SuperAwesome’s Jamie Gutfreund on Connecting the Dots Between Data and Marketing in a Privacy-centric Era

“I have been pretty lucky (or maybe just insanely curious), because I’ve always been able to find the next iteration of how marketers are going to evolve,” says Jamie Gutfreund, Strategic Advisor for SuperAwesome, a technology company that’s powering the kids’ internet.

During her Publisher Forum Santa Monica keynote address, “Show Me, Don’t Tell Me: How Publishers Become Advertisers’ Guides in a Turbulent Digital Ad Landscape,” on Monday, March 9, Gutfreund will discuss how stricter privacy laws, improving technology and shifting perceptions offer advertisers and marketers an opportunity to come together to put consumers first.

Connecting the Data and Marketing Dots

“Everyone knows that marketing used to be very much in one direction — on send,” says Gutfreund, describing how classic marketing strategies meant putting the message out there and then waiting several months for results.

But as the window of response times tightens with every passing day, so does the importance of data in modern marketing strategies.

“What I think is interesting,” she continues, “Is the shift from companies spending millions of dollars on marketing and advertising to find loyal customers to a time when brands must pivot to show how they serve as a loyal brand.”

These changes don’t just impact how we talk to our customers, but how we speak with one another internally as well.

“Analytics geniuses and marketers are still speaking different languages,” says Gutfreund, whose experience in data and analytics at Wunderman gave her the unique ability to understand both sides of the business, making her “a bit like Switzerland.”

According to Gutfreund, this may be why more and more companies are shifting toward hiring people who are multi-disciplinary in terms of what they understand. “You need to have enough volume of new thinkers that have grown up in data but also understand the benefits of traditional marketing,” she says.

After all, it’s all about success for agencies and clients and bottom line for the company, not about a single skillset dominating. And the bottom line relies as heavily on data as it does on marketing.

Edward Snowden and the Value of Data

The meaning of data has certainly changed since whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked classified NSA information to the world. Prior to that, no one had given much thought about what data was being collected and how it was being used.

And with 40% of the internet now being made up of kids, restrictions and protections on data tracking for the under-16 crowd have raised the eyebrows of adults who wonder why they can’t have those same protections.

“People are much more sophisticated now in asking what the value exchange of their data is,” says Gutfreund, “And if you give them a good experience, they’re more likely to give you their data.”

She adds, “On the flipside, if you abuse it and don’t give them value, you’ve lost the customer and aren’t likely to get them back. If someone walks up to you in real life and says, ‘Hello, can I have your email address,’ that would feel strange —it’s no different in marketing. There needs to be an exchange.”

While some publishers and advertisers see this as a hindrance to business growth, Gutfreund sees this as an opportunity for developing one-to-one relationships with people and setting a higher bar for the relationship. So, it is now falling more on publishers to “have more rigor around what they’re doing with the data and provide great value in exchange.”

esports Changes the Rules of the Game

“People are much more sophisticated now in asking what the value exchange of their data is. And if you give them a good experience, they’re more likely to give you their data.”

One industry that is knocking the data and marketing game out of the park by providing great value exchange is esports.

Though it’s long been a huge force in the industry, the legitimization of esports spawned by a changed perception of who is playing and how they’re interacting with games has created a unique marketing opportunity.

“People are recognizing that gaming is no longer done in a basement as a solo pursuit. Rather, it’s part of a social landscape. People are attending social events and integrating into a community experience,” Gutfreund describes. “I’m excited about the marketing opportunity to build immersive relationships with consumers. Marketers are finally starting to look at esports as a new creative platform, not just a targeting platform.”

Gutfreund predicts that endless opportunities and business models are on the horizon for gaming, including the potential for a new tiered system of gaming, like Hulu, where paid subscribers don’t get ads, while unpaid subs do.

A Time for Internal and External Partnerships

As we enter a new stage of profitably, Gutfreund has her eye on new opportunities to work together.

“Internally, making sure there is diversity in the ideas in a room on both the buy and the sell side is important, because you never know where the next great idea is coming from,” she says. “People come at problem-solving from all different angles… and that’s where I see a lot of great work.”

She’s hopeful that this kind of diversity will take hold naturally rather than just being a reaction to a corporate mandate.

“Externally, though, brands and agencies are looking for partners,” Gutfreund says, “They want someone who understands their business and how their needs can be met with great content, experiential and specific targeting.”

To learn more about how publishers and advertisers can work together to build more valuable relationships with consumers, join Gutfreund Monday, March 9 at 9:15am for her keynote, “Show Me, Don’t Tell Me: How Publishers Become Advertisers’ Guides in a Turbulent Digital Ad Landscape.”