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We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Marketers report the highest ROI on CRM over all automated customer technologies,  according to a new study conducted by the Harvard Business School and ON24 as reported by Media Post. Automated customer services ranked second followed by monitoring of social media and communications management, the survey said according to reporting by Media Post. Marketers surveyed warned of the risk of disappointing customers with overuse of automated responses and interactions.

Privacy International has hit Acxiom, Oracle, Criteo, Quantcast, Tapad, Equifax and Experian with a suit claiming violations of new GDPR rules. Complaints were issued in the UK, France and Ireland, according to reporting by Media Post, alleging wrongdoing in the compiling of data to build profiles of people that allegedly violates confidentiality.

Consumers feel more comfortable with brands depending upon the channel used to communicate with them, according to a study by Invoca. Personal interactions were preferred over all other types. In-person, phone and email contacts were preferred in that order. The respondents interviewed said a personal email could rectify a bad experience with a brand. Online chat rated below email in most industries covered.  Invoca surveyed 1,000 consumers in the U.S., and compiled the findings into a report alongside data from Adobe’s Experience Index.

The mobile location platform creator Teemo has joined up with data company LiveRamp to create a new, more powerful retail marketing platform. The combined platform will allow retail marketers to access granular CRM data revealing customer activity that is tied to specific retail locations for maximizing marketing investments at the store level. The new platform uses first-party data on consumers, according to reporting by DM News.

Spotify has grown its audience to 20% of all internet users in the US, according to reporting by Emarketer. Spotify’s audience of 58.4 million is still below Pandora’s 75.9 million users. Spotify’s user base is expected to grow by “double digits” in 2018. The report attributed Spotify’s success to its strategic partnerships, including with Hulu, and millennials’ attraction to Spotify’s personalization features. Emarketer predicts the audience for digital listeners in the US to hit 201.5 million this year.

Amazon now owns third place in all digital advertising in the US but remains well behind Google and Facebook, according to reporting by Emarketer. Advertising on Amazon will make up 4.1% of all digital ad spending in the country with marketers reporting they plan to increase their advertising spend on Amazon next year. A survey by Marin Software this year showed retail advertisers more favorably inclined towards Amazon’s platform compared with other industries.

We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

LATAM retailer SACI Falabella will purchase the online retailer Linio for US $138 million. Linio operates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. E-commerce in Latin America is expected to grow by 19% in the next five years – well above the global average of 11%.

Investors will pour US $4.5 million into the influence marketer FLUVIP to help it grow in Spain, Latin America, and the US. FLUVIP uses machine learning and predictive artificial intelligence to measure the impact and cost of influence marketer campaigns on social media platforms.

Your customers could be turned off if you only talk to them using artificial intelligence, a Capgemini worldwide survey of internet users has found. The survey saw wide acceptance among shoppers for AI interactions, but it also discovered that shoppers are happier when chatbots and virtual assistants come with live-human interaction options.

Compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is costing Fortune 500 companies US $7.8 billion, according to Fortune. A survey by PwC pegged the cost for 200 US companies of 500 or more employees at between $1 and $10 million.

A majority of US marketers view the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a threat to their ability to target audiences. Digiday talked to 46 US marketers who said they were more concerned about restrictions on reaching key market segments than the cost of fines for noncompliance.

Conversions of inbound marketing leads into sales is a lot lower than you may think at just 13 percent according to a study by Implicit, as reported by PMG360. Look for a 20 percent improvement when you nurture inbound leads with personalization, targeted reach, lead scoring and timely response.

 

What: Block chain technology offers brands the opportunity to collect customer data and incentivize their behavior directly and transparently.
Why it matters: Customers can protect their personal data and monetize it, entering into a one-on-one relationship with brands through a technology called “smart contracts”. Smart contracts allow users to enter into data sharing agreements with brands that are “securely stored on the block chain along with the detailed terms and conditions.”

Block chain technology is poised to revolutionize how brands gather customers’ data and incentivize their behavior. The digital computer code that is best known for being used to create the crypto-currency known as “Bitcoin,” also allows for “smart contracts,” whereby two entities (i.e. a brand and a customer) can enter into agreements that are transparent, verifiable, secure and direct.

So what do “smart contracts” mean for brands?

Smart contracts backed by block chain technology have the potential to shatter the traditional paradigm whereby brands purchase customer data from third parties like Facebook, or loyalty programs that rely on consumer subscriptions but don’t provide a lot of purchasing behavior or product preferences information.

Enter Killi, a consumer application available on iOS or Android. Killi lets consumers sell their personal data directly to brands and receive compensation every time marketers choose to buy it.

Using block chain technology, Killi collects users’ locations and their purchasing data which is stored on the user’s device. Brands can then purchase the data with the permission of the app users.

A personal data locker is controlled by the user and secured by the block chain. This allows you to take back control of your personal data from those who are selling it today without your consent.

When users authorize brands to access their data, Killi stores the payment on the Killi app until users choose to redeem it.

“Killi acts as a personal data locker that is controlled by the user and secured by the block chain. Killi allows you to take back control of your personal data from those who are selling it today without your consent,” Killi tells consumers on its website.

The Killi website is a bit vague on how the technology actually works, but “the offering of being able to monetize your own personal info does sound intriguing,” said Jay Gumbiner, vice president for Latin America at IDC.

“We could even imagine some consumers being worth much more than others based on their purchasing habits, socioeconomic placement, educational level, etc.”

We could even imagine some consumers being worth much more than others based on their purchasing habits, socioeconomic placement, educational level, etc.

“In terms of using block chain for maintaining the integrity of that data and being able to easily track who has been able to access the information, it seems like blockchain could be a great use case for managing data such as this,” Gumbiner noted.

The Killi app relies on block chain technology to create what is known as a “smart contract” between the app users and brands.

Smart contracts allow users to enter into data sharing agreements with brands that are “securely stored on the block chain along with the detailed terms and conditions,” according to Yves Benchimol, CEO at the French startup Occi.

Thanks to these smart contracts and encryption via the block chain, consumers can “easily request an exhaustive list of all retailers/brands they have shared data with, and in which conditions, in compliance with GDPR,” Benchimol said.

Occi is working on its own products for retailers that use block chain and smart contract technology to reward customers while providing a rich set of data about their shopping behavior to brands.

Smart contracts with consumers provide a channel for consumers to share their information with brands, while providing brands new possibilities for influencing consumers’ behavior.

Brands can “create a campaign rewarding a shopper for visiting a store and define the amount they’re willing to reward a shopper along with a total budget, which will be locked in a smart contract,” Benchimol said.

Retailers have access to well-established sources of data on consumers’ preferences and behaviors from a wide range of sources, but new laws such as GDPR create barriers to using that data without consent.

Block chain and smart contract technology “bring forth a new way to solicit data sharing from shoppers, that is more transparent and fair because it directly rewards them,” Benchimol said.

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