When Alliance Data acquired my former company ValueClick… err Conversant Media I knew what was coming. Alliance Data’s “Epsilon” division was already a retail giant. Purchasing Conversant gave them the vessel through which to use their massive amounts of data to target people via online media.
In a press release yesterday, Epsilon announced: “Epsilon ShopperView helps consumer packaged goods marketers deliver cross-channel precision marketing at scale – Leveraging Conversant’s 1:1 decisioning engine and Nielsen Catalina Solutions’ CPG shopper data to drive ROI.”
To simplify, Epsilon has long collected and stored consumer data from various sources. Now through Conversant’s display media network they have the ability to target users across multiple channels and devices.
This is good news for a couple of reasons. The first is that the marketing world is rapidly going digital – and Google owns the majority of the landscape. Any competition in this realm is healthy for Google and the market as a whole. The second reason is that customers will get ads and content that is more relevant and tailored to their interests.
On the downside a lot of people have been fearful of this level of digital tracking due to the invasiveness. There are a couple of obvious counters to this fear though. The first is that offline marketers like credit card companies are already selling your purchase data. Nothing is more intrusive than that and this is why you’re getting targeted mailings and things related to how you buy. The reason people are less apt to be upset about credit card companies selling their data is that the targeting is much more subtle and less visible.