Data and Segmentation – J. Taysom



‘Data is a big business to the advertising world, with marketers gaining considerable amounts of information about their customers and businesses on a daily basis’, would state the IAB UK during its conference on the ‘Future of Data’, in December 2014 (Internet Advertising Bureau UK).

Many marketers will have surely heard of data (and the insight that results of it) as a way to ultra-personalize any digital advertising messages. As a matter of fact, data is the outcome of the two latest IT-driven transformations , the Internet (mid 80s / 90s), and the connectivity of products (current), also called the internet of things, that now allows the collection of a large amount of information (development of the cloud), thus its analysis. In this regard, in their article on ‘How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition’ (Harvard Business Review – November 2014), M.E. Porter and J.E. Heppelmann demonstrate how ‘products will be more efficient, effective, safe, reliable, and more fully utilized, while conserving scarce natural resources such as energy, water and raw materials through the analysis of data. Indeed, as a consequence of understanding the customer better, data will enhance the decision-making process of businesses to ultra-tailor their advertising as well as their products, according to the customer’s needs.

However if data has now become accessible, its processing is at a very early stage: The integration of this innovation is key in the competitive advantage that businesses or marketers will gain (source: M.E. Porter). Moreover, data is changing the boundaries of industries; for instance the Open Automotive Alliance (General Motors, Honda, Audi and Hyundai) has now developed a partnership with Google’s Android operating system for their vehicles, that allows the syncing of devices to the cars (geo-localisation, related applications etc.): This kind of initiatives interestingly shows the way to a wide new range of opportunities, where undiscovered business and human needs can be met.


Today, any data-driven approach remains highly challenged by the privacy matter; the European Commission will be finalizing its ‘EU General Data Protection Regulation’ in 2015; meanwhile ‘the value for marketers lies in customer’s similarities and differences, as rightly pointed by J.Taysom , one of the speakers of the conference: ‘[The aim is to] find the smallest possible economically useful set of people like me, at this moment, in this context, in this place, without making it easy to re-identify the individual members of the set’. For marketers, this corresponds to ultra-targeting, or personalizing the experience and tries to support the non-violation of personal information, in principle.

Needless to say that the future of data is actually already here, with businesses having gathered endless information and starting to model it: Data is to become today’s currency whereby its holding could become key, but this is the subject for another reflection.


‘The Future of Data’ – IAB UK (for members, inc.‘Personal data for services: fair exchange?’, John Taysom)

‘How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition’ – Harvard Business Review – November 2014, M.E. Porter and J.E. Heppelmann