Breaking the Binary: Preference-based data and the power of choice

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Yarden Jacobson
CTO & Co-Founder

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Elliott Saray
Senior Developer

Today, advertisers, marketers, brands and business owners have a wealth of digital tools at their fingertips that can help to grow their audience, engage with their users and lead them to check-out in the most direct way possible.

Technologies developed by companies such as Facebook and Google provide businesses with ways to market to their customers effectively, using retargeting and remarketing processes to build audiences online—alongside traditional web analytics.

The digital methods currently employed by businesses to build their audiences are effective for placing advertisements in front of them, though they lack a certain depth in terms of the data being captured and how it will be used to interact with them in the future.

Shallow Data, Data Blindness and Unactionable Data

Information captured digitally by marketing and advertising providers can be useful; deciphering what the mass of data captured by businesses actually means for their bottom line has proven to be difficult and often debilitating.

Peter Buell Hirsch writes in Overcoming data blindness; or do shrimp chew with their mouths open? for Journal of Business Strategy: “the explosion of data sets has led to a condition not unlike snow blindness – the harder we look the less we can see.

Data blindness and data exhaustion are two terms often used to describe an information overload. When businesses collect data, they tend to harvest absolutely everything they can about their audience, then have a difficult time processing the information into actionable insight.

Hirsch then goes on to say that “As the ability to identify, manage and extract powerful insights from larger data sets becomes an increasingly important source of competitive advantage, we need to develop more robust skills for leaders outside the lab.

Extracting powerful insights from data sets is a sore spot for many businesses due to the technical nature of data analysis. The calculations and procedures needed to transform binary data into comparative analyses typically fall under the responsibilities of data scientists; a role most businesses aren’t sure whether they can afford or where to look in order to fill the role. Sadly, the result is often a business left with a catastrophic mound of unactionable data.

Popular techniques of information collection deliver ample amounts of data to businesses: their users’ age, their gender, their location, their interests, and so forth. This information is valuable for businesses to understand who it is they want to provide for and can be glued together into the silhouette of a real user; the problem with these profiling attributes is that they are one-dimensional—they exist in a binary and cannot truly homogenise to form the correct representation of an end-user.

Additionally, advertising campaigns planned with trivial information like age, gender, location and interests have proven to underperform due to their blanket messaging nature and vaguely defined targeting.

So, how can businesses gather valuable, accurate and actionable data from their users while still broadening their audience?

How can a business, advertiser or marketer make sense of the storm of data existing on the world wide web?

How can a business collect actionable data the right way from the get-go?

At the risk of being sentimental, the answer is to listen.

A business must ask their end-users what they want and make decisions based on their answers—not what they think they already know. Businesses and end-users can communicate directly in a digital environment: an ecosystem designed for marketers and advertisers, focused on interactive commercial content.

Interactive Commercial Content

Whichit coined the term interactive commercial content when they brought a product to market that allows brands, marketers, publishers and other businesses to increase user engagement, open new revenue streams and gain actionable insights.

The Users Have a Say

The interactive commercial content offering from Whichit empowers more than just businesses. When a business runs a digital campaign with Whichit, (onsite, via Google Ads, via social media or in-store) they are giving their end-users a chance to tell them first-hand what they want, how they want to be addressed and their genuine preferences. Whichit collects concrete, first party data from real end-users in order to educate businesses regarding their audience.

 

Click on the example to see how business can know their end-users preferences>>> 

Test your knowledge: What is an example of Interactive Content?

When a business runs a marketing campaign with Whichit they can pinpoint specific users based on objective data they’ve willingly shared, rather than assumed demographic data.

A Choice in the Matter

Data collected by Whichit is not restricted to the binaries of traditional analytics, it is multi-dimensional. An advertisement on social media can only deliver static information: a user “likes” or comments on a post.

Whichit collects data about an end-user’s preference; a user prefers the red shoes over the blue ones. As opposed to the flat data the business would have received via social media—a user likes the red shoes—the business can take a multi-dimensional data point and use it to construct a user profile.

Best of all, the multi-dimensional preference data collected by Whichit grows exponentially with every vote: the user prefers the red shoes over the blue and also prefers the black jeans over the khakis—the business has gathered much more than two data points.

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Fuelled by the layered nature of data collected by Whichit, the company has also developed a machine learning algorithm that profiles end-users in real time based on their preferences. The machine learning algorithm can inform businesses with a digital DNA of user preferences, engagement and trend predictions, and the best message a business can use to convert end-users to paying customers.

Data-vision Goggles

Arguably the most difficult part of user profiling and data aggregation is actually assembling the information collected into something tangible and actionable. As previously mentioned, businesses are actively searching for tools that can pull them out of data blindness or data exhaustion and make sense of their numbers.

Whichit’s approach to data segmentation, analysis and reporting is to be as user-friendly and business-friendly as possible without sacrificing comprehension, granularity or detail while doing so. This outlook is clearly demonstrated in the company’s praise-garnering analytics dashboard—the numbers are clear and concise, with details readily available. The data presented is contextualised and actionable for a business.

Actionable Preference Data

Whichit’s analytics dashboard provides business users with valuable, actionable insights about their audience. The data presented to business users is digestible and comprehensive, allowing businesses to incorporate their learnings from Whichit into their offerings at a quicker and steadier pace.

Even before the event reaches Whichit’s analytics dashboard, the mechanism within every piece of interactive commercial content made within Whichit is able to deliver end-users commercial offers in real time.

The offer made to an end-user can be virtually anything, (a link, a coupon, a lead generation form, etc.) and the message delivered to the end-user is always tailored based on the choices they have made.

Commercial offers made at the precise time of engagement have proven to significantly outperform those made by retargeting & remarketing activities or pushing end-users down lengthy sales funnels.

About Whichit

Whichit is a B2B software company that develops and distributes a series of products for advertisers, brands, marketers and publishers alike. All products maintained by Whichit are built supporting the context of a question beginning with “Which” and are served via interactive commercial content platforms. Whichit’s services are intended to supply businesses with at least three added benefits:

  • Increased user engagement

  • Open new revenue streams

  • Gain actionable insights

 
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Interactive Commercial Content in Action

‘Get the Gloss’ is a site that unites the best in beauty and health. They work with leading makeup artists, hair stylists, nutritionists and wellness practitioners to bring their readers the expert view on news and trends in beauty and wellness, and create specialist guides to help readers be their happiest, healthiest self.

Looking to increase their brand awareness and lead generation, ‘Get The Gloss’ teamed up with Whichit and the luxury online shopping site ‘Avenue 32’. They created a brilliant contest, in which the audience would answer a 5-question Whichit Survey in the form of a native ad, on the Get The Gloss site, and enter their email for a chance to win a designer handbag of their choice filled with beauty products from the luxury fashion site.

At the end of the campaign the results were incredible. After publishing the Avenue 32 Whichit ad, Get The Gloss reached over 5,900 unique views, 75% engagement rate, and 97% completion rate.

  Get the Gloss discovered that most of the users who liked the brown leather bag also preferred the mascara and the foundation.

Get the Gloss discovered that most of the users who liked the brown leather bag also preferred the mascara and the foundation.

In addition, thanks to Whichit’s integrated dashboard, ‘Get the Gloss’ gained actionable insights about their audience such as their origin, product preferences, connections between products and who’s more likely to engage!

Run an Interactive Commercial Content Campaign

Whichit helps businesses enrich their data pools with comprehensive and insightful data, ensuring their ads work harder for them and deliver the highest standard of results.

Interactive commercial content serves as an advertiser, a data miner and a salesperson all at once. Interactive ads, multi-dimensional data reporting, actionable insights combined with tailored solutions for end-users allow businesses to communicate directly with their audience and gather first-party data to then make them the perfect commercial offer.

Whichit does the heavy lifting and data analyses to serve businesses an adaptable, living market research report.