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Programmatic marketing maze? Here are 10 tips

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Programmatic buying is sometimes a complicated topic, but DR THOMAS OOSTHUIZEN, Global Consulting Director at Acceleration UK, breaks it down into ten easy to follow steps.

The most important issue when dealing with programmatic buying is to be aware of algorithm bias. As data sources and points grow, this problem will decrease. But in most statistical techniques, the most salient data points often dominate and will continue to do so. We have to design to avoid this.

Pure common sense will tell us that as long as some marketers have more resources than others, “average” algorithms will benefit the large and jeopardise the small. This means that, even in algorithms, creative thinking is important. One size will not fit all.

Here are some tips to ensure maximum benefit from data-based algorithmically driven buying:

1.      Know your product or service category
We need to understand whether our category is growing fast, maturing or declining? Different conditions and requirements come into being once a category develops from a fast-growing initial phase into a mature condition.

2.      Is the market saturated?
In a saturated market we need to look for niche segments that will enable wider expansion? To do so, we need to find out who these consumers are. Once we have done so, we need to understand how to expand the algorithm to enable us to identify and target them.

3.      If growing, differentiation is less important.
However, if the segment or category is not growing differentiation is key. We need to discover what are the signals that will enable the algorithm to detect these variations. Without this, our brand will simply fall into the trap of algorithm “same-ness”, where less is, in fact, less.

4.      Is our brand a leader or a challenger?
Leading brands can leverage all the economies they can access. However, smaller brands need to work far harder at being different.

5.      Is our brand properly differentiated?
If so, how? This may include features, benefits, emotions, personality types, symbols, words, statements, slogans, colours, iconography and communities. It’s clear that a small brand will have a vastly different profile than a smaller one. Hence, using the same algorithms a large brand uses is simply a waste of money. We then need to build in bias our differentiation “bias” so that it becomes a focused tool.

6.      Are results declining over time?
If so, why? Can a changed algorithm assist or does the problem lie outside of that? It’s always tempting to constantly adjust algorithms, but we need to be aware that the problem may be something completely unrelated. Keeping an open mind is crucial when working at a granular level.

7.      Can we segment algorithm groups?
If so, can we learn more about what separates algorithms that are greater or lesser predictors of sales results? Understanding how they explain a category is very useful, particularly when this is a significant factor in planning exposure.

8.      Can we build in “bias”?
Our algorithms need to contain enough granularity that we are able to fine-tune them to match whatever it is that differentiates us. By following trendsetters or up-weighting data from groups that demonstrate differences we can build this necessary “bias” into our algorithms.

9.      Can we test different options and assess results?
This is usually resource-dependent. The fewer resources we have, the more we will have to rely on testing to provide the data we need.

10.  Can we expand diversity?
If so, will the incrementally deeper and more creative messaging give us an above average return on investment?

This is by no means an exhaustive checklist, but by applying these tips we will be able to apply our programmatic buying algorithms more effectively.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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