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How Big Data will influence the future of advertising

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“What is the impact of Big Data on online advertising” is the question I was asked to answer on the occasion of an EGTA ((European Group of Television Advertising) workshop that took place on 29 and 30 June 2017 in Brussels (my thanks to Yuri Loburets for his kind invitation to speak).

Rather than repeating the same clichés about Big Data again and again I chose to put advertising and Big Data back in a historical perspective.
I started with a flashback in history and explained why and how interactions with customers differed from what they are today. We had very much fun watching a short sequence of the “Little House” where Mrs Ingals meets Mr/ Olsen for the first time. This served as an introduction to show that personalisation of relationships was not a recent concern and that it was instrumental to loyalty.
We then moved on to discuss some philosphical aspects behind big data : Leibnitz’ monadology and how the idea of panopticon by Bentham (which was later taken over by Michel Foucault) was kind of anticipating the need for profiling and controling human beings.

In the second part, dedicated to post WWII developments, I explained the emergence of the need for capturing data and how that data was used by sociologists in the 70’s and 80’s to model behaviors. This prevalence of the model vanished with the costs of data storage and calculation going down and the amount of data going up.

Today most data is still captured through cookies which have lifetimes up to 8000 years (see the study by Miller and Skiera). The data contained in cookies doesn’t encompass any information on the context where it was captured; yet that data is shared and reshared among third-party providers and remains alive within myriad databases although it might become quickly obsolete. Online advertisers use that obsolete data for instance in their retargeting activities, creating above all a lot of frustration and very little value. Hence the question I asked participants : what is the value online advettising creates for the user ? The question is less trivial that it may seem.

To see what the future of advertising may look like have a look at the presentation below. I discuss in particular how online tracking will extend in the offline world and new types of data (emotions) that will increasingly be collected to improve predictions.

If you disagree with my views, please do me a favor. Leave a comment and start the discussion.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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