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The challenges of marketing in a world without data

Using WhatsApp powered with Hey Now, you will be able to share information with Meta's targeting engines and track each customer's journey after initiating the conversation.


It is very valuable for marketing teams to have a database of people interested in their products or services that grows day by day. With this data, it is possible to work on the lead nurturing or warm-up stage and improve all performance indicators.

In a recent article, I talked about the difficulties we marketers have in capturing data from our website visitors, especially since GDPR in 2018. Since then, it started limiting the use of cookies without consent in the European Union and spread across the rest of the world.

In the past, brands could build their audiences massively and without asking for visitors' consent through cookies; today, digital marketing campaigns typically offer a landing page to their users with a form to leave their data. Often something is promised in return, such as a ticket to an event, an ebook or other incentive, which we call a lead magnet.

The problem with this technique is that people are increasingly reluctant to leave their personal information on the sites they visit. The other drawback is that these days many people no longer visit websites, but ask AIs to do it for them and summarize the data found.

Virtual assistants to the rescue

In recent years, you have probably come across many articles and videos that talk about the exponential growth of instant gratification offered by social networks and electronic devices, the behavioral changes they generate in children and adolescents, and the addiction to screens.

But this is not limited to young people. Today, we professionals focus on improving our performance every day and we prefer to interact through channels where we believe the response will be faster. We prefer to send a WhatsApp than an email. If we know that there is a virtual assistant attending that channel at any time, all the better.

On the other hand, fourth-generation chatbots have the ability to have a humanoid interaction with people. They can understand their natural language, their desires, their intentions and even their moods. And they can respond with the tone of voice and personality with which they have been programmed. In addition, they have the ability to answer exactly what people are asking, unlike a landing page, which people must scroll through to find the answer to a query or piece of information. They have another key advantage in today's world: immediate reward.

So, if we combine the improved experience with the immediacy of response, we have a perfect channel to interact with our audiences. And this is where there is a great opportunity to apply social engineering and capture data and information that our audiences are more likely to give us.

In addition to personal and contact information, to know which product they are interested in, we can inquire about their opinions, to know which aspects of our product generate more doubts or are more relevant when making the purchase decision.

If we offer a quality conversation, it is very likely that this person will want to be in contact with our brand again in the future and that we will let them know when there is news that will be interesting for them. As a result, we have excellent data to make a personalized nurturing stage, and increase the likelihood of moving our audiences to the next stage of our sales funnel.

Improved segmentation and conversion

That's not all. Today, advertising audience targeting engines are optimized to show ads to the people (clusters) that are most likely to reach the defined objectives. For example, they study what people who clicked on a banner or started a conversation with a brand's WhatsApp channel have in common. And then they look for people with similar characteristics to show the advertising stimuli to the audience they have built.

Before, we sought to be in the digital media with greater reach to reach as many people as possible; now, we seek to optimize resources by reaching only the right people.

But this method, while great for advertisers, has a weakness: in the case of WhatsApp (the channel par excellence on this side of the world), engines can only receive signals up to the moment when people start a conversation with a brand's channel. What happens after that is "the dark side of the moon." They can't know if people interacted, how much, how the experience went, if they were able to get their questions answered, if they provided any information to the person or virtual assistant who assisted them and, above all, they don't know if they ended up buying. So, the engines create audiences with the best opportunities to start a conversation.

It's easy to imagine the huge difference in performance that can be achieved if instead of looking for people likely to ask about an electric bike you focus on finding an audience similar to the people who started a dialogue, interacted with the brand and ended up buying it. Or if they find similar audiences to people who are happy owners of those bikes and recommend them to their friends. We went from optimizing for questions to optimizing for sales.

Currently, Hey Now and Entravision Latam are working on the first project in Uruguay to implement this type of optimization. Sebastian Geymonat, Client Solutions Manager Meta of the company, commented: "In a world where capturing data is crucial for marketing success, we face significant challenges. At Entravision, we are exploring innovative solutions, such as the integration of virtual assistants, to effectively interact with our audiences and optimize our key KPIs".

I think it's going to make a significant difference in the advertiser's most important KPIs, so I'll let you know soon the results and if it became a success story.

By Santiago Pennino, CMO of Quantik.

Santiago has a degree in Advertising and extensive experience in media agencies and the travel industry. He currently serves as CMO of Quantik Group. 

During his professional career, he has held leadership roles at and various advertising agencies, focusing on assisting companies in their digital transformation and brand development.



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