new and more effective ways of talking to and influencing your audience

3. Better Acquisition - Identify new opportunities. Look at the wider picture of opportunity in your sector or related audiences and seize that opportunity by marketing to them, all within one platform.

4. In your opinion, what are 3 key digital marketing trends we should expect to see?

1. Smarter content - content delivered just for you

2. Social Data playing a bigger part in the overall communication strategy

3. Everyone involved - effective digital strategy should involve everyone invested in your brand and organization.

Meet Philip Macartney and additional experts at ArabNet Digital Summit - Dubai, May 30-31, 2016

Check out the conference speakers and program and register now to make sure you don't miss it.

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