Dollars for Your Data: Paying Customers to Share

With the IoT blazing full speed, some consumers are becoming increasingly guarded about voluntarily sharing their personal info with businesses.

In response, companies that recognize the value of such data are starting to provide incentives like credits, discounts and coupons to consumers who provide it.

Initial  research indicates consumers may be amenable. In a global consumer study in 2016, for example, 54 percent of all respondents (and 63 percent of millennials) said they might provide companies data from their smart home in exchange for money.

“Such strategies challenge the dominant model of data collection without any monetary benefit,” writes Cassandra Liem on “(They) clearly illustrate data can be considered — even from a consumer’s point of view — as a currency for their online activities and transactions.” Read more

Success and Failure: Brands Bringing Programmatic In-House

In an attempt to take more control of their programmatic buying, many brands are making investments toward bringing such functions in house.

In fact, plans to that effect were reported by 68 percent of brand advertisers in an AOL study last year. But other sources say the AdTech world is quickly realizing in-house programmatic is difficult to execute, and unlikely to be a widespread trend.

“What started as a trickle has yet to turn into a flood — and most likely won’t anytime soon,” wrote Yuyu Chen in “If brands want to execute programmatic media plan on their own they need to gather tremendous amounts of data, hire experienced staff and put considerable work into setting up a campaign. For many brands, this is a bridge too far.”

Still, some agencies (especially those with their own programming technology and products) are responding by enhancing their proprietary programmatic capabilities in order to retain clients. Read more

Will Self-Serve Platforms Shape the Future of Adtech?

AdTech has fully embraced  real-time bidding (RTB) methodology aimed at optimizing the value of display ads for both advertisers and publishers. The issues around transparency and fraud have been abundant.

The RTB platforms responsible for 20 percent of the programmatic ad market when measured last year have helped maintain inventory value and streamlined sales on both sides of the buyer-seller relationship. Big players like Facebook and Twitter have optimized such opportunities.

These days, however, companies of all sizes are turning to self-serve models that counter prevailing issues with RTB, including its lack of transparency on the ad side, price erosions on the publishing side, lack of marketplace exclusivity and lack of guaranteed ad placement. Read more

Challenges with Marketing Automation Trigger Slow Adaptation Rate

Some $1.8 billion was spent on marketing automation systems last year, marking the third consecutive year of 50 percent year-over-year increases. Nevertheless, only about a third of U.S. marketing and sales professionals surveyed this year by IT/data management firm Openprise are using such platforms, and most define their usage as only basic to moderate. Further, only half use the functions allowing for personalization or lead nurturing, and many say they lack the skills for data cleaning and other advanced capabilities.

“The average marketer is pretty tech savvy,” notes John Donlon of SiriusDecisions on “But the data management piece is a whole other process.”

A 2016 Salesforce Pardot/Marketo report on marketing automation summarizes some of the challenges that have arisen.

“Many B2B marketers with traditional marketing backgrounds still struggle to move beyond core tactics — search, website and email marketing tasks — to more advanced marketing practices such as audience segmentation or personalization,” it states. Read more

MarTech RoundUp 2016: Investment Activity at an All Time High

MarTech RoundUp 2016: Investment Activity at an All Time High

Players in MarTech are having an encouraging funding year so far.

“You may have heard by now how the VC landscape underperformed in Q4 of 2015, but don’t let those news reports fool you into thinking the sky is falling,” states a recent report on “With venture capital investments changing significantly in the last two years, the 2016 landscape is shaping up to be a completely different experience than ever before.”

Investments compared to last year

The MarTech segment set records in global venture capital funding in the second quarter of 2016 at more than $5.05 billion. That’s already 72 percent of the $7 billion MarTech firms netted over all of 2015.  A large portion of that funding, some $3.5 billion, was invested in May alone. Read more

Crazy for Bots: The Benefits and How They Will Take Over Business

A lotta bots are getting hot.

“If you’ve been reading some of the tech trades lately, you would be forgiven for believing bots have finally taken over society,” writes Christian Brucculeri on “Once we look past the noise, the opportunity is vast.”

Their widespread use is being driven by advances in artificial intelligence and by burgeoning mobile messaging, with analysts predicting that by 2020 humans will be sending 160 trillion mobile messages daily. That’s huge for marketers, since average read rates in mobile are 90 percent compared to 25 percent for email. Read more

Finding Ready-to-Buy Customers Through Buyer Intent Prediction and Customer Behavior Forecasting

The winning recipe involves big data and sophisticated digital analytics tools, with a dash of old-school predictive techniques thrown in.

Behavioral forecasting or behavioral biometrics is increasingly being used to find businesses ready-to-buy customers and provide info as to what, when and how they’re likely to make a purchase. A study last year found 78 percent of marketers believe use of such “intent data” leads to better ad relevancy, while 67 percent believe it provides a competitive edge. Read more

Mobile RoundUp 2016: Mobile Device Sales Slow Down and Usage Continues to Climb

Now that sales of mobile devices are set to slow down to single-digit growth this year, many analysts are noting how smartphones are being effectively integrated with other media.

“The lines between desktop, mobile, TV and film are beginning to blur,” states a 2016 Comscore report on cross-platform technologies.

The report points to trends this year as increasing use of mobile apps (now accounting for almost 50 percent of all time on digital media); more use of mobile by traditional print publishers to attract new readers; and ramped-up mobile use for consumer shopping. Among other intelligence in the 2016 mobile market: Read more

Join Us for Snacks, Beer and a Free Consultation

We would like to invite you to participate in a free consultation on Friday, September 9th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at WeWork City Hall. In these one-on-one consultations, you will be given the opportunity to ask our solutions architects questions about the best practices and latest industry trends related to dev issues that you may be experiencing.

Our Solution Architects have experience in NoSQL, Spark & Hadoop, real-time bidding and optimization, high volume/high performance apps, big data, audience segmentation and much more.

For more information and to register give us a shout.  Beer and snacks will be provided! Read more

Peer-to-Peer Lending: Predicted Growth and Surprising Acquisitions and IPOs

The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending that’s enabled start-ups to take a chunk out of banking market share remains one of the fastest-growing segments in FinTech.

While the U.S. logged a relatively modest $5.5 billion in P2P loans just two years ago, some analysts believe the P2P market will reach $150 billion or higher by 2025, partly because consumers tend to perceive such lenders as offering lower interest rates, easier applications, real-time updates and faster turnarounds. The tech-savvy millennial generation is particularly drawn to FinTech solutions, especially mobile wallets, mobile money and alternative payment solutions. One study says millennials are 10 times more likely to use P2P lenders than their fellow Americans 50 and older. Read more