Disruptive transparency-driven “democratized data” methodologies promise more accurate, accessible and economical direct marketing
By Adam Mittelberg
One of the biggest challenges marketers face is customer acquisition and retention. The key to both strategies is possessing the critical data that can help communicate effectively with the highest qualified contact possible and to further identify the needs of current customers to foster long-term loyalty.
Unfortunately, the today’s data industry is both far too complicated and highly fragmented, offering a confusing glut of choices that are overwhelming marketers who are in desperate need of this mission-critical information.
This situation couldn’t be truer in the Canadian markets. The existing data marketing ecosystem of data and direct marketing list owners, managers and brokers in Canada is wildly inefficient and often ineffective. It costs Canadian businesses untold millions in unnecessary time and money and untold more in opportunity loss.
Even so, given the fundamental truth that data is the backbone of digital advertising and marketing and traditional direct marketing, marketers have just struggled along with what the market has been able to provide, for better or for worse.
A conundrum as effective data sources are becoming even rarer as the need for—and actual dependency upon—data becomes more essential. The escalating demand for Big Data sources that provide quality and complete data has skyrocketed in today’s digital age.
Unfortunately, it’s the fundamental Big Data sources that have been the very crux of the problem for marketers. Today, a professional or business looking to acquire specific data sets will have to spend extensive time and resources locating sources that meet their target audiences, negotiate costs and establish privacy standards for the transferring of the data.
Attempting to generate revenue from existing datasets brings its own unique set of challenges. The first is the time and money it takes to create data cards and collateral for data owners to monetize. At the same time, they need to identify the right organizations or marketplaces with the widest reach: one that represents the highest demand for their data.
The second major challenge is integrity and accountability. Data owners do not trust outside organizations to properly store, manage and monetize their data.
The third and last major concern is storage environment security. Data abuse and lack of transparency in the revenue share business model are underlying fears that will ultimately prevent list owners from making their unique data set available for purchase.
These three challenges make it extremely cost prohibitive to identify and acquire the various parameters required to compile the exact dataset that is needed. That creates barriers for small and medium sized businesses to entering the data marketplace.
Merging Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology will revolutionize data-driven marketing worldwide, across all industries. Here are five reasons why:
- Empowerment. A blockchain-based system empowers data source providers to monetize their data and better capitalize demand, allowing them to access the large global marketplace. In the same way that eBay provides a marketplace for vendors of physical products, a blockchain-based digital marketplace can create growth potential for data source providers of all sizes, while also reducing barriers to entry;
- Transparency. A blockchain approach provides data providers with full transparency, traceability and auditability, overcoming many of the hurdles data providers currently face in the existing marketplace. Anyone who has operated in the Big Data space knows that duplicate data, false data and questionable sourcing are unfortunate industry truths. However, a blockchain-based approach provides complete transparency, allowing buyers to see where the data has been and where it came from prior to purchasing;
- Confidence. A more transparent vetting and grading system for data will improve confidence building between end users and data sources. Currently, most data purchases are practically blind transactions, whereby buyers won’t really know what kind of data they’re receiving until they actually buy it, because no vendor would ever reveal the data prior to money changing hands. Once you have the data, it’s then up to you to determine its quality, but by then, the money has been spent.
Rather than this archaic process leaving much to be desired, having a third party scoring system improves quality and increases trust in the marketplace, while facilitating more transactions and leading to overall higher levels of confidence in the industry. Giving data acquirers quality and verified data that’s been vetted and scored externally reduces (if not eliminates) false or outdated data, which is a significant problem plaguing the industry;
- Simplification. By simplifying and aggregating world data transactions into a single point of sale, the result will be an “Amazon” like marketplace, where economies of scale and data aggregation will facilitate a smoother, cleaner and better checkout process, thereby creating more data trade worldwide. Giving end users a simplified, easy-to-use and robust interface with a quick and secure payment system between the business or individual and data sources is a requisite means toward this end, and;
- AI. Smart indexing engines are now utilizing predictive analytics (a type of AI using data analysis and machine learning) for confidence scoring to provide continual real-time accurate data. Based on immediate business conditions, this will allow for record sets that can be a single individual that matches all parameters or millions of records that match desired parameters.
Canadian business benefits
In Canada, the opportunity for these merged applications couldn’t be greater. Companies seeking to scale internationally will have access to data from various international markets in one convenient platform to better run their respective marketing and advertising campaigns.
Localized businesses will be able to enjoy better targeted marketing campaigns, thanks to the data provided in a way that is both democratized and cost-efficient. Localized data vendors realize a great benefit by having their data reach international markets, while also enjoying the benefit of having the purchase transaction information fully secured and transparent on the blockchain.
Ultimately, democratizing big data levels the data playing field by providing the most comprehensive marketing data solution to businesses and individuals. It will provide a robust interface between the business or individual and the data sources. The back-end systems will ensure full confidence in data quality for the end user, as well as transactional finality for the data providers.
Adam Mittelberg is chief marketing officer of DataBlockChain.io, a Media Direct, Inc.-partner company at the forefront of democratizing big data and leveling the data playing field. He oversees the most comprehensive marketing data solution available to all businesses and individuals featuring a robust interface between users and data sources and transparent backend system ensuring data quality, confidence and transactional finality. He may be reached at www.datablockchain.io.