IBM Watson boosts vaccine campaign, Pinterest climbing: Friday’s daily brief

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Good morning, Marketers, and how do you use social media?

I was interested to read Chris Wood’s recent story about how Pinterest users have pivoted from consuming content that helps them make long-term plans, to looking for solutions to short-term challenges. I’m not a Pinterest user and had imagined people visit the site mainly to post images.

That was not an informed assumption, especially as I do use Instagram to get ideas for cooking and travel (if only). I was also prompted to reflect on the different ways I use social channels. Twitter mainly for news and to keep up with current personal friends; LinkedIn to nurture business relationships; Facebook (rarely) to keep up with more distant friends. I don’t use any of those channels, as I do Instagram, to look at products or get ideas for leisure activities.

In which channels do you find your brand’s audience — and what are they doing while they are there? Seems to me that a good answer to the second part of that question could save some wasted ad dollars.

Kim Davis

Editorial Director

Ad Council plugs in IBM Watson for vaccination education campaign

This year, the Ad Council is spearheading a sweeping education campaign to sway hesitant Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Using the message “It’s Up To You,” the more successful the campaign is, the shorter it will run. But campaign partners are ready for the long haul. IBM Watson committed its AI creative ad capabilities to the campaign, as well as ad inventory from The Weather Channel properties, which it owns.

The intelligence that drives the campaign is split into two key areas – market research and campaign data. For the research, the Ad Council teamed up with Ipsos Public Affairs, determining that, as of February, 40% of the American public have not made a firm decision to get their shots when the vaccine becomes available to them.

For campaign data, the IBM Watson Advertising Accelerator uses past campaign performance to continually optimize the distribution of creative assets, as well as to inform what combination of assets is shown to what audience. The technology doesn’t use third-party cookies and is context-based, making the campaign an important case study for the “cookie-less” future.

Read more here.

Stirista acquires VDC

Identity and data solutions provider Stirista announced this week that they are acquiring Venture Development Center (VDC), a data marketplace. This is the vendor’s third acquisition in 10 months. VDC has clients that include Accenture, Asurion, TransUnion, Warner Media and others. Working with big brands and mid-market companies, Stirista uses data to fuel segmentation (B2B and B2C), email marketing and display advertising strategies, with a focus on loyalty and new customer acquisition.

Why we care. Data is king. Bringing in VDC and its clients allows Stirista to expand identity solutions and programmatic programs for brand clients. And in a virtuous circle, the VDC clients who contribute data will be able to monetize their assets through Stirista’s Data Marketplace Exchange. Data assets maximize their value when applied to smart customer engagement. If data is the raw material, martech innovations refine it.

Pinterest growing as a key discovery tool for products and services

We recently wrote about how Pinterest responded to the pandemic by promoting solutions to short-term challenges (what to cook the kids for dinner) and focusing on building community. New data from App Annie, the mobile analytics provider, shows that people appear to like what Pinterest is doing.

Downloads of the Pinterest app in 2020 numbered 193 million, up more than 50% YoY. In the first two months of 2021, the app saw 33 million downloads, putting it on track to beat the 2020 total. The chart above gives an indication of its international footprint.

Why we care. Marketers care about social channels which can effectively showcase brands, products and services. While Amazon ranks first for monthly active users among U.S. shopping apps, U.S. users spent on average 60% more time on Pinterest than on Amazon on mobile phones; on iPhones the number Pinterest users also using the Amazon and Walmart apps grew in 2020. These stats suggest, at least, that Pinterest is an increasingly valuable channel for discovery.

Quote of the day

“I’m not going to use this space to post a bunch of press releases, but will break my own rule for this news about Cisco Webex, which yesterday unveiled its new ability to translate more than 100 languages, ‘from Armenian to Zulu.’ Think this is a huge advance for multilingual inclusion.” Alison Diana, content writer, Cisco Meraki.

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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