Forget all the digital marketing tech you know… Just as you forgot the phones of yesteryear

BPRISE Tech of the Future

For those of us who used a Nokia 3310 and a generation of Nokia phones thereafter, before we switched to iPhone and other brands, we know just how great those phones were. They got us through calls, SMS and even carried a couple of games. There seemed to be just one brand of phones, the indomitable Nokia.

Then came along Apple. Apple entered the arena with a game changer phone, with smart software, making ordinary phones smartphones. This redefined how people used their mobiles. It gave people a good browser to navigate the world wide web, a powerful hardware to support mobile gaming and an app store that contained tons of great and ever-increasing apps. Still, Nokia maintained a huge advantage over Apple for years - its distribution network and its relatively well priced products across the spectrum.

Late but great, Google arrived, and grabbed market share. Not as a gadget provider. Google brought software, an app store and then gave wings to manufacturers to craft a phone that could take on a Nokia or an iPhone at a price and product advantage that the manufacturers deemed fit. This essentially made the iPhone alternative, Android, affordable to a mass of people who wished for a smartphone but could not escape Nokia.

Circa 2020, as I write amid a turbulent COVID-19 phase, I cannot help but compare notes with this piece of history in a different industry - advertising technology.

Like Nokia, the staple display marketing software in the world was and has been Google AdWords (now rebranded as Google Ads) for two decades. Around a decade ago, a revolution happened when publishers and advertisers started demanding more transparency in the money being traded among themselves. This led to a framework being jointly built, called Programmatic Advertising. Naturally, companies jumped into implementing this framework.

Publishers implemented the framework on their websites and apps. Advertisers started buying media programmatically. Google too jumped in, by buying out a programmatic platform called Invite Media and merging it into their DoubleClick offering for Advertisers and Publishers. Programmatic media buying also ushered in a special feature (akin to the app store), the ability to make a deal with any data provider of your choice and importing those data segments into the programmatic platform for precision-based targeting.

This was revolutionary. But there was a catch.

It was and still is available only to brands and agencies that can afford to cough up a platform fee, commit to monthly big dollar spends with guaranteed annual spend commitments. Kind of the pricier iPhone of the digital advertising industry. So, anyone who could transact big dollars and pay a platform fee, gained access to this powerful platform. A software for the big businesses. The common man i.e. a vast majority of small, medium and large enterprises continue to use the trusted and efficient Google Ads platform. This population does not probably know what they are missing. Even Nokia of old had many games and a browser that rendered websites decently well. Of course, an iPhone was desirable, but that did not matter, Nokia worked just as well.

However, in the advertising business, it matters if you own a Nokia or an iPhone, i.e. are you on Google Ads or a Programmatic Platform. The big companies use data as the new age oil and get bigger. Simply because they can afford to. As a small, medium or large enterprise with limited resources or not wanting to get into annual commitments, your tools are the same. But the giants can always use the advantage of data to outbid you to reach the target audience at a lower cost of acquisition, even though they are spending a lot more for that audience and inventory.

So how do we build an Android like model in the digital advertising ecosystem? Simply put, how do we get programmatic (the software) and the audience (app store) to the manufacturers (ad agencies) at a price that is affordable and accessible to all?

Firstly, we take out the platform fee. This automatically makes the platform affordable. Add the fee when customers want to commit to higher spends and need guaranteed inventory.

Next, unhinge from the minimum spends requirement. Let everyone in.

Finally, add the app store to the mix. In this case, data providers. Make it easy for brands and agencies to find various data providers on a single marketplace, without the need to sign-up separately as being done today.

This approach essentially brings advanced targeting and a single place to buy inventory at affordable prices. At BPRISE, we have created this one-stop integrated platform to offer audience-based programmatic media buying, delivering ads across video and banner formats. You get to pick from over 75+ data providers, 30,000+ data segments (example aspiring home buyers, is a data cut for whom you can target home loan ads or new home ads) and a publisher inventory that spans the globe (by publisher, we mean websites and apps).

In current times when almost everyone is online due to the coronavirus crisis, and in the near future when online will become the preferred platform to connect, you will appreciate the advantage of filtering - right down to the website or app, Geo-location and audience to target your ad.

Now that you know why you should forget practices of the past, request access to our closed beta trial of the latest in marketing technology.

4 Effective Ways Of Using Location Data To Show Digital Ads To Store Visitors

Marketers are slowly realizing that the key to carrying out fruitful conversations with their favorite audience is by having a contextually relevant conversation with them. To achieve such relevance marketers invest in learning more about customers such as their demographics, location data, shopping behavior. In this article, let’s uncover how location data adds relevance.

Store visitors are very active on their mobile devices even when they’re inside the store. Such shoppers, in addition to looking for products at the store, are either browsing websites, chatting, playing music (hello earphones!) or playing games. Shop owners and brands will testify to this and also admit that it is a challenge to communicate with such potential shoppers let alone have relevant marketing done.

Brands who wish to make the most of every available opportunity are constantly looking for ways to connect with and engage customers and store visitors. For example, when customers visit your store and spend time on their phones, that’s your shot at meeting them half-way! How about taking all your in-store offers and discounts right in front of your store visitors, digitally?

Woman on her phone while shopping

 

Reach Them Half Way Digitally Based On Their Physical Location

Customers’ physical location indicate their real-world preferences. And knowing your customers’ preference in the physical (analog) world in addition to understanding their behavior online reveals a trove of information to you as a marketer or shop owner.

Location data tells a customer’s daily travel routines (like commutes), recurring shopping habits (such as grocery shopping or petrol pump visits), restaurant preferences, even purchasing behavior online and at stores. In the case of the store owner or marketer, they can use this to personalize their ads with products and services that shoppers might care about and also allocate their budget accordingly.

Location-based advertising (LBA) is used to attract new customers and re-connect with existing ones in the form of ads, text messages and push notifications to the shoppers’ mobile devices. According to eMarketer, marketers will spend $26.5 billion in mobile location-targeted advertising this year. To stay ahead of the curve, brands must be aware of the various methods of implementing LBA.

Proximity Marketing

The closer a customer is to your store, the higher is the potential to engage. Proximity marketing uses beacons to trigger alerts or ads and other such content to the smartphones of store visitors. The communication can be delivered within a few feet of a specific location.

An example would be to push notifications about a sale or seasonal offers to shoppers who have your brand’s mobile app installed. With BPRISE, you can also mark a location you wish to target and show display ads (both banner and video ads) on websites and apps that your shoppers are likely to visit. Greet potential customers nearby with catchy ads on their mobile screens and engage them.

Who can benefit: Retailers, Hypermarkets

Geoconquesting

In-market buyers or people who’re actively looking for products you sell or similar to yours at the store next door means “potential”. Geoconquesting uses push notifications and ads on mobile apps to attract app users when they are at specific “competitor” locations.

For example, Burger King runs a campaign offering “one cent whopper” to McDonald’s visitors who have the Burger King app open. With BPRISE, you can target similar store visitors with in-app ads as well as programmatic ads (aka display ads!). It can be used to attract potential customers nearby who’re most likely to buy a burger! (sic)

Who can benefit: QSRs, Restaurants

Geofencing

If they’ve installed your brand’s app, they’re already interested. Geofencing uses mobile apps to share location-based content and ads to its users in real-time when they’re at a predefined location.

For instance, when users who have permitted an app to use their location enter a geofenced area, they may receive a contextually relevant ad or push notification when using the app. With BPRISE, you can target malls, shops, entry and exit areas, specific store sections to grab the shoppers’ attention in app as well as on websites, Facebook and Instagram with contextually relevant banner and video ads.

Who can benefit: Shop-in-shop brands

Geotargeting

If they’ve once visited your store or website, they’re likely to do so again. Geotargeting serves ads and notifications (on your own app) to an audience who previously bought from a brand. This is also a time sensitive form of LBA.

For example, a retailer will want to target visitors in the past 90 days about an upcoming mega sale. A builder or an auto dealer will want to target people who visited their site or showroom a week or two weeks or three weeks ago respectively. Because it clearly indicates that such visitors are in the final stages of the buying cycle. A travel agent will want to look back at the last season’s customers and so on.

With BPRISE you can have display ads in the form of banners and videos placed on the websites and apps that your customers are likely to frequent. Serve ads down to specific geographies, pin codes and even down to the store-level. Diwali is just around the corner, what can you think of offering your customers??

Who can benefit: Brands, Real-estate, Auto-dealers, Tourism/Travel Agents, Airlines

Privacy & The Use Of Location Data In Advertising

At BPRISE, we ensure that the location data used whether collected via GPS or another signal is opted-in, which means that the user is opting in to share their location for advertising purposes. The data is aggregated and anonymized so that it cannot be used for individual tracking. We adhere to codes of conduct which maintain and protect consumer privacy.

Our duty as the marketing platform provider is to help marketers and brand owners embrace privacy standards which create a trusting environment for customers. When customers share their rich location data willingly you can drive contextually relevant and meaningful campaigns digitally to meet them half way at their real-world touchpoints.

 

 

THE CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER (CDO) SUMMIT 2018 | LEARNING (PART 2)

We attended the CDO Summit 2018 recently and it spoke about the key digital, social and business challenges, practices, and innovations that are shaping India today. The summit was full of panel discussions with experts from banking, real estate and hospitality industries.

In our previous article we covered how banks are looking into “digital” to improve their customer engagement activities.

Our learning and observations that were real-estate specific include:

How useful are bots, really?

There’s no doubt that bots help gather information about website visitors, but can it really address visitor concerns? A study by PwC states that, although technology is changing customer experience, customers still want a human interaction. eMarketer also highlights how a study found that 80% of the respondents preferred humans for resolving problems, after making purchases.

Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand colloquial languages help your chatbots better understand and address visitors’ queries. Investopedia defines NLP as a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to break down and process human language. Similarly, real estate companies could invest in sentiment analysis that help in bettering the bot’s conversational skills.

BPRISE recommends studying the behaviour of your website visitors first with the help of web analytics to start with.

Understand what website visitors really want

For example your website lists properties available across the country and let’s say you have an upcoming exhibition in Mumbai. Wouldn’t it be interesting to fish out your website visitors who are from Mumbai and advertise exclusively to them?

Segmenting visitors based on what they read about and click on when they’re on your website is step 1 in gaining relevant consumer insights. American Marketing Association talks about out the types of keyword phrases that visitors use in search engines –

Understanding the intent comes with a close observation of your visitors activities on your website. If they’re looking up properties in Marine Drive Kochi, Kerala, good. They’re also filling up forms to help you contact them? Great! Now how about having your brand’s ads follow them everywhere they go online? BPRISE can help you have your ads placed at intelligent locations across the web.

Can “digital” make prospects see what existing customers see?

The answer is yes! All you need to do is analyze your customer data and take surveys of what your clients love about your brand and feed that intelligence into your marketing platform such as the BPRISE Manager Platform. While you’ll have to take care of the surveys yourself, we can help you gain customer intelligence with our analytics engine.

BPRISE’s analytics engine helps you gain the kind of solid customer insights you need to inform your marketing efforts. Once we analyze your offline and online customer data, we plug this wisdom into our marketing engine.

Stay tuned for the next post because we’re talking display advertising, email marketing and more to help you nurture and educate your best leads! BPRISE Manager Platform can help you place your ads in the best of websites in the country to start with!

If 60% of the population are going to find their next house online, wouldn’t you also want to be on the websites that your potential customers are frequently visiting?

 

The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Summit 2018 | Learning (Part 1)

The CDO Summit highlighted the key digital, social and business challenges, practices, and innovations that are shaping India today. We observed how the summit was ruled by influencers from banking, real estate and hospitality industries.

Our learning and observations that were bank-centric include:

Not everybody is comfortable transacting online

Although the UIDAI’s instruction to banks about continuing with Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AEPS) can be a real boost for digital payments, there is still hesitation among Indian citizens in relying on digital means to make payments.

One approach banks can take to encourage digital transactions is to connect with customers using personalized marketing ads, messages and emails.

BPRISE can partner with banks, understand bank customers’ product and service interests both from within the bank (such as loans, investments etc.) and from outside the banks (such as interest in home or automobile purchases etc.) to give the necessary intelligence to bank officials.

Technology is getting smarter, how about your customer intelligence?

Customers and potential customers walk into your bank branch after having done their research on products or services they’re interested in.

Today’s citizens are well read and updated about the options available to them and expect you to take customer experience at branches, a level up.

BPRISE equips you with real-time customer intelligence by helping shoot relevant marketing messages and ads to target groups (TG) that are of importance to you such as, “potential home buyers” or “potential auto buyers” and more.

Image: Freepik

Can customer wait time (at bank branches) be used?

Customers seldom visit bank branches and when they do, bank officials need to engage them with relevant information and services. Existing customers would enjoy personalized services; can banks today deliver an experience for customers walking in today?

Banks can resort to deploying staff who engage in conversations with customers waiting in queues, but this could be more expensive than having the necessary technology in place.

BPRISE can give banks with the required marketing automation solutions to run timely SMS and email campaigns to converse with customers at their branches making it worth their wait time.

How can digital payments be encouraged?

Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) is leading the “Promotion of Digital Transactions including Digital Payments” initiative in the country. Meity has even geared up to promote digital payments by spreading awareness about the same, promoting digital transactions by conducting training and workshops.

Digital means such as display ads, marketing messages and emails and even ads on social media can be used to subtly communicate with customers about trying out digital means to pay. Banks can proactively reach out to customers and potential customers with BPRISE’s marketing technology. Concentrating on Facebook to run ads about making payments online could be useful, because Facebook is the most used social media platform in the country.

In our next article we cover how real estate companies are looking into “digital” to improve their customer engagement activities.

What Does Sequential Retargeting Mean For Advertisers

At BPRISE, we employ sophisticated programmatic advertising to best achieve positive brand recall and customer engagement for our clients. This doesn’t just mean stocking up on the knowledge and technology required to ensure hyper-personalised marketing on web and mobile. If anybody wants to get Sequential Retargeting right, then the first thing they need to do is have a sense of humour about it!

Funny Side Up

Sequential Re-targeting is a lot like delivering a joke. There is “The Set-Up”, where you familiarise your viewers with the basics and fundamentals of your products and services. This is what sets the tone for what’s to follow and gives the target audience an idea of whether they want to know more or not. “The Set-Up” is the proverbial stage of the early rounds of communication that get served to people online.

Next of course, comes “The Punchline”. This is the clinching moment in the user journey where a customer is convinced enough about the brand’s story and its offerings to finally crack a smile and make a purchase. Pow!

But this stand-up routine in digital advertising need not be a linear process. There may be people joining in on the fun while you’re in the middle of your ad campaign or product launch, or there are even those who leave right at the start without giving you a patient ear. How do you then make sure that everybody gets your marketing messages loud and clear? From the beginning, through the middle and all the way till the end? The answer is Sequential Re-targeting.

The “sequence” here doesn’t mean holding different group tours for people who visit you in batches and hear the same old sales speech. Regardless of what stage your product launch is in, the sequential re-targeting campaign starts, adjusts and evolves for every user at their time and place of engagement with your brand.

Automated Bucketing

“The Set-Up” takes time and skill. As mentioned above, the delivery and nature of sequential re-targeting typically changes for every distinct, new customer taking a seat amongst the audience. All first timers aren’t subject to the same “generic retargeting” and aren’t slumped into one single broad bucket. At BPRISE, our programmatic engine seamlessly segments the continuous influx of new visitors. This is not just based on demographics and location parameters, but also depends on the source of traffic, dates of user activities and expressed behaviours.

We are able to track users across the web’s many media platforms and segregate the hot leads from the cold ones. Through a funnel for delivery into BPRISE’s Premium Ad Network, Facebook ads on third party apps or websites, SMS and even email, we are able to mix notifications and track the chain of events to your target audience with computerized precision.

Old Wine, New Bottle. Cheers!

So, you’ve delivered the set-up and your audience isn’t anywhere close to hearing that punchline. And if you’re only building a name for your brand then there are other hiccups like being the first in customers’ minds while addressing their concerns about price, doubts, credibility and product quality.

What do you do? Go for what stand-up comedians refer to as a “Callback”. A comedian routinely tells a joke with a specific punchline and then, later in the show, tells a different joke with the same punchline. This gets a bigger laugh the second time around. Similarly, we help rectify the set-up and deliver freshness for the hard-to-impress crowd, till they are better positioned in the sequence to hear the same punchline.

We devised a callback for a car brand that found itself in that very pickle. The retargeting was broken down into small sequences like this:

Addressing Problem Number 1. Campaign ‘A’:

1st March: SMS campaign

3rd March: Email Campaign

5th March: Campaign on Facebook and Ad Networks

Addressing Problem Number 2. Campaign ‘B’:

15th March: Switch to a new campaign on Facebook and stop visibility on Ad Networks (only for customers who have been through Campaign ‘A’)

Addressing Problem Number 1 in a different way. Campaign ‘A2’:

20th March:New SMS campaign and Facebook Activation to users who didn’t convert from the first batch

Addressing Problem Number 3 for customers who are technically ahead in the sequence. Campaign ‘C’:

Look for customer re-engagement.

20th March: New SMS Campaign

20th March: New Email Campaign etc.

Everybody needs to be nudged differently. So, we made sure that the next time the customers logged onto the internet, the car brand was able to pick up from where each of them left off, just like old friends!

Now this can get complicated:

500 car showrooms X An average of 10 footfalls a day = A single day’s batch of data.

But with automated bucketing and tracking that we do at BPRISE, we easily spot and report which segment of which batch of prospects isn’t still laughing along and why. We understand the cycles, which sources offer easier conversions, their bounce rates and re-visiting patterns. This allows us to efficiently figure out where a shift in the marketing strategy needs to be carried out. The system lets us know if the marketing creative needs re-work, or if the retargeting should happen on a different platform or if the rhythm of the campaign frequency needs retouch. Once we spot a conversion though, that needle in the haystack is then promptly pulled out of the funnel to avoid wasting ad spends.

Speaking of which, I feel that the measurement of success in digital marketing shouldn’t be restricted to a metric like return on ad spend (ROAS) alone. Every sequential strategy should also be judged based on whether the engagement rates on ads improve, whether the returning visitors increase, and if the click through rates reflect precision targeting or not. The goal in sequential re-targeting is to serve smart and relevant ad experiences to guide prospects through their customer journey.

Programmatic advertisers typically chart out a funnel diagram as the trend, but I disagree. “Funneling” of layers of data and user journeys need not taper down to a small percentage of acquisitions. The user journeys under Sequential Re-targeting campaigns tend to look more like tributaries of many big rivers branching out into loops over time. All these users, however, are individually pursued to reach the logical conclusion delta of converted sales. That’s the trick.

If you have questions about sequential retargeting, leave a comment and I’d be happy to help!

 

Quick Overview Of The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

What Does GDPR Stand For?

It stands for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR hereon).

What Does GDPR Mean Or Do?

It replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC by the European Union. The GDPR was designed to make the data privacy laws across EU member states uniform, to protect the personal data of every citizen in the EU, mainly to give citizens a control over who gets access to their personal data and to rework* organizations’ approaches with regard to data privacy.

The GDPR aims to protect EU citizens from data and privacy breaches and also gives them back the right over their personal data. All organizations serving the EU citizens must comply with this mandatory directive. It means that companies will have to change* the way they handle their clients’ information like names, photos, email IDs, bank details, social media posts, medical information, or IP addresses which constitute their “personal data”.

A few definitions taken directly from the Regulation

Personal Data definition

‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

Processing definition

‘processing’ means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;

Restriction Of Processing definition

‘restriction of processing’ means the marking of stored personal data with the aim of limiting their processing in the future;

Profiling definition

‘profiling’ means any form of automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, in particular to analyse or predict aspects concerning that natural person’s performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements;

Pseudonymisation definition

‘pseudonymisation’ means the processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information, provided that such additional information is kept separately and is subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal data are not attributed to an identified or identifiable natural person;

Filing System definition

‘filing system’ means any structured set of personal data which are accessible according to specific criteria, whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis;

Controller definition

‘controller’ means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law;

Processor definition

processor’ means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller; (9)

Recipient definition

‘recipient’ means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or another body, to which the personal data are disclosed, whether a third party or not. However, public authorities which may receive personal data in the
framework of a particular inquiry in accordance with Union or Member State law shall not be regarded as recipients; the processing of those data by those public authorities shall be in compliance with the applicable data protection rules according to the purposes of the processing;

Third Party definition

‘third party’ means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, controller, processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorised to process personal data;

Consent definition

‘consent’ of the data subject means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her;

Personal Data Breach definition

‘personal data breach’ means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed;

Genetic Data definition

‘genetic data’ means personal data relating to the inherited or acquired genetic characteristics of a natural person which give unique information about the physiology or the health of that natural person and which result, in particular, from an analysis of a biological sample from the natural person in question;

Biometric Data definition

‘biometric data’ means personal data resulting from specific technical processing relating to the physical, physiological or behavioural characteristics of a natural person, which allow or confirm the unique identification of that natural person, such as facial images or dactyloscopic data;

Data Concerning Health definition

‘data concerning health’ means personal data related to the physical or mental health of a natural person, including the provision of health care services, which reveal information about his or her health status;

Main Establishment definition

‘main establishment’ means:

(a)as regards a controller with establishments in more than one Member State, the place of its central administration in the Union, unless the decisions on the purposes and means of the processing of personal data are taken in another establishment of the controller in the Union and the latter establishment has the power to have such decisions implemented, in which case the establishment having taken such decisions is to be considered to be the main establishment;

(b)as regards a processor with establishments in more than one Member State, the place of its central administration in the Union, or, if the processor has no central administration in the Union, the establishment of the processor in the Union where the main processing activities in the context of the activities of an establishment of the processor take place to the extent that the processor is subject to specific obligations under this Regulation;

Representative definition

‘representative’ means a natural or legal person established in the Union who, designated by the controller or processor in writing pursuant to Article 27, represents the controller or processor with regard to their respective obligations under this Regulation;

Enterprise definition

‘enterprise’ means a natural or legal person engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form, including partnerships or associations regularly engaged in an economic activity;

Group Of Undertakings definition

‘group of undertakings’ means a controlling undertaking and its controlled undertakings;

Binding Corporate Rules definition

‘binding corporate rules’ means personal data protection policies which are adhered to by a controller or processor established on the territory of a Member State for transfers or a set of transfers of personal data to a controller or processor in one or more third countries within a group of undertakings, or group of enterprises engaged in a joint economic activity;

Supervisory Authority definition

‘supervisory authority’ means an independent public authority which is established by a Member State pursuant to Article 51;

Supervisory Authority Concerned definition

‘supervisory authority concerned’ means a supervisory authority which is concerned by the processing of personal data because: (a) the controller or processor is established on the territory of the Member State of that supervisory authority; (b) data subjects residing in the Member State of that supervisory authority are substantially affected or likely to be substantially affected by the processing; or (c) a complaint has been lodged with that supervisory authority;

Cross-Border Processing definition

‘cross-border processing’ means either: (a) processing of personal data which takes place in the context of the activities of establishments in more than one Member State of a controller or processor in the Union where the controller or processor is established in more than one Member State; or (b) processing of personal data which takes place in the context of the activities of a single establishment of a controller or processor in the Union but which substantially affects or is likely to substantially affect data subjects in more than one Member State.

Relevant and Reasoned Objection definition

‘relevant and reasoned objection’ means an objection to a draft decision as to whether there is an infringement of this Regulation, or whether envisaged action in relation to the controller or processor complies with this Regulation, which clearly demonstrates the significance of the risks posed by the draft decision as regards the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects and, where applicable, the free flow of personal data within the Union;

Information Society Service definition

‘information society service’ means a service as defined in point (b) of Article 1(1) of Directive (EU) 2015/1535 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1);

International Organisation definition

‘international organisation’ means an organisation and its subordinate bodies governed by public international law, or any other body which is set up by, or on the basis of, an agreement between two or more countries.

When Does The GDPR Come Into Force?

GDPR will come into force on the 20th day post its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The GPPR will take effect on May 25, 2018 after the two year transition since its approval and adoption by the European Union Parliament on April 14, 2016.

Whom Does The GDPR Affect?

Any company serving the EU citizens must comply with the GDPR directives. Whether an EU company or a non-EU company that deals with “controlling” or “processing” data of the EU data subjects must adhere to the implications of the GDPR. So if you’re based here in India and conducting any of the aforementioned with the personal data of the concerned natural persons; beware.

What If You Fail To Adhere To GDPR? or What Are The Penalties?

Organizations that do not comply with the GDPR directives by May 25th, 2018, could face penalties and be fined up to €20 million ($24 million) or 4% of global annual revenue, whichever is greater.

*What Measures Must Advertisers & Publishers Take?

An upside to the programmatic world in the GDPR era will be the trust factor between customers and brands; this is solely because customers will get to choose whom to share their personal data with, in promise of specific services. Advertisers and publishers have always had their way, because customers could only choose to “opt-out” of receiving specific ad notifications etc. But with the GDPR in place next year, ads targeting EU citizens will have to first get their consent i.e. wait for the target audience to “opt-in” for receiving various notifications/deals from the advertisers or publishers. 

How Does GDPR Affect Ad-Tech Companies?

Ad tech companies and other organizations like email service providers, CRM partners, eCommerce systems, circulation fulfillment companies must comply with the way they  gather, process, store and protect EU citizens’ personal data. First and foremost step will be to make sure the advertisers or publishers are GDPR compliant. It is  critical that the ad tech companies to explain to their respective customers, how their data will be tracked and the benefits that they will avail upon doing so and lastly they must also be informed that they can chose to have their “personal data” deleted from databases as well. This is the “right to be forgotten rule”. Should a user wish to have his/her personal data erased from the database, it must be granted.

What Are The Rights Of The EU Citizens (i.e. “data subjects”) Once GDPR Comes To Effect?

Breach Notification

In case of a breach, the controller must without undue delay inform the supervisory authority about the personal data breach in less than 72 hours after having become aware of it unless the breach is not likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons (i.e. data subjects).

Right to Access

Data subjects can obtain confirmation from the data controller if their personal data is being processed, if so, where is it being processed and for what purpose.

Right to be Forgotten/Data Erasure

Data subjects can have the data controlled erase his/her personal data, stop any further dissemination of data and even cease third parties from processing the data.

Data Portability

Data subjects can receive personal data concerning them which they have provided to the controller in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable and interoperable format. Where it is technically feasible, the data subject should have the right to transmit personal data from one controller to another.

Privacy by Design

By default data protection must be included right from the onset of the designing of systems, rather than an addition later.

References: –

ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/files/regulation_oj_en.pdf

12 Lessons From A Year As A Start-Up Entrepreneur

My first full year at BPRISE, the company I co-founded in mid-2016, has been very much like the opening lines of A Tale Of Two Cities. However eventful the journey so far, there has been a learning curve at every juncture. I thought I’d share some of those prickly lessons and pearls of wisdom with you, as we introspect on the year gone by and toast to the one to come…

1. Is The Market For Your Product, Desperate Enough?

Start-ups have been fashionably sprouting all over the global spectrum for years now. But only a few survive. Does your start-up satiate a thirst and hunger for a service or item? That should be the first logical question you ask yourself. Look for signs like customer acquisition costs going down, exponential demand and revenue growth (on a weekly basis) and the virality of word of mouth. If you don’t find a convincing enough justification, then you quite simply, have no business! Start off on the right foot, so that the journey ahead is on solid ground with real potential.

2. Do you have a problem?

I’ve always believed that solving a big problem is a bigger deal and leads to a huge business opportunity. Do your buyers have urgent needs that need to be addressed as soon as possible? Great! That means they are more likely to adopt your solution AND pay a premium for it. Put every idea you get through the test, of whether it solves a big conundrum or not. You can’t build a billion-dollar company without solving a billion-dollar problem or one that a hundred million people are willing to pay for. If Facebook today is almost a $500 billion company, it’s because it addresses one of the humans’ most urgent needs: The need to be Social, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

3. Start With Part-Time. Grow into Full-Time

Start-up initiation is mostly about having a smart, self-starter attitude. Most Hall-Of-Famers start out as garage bands. Every entrepreneur may not be able to work full time at a start-up from the get-go. Even a part-time commitment can be a decent beginning. Ideating, meeting with a bunch of potential users, building a testing version of the product, seeking user input – all of this can be done on the weekends or for a few hours every other day. Baby steps, till you’re able to walk with a full team and a structured venture is better than doing nothing. Have a clear target plan of what it will take to quit your current job to run the start-up full time. 10 paying customers or 200 active users? About $2000 in monthly revenue? Or A $10,000 investment? Work toward whatever the goals may be, so that even on a part-time basis, you can eventually turn the side-gig into your owned and operated outfit.

4. Put the Pro in Prototype

A prototype is a functional or visual example of what you envision building in the future. Potential customers, Investors and/or Team Members are who you would typically build one for. When potential buyers see how a product might look (visual prototype) or work (functional prototype), it becomes easier for them to believe in its value. A prototype could make ideating and brainstorm with your team much easier and possibly, even get you funded.

Personally, I didn’t need to spend money producing many units of the actual product, just to sell my idea. I gave presentations to a couple of big banks and heads of large agencies armed with just a laptop and something that looked like a full-size motherboard sprouting wires from every end. Not a pretty sight, but it helped me confidently prove my point and notice what exactly the customer appreciated it.

5. You And What Army?

Just because you’ve started up with a gem of an idea, frame-worthy vision and unshakable passion to build the next big thing, doesn’t mean that it’s a sure slam dunk just yet. Human Capital is what drives every success story. Investors and accelerators always judge a founder by the company he or she keeps, quite literally. So, while it may seem obvious to hire key talent who are aptly qualified for various positions, they should share your parental passion for the start-up and express vows for the long haul. Make it a priority to be very selective about your hires, so that partners, potential VCs, and clients recognize this value and seek to join the club.

6. Hi, I’m Jack. Of All Trades.

Sure, founding team members each have unique designations and departments on their business cards. But the reality is that all their cups runneth over. Sometimes, a business development or marketing professional might be M.I.A, so the founding members need to step in and multi-task. Teething issues and responsibilities like programming, recruiting, customer service, cheerleading, and designing need to be shouldered by the founders, over and over again. Now granted, you might not necessarily be a trained programmer yourself, but that doesn’t absolve you of your duties. Having a basic understanding of new technologies and knowing a little bit of everything will only help you propose viable solutions, evaluate teamwork and hire the best. This can be painful since you might not be spending much time perfecting the craft you love. But along the way, you will pick up complementary skills that will only boost your core talent. Once your start-up grows to a position where it can afford to build a bigger team with leaner KRAs, then you can go back to be the Master of One. Just like your card says!

 

7. Don’t Be A Big Fish In A Puddle

The modern-day Confucius – Jack Ma advises to ‘hire people with superior technical skills than yours”. He couldn’t be righter. You can win a running race by outsmarting peers who are not as good as you. But, if you train with the best of the best, even if you are placed last in the race, you’ll have timed better. High levels of competence in a company only help soar efficiency rates and speeds progress by default. So, hire smart people and then listen to them.

8. Are They Positive?

It’s not enough to stay hungry and foolish. You’ve got to stay positive too! I had a major falling out with an employee, only because of their negative attitude. I’ve come to realize that you can always train people to carry out certain tasks and handle certain machines, but professionalism and positivity are character traits that come inbuilt for the most part. Your quarterback may “Show You The Money”, but if he is a big sourpuss, then his vibe might bring the rest of the team down and cost you that Super Bowl. Headhunt people with enthusiasm and a sporting spirit.

9. All Aboard?

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, like many other entrepreneurs, had to deal with quite the Catch 22. At the start of the journey, no travelers would come to the Airbnb website without accommodation listings and no homeowners would list their space without legitimate travelers on the site. Chesky said that he had to build the business, literally one home at a time, block by block, street by street and city by city. We too, at BPRISE, find it tricky with publishers and advertisers being our proverbial chicken and egg. This period of setting up meetings with clients and time flying by as we wait for early deals to culminate is stressful, to say the least. The ship can only start to sail once you have those initial clients and partners on board. Our unwavering faith, zen-like patience, and persistence are what will see us through the painfully quiet work days.

10. Plans Change. So Should You.

Most start-ups end up charting a course that’s different from the one that was initially sketched. This is normal and typically has little to do with having industry knowledge or experience in the line of work. There are many factors that could spoil your ideas and carefully planned projections. Don’t be too precious about them. Everything happens for a reason and change should be embraced as chances for better ideas and directions to present themselves.

Remember that the battle plan is the first casualty of the war. As soon as the first bullet is fired, the plan goes right out the window.

11. Draw A Budget & Pinch Pennies

In the business world, especially for start-up entrepreneurs, financial prudence plays a crucial role in the sustainability and transition from a small-scale boutique business to medium or large-scale organization. The initial euphoria of a newly established venture distracts entrepreneurs from keeping an eye on the cash flow statement. Many start-ups fail because of overspending. So, restrict withdrawals to adhere to a strict budget and regularly review it with discipline.

Don’t be ashamed to hunt for bargain deals online and at nearby stores. Strict financial discipline is a habit. Unnecessary spending leads to business failure.

12. Sales. Duh!

No matter what kind of company you run, the mission statement is one and the same across the board: ‘Decrease Overheads, Increase Revenue’. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the day to day affairs of operating a company, creating systems, corresponding to emails and updating social media pages. But do you have your eye on the prize? Are you acquiring new customers and improving sales? Isn’t that what you work for? Make sure you are staying productive and profitable with everything you and your team do. Segregate tasks into billable and non-billable jobs, evaluate the time spent on different accounts and make every action and person accountable for the bottom line objective. Because without customers and sales, what you have is not a business, but an expensive hobby!

To sum it up…

 

The start-up race is started by tens of thousands, but only half of them take the first steps. A mere hundred emerge from failures and even fewer make it to their first ‘ka-ching’! The ones who survive are living proof of perseverance and competitiveness. That’s what sets apart the dreamers and thinkers from the doers. It’s the survival of the fittest out there, so strap on your best-armoured suit and don’t forget to take notes while you battle on.

 

Communications Marketing: Getting Personal The Right Way

Give that a thought for a moment. It’s not about ‘Marketing’ communication, but more about how different ‘Communications’ are marketed. As a consumer, the only brands that catch my eye in an inbox full of promotional newsletters, are ones that masterfully hit the nail on the head. And as an Ad-Tech entrepreneur, how I help brands strike that hot iron is by practicing personalization, the right way.

May I?

Permissions Marketing is crucial, because, from the customer’s point of view, the line between personal and private information is very thin. When you leave it to consumers to decide if their geo-location, browsing behaviour and profile details can be accessed to keep them informed about upgrades, discounts and exclusive invites, you’re telling them that you respect their privacy and discretion. That kind of etiquette goes a long way to impress upon people that you can afford to not-be-desperate and that perhaps they might stand to lose by staying un-informed of some good deals. Since the user was explicitly asked to grant access and permission, chances are, the next time he/she spots your ad or email, they will recall the brand in good light.

Asking for permission also makes more economic sense than asking for forgiveness. The rising “Unsubscribe” figures and “Report This Ad” actions on Google indicate a disgruntled customer base, misinformed marketing policy and hence, loss of revenue. A filtered database of users who are genuinely interested in receiving communication helps contain your ad dollars and improves conversions naturally. Try not to look at every customer as an opportunity cost. Instead, weigh the risks of losing immediate prospects to pesky advertising in the short run, so that you can gain a steady, loyal following with time.

Permission Marketing

Quit Being Trigger Happy

There is more to personalized communication than just addressing a prospect by their name, gender and last purchase. It is more about going deeper to deliver individual specific messaging that may not form a part of your monthly carpet bombing strategy. A good rule to ensure you don’t repeat your re-targeting practice is to imagine that you have only 1 shot at rekindling the user’s interest. Do you have enough information to know if your offer can’t be refused or do you think it’s best to wait another week? Perhaps the customer abandoned the shopping cart to wait for his salary that would afford him the luxury? Or maybe a list of consumer testimonials that highly recommend the product/experience would be more convincing than reminding the user about the big bucks he forgot to charge to his credit card?

Why waste 3 rounds of remarketing? Sometimes, reminders that are frequent and mass marketed may rub consumers the wrong way instead of showing that you care. Identify value in every communication and allot touch points that will make the best impact. Build a schedule that caps the number of ads displayed and spreads out across the full customer journey. This will allow you time to study and customize your communication with an offer that is truly relevant.

Make Profit With ‘Give & Take’

Companies typically employ result oriented strategies to their advertising, like broadcasting newsletters on Wednesdays because of high open rates. However, with such mass marketing tactics, rarely do companies share the value of that advertising with the consumer.

A good example is Pepsi partnering with fitness app brands to reward users who completed a certain level of exercise with a FREE bottle of Pepsi’s Propel Zero Enhanced Water.
What a great way to pair a brand’s agenda with a surprising gratification in real time! The customer or website visitor is already familiar with your brand and services. Personalized communication is your turn to reflect that recognition back onto the consumer. Know which network, publication or brand to partner with and try to understand when is a good time to tap customers navigating the web on the shoulder.

I believe that Personalized Communications Marketing is not just about collecting information from registers, mobile towers and cookies to hyper segment user profiles into numerous buckets that look like Russian nesting dolls! It is about delivering thoughtful service and information with a sensibility and sensitivity that make the end users see repeated value; all because you made them feel special and known.

I understand that all this can be achieved only with a centralised data system and a team of professionals trained to study and spot such opportunities. That is exactly what we at BPRISE have built. We aim to go beyond the usual geo-location, purchase patterns and web history data points, to really read people’s minds! Talk to us!

4 Easy Ways To Monetize Your Mobile App

BPRISE blog_monetize mobile app

I’m active on Tinder* and I’ll admit that I sort of like the ads that come in between all my left swipes (what can I say, I’m shallow, #JudgeMeNot). And more often than I care to admit, I’ve felt the wicked desire to click on the ad to own those high-tops. This is not the only time I’ve had to hold onto my horses though. Surfing the web is like studying while window-shopping. I never get to read an article fully because I’m already opening another article with a catchy title. Right click, open in new tab – we’ve all been there… Don’t you dare be opening a tab on me right now!

It’s either that or the completely ingenious ad strips and videos that somehow bring before me the things I’ve been looking for of late. As a consumer of various goods today and a user of one too many applications, I understand that my “data” is spread all over. I also understand that there are brands “analyzing” such data and deriving “customer insights” from it. I personally have nothing against this because it comes back to me in the form of the most appropriate ads and product suggestions. Who doesn’t like those funky shoe ads anyway?

BPRISE blog_cybersecurity

Another cause of my relief or faith that my data will not be misused by brands/companies are the digital privacy laws out there. This brings me to the data privacy law by the European Union called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR has some stringent laws in place which will affect how companies big or small, collect and process their customers’ data. Even if your company is not based in the EU, should you have customers in Europe, you are bound by the law. So, if you are a retailer, a publisher, an advertiser or a tech company that collects and analyzes data of individuals across the globe – be mindful of digital privacy laws and adhere to the same.

App users today don’t really fret about data unless of course, they feel an invasion. And with digitally aware netizens growing in numbers (almost 500 million mobile internet users in India!)  the way data is used and processed is under scrutiny. Analytics has crept into all things digital and I’m positive the retailers, publishers, and advertisers are making the most of it.  This is weird but also in a way cool because now I don’t have to go fishing for products online. I do not have to make the time to exclusively surf the web for shopping. With analytics empowering in-app ads, I may as well be booking a flight ticket and be offered a brand-new luggage to go with me. Because, what I’ve been wanting to buy (for example, the luggage), is now offered to me at a discounted price. Another example of adverts winning my attention is when I’m on one of those apps that hide your IP and stuff (again #JudgeMeNot) and see these wonderfully worded ads that speak directly to me!

All of this is very telling of how well a brand probably knows me. It is appealing because I do need what’s shown (in the ads) and it is the fastest way to shop. Ads are a fine way for the app owners to make money although the elite users may very well be able to get their hands on ad-free versions.

Apps are built for generating revenue and here are some more ways you can do that if you’re an app owner, developer or marketer…

  1. Newsletter signups & subscriptions – Allowing users to sign up for newsletters is also a way to get users to engage more deeply with your brand. Getting them to subscribe to unlock all the features of your app helps you monetize the same. For example, consider Tinder Plus and Gold – the difference between the two is the single swipe feature called “Likes You” in the Gold version. And it is about time I tell you that “*The product and company names are trademarks of its respective owners. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.”
  2. In-app purchases – Coolest option for free apps to monetize. Purchases for one-time-use, such as options for users to buy game credit or service adds are examples of consumable and non-consumable in-app purchases, respectively. Beef up your apps with upgrades while giving more to your app users. This way you not only monetize your app, you’re also giving the end user quality services that they’ll be willing to pay for.
  3. Partnerships – Tie up with brands that have a similar customer base by integrating their offering into your app. You not only win the referral fee from the partner but also engage your users better with the integrated offering. Of course, finding the right partner is critical, but need I say that explicitly? I mean I’m on Tinder swiping away photographs of men on their wedding days. IK.
  4. Advertisements – This is the most common way to monetize your app and most profitable. If you have a robust user base for your app, then with the help of analytics and insights serve the most fitting ads for each user. Subtle details like the placement of ads, retargeting users and accessing programmatic demands lead to maximizing your revenue through app advertising.  

If you’re an app owner and you’d like to show ads of relevant products/services to your users, then connect with BPRISE and earn more from your in-app ads. And if you’re anything like Tinder, I’d love to help you up your ad game! After all, girl’s gotta shop good stuff no matter the app! 

 

 

Lessons from a “Kirana” shop in omni-channel retail

I often have thought of technology as an extension of human behaviour. It is evident in the way technology has evolved through the ages. From riding horses to carriages to cars to planes and now even to space crafts. We first invented solutions that reduced laborious work and then went on to build complex systems that have propelled humans into space and even beyond. But irrespective of all the new technology we invent, our basic needs remain same and necessity is the mother of all inventions.

Retail sector is no exception to this phenomenon. We can draw many parallels from the ye olde methods of retail that resonate with today’s omnichannel solutions. India has been the land of “kirana” (translates to grocery) stores, which can be found in almost every locality and which are thriving despite of the dawn of supermarkets and online grocery giants. Why wait for 60mins superfast delivery, when one can get the product immediately from the store-next-door?

When talking about Omnichannel retailing, often, one gets distracted. The complexity of technology distracts you from the simple solutions that it is set out to provide. When I envision retailing in the future, I will always think of the kirana shops. They have catered the excellent service and personalised engagement that extends comfort and trust.

Kirana, Retail, Omnichannel,
A regular “kirana” store can be found in almost every locality.

We tend to purchase from those retailers that make shopping hassle free and assuring.

Today, omnichannel retailers complain about the following challenges:

  • Lack of unified dashboard for viewing insights about their clients across all channels.
  • Knowing when to reach out to their customers with relevant products & services.
  • Retailers have already invested and deployed store systems that aren’t dynamic and would take too long to upgrade.
  • Retailer’s IT systems were designed to measure sales and not keep track of consumer behaviour.

The Kirana store is relevant and thriving today is because of the following qualities that makes it unique:

  • Is open at odd hours not 24×7 – Opens store for Milk & Bread sales early 530 am and often closes late at night by 11pm or so to cater to last minute late-night customers. Modern retail needs to be for their customer with relevant products at relevant hours.
  • Personal rapport – The store vendor calls you “Bhaiyya” or “Bhabhi” (uncle, aunty, big brother etc) and instantly bonds with you over small talk while he fetches your items. He might not remember your name, but does manage to serve personalization with his presence of mind. It is very difficult to up scale the same level of personalization in an omnichannel environment. But with social media connected intuitive tools personalization can be made more human than mechanical.
  • Extends credit – Accepts cash – Tenders change –These small shop owners extend monthly credit to their loyal customers and maintain a record in a simple easy to understand ledger. If you are short of cash, they accept your order and let you pay ahead. Such services build loyalty and build deeper rapport with their clients. Retailing would always be about experience. Once your store supports the customer through a difficult time, they would stick around with the same vendor for long-long time. The short-term expense/losses that you make while extending discounts etc would lead to long term loyal customers who would always reach out your store first.
  • Knowing your customer: As you have been purchasing since long, the store vendor suggests products in accordance to your buying behaviour. In your monthly grocery list if you forget to add an item, he would remind you of the same and at times, also suggests new products that would suit your requirements. Modern retail can easily keep track of customers past buying behaviour and intelligently suggest relevant products.

All your efforts to brand, promote and sell your solutions/products go in vain if they are identical to your competitors. Hence aim to customize and personalize each interaction with your clients based on their preferences. Build relations like the nearby “kirana” store owner has and reap long term customer loyalty.

Supermarkets, Omnichannel, Retail, India
Supermarkets and Mega-marts try to woo in customers by promising a unique shopping experience.

Personalization is Powerful.

It is also difficult to master. It requires real time intelligent insights. In depth customer analytics and relevant dynamic data. Your clients today are present both online & offline. This duality is the key to develop key insights.

At BPRISE, we are analytics based customer engagement company. Our vision is to make marketing innovative and intelligent, which would enhance ROI for your establishment. We built a unified dashboard that visualizes your customer’s profiles and helps you take informed marketing decisions to reach your customers at the right time. Our up-to-the-minute solutions help you build focused meaningful campaigns and equip you with relevant insights to drive better sales and effective customer satisfaction.

To know more about BPRISE visit: https://bprise.com/