Video: AdExchanger Industry Preview 2019 Keynote

The following is a transcript of Signal CEO Mike Sands’ keynote presentation at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview 2019 conference. It has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. Identity: The Future of Real-Time Engagement in the Age of Going Direct [Forrester analyst Joanna O’Connell] and I were catching up in the back, and I’m like, “Boy, …

Why Today’s Gaming Brands Are the Proving Ground for Tomorrow’s CMOs

Note: a version of this article previously appeared in Adweek. At first blush, the National Football League’s recent hire of Activision Blizzard’s Tim Ellis as CMO looks like a beleaguered brand’s attempt at leveraging fresh marketing insight to recapture a young male demographic abandoning traditional sports for esports. But at a deeper level, the move says a lot …

How Data Insights Can Cure Retail’s Holiday Returns Headache

Note: a version of this article originally appeared in Retail Dive. Good news! Shoppers spent so, so much money during the 2018 holiday season — as much as $721 billion (up more than 4 percent year over year), according to the National Retail Federation. Bad news! Shoppers returned so, so much of the stuff they …

Forget Customer Convenience, Amazon Go Is Really About Customer Data

Note: a version of this article originally appeared in Retail Dive. It’s far from certain whether Amazon Go represents the future of shopping, but it certainly feels like shopping in the future. The checkout-free convenience store’s new location in downtown Chicago — the first to open outside of Seattle — is every bit as high-tech …

How the GDPR Will Revolutionize Retail Marketing

Note: a version of this article originally appeared in Internet Retailer. We’re now several months removed from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) dropping across the European Union — and the Y2K-esque panic accompanying its debut turned out to be more bark than bite. Sure, the first few weeks saw an initial burst of consumer …

119 Billion Reasons Why Brands Must Control Their Customer Data

Note: a version of this article originally appeared in MarTech Today. In late July, Facebook woke up to the largest one-day loss by any company in the history of the U.S. stock market, dropping $119 billion (roughly one-fifth of its market value) after posting slower-than-expected user growth in its Q2 earnings report. For those who …

Data Onboarding Explained: When it comes to your customer data, are you in the driver’s seat — or just along for the ride?

And they’re off! Brands are scrambling to bring their offline data online for digital activation, pitting marketers in a neck-and-neck race for customers’ attention — not just in their inboxes, but in social and display ads across the internet. Thanks to data onboarding, in-the-moment buyers are now receiving in-the-moment advertisements across channels, devices and platforms. …

Patience Is a Virtue… Except When It Comes to Data Onboarding

For marketers, the ability to onboard data from your offline sources, such as a CRM, is a critical step towards ensuring advertising campaigns are efficiently reaching their intended audience and driving conversion. However, if your brand’s chosen adtech vendor’s onboarding and activation process takes too long, you run the risk of serving irrelevant ads and …

How Amazon Is Minting a New Generation of Customer Data-Obsessed Companies

Note: A version of this post originally appeared in Forbes. No brand is safe from the awesome power of a superior customer experience. Consumers — particularly young ones — have shown that they will rapidly shift loyalties to brands delivering an overall experience that is more personalized and easier to use, both online and offline. Amazon’s …

The Hidden Silver Linings to GDPR Compliance

The GDPR is coming fast. The General Data Protection Regulation, which harmonizes data privacy laws across Europe, takes effect on May 25, 2018, bringing with it a heightened level of scrutiny to the rules of customer engagement for brands on both sides of the Atlantic. But it’s important not to panic, according to Blane Sims, Signal’s …