Data Grows Up — Child Communication Develops

Posted: December 9, 2015 in Posts

The evolution of data for me has been like watching my child grow up and use different forms of communication abilities to tell me what my child wants and what my child needs. In the marketing world we can call these luxuries versus necessities or other jargon is always available as we know. After over 2 decades of being in the data business from traditional lists and list management, email, cookies, credit data, IP addresses and more.

I have had to learn to evolve with the data and find unique ways in listening to it, to create product and action. I formed my own exercises over the years to better use analytics to hear the demand of the consumers and deliver the relevant experience, services and products to them based upon that demand.

Demand is in data and data delivers the demand we need to see, you’re out there searching for what an audience wants via 1st to third party data partnerships and audience product development…creating data products based upon signals of demand.

The stages of child communication development I find so similar to the stages of data communication development over the years as we have been able to access not only more data AKA Big Data but more relevant data that is now closer tied to a consumer versus a cookie or a model of a consumer…now being “coined” people data.

For many years, I would say majority for me data we have taken in and modeled is always in the arrears, even while managing a DMP that we had licenses to 7 data providers including the credit bureaus the best and fastest signal of an event we could receive was a soft credit pull trigger updated 24 hrs to 1 week and this data was super expensive as well could only be purchased and utilized by FCRA approved marketers, such as Automotive, Mortgage, Credit Cards and approved lending practices…so the fastest data was limited to verticals and laws.
So let’s get back to the communications development of the data child:
(just some bullets not too deep)

0–6 Months Old

  • Watch your face when you talk to them.
  • Recognize your voice.
  • Smile and laugh when other people smile and laugh.
  • Make noises, like coos or squeals, to get your attention.
  • Have different cries for different needs. For example one cry for hunger, another when they are tired.

6–12 Month Old

  • Listen carefully, and turn to someone talking on the other side of the room.
  • Babble strings of sounds, like ‘no-no’ and ‘go-go’.
  • Make noises, point and look at you to get your attention.
  • Enjoy action songs and rhymes and get excited when sung to
  • Take turns in conversations, babbling back to an adult.

So here we see at early stages what I would call signals and as parents these signals are what is needed for a parent to learn to communicate with and teach communication to their child. Listening to these signals, reacting to them and developing your child from them can dictate the future of your child’s overall communication skills as they grow into an adult. All of these signals are the same signals data scientists need to listen to and adapt to from consumers and the data we see as they search, research, consume, click and transact.
So let’s jump ahead a few years…

2–3 Years Old

  • Listen to and remember simple stories with pictures.
  • Understand longer instructions, such as ‘make teddy jump’ or ‘where’s mummy’s coat?’
  • Understand simple ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ questions.
  • Use up to 300 words.
  • Put 4 or 5 words together to make short sentences, such as ‘want more juice’ or ‘he took my ball’.
  • Ask lots of questions. They will want to find out the name of things and learn new words.
  • Use action words as well as nouns, such as ‘run’ and ‘fall’.
  • Often have problems saying more difficult sounds like sh, ch, th and r. However, people that know them can mostly understand them.
  • Now play more with other children and share things.
  • Sometimes sound as if they are stammering or stuttering. They are usually trying to share their ideas before their language skills are ready.

5–7 Years Old

  • Focus on one thing for longer without being reminded.
  • Rely less on pictures and objects to learn new words.
  • Learn that the same word can mean two things, such as ‘orange’ the fruit and ‘orange’ the colour.
  • Learn that different words can mean the same thing such as ’minus’ and ‘take away’.
  • Understand feelings and descriptive words like ‘carefully’, ‘slowly’ or ‘clever’.
  • Use language for different purposes such as asking questions or persuading.
  • Share and discuss more complex ideas.
  • Use language in a range of social situations.

The development from 2 to 7 years old is a whole bunch of data we need to analyze, react to and derive relevance from to use for Audience Science, Marketing and Product Development. Sharing is a main bullet in both age groups and of course something parents strive to teach their children…we live in the social sharing world now and with proper data can react and market to consumers with true relevancy to their demand based upon their sharing habits.

The other key takeaways from these age groups are linguistics, research (questions and answers) the basics who, what and WHY. The development of ideas and use of language to communicate those ideas, we can not speak to all consumers with the same message, content needs to match the segmented audiences and the message has to be personalized!What I find really interesting and important starting with the 2–3 year old segment and their use of up to 300 words and then in the 5–7 year old segment relying less on pictures and objects to learn. The iteration of that content by creatives and copywriters collaborating is key…how to best separate and combine contextual messaging and image based messaging to deliver relevant and personal marketing creative.

We can look at other age segments but science tells us the segments above lead to the life of a child, they are the most impactful and memorable, they can define so much of the child’s future behavior socially, the relationship with the child’s parents, the interaction with peers through schooling and the proper communication to others a child’s needs.

However this also illustrates the data will be fuzzy and our skills are needed in analyzing the research, the data in, the consumption of content to derive a clear understanding of what a person is in the market for and how they should be marketed to.

Wow how my child named Data has gown up…my early years of licensing data ranged from real estate data, transaction purchase data to demographic and lifestyle files at best we received 30 day installs. Yes we archived files to do look backs on consumers to build data products that were able to find life events based on over 150 elements that showed a propensity of why a transaction, a change, a move etc happened but it was all built on probabilistic models that at best hit 60% accuracy and that was considered AWESOME!

Building FICO score models was not only the beginning of my small data shop in 1998 becoming a full service data marketing agency but also what took my career from a data marketer to an analytics product developer and these score models at best were a 50 point delta but at that time was AWESOME and provided a product for non FCRA approved marketers. This was the beginning of something that never ended, keeps evolving and what I work on everyday…creating audience based products, enhancing products with audience analytics, developing new products as well as decisioning services used in industries ranging from entertainment, private equity, direct marketing and so much more.

We now live in an age of the ability to predict in real time versus using just historical data modeling that has update restrictions because it couldn’t move as fast or at such scale that the web can move data now.

One thing I didn’t touch on yet is that ALL parents deal with or have dealt with children’s Temper Tantrums for many reason but mainly from frustration at an early age that their point/message is not clear and they don’t know how to make it clear they feel they are doing their best with the communication skills they have.

Well bad, irrelevant, horribly timed, poorly placed, intrusive, non-personal creative and messaging as well as evidence that no data was taken in to deliver the right message, the right way at the right time to be personal and engaging will cause all marketing segments i.e. people to have Temper Tantrums.

I know I have tantrums daily because of these issues!


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