It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
Marketing technology vendor, Signal, has officially launched its cross-channel identity management solution aimed at helping brands achieve a unified view of their customers through data.
The Signal Unified Customer View solution is designed to facilitate cross-channel insights from data across an organisation by giving marketers access to all data sets in one platform. Key features include measurement attribution capabilities, media targeting, content personalisation and target advertising.
The Unified View offering is based on Signal’s Fuse Open Data Platform, which collects and then aggregates a company’s customer engagement data from across online and offline channels and devices into a single hub to be accessed in real-time.
The platform sits on top of existing marketing and data management technologies, meaning it can integrate intelligence from disparate technology systems into a single layer. In a statement, Signal said the platform also helps match fragmented consumer profiles from across various data sets.
“Signal’s patented technology was expressly built for the realities of cross-channel, cross-device marketing,” said the vendor’s founder and chief revenue officer, Marc Kiven. “Our Fuse platform empowers marketers to overcome technology integration barriers.”
Signal (formerly BrightTag), was established in 2010 by Kiven and initially earned its stripes as a tag management player. But in an interview with CMO, Kiven said the vendor has always had a bigger ambition to “reinvent the way marketers collected, used and controlled their data to create value for themselves”.
To do this, marketers need to be able to integrate data sets from across different business and technology platform silos in order to gain a unified view of their customers, he said.
Importantly, Signal’s technology and approach is about brands owning and controlling their own data sets, Kiven said.
“If you go back in the history of the industry, marketers always gave up valuable control,” he said. “About four years, a customer came to us to solve this problem: Why do they have to give up their audience to buy their audience?
“Each time a marketer goes out to buy their audience, whether online or offline, they give up control of their audience. In essence, they are rebuying the audience they already have. It just doesn’t make sense.
“Whether they are using the marketing technology stack from a well-known vendor, or a point solution, through an ad network or Google, these companies have more knowledge of a brand’s consumers than the brand does. That’s crazy.”
This trend has more recently manifested itself through the rise of the Demand Management Platform (DMP) players such as BlueKai, which provide access to third-party data for targeting. Signal’s A/NZ and Southeast Asia managing director, Warren Billington, claimed these DMP offerings aren’t generating sufficient results for marketers.
“First-party data you can leverage is going to drive more effective targeting and engagement with those customers,” he said. “And that’s the shift that’s incredibly important: To harness control of your customer data and leverage it to drive better results.”
In a statement announcing the new product launch, Signal customer, Kraft Foods, said the platform was enabling it to understand the "panoramic customer journey".
“The ability to view the customer through a single lens enables critical measurement, optimisation, efficiency and personalised use cases,” said Kraft Foods Group's associate director for marketing information systems, Jason Niemi.
Signal launched its Open Data Platform suite of products last June, and rebranded at the same time to reflect its wider technology play. The vendor now claims its technology is running on more than 40,000 digital properties in 158 countries, facilitating billions of data requests on a monthly basis.
Kiven said the company’s foundations were in the fact that the ad tech industry needed to reinvent the way data is collected and shared.
“The interactive advertising business is broken and messy. Clients thought they were going to solve that through tag management, but that’s not the solution, it’s a feature that allows clients to start to address the issue and provides a starting point to head towards where they need to get to,” he said. “That is about creating an enterprise-wide foundational data layer that gives marketers the control and flexibility to create a unified view of their customer in the form of data.
“This allows them to then connect that into a stack marketing solution they are working with, or the point solutions they have in-house and which make up this messy [marketing technology] landscape.”
Signal’s global customer base includes Audi, Crate and Barrel, JetBlue Airways, Macy’s, Starcom MediaVest Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Yahoo Japan Corporation.
Signal also established its Australia and regional presence last year with the appointment of Billington as managing director for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.