5 Data Highlights of 2018

2018 was a big year in the world of data.   We saw new regulations come into force, the adoption of artificial intelligence grew massively and huge names suffered massive data breaches.

As we hurtle towards the end of the year, let’s take a look back at a few of the highlights.

GDPR

Never before have four letters inspired such a feeling of dread, panic and confusion in so many people.

Despite having had two years to plan for its implementation, many companies were – and still are –scrabbling around trying to ensure they were compliant with the new data regulations.

We argued over whether consent was needed in all cases, or whether legitimate interest would save us.  Privacy policies were rewritten and reissued and customers were asked in their millions for their permission to receive marketing.

The truth is, many companies are still not compliant with the regulations, either in how they collect data or the information they give the customer.  If you suspect you might be one of them, now might be the time to have a quiet review of your policies and processes and by all means get in touch with us to see if we can help.

Data breaches

Hot on the heels of the new regulations, which were telling everyone the importance of looking after their customers’ data, we saw several companies failing to do just that.

Facebook allowed improper use of customer information, Equifax got hacked and TSB had a technical nightmare.  All were accused of not doing enough to protect their customer’s data and have suffered large scale reputational damage, as well as financial penalties.

It’s a lesson to all of us that data security needs to be our top priority.  If you don’t already, make sloppy security and passwords written down on post-it notes a thing of the past.

Google removes Doubleclick IDs

Google threw a spanner into attribution models when they announced they were removing Doubleclick IDs.  If you were reliant on Google Doubleclick, you could no longer join up online and offline data, meaning you lost the ability to accurately measure channel effectiveness.

In an increasingly connected world, where the customer journey is critical to success, this represented a backwards step for many  companies.

But the solution lay in taking control of your own customer data.  By owning your own Customer Data Platform (CPD), you can continue to track the complete customer journey and have true, multi-channel attribution.

If you’re concerned about whether your attribution is genuinely independent, you might want to have a look at some of our case studies here.

The move towards Automated Marketing

The move towards automated marketing continued throughout 2018, with more and more companies implementing triggered campaigns across all channels.

The benefits of automated, real time marketing are clear – a more personalised, relevant experience for the customer, and increased sales for your business.  No more manual selections and long leadtimes based on out of date information.  Plus, the time and resource saved in not have to churn everything out manually means that you can devote your efforts to more important matters.

If you’ve not yet automating your marketing activity, take a look at some of our case studies

The rise of Artificial Intelligence

2018 saw a massive increase in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) both by businesses and consumers.  Smart assistants were bought in their millions, from speakers to watches, and voice activated services became the norm for many of us.

Businesses meanwhile have turned to AI as a way of optimising the customer experience.  Real time personalisation of websites based on the customer’s behaviour, predicting the ‘next best action’ and one to one marketing are fast becoming the norm.

If you need inspiration, you can read about our work with Ageas on their Engagement Hub here

As we roll into 2019, there’s a lot to look forward to and we’ll share our thoughts on what’s trending next month.  In the meantime, if you’d like any advice on how you could be smarter about your data driven marketing, we’d love to hear from you