Brilliant Reads: Real world, cross-device tracking & bot generated content

Is real world, cross-device customer data worth the risk of unsettling consumers?

Facebook has started sharing information about the people who are in physical proximity to stores with marketers in the US. It’s sharing data about age, gender and distance from home in weekly, monthly and quarterly trends. It will include information on what percentage of passersby are likely to have seen a brand’s Facebook ad. It will also give companies more power to tailor ads to those nearby. The data doesn’t extend to who has entered a store, but that’s likely to be the next step. Many marketers will welcome the move towards a joined-up customer view, but the line between what’s useful and what’s an invasion of privacy needs to be considered.

Facebook to Tell Brands More About Who’s Near Their Stores, Tailor Ads to Them
Advertising Age 3.5 mins

Could your apps soon be spying on your TV viewing?

Cross-device tracking is another contentious topic at the crossroads of omnichannel ambitions and privacy. Privacy activists recently drew the attention of the US authorities to Indian firm SilverPush. The startup creates brand apps which work in partnership with TV ads. The ads emit ultrasonic sounds, which people can’t hear, but which can be detected by apps on devices close by. This means marketers can plot a comprehensive picture of a customers’ online and offline exposure to ads.

Meet The ‘Ultrasonic’ Tracking Company Privacy Activists Are Terrified Of
Forbes 5 mins

When bots write beautiful content (with help from your data)

Content influenced by the data you are (perhaps unknowingly) giving away isn’t confined to ads. This recent piece by The New York Times uses location data to deliver the story and infographic most appropriate for you. If you want to look at a different location you can choose from an in-browser menu. The advances in auto-generated content are already having an effect on data-fuelled articles by Yahoo and the Associated Press with the first consumer platform coming soon.

The Upshot uses geolocation to push readers deeper into data
NiemanLab 3 mins

Paying for attention

The Economist has altered its ad sales model to include cost-per-hour pricing (CPH). The move towards a more intelligent pricing structure involved ‘trading attention’ rather than impressions. Advertisers will only be charged when an ad generates more than five seconds of ‘active attention’ – during which over half of the ad must be in view. The online and in-app time-based model will cap at 30 seconds per view – a decision made by the publisher due to its often immersive and time-consuming content.

The Economist adopts time-based ad sales
Digiday 4 mins

(Voluntarily) paying for content

It doesn’t matter how innovative the ad sales model is if the readers have all turned to ad blockers. A new Chrome extension hopes to appeal to readers’ moral conscience when it comes to content consumption. Tipsy tracks your time spent reading publishers’ content and enables you to donate accordingly. The extension relies on good will and might appear to be an unrealistic method of funding. However, the need to consider alternatives to disruptive programmatic ads is ever more urgent.

Tipsy, a simple Chrome extension, bets on readers who want to pay a little for the content they consume
NiemanLab 4.5 mins

Make your content connect more in 2016

The first of our two complimentary briefings on how to connect more in 2016 is coming up on Wednesday 26th November. the event will feature concise trends presentations from Forrester Research and Brilliant Noise, followed by a Q&A and a group discussion.

Content strategy: Wednesday 25th November
Make your content connect more in 2016.
Featuring Ryan Skinner, senior analyst at Forrester Research

Digital transformation: Tuesday 1st December
Make your organisation connect more in 2016.
Featuring Martin Gill, VP, principal analyst at Forrester Research

Both sessions will be held in central London and are for senior brand marketers. To register your interest contact