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OUR DIGITAL WORLD: A WORLD INCREASINGLY DRIVEN BY DATA

I’ve mentioned previously, I am mentioning, and I will probably mention it over and over again but the society we currently live in is highly digital and I could almost say exclusively digital. As a matter of fact, the use of technology along with its constant and fantastic improvements resulted in a significant change in the way people live their life, do business, interact with others, spend money and so forth. Another factor that could explain why our today’s world is so digital is the birth and rapid growth of dozen and dozen of new platforms. Among those platforms, there are some you are probably familiar with such as Facebook Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and so on. Yet, there are plenty of them that you may have barely heard about such as Bing or Yahoo while many platforms remain unfamiliar to you. Additionally, we are faced with a countless number of new brands proposing similar products or services trying to implant themselves into the market place. Thus, because marketers are increasingly exposed to so many platforms, they have to put forth efforts into strengthening their current strategies or implementing new plans of action in order to differentiate their products from competitors. Now you may wonder: due to both the countless number of platforms and brands, how can marketers optimize their marketing strategies in order to effectively and efficiently target consumers? All is about designing and creating customers centered strategies. Let’s briefly evoke some of them.

The consumer: the center of marketer’s strategy

This is fundamental for marketers to get a clear understanding of what consumers think, feel as well as the reasons that make them act a certain way. In order to do so, one of marketer’s first mission is to think like the consumer by referring to the buyer journey stages. This is critical for them to understand at what time consumers recognize a need, how they will search for information as well as evaluating alternatives and what’s going to release a purchase decision. In addition to the buyer’s journey, marketers must optimize their strategies on evaluating 4 main factors which are regarded as being paramount to fully understand consumers needs and wants. These factors are as follows: motivational, demographical, behavioral and attitudinal. Let’s take a concrete example.

Buhi’s Messenger Bag

Let’s assume that Buhi wishes to introduce a new Messenger bag. Obviously at this point, people designing the product have no idea if this product will work or not. Thus, marketers will have to carefully think of the 4 factors listed above. For instance, by studying the motivational factor, they will try to fairly determine what are some of the characteristics that will push consumers to buy this messenger bag such as its color, the way it looks, its style, its price, its convertibility, its size, and so forth. Furthermore, this is essential to study demographic as to which gender is most likely to purchase this bag, what are their lifestyle, their disposable income, their habits, and so on. Now, the following question may come into your mind: how can marketers find and evaluate such characteristics? The answer is data.

The collection and analysis of data

In order to maximize the likelihood of efficiently responding to consumers needs and wants, marketers must collect information which is referred to as data. Once they collect these information, they will be able to analyze them and make decisions accordingly. It appears that the world we live in is mostly driven by data. Indeed, thanks to the advancements of technology, every website or platform contains a multitude of data about people who visited that particular platform. As an illustration, let’s take an example of Instagram: a platform we are all familiar with. By surfing on that platform, marketers can find out about what people like such as their obbies, activities,  style such as they type of clothes they like to wear, the color, the type of skin products they like to use, and so forth. Thanks to this information, marketers will be able to determine if these people could be potentially be interrested in their new skin care products for example. They can then personalize a message by directly addressing the message to them while using the right channel. When talked directly to them, people feel valued and important and are most likely to pay attention to the message being delivered to them. Yet, in addition to platforms and data, there is another way to identify consumers. Let’s talk about cookies.

Cookies: the mostly used means to identify and track consumers

The invention of cookies date back to 1994 and was innovated by Lou Montulli, one of the engineer of Netscape which is one of the first company to have come up with the Internet browsers. Earlier, every time people used to load a page, it would disappear right after they closed it. In other words, the web didn’t have any memory. That was a problem because how, as a marketer, would you identify consumers and how, as a consumer would you keep track of the ads you’ve seen or the products you wanted to purchase? Cookies track everything you do. For instance, if you are on the Apple’s website searching for the Iphone 14 but left the website prior to purchasing the product, the website will reopen and leave you at the exact place you were. You can also receive a personalized message which might appear as being valuable to you because this message will only be dedicated to you. Therefore, marketers use cookies to collect data and create a unique identity map. Based on where you left the website, they can figure out at which stage of the journey you were at. For instance, if you were on “add to card” and if we stick to the Apple example, , they know that you were evaluating the possibility of purchasing the Iphone 14. Cookies help marketers gain some powerful insights about the consumers they are trying to target and they can build a durable and valuable relationship along with the use of unique identity.

To summarize, data is part of our lives. Indeed, the world is led by data. Whatever you do, whatever you say, everything is recorded and tracked. As times goes by, as technology keeps evolving, data storage will become bigger and bigger. Has it ever happened to you when you talk over the phone about a specific product such as a dishwasher and that a few minutes later an ad appears on your phone? This leads me to conclude that the more data people can get about us, the more we will be controlled.

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