Data is basically people in disguise: Kelly Kokonas

At Screenage 2021, Kelly Kokonas, EVP, Global Data for Starcom Publicis Groupe, spoke on ‘Emerging Role of Mobile in Consumer Experiences and Identity Resolution’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Oct 29, 2021 4:34 PM  | 3 min read

At the recently held e4m’s mobile marketing virtual conference Screenage 2021, Kelly Kokonas, EVP, Global Data for Starcom Publicis Groupe, delivered one of the two keynote addresses. Kokonas spoke on the topic, ‘Emerging Role of Mobile in Consumer Experiences and Identity Resolution’.

“Live from Chicago, where we love pizza, among other things,” Kokonas began, adding a sprinkle of humour to what would be an insightful address. She explained how she and her team use data in tactical applications.

“Data is basically people in disguise and this keeps me motivated to continue the work with data, because it's really all about people,”she said fondly. 

Kokonas pointed out that it's people who are talking on social channels, and subsequently then their devices are talking as well as displaying purchase and media habits. And through this, a lot of data is being created.

“We, as marketers and agency partners, are looking at all of these data signals that are given to us and we have this opportunity now, more than ever, to illuminate this incredibly dynamic consumer journey through the data. And so, for many of my clients, it's about having a daily strategy to capture the data, capture its risks, while managing also manage to have respect for privacy,” she elaborated.

Kokonas then went on to talk about creating and maintaining a third-party data strategy, whether it's CRMs, loyalty programmes, or through media and mobile-first experiences. “In this rapidly evolving world, companies can afford to create independent reports and their partners like marketers and agencies need to work alongside each other to deliver this transformation to stay competitive.”

“As brands are competing for attention, retail frenemies are disrupting business models, challenging how consumers buy products. So we're in this new era of working together, it's more holistic, it's more integrated. And we have to work together to navigate this. And winning in this platform world gives us rise,” she shared.

“We have about 14 different data centers across the globe, one of which is located here. These centres and our teams handle qualitative and quantitative analysis,” mentioned Kokonas. They illuminate interesting insights, including sentiment, attitudes, trends, and social insight behaviour.

“Mobile behaviours are certainly dominant consumer experiences and the pandemic has shaped these behaviours. No surprise, but I think that the fact that there will be 1 billion smartphone users by 2025 is incredible. Monthly usage, internet users, and search (whether vernacular or voice) are also on the rise,” she noted.

“With all this data, marketers  are also looking at keeping track of shoppers in this festive season. Of course many of our retail buyers are capitalizing on this semester. So it is important for us to talk about mobile growth.”

“And what we have noticed here is that digital adoption is being driven by support for industries,” points out Kokonas, adding how the lockdown also opened up the country to mobile leanings, even as other technologies were adapting the products and marketing to fit that new base.

Kokonas ended the session by talking about one of her personal projects, one that is “fresh and hot off the presses'' is Global Intelligence Media Report, a reference guide to consumers’ media use in 43 countries, including India. The report has been done in tandem with eMarketer and GWI, primarily using the latter’s data. And as Kokonas recommends, it is a must read for anyone in the media, advertising, and related companies.  

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