A weekly digest of the most important stories and ideas in advertising and media, from our colleagues at Marketing
Other items of note from Marketing:
We all know that, in general, understanding data—how to collect it, wrangle it, and actually learn something from it—is no longer optional for nearly every business. But it can be technically difficult to do right, and the stiff regulatory structure around data privacy makes some companies leery of diving in. Following the recent Data Marketing conference in Toronto, Marketing provides this easy-to-grasp list of data marketing dos and don’ts, including: “don’t just hire more data scientists”:
When confronting a mountain of data, the response is often to build a bigger data science department. But the way J.D. Nyland, Adobe director of product management, sees it, this doesn’t solve the core problem: that marketers on the ground need to understand and use the data in day-to-day business. (It’s also expensive and very difficult to find talent.) But since a lot of the analysis that marketers need has been done before, they don’t necessarily need dedicated experts to design complicated statistical methods every time they want to do an email campaign. A lot of these operations can be automated, which is of course the opportunity that Adobe Marketing Cloud’s analytics tools are looking to exploit. The goal, Nyland said, is to put the tools for using data in the hands of marketers, and keep the data science department focused on a few really important and innovative projects.
Marketing columnist Markus Giesler recently lamented the difficulties that burger giant McDonald’s is having connecting with customers—something James Cowan wrote about recently in CB. Giesler points out that for decades, McDonald’s was one of the best companies around at shaping consumer trends in ways that benefited its business. Today, it is chasing trends — toward healthier foods, trying to compete against Starbucks with coffee, reducing menu complexity and more — and looks far less assured as a result.
Consider, as a case in point, children’s birthday parties and family Sundays. When I was a child in the 1980s, these two domains were profoundly McDonaldized. They entailed entire sets of scripts, actors, roles, rituals, objects, etc. They were always the same: standardized, calculable, efficient – and fun. There was no better way to become a popular kid in school or to accomplish middle-class family peace and happiness than an afternoon at McDonald’s.
Finally, cold-weather outerwear company Moose Knuckles is appealing to a particularly Canadian problem with a cheeky new spot featuring a couple whose energetic hookup is stymied by the layers and layers of clothing they have to peel off.