We’re thrilled to feature Drew McCalmont, Director of Product at Tapad in this edition of Magnetic’s Extraordinary Leaders. Tapad is a partner of Magnetic and known for innovation in cross-device marketing technology. Tapad’s Device Graph Access and Magnetic’s intent data and media platform enable marketers to reach prospects and engage customers with relevant marketing across their individual devices.
A vital member of the Tapad team, Drew McCalmont’s background encompasses years of solutions’ engineering, analyst and account management experience. Before transitioning to his Director of Product role for Tapad’s data licensing business, he served as Solutions Engineer for Kenshoo, where he assisted sales teams, presented custom-tailored product demos and facilitated the client onboarding process. Drew joined our Data Magnified Los Angeles event in May and shared some great insights around the role of cross-device, mobile and data.
Today’s typical consumer seamlessly transitions from one media type to the other throughout the day. Can you elaborate on what it means to support identifier management and why it’s so important?
If by “media type” we mean jumping from one screen to another – or even viewing multiple screens at a time, the challenge becomes integrating a lot of different data systems – behavioral data, CRM data, location data, etc. These disparate sets need to come together where holistic profiles are developed and managed. We need to take all this information and use cross-device as a management layer – to put it all together and connect all the systems. The result is that any company within the marketing technology ecosystem can then address a unified persona instead of disparate devices.
This is important because today’s consumer uses many devices and expects brands and marketers to develop a relationship with them based on relevant content. If advertisers don’t deliver a value-added experience, they’ll lose customers to someone who does create that optimal experience.
There is a lot of discussion in the industry around the challenges of disparate data. Can you explain some of the obstacles you have encountered and offer any advice on how we can better overcome challenges associated with silo-ed data?
With all these different systems, today we have silos of data making it really hard to marry all of these data together. The ideal is to be able to move seamlessly between unrelated data sources and systems and unify them all. It’s a long-term vision to move the industry away from the walled garden approach of companies like Facebook or Google. We’re not there yet, but we’re making huge strides. That said, brands need to be thinking now about how they’ll be integrating their data sets to prepare for the future. They need to think about how identity management might be applied for future flexibility.
In an age where there is a lot of emphasis on “mobile first”, what steps can we take as an industry to start thinking of consumers as independent of their devices in order to create a “consumer first” mentality?
Very soon, “mobile first” will sound as dated as saying “cellular telephone” — “mobile first” fundamentally ignores the reality of our relationship with our screens. We must move in the direction of thinking “consumer first.” There is a proliferation of devices and identifiers, and “mobile first” just isn’t true anymore for many, many people. We know that consumers own, on average, four screens and use them roughly 60 hours per week. Consumers now may have two cell phones, a laptop, a tablet and/or a desktop, smart watches, smart refrigerators, etc. – all of which can be used for a variety of online activities. At any given time, a person can be interacting with a brand on any combination of those devices, on any given day. We have to think about how a consumer is going to be using that device and interacting with brands – independent of whatever device they’re on.
In a large, recent consumer survey, roughly half of respondents said they expect relevant messages on each screen. Consumers want to be taught something new on each screen and they want to be engaged on each device. This expectation is only going to increase as more digital natives begin using more screens and come to expect coordinated experiences. That’s where the power of cross-device data comes in.
To make precise connections, we need to understand many forms of metadata about users and their devices – ranging from things like proximity to other devices and device type to content consumption and behavioral patterns. We aggregate and analyze billions of data points like these every day. These correlative datasets serve as the building blocks to creating the most granular device usage profile possible.
When it comes to cross-device, what advice would you give to e-commerce businesses?
Cross-device opens up the opportunity for an e-commerce business to become a consumer’s 21st century personal shopper.
There are two core challenges marketers face when trying to tailor messages for a consumer:
Cross-device is the underpinning that creates a much more customized consumer shopping experience. To create this experience, marketers need to tailor their strategies for individuals rather than devices. This requires taking into account behavioral traits, prior purchases, wants, needs and desires from a user-centric view, and cross-device audience analytics are what makes this possible.
Magnetic is an artificial intelligence company that uses machine learning to deliver smarter, faster, and more effective advertising. Our powerful AI platform continuously analyzes the attributes of over 350 million live user profiles alongside real-time inventory supply and bid opportunities to deliver highly performant audiences and profitable campaigns for our clients.