Research data becomes central to UM’s strategic planning process

If the ongoing pandemic has demonstrated anything, it’s that pre-COVID pre-packaged consumer data no longer applies.

“The world has completely changed and there are many outdated datasets out there,” said Dominic Joseph, CEO of search intelligence firm Captify, which on Wednesday released a platform for insights, planning and self-service activation called Sense.

Many of the features, including a tool that helps brands map the consumer journey using search data, were developed in partnership with Universal McCann, which now uses these features exclusively for customers in the United States. USA and UK.

Rather than cookies, Sense is powered by first-party research data. Captify captures and analyzes over 35 billion searches per month across approximately 2 billion devices.

The real-time, intent-driven nature of the search can help UM make more informed strategic planning decisions for its brand clients, said Hamish Kinniburgh, the agency’s director of global strategy. It was a growing priority before the pandemic, he said, and it has only grown in importance since.

“It’s the kind of behavioral data we used to get from surveys, but there’s a wealth we can get from an audience building and strategy perspective when data is real-time and that we can put it within reach of our planning and strategy teams, said Kinniburgh.

Just think about being an agency and trying, say, to work for a travel brand last year using pre-COVID-19 data, Joseph said.

“When the epidemic broke out, all of the datasets they were using were suddenly outdated,” he said. “I’m not sure there’s ever been a stronger case for brands needing real-time, granular data.”

The idea behind Sense is to quickly determine trends in consumer behavior so that they are useful both as a body of truth for strategic planning purposes and also actionable from a marketing execution perspective. countryside.

The platform allows buyers to run customizable queries on search data, much like they might with Google Trends. They can then do their own analysis and create audiences based on the trends they uncover.

Captify has channels in most major supply-side platforms, where audiences are matched against inventory and associated with a transaction ID so advertisers can purchase media through the DSP of their choice.

“If you’re a strategist, you’re not just looking to chart the course, you’re also looking for the trigger before the trigger…in order to give a brand a competitive edge and get ahead of other competitors on the most obvious journey,” said said Kinniburgh.

For example, Sense was able to discern a surge in intent from new mortgage buyers in October, linked to a 301% decrease in searches for “one bedroom apartments in New York” and a simultaneous increase in searches properties with gardens on Long Island. These searches were associated with young professionals who otherwise might not have been part of a media strategy targeting suburban mortgages.

“We’re not just trying to figure out what a person does when they’re on a trip to buy a pair of sneakers, for example,” Kinniburgh said. “We want the big picture, the big picture, because that’s where you can find opportunities to explore.”

Later this year, Captify and UM plan to develop a feature that will allow brands to integrate first-party CRM data and overlay it with search-related insights.

Louisa R. Loomis