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Gayle FuguittChief of Customer Insights and InnovationFoursquare
The way marketers target consumers has evolved. That was the message from Gayle Fuguitt, chief of customer insights and innovation at Foursquare, who spoke with eMarketer’s Rimma Kats about the kinds of insights marketers are yearning for, and how they’re going beyond traditional demographics to understand audiences.
eMarketer: When it comes to better understanding consumers, what are marketers looking for?
Gayle Fuguitt: What we believe at Foursquare is that the places you go are the best depiction of who you are. What brands want to know is how to translate consumers’ values—their beliefs and the things that are most important to them. It’s not just appealing to facts or measuring sales and then trying to figure out why that happened, but really understanding and then being able to get to a level of granularity.
eMarketer: What about data?
Fuguitt: Marketers are suffering from data indigestion. There’s just too much of it. They think they want all that big data, but that isn’t what they really want. They want insights. It’s all about precision at scale. Right now you can get precision or you can get scale, but you can’t get them together because you lose that level of granularity and specificity as soon as you start aggregating.
eMarketer: Can you give me an example?
Fuguitt: We have a lot of information about consumers: What they did all day long before they came to the store and everything they did afterward. A big-box retailer can find out that here’s a mom and she went and had specialty coffee at a coffee shop. Then she went to yoga, and then she came to this retail store. It paints a picture of a consumer’s life—you get these kinds of patterns. And that’s what marketers have been yearning for. Those kinds of insights.
eMarketer: What role does demographics play for Foursquare?
Fuguitt: Historically, demographics have been a critical targeting filter for marketers and advertisers. It was a currency: They would buy and sell ads based on household breakdowns like moms with kids, aging households and such.
For the first time, consumers are aggregating themselves into targetable audiences. And that targetable audience—whether it’s the food that they choose, the places that they choose to go, how they decide to spend their time, the order in which [they do things as] they live their day, or the people they choose to be with—that’s where the insights are that much richer.
They’re geodemographic and psychographic targets that we can ascertain and quantify rather than trying to categorically look at it by specific demographic targets.
eMarketer: What does this mean for marketers?
Fuguitt: Marketers and advertisers can now go well beyond traditional demographics to understand audiences based on their affinities, like where they are in the real world, plus how to reach them across media touchpoints. Advertisers can now aggregate and target high-value audiences based on their foot traffic patterns and venue visits, which are more powerful than traditional demographics.
This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of quarterly video ecosystem overviews focusing on monetization, audience, platforms and content. Our goal is to provide a summary of key developments each quarter on a need-to-know basis.
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