“Oh, that’s gambling,” my mom said. We were talking about an investment I recommended to her two months earlier. She had followed my recommendation to purchase the security, which closely follows gold prices. It went up. In fact, I checked it while on the call and saw it was up 13.7%. The last time I had a conversation with my mom, it was even higher at 19.2%. Gold then retraced a bit after its strong run. For those that pay attention to these markets, the recent dip was not unexpected. I was happy with the position, mom was confused. “Why didn’t you have me sell it,” she asked?”
Archives for September 2020
By: Peter Spoleti, Vertex Markets Inc. | September 21, 2020
…Identity resolution helps marketers be sure about who’s on the other end of a browser, mobile app, or location. Accurate identity resolution allows companies to create a true single view of their customers…
Your Clients are using multiple devices.
In the current digital business environment as people move across devices, mobile phones, desktops, connected and TVs throughout the day. Identity resolution has become increasingly important for businesses, helping them to provide a complete view of their clients and prospects. Also, the able to communicate with them in the most engaging, and relevant way possible.
Do you know who your Clients Really Are?
If you don’t know who someone genuinely is how can you expect to help them? An individual’s behavior is expressed across different channels as they represent themselves in different ways, leaving information fragmented, siloed and an incomplete digital footprint across the web.
Now more than ever businesses need to understand someone beyond just their, email, shipping name and address from their order form or profile. In this customer-centric marketing environment you have to understand who that person truly is, including their professional and personal identities to make sure your message impacts them in a meaningful way.
What is Identity Resolution?
Identity resolution is the practice of identifying you customers and or prospects by the devices they use their browser behavior, and the online activities they participate in, then connecting those behaviors to a specific identity in order to create a complete picture of your customer/prospect and where they are on their Buyer’s Journey.
Identity resolution allows you to create a highly personalized user experience with your brand and a higher ROI.
Is Identity Resolution needed?
This relatively simple description contradicts the intricacy of truly coalescing client/prospect activity in the current digital environment.
The number of interactions clients/prospects can have with your business has increase dramatically in the last decade. In a single day it’s possible for one person to be on a number of devices and numerous platforms creating multiple opportunities for interaction with your brand. As I write this article, I’m writing on my laptop with 4 other screens in front of me. Who amongst us hasn’t researched a product on our phone, only to convert that sale later on our desktop, laptop or through Amazon’s Alexa.
How can marketers compose a complete picture of their clients/prospects and deliver the appropriate messaging at the critical time on the right platform? Identity resolution along with customer data management platform technology, provides us a process to create a “segment of one*” (*The segment of one refers to tracking the activity and preferences of a single potential customer, then tailoring products/services or ads for that individual according to their behaviors.) where each specific client/prospect receives their own personalized brand experience based on their characteristics, behavioral triggers, and where they are in the sales funnel.
Why is identity resolution important?
- If you are a customer-centric marketer, identity resolution is an indispensable tool to provide the seamless and valuable client/prospect engagement you are wanting to achieve.
The level of insight opens many opportunities. The current digital environment has grown in complexity, the average household has eleven connected devices, while using multiple platforms, Google reports that 90% of web users move between devices to complete a task. Salesforce reports that “76% of consumers expect brands to understand them and their needs,” yet 51% of them say “most companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences”, Source: Salesforce State of the Connected Customer, Second Edition.
If you’re looking to traverse this intricate digital terrain and connect the dots between an individual using multiple devices to complete a transaction, you’ll need to rely on identity resolution.
- Identity resolution helps you understand and analyze unknown website visitors. Anonymous visitors account for as many as 98% of all website visitors, they could be prospects who haven’t converted yet. Or maybe they’ve converted but aren’t log in on arrival. By ignoring the data generated by these visitors means leaving a great amount of data on the table, reducing your marketing ROI. By using identity resolution, you can reunite anonymous visitor data with your known visitor data creating a better understandings into client/prospect behavior potentially increasing ROI.
- It establishes a consistent customer experience. As mentioned earlier, clients/prospects aren’t using just a single device to communicate with you. They’re using multiple devices across multiple platforms. Identity resolution helps you to ensure your clients/prospects have a consistent relevant, quality experience no matter which of their devices they are using to reach you.
- It increases your marketing ROI. It’s been reported that over 20% of every marketing dollar spent on advertising is wasted due to poor data quality. Attributable to, most marketers are forced to work with a limited view of their client/prospect based on breadcrumbs collected from inconsistent interactions. It’s like trying to put together a puzzle with less than half the pieces. Resulting in untargeted, poor performing advertising reducing your marketing ROI.
Identity Resolution Challenges?
As many businesses are moving towards customer-centric marketing plus the enormous number of individuals searching online for products and services. Businesses are encountering many obstacles creating a consistent and complete profile of their clients/prospects:
- Incomplete data on their clients/prospects, behavior and preferences, from all the devices they’re using to communicate them, and the platform they’re using for that conversation.
- Marketing campaigns designed around ill-informed suppositions instead of facts derived from a complete profile built with all relevant information.
- Engaging prospects with a one size fits all marketing campaigns due to lake of reliable data identifying specific customer preferences and their location in the sales funnel.
Identity Resolution Software Solutions.
Is your client/prospect data complete, are you using it to develop a holistic profile of them? Are you offering them a relevant, consistent marketing experience. Or are you working with a patchy ineffective client/prospect profile. And, using generic unengaging marketing campaigns, unaware of where your prospects are in your sales funnel.
Identity resolution software is designed to provide you a comprehensive image of your individual clients/prospects by:
- Combining data from all devices and sources into a central platform to create one specific clients/prospects profile, providing your marketing department with solid relevant data.
- Developing a complete profile of each specific client/prospect with current data from multiple devices, changing behavior, channels, platforms, and addresses.
- Developing an identity graph including 3rd party data, including, other device identities such as email, usernames, phone numbers, IP address, and cookies.
- Incorporating into other martech systems initiating marketing campaigns.
- Keeping compliant with government regulations.
Identity Resolution, taking your Marketing to the next level.
Implementing identity resolution into your marketing methodology can improve your marketing by linking a countless number of data points and information across all devices and platforms where clients/prospects are communicating with your business. Some of the advantage’s identity resolution can bring to your marketing department are:
- Increased Marketing ROI: By combining communications from all devices and platforms, reducing waste and duplication, irrelevant campaigns, and reducing cost of client acquisition and retention.
- Higher campaign results: Thanks to a holistic data driven campaign results are improving. Due to knowing the whys and why nots of your KPI’s, and which devices and or platforms produced those results, business can use that information to fine tune their campaigns.
- Better segmenting: Businesses are able to drive conversation, retention, loyalty and growth at the macro and micro levels by using detailed data points, allows for improved segmenting and targeting.
As the marketing industry transitions into a cookie-less future with higher levels of data privacy. Identity resolution will provide three areas of interests, quality, transparency, and flexibility. Businesses should use these standards to evaluate their clients/prospects while creating their identity solutions.
Quality: Data quality should be priority one when bringing data points together, but too often businesses tend to favor scale over quality, often leading to subpar results. The strategic linking of multiple signals isn’t always conducted with the precision resulting in a quality identity resolution platform, or effective action. Today, businesses need to make sure their decisions are based on solid data points.
Flexibility: A data platform should be flexible in terms of how technology is implemented for the individual business. Making sure to meet the needs of the business, especially those in move heavily regulated industries, i.e. telecommunications, and financial services. Also, adaptability is essential to success due to the ever changing regulator environment.
Transparency: Identity resolution has also been caught up in the complications surrounding the current environment of data collection
As well as its uses; First, the origin of the data is important, and its collection needs to be wholly compliant with relevant regulation. Second, any subsequent activity should have consent traceability as well as transparency on the nature of the data manipulation and utilization. Third, there is certainly a role for truthful sculpting and artificial intelligence in identity resolution.
As the economy begins to return to normal, businesses will need to be diligent with their marketing budgets, concentrate on and demand an ROI for the new technology they implement. By using this down time to redesign and install the right technology that will provide the opportunity to increase potential rewards when businesses are allowed to get back to normal.
Privacy regulation has been front and center in recent years. There have been a number of laws and regulations passed governing the use of personal data such as California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These laws and regulations are a strong encouragement for marketers to invest in first-party data in order to work with a user’s consent.
There’s a habit I picked up working on a Wall Street trading desk years ago. I don’t admit this to my friends that are not active in the markets; they wouldn’t understand. But, I think Channelchek users will be able to relate to it. Perhaps you do this yourself: When global news unfolds, my initial reaction is not, “oh my God, that’s horrible,” or even “hey, that’s fantastic.” My first mental response, usually unspoken, asks, “Is this bullish or bearish? Who wins, who loses? How will it impact different business sectors?” I haven’t worked on a large trading desk for a number of years, but this habit is still ingrained in me — Hurricane. “Who sells lumber?” War in the Mideast. “Will there be an oil disruption?” Lehman goes bust? …well, you get the point.
When the initial talk of the novel coronavirus, social distancing, lockdowns, and working remotely started to become a reality, this instinct was in high alert. Back in March, when Disney decided to close their theme parks, I was speaking with the Noble Capital Markets trading desk and others in the market whom I trust. We were sure who this would be the worst for. Any company related to travel and hospitality was expected to see severe weakness. After this weakness, we saw an eventual opportunity. The conversations then led to discussions determining what public companies this would quickly benefit. We were spot-on thinking credit card companies, tech and communication services, and of course, some pharmacy and biotech names. However, what was never on my radar, yet in hindsight, makes so much sense, is esports and, more precisely, betting on esports (electronic sports).
In 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that a federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional. Since then, the market in the United States for sports betting has grown dramatically. Seventeen states, in addition to Nevada, have now legalized sports betting in various forms. With the growth in this offshoot of two industries (professional sports and gambling) investments in esports and have taken a steep upward trajectory.
Esports Meets Pandemic
As entertainment from more traditional professional sports became unavailable with the suspension and cancellation of regular season play earlier this year, some athletes and spectators pivoted and joined the ranks of the already growing population of esports athletes and audience members. As esports became a higher percentage of the few professional sports competitions being broadcasted with any consistency, esports competitions filled the void for those that enjoy the thrill of human competition. Making it even more inviting is that many casinos closed with concerns over COVID-19. The potential for many sportsbook operators to grab an increased share of esports gambling from these online sports grew and is still growing.
How Much Growth
Forecasts for the industry suggest that even as traditional sports return (both in-person and on our flat screens), the growth in esports and wagering on it will remain on a strong path upward. According to one report that reviewed betting data across ten bookmakers in the months of March and April of this year, esports betting was shown to have grown by 4,000%. Much of this explosion was captured by two major esports titles, FIFA and NBA2K, but others experienced even higher growth from their lower base. The study also brought to light those involved. Half of the core betting audience of esports is represented by high income, full-time professionals between ages 26 and 35. This demographic grew up playing computer and console games. Their interest isn’t unlike someone thirty-years older naturally betting on a boxing match or a bowl game.
The opportunity for long-term growth in the industry is high as gamblers become more aware of esports and its offerings. Additionally, betting opportunities are more plentiful in esports because, for example, a single FIFA match takes 8 to 15 minutes while a football game lasts hours. Additionally, esports is not seasonal — competitions occur year-round with no off-peak periods.
Who Wins in the End
Had I known in March when travel came to a screeching halt, professional sports were halted, and the Las Vegas strip hung “Closed” signs on their doors, what I know now, would I have included esports in my conversations as presumed winners in a pandemic world? That’s hindsight. The best investors look forward. I have been discussing this now with people involved in the markets. It is now on my list of growth industries. The reason is simple, despite its explosive growth from obscurity, the potential for an even greater number of people involved as both players and those wagering is a large multiple from its current state. I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.
Managing Editor, Channelchek
“…how do you create a multi-day conference, which includes networking opportunities, educational sessions, attendee input, with data generated into a virtual event? Then after you do, how do you ensure attendee engagement throughout your even?”
Event Technology will take your Virtual Event to the next level!
The value of face to face interaction will never be underestimated or totally fade away, but sometimes going virtual will be a necessary piece of your event program and your only option for some time to come.
In-person events may be on hiatus, but you can still think strategically about your event program and leverage event technology to make the most out of your virtual events.
Nevertheless, how do you create a multi-day conference, which includes networking opportunities, educational sessions, and attendee input, with data generated into a virtual event? Then after you do, how do you ensure attendee engagement throughout your even
Hosting a virtual event requires equal attention and care as an in-person event. In both cases, you must market your event, create an environment that promotes attendee engagement, create memorable times for attendees, then measure and demonstrate event success.
What is a Virtual Event?
If you’ve been doing business these last five months, it’s likely that you’ve attended a webinar online, participated in a video conference more than once, have taken your workout online competing against people around the world, you may have even attended a conference from your home office. These are all classified as virtual events.
Virtual events have been happening long before COVID; over 100,000 have attended online presentations (webinars) for 13 years. But the definition of “virtual events” has evolved quickly. For our purposes we’ve defined them as a collection of live and/or prerecorded presentations typically organized by topic. Virtual events are typically gated, requiring attendees to either pay or be granted access by providing personal information in lieu of payment.
COVID accelerated the popularity of virtual events.
COVID accelerated the use of virtual events, they’re being used as businesses sought a professional alternative to stay connected with their professional communities, clients, and prospects
The use of virtual events is likely to remain high, as the uncertainty and desire for a return to in-person events remain in question. Marketers and attendees are reluctant to attend large gatherings, some surveys reporting nearly 70% asked said they won’t attend an in-person event through the first half of 2021.
Main Types of Virtual Events.
During COVID, virtual events have become a replacement for other types of events and will be the main thrust of your event program until things get back to normal, at that time, they can be added to your mix of events going forward. Below are some of the main types of virtual events.
Presenting webinars virtually allow for attendees worldwide to join and listen to your content. Many are free but require attendees to register for the event and provide personal information to the company providing the webinar. They typically last somewhere between 45 – 90 minutes, many provide a Q&A session at the end, and a recording of the event sent to participants and/or used for additional marketing on company social platforms. They can be used for marketing company products or services, and internal or external training.
Virtual conferences, similar to in-person conferences are designed around a live, intricate agenda, including keynote speakers, educational sessions, breakouts, networking, and more. Virtual conferences include multiple content-driven sessions and can include networking and community engagement tools, meant to enhance the conference experience.
There are many communication platforms available for use creating virtual conferences; these include video & phone conferencing, and the lesser know 3D virtual world conferences.
Most of us are familiar with the more traditional video & phone conferencing. So, perhaps a brief description of the lesser-known, 3D Virtual World is warranted. A 3D virtual world is a collaborative environment in which users interact as avatars, digital representations of themselves, in a simulated digital world. Think of it as your favorite conference meets Call of Duty, but instead of being immersed in a battlefield protecting the free world, you’re walking through a virtual campus, possibly stopping to have a conversation to other conference attendees in real-time, on your way to be seated in a virtual lecture hall with a 1000 other attendees to listen to a live lecture on a relevant topic of your interest.
Internal Hybrid Events.
In this category are sales kick-offs, company-wide work-sessions, training, department meetings, or any other company-wide event. Today’s “social distancing” etiquette with employers having to adjust a large percentage of their employees to work remotely, or with more businesses finding their best employees living elsewhere, and even corporations with their employees spread out through nationwide offices; internal hybrid events are used to share a company-wide message to all of their employees
External Hybrid Events.
As the name suggests, these are events held outside of your company. They can be used for industry or user conferences for marketing, branding, or educational tools. They require a greater level of planning and production quality. Best Practices suggest they should utilize a higher level of communication platform that is designed to handle the multiple components often necessary with this type of event. The requirements of processing a large number of attendees, large amounts of educational content presented, and the higher production levels to ensure a greater attendee experience.
Why Host a Virtual Event?
You hold a virtual event for the same reasons you hold an in-person event to communicate your company’s message, generate leads, increase sales, drive adoption, and build company branding.
Due to COVID, virtual events are the only way to host a large event. But there are benefits of a virtual event, and when done right, all your event goals can still meet.
The current economic uncertainty has many companies watching their budget and cautious about spending. Virtual events are budget-friendly to both the event planning company as well as the attendees.
Virtual events allow you to attract attendees worldwide, broadening the potential number of attendees. They are usually better attended than in-person events.
Promoting Networking at a Virtual Event!
Creating rewarding and engaging networking opportunities that meet the expectations of all participants of a virtual event is a challenging task to overcome.
That isn’t justification for event producers of virtual events, whether they be trade shows or conferences, from doing appropriate research and implementing the necessary tools to make networking at their event successful for all of its participants.
Virtual or in-person, there are many categories of networking at any event.
- Attendee to attendee
- Exhibitor to attendee
- Speaker to attendee
- Exhibitor to exhibitor
- Press to exhibitor
- Show Producers to Everyone
For exhibitors, networking usually is defined as filling the sales funnel, meeting potential prospects, centers of influences, business partners, etc. Exhibitors use engagement, prospecting, and networking, interchangeably to describe these activities. They will use all their event activities as “networking” with the goal of introducing exhibitors with potential buyers.
Meanwhile, attendees define “networking” vastly different, depending on the type of event they are attending. If they are attending a trade show, their motivation may be primarily commercial (looking for vendors and new product information to purchase necessary products or services to benefit their business), while industry education and networking are lesser priorities.
At conferences dominated by educational sessions and keynote addresses, attendees may define networking as meeting like-minded professionals during activities, in-between sessions, and at meals. They may also be interested in asking questions of presenters during and after sessions or arrange a one-on-one meeting with a speaker or other attendee.
Considering the diversities of networking expectations from these various groups participating in your virtual event, it’s not surprising online event producers struggle to fulfill their networking expectations. Reports have found that fifty percent of producers surveyed said their top frustration with virtual events was providing the same level of engagement provided by an in-person event.
The Exhibitor-Attendee connection.
Just like any other lead generation method, when trying to connect with virtual event attendees, it’s frequently centered on an exchange of value. While seeking attendee’s attention and an agreement to share their contact and personal information, exhibitors offer something of value to them.
Relevant educational content is the most often used method to open communication with prospects. It’s the responsibility of the exhibitor to offer effectively promoted sessions as drivers of attendance to communicate that message.
As soon as an attendee accesses your content or presentation, the ball is in your court. The opportunities to engage are yours to initiate. Offer real-time chat and Q&A; the opportunity to book a demo, ask questions, and polling are just a few of the in-screen presentation connections that can be accomplished. Inquire with the show promoter to make sure these tools are available at their event.
While you have the attendee’s, attention take that opportunity to promote supplemental experiences, such as small-group chats, one-on-one meetings with speakers, if possible, in your area, invite them to visit your virtual booth.
Let’s keep in mind its not a live event! The benefits of attending an in-person event are, they are conducive to participation in the event, physically being with others with similar interests, and engaging in a common experience. When an event is properly produced, it is a gratifying experience for all participants.
Unfortunately, the in-person benefits do not exist in a virtual event. Take notice of those disadvantages and implement tools to overcome them.
Gamification and offering incentives (a version of gamification) is a way to encourage attendee engagement and promote event attention. Goodie packages, gift cards, giveaways can all be done virtually. Registration and event data provided can be used post-event to invite attendees to a supplemental activity or to continue the conversation. This data, which is usually more extensive then what can be received from in-person events and is always a key to help ensure post-event success.
Invest in technology that promotes making connections.
Producer and exhibitors need to understand the difficulties associated with fostering engagement in a virtual event. Be mindful that opportunities to network are possible in a virtual event, but just like everything else, it needs to be assisted by technology to achieve the desired goals.
If your virtual event is truly live, make sure that during group chat, Q&A, and virtual booths are staffed during show hours. Employees must be present and able to respond to requests from all attendees who are interested in engaging at that time.
Additionally, make sure your virtual booth is set up to gather prospect information; some platforms offer reporting and analytics that track every move an attendee makes. You know how they came, where they went, what they did, with whom they chatted, what they tweeted, which videos they watched, etc. Take advantage of that data to drive lead generation.
On the lead nurturing front, you can even run analytics on content located in the event. By knowing how many attendees viewed and/or downloaded a piece of collateral, you can tailor your future content and conversations around the content that your qualified leads found valuable.
Networking in a virtual event is tricky, but there is networking technology, producers can implement to drive matchmaking between like-minded individuals before, during and after the sessions and off the virtual auditoriums & showroom floor. Technology tools are available from A.I. networking companies such as Vertex Markets, implementing a community-based networking A.I. platform, used to aid your pre-event marketing, event engagement, and post-event marketing & engagement. Vertex’s platform is specifically designed to match and introduce event attendees with shared interests and needs, promoting event engagement and interaction, before, during, and after your event.
They provide an event customized networking algorithm that connects all participants who share similar interests, mutual opportunities, and industry experiences. Then help to facilitate introductions, valuable follow up opportunities, allowing participants to find and continue to build relationships with connections made at the event.
Even after the event, participants can continue taking advantage of the A.I. community platform long after the event has ended, using the platform as a new lead generation tool, promote continued conversations with their new event relationships, knowledge sharing with like-minded members, and most valuable the A.I. platform continues to operate as an ongoing source for new networking connection and brand building. The platforms A.I. matchmaking engine continues generating new “one to one” relevant & valuable connections for event participants long after the event has passed.
Regardless of how you connect, be mindful of attendees’ willingness to engage. Just because someone gave permission to be contacted, participated in a virtual session, attended a networking event, or visited a virtual booth doesn’t mean they’re a buyer. Similar to an in-person event or any new connection, all contacts need to be qualified before they are sold to.
Making connections at virtual events undoubtedly present challenges which producers, exhibitors and attendees need to overcome going forward. However, these challenges have solutions; they just need to be researched and implemented to ensure a better event experience for everyone involved