CJRW@SXSW 2019: Calls for a Facebook breakup and how to avoid drowning in data

by Katherine Vasilos (katherine.vasilos@cjrw.com) 235 views 

Editor’s note: CJRW’s team of professionals will be providing Talk Business & Politics a daily roundup of activity from this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The reporting crew consists of:

Wade McCune – Creative Director
Brian Kratkiewicz – Director of Media and Innovation
Chris Ho – Director of Digital and Interactive Services
Katherine Vasilos – Account Executive
Josh Walker – CJRW Digital Content Writer

It’s our third day at SXSW, and if you’ve watched the news this week, you already know that the conversation is getting serious.

Facebook — the world’s largest social platform with more than a billion monthly users — is having a rough week, and it isn’t alone. Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren made an appearance and called for the social media monolith, along with Google and Amazon, to undergo a mandatory breakup. Others are calling for regulations on how personal data is collected and used across the industry.

We also heard a great discussion on the value and usefulness of user data. Here’s the best of SXSW Day Three.

ZUCKED: HOW FACEBOOK HAS UPENDED THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
Roger McNamee wants to break up big tech. As the author of the new book “Zucked” and early mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, McNamee criticizes Facebook for its lack of data privacy and warns consumers about the dangers of companies claiming ownership of our personal data.

So, what does McNamee want? Big change. In fact, he’s building momentum to make data privacy and big tech key issues in the 2020 presidential election. That reform movement includes some key ideas:

• Bring regulation and antitrust law reform to the table. McNamee says private data should not be used without permission. “This is a right vs. wrong issue.”

• Clear space for start-ups, innovation and alternative business models by dismantling big tech companies and acquisitions – Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.

Ultimately, he wants to change the dialogue to be about bringing values back to tech. Companies should take note. Reform could alter the way tech platforms reach consumers through advertising. Advertisers are also demanding more transparency to protect their customers.

“This is a trust business,” he said, “Once people lose trust, you’re screwed.”

DROWNING IN DATA, STARVING FOR INSIGHTS
Data is everywhere, but the value and usefulness of that data can at times be elusive.

Jared Feldman, CEO & Founder of Canvs AI, said that marketers need to advance how they understand human emotion. Marketers need to be focused on taking modern dialogue across all media and then code how passionate consumers are or how much they love brands, things, anything. Ads need to elicit an emotional response. Marketers need to connect the power of words with the behavior that takes place because of it.

Michael Shields, SVP, Sales Strategy & Business Development of Fox Networks Group, stated that the emotional engagement is the future metric. He said, “It’s all about eliciting an emotional response from consumers for both advertising and programming.”

Shields added that data and insights may drive the media to charge on an emotional metric in the future as opposed to normal GRPs and CPMs. They might charge advertisers based on connection and engagement rather than reach.

Igor Vaks, Founder & CEO at Creator IQ, added that reach and engagement are two vastly different metrics and elements of the marketing plan, but both are important as they hit different parts of the purchase funnel—initial awareness and the end purchase.

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