CPGs should drive offer relevancy with fitness monitoring behavioral data: report

Three-quarters of users of fitness monitoring devices and Web sites would part with private information in exchange for discounts and coupons, a behavioral trend spurred by the range of activities they do on smartphones and devices, according to a new study.

Rocket Fuel?s investigation of Americans? willingness to share behavioral data with advertisers while using fitness monitoring wearables, mobile applications and Web sites, also found that when consumers interacted with a CPG digital ad, including mobile, they were five times more likely to purchase products. The statistics are further evidence that privacy has become less of an issue for consumers when asked to provide data to a marketer.  

?It is an extension of the social sharing phenomenon that?s already happening with quantified self tools,? said Christian Janelli, director of category strategy, CPG, with Rocket Fuel, a programmatic media-buying platform. ?In many cases sharing of information is a motivator to stay with the program, it keeps an individual accountable for their progress. 
?What we found in the survey is that sharing this information extends to the receipt of tangible value: in this case an offer or coupon,? he said.

Behavioral data
The study, conducted by a third-party research vendor in December, found 75 percent of participants would be more likely to share behavioral data with CPG advertisers in exchange for discounts and coupons. It also determined that 43 percent of users are comfortable sharing behavioral data in exchange for personalized ads. 

Data collection: a shrinking issue?

When the consumers interacted with a CPG digital ad, including mobile, they were five times more likely to purchase products, according to the study.

?There is an increasing amount of data that can inform how CPG companies go to market,? Mr. Janelli said. ?Being able to access, distal and activate against this data is becoming increasingly important. 

?Today, there is already an opportunity for CPG marketers to leverage behavioral insights from quantified self-tracking (QS) tools and combine it with additional first and third-party data to improve the relevancy and personalization of ads,? he said.  

?The potential pay-off is significant, as our study suggests: a five times more likely propensity to buy based on seeing digital ads.? 

The study also found that consumers embrace life logging, with nearly one in three, or 31 percent, using a QS tool to track their health and fitness data. 

Consumers are increasingly using QS tools, also known as life logging, wearable computing, self-monitoring, or even body-hacking tools, to track health and fitness, food, diet, sleep, and mood, according to the study. 

Twenty-nine percent of consumers use a Web site or app not associated with a wearable device to track their life stats. Sixteen percent use a wearable health-and-fitness tracker. 

The top three wearables are Fitbit, (12 percent), Nike+ FuelBand  (10 percent) and Samsung Gear (6 percent). MyFitness Pal is the most popular Web site/app used.

The data could help marketers improve targeting. For example, instead of using a survey, which is a common method of measurement, a brand can leverage QS data, such as calorie or food tracking, to understand the actual consumption and characteristics of consumers, segmented into categories of health conscious and dieter.

Collecting consumer data initially raised privacy concerns, making it an early major mobile-marketing issue. More recently, the line between data protection and privacy has blurred, with concern growing about how personal data that is not necessarily private and how it is collected or shared. 

During a panel on data and privacy at Mobile Marketer?s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2015 conference last week, Joseph Rosenblum, partner and global chair for advertising technology and media law at Reed Smith, said the tendency is to lump everything into privacy, but many regulations are targeted not so much at pure privacy but at data protection, the secondary use of information that goes beyond the initial usage.

Value exchange
In the survey, participants? 75 percent willingness to share data with CPG advertisers in exchange for coupons reflects both the evolving consumer expectation that advertising should be relevant to them and recognition of a value exchange between consumers and brands. 

Martian smartwatch promotion.

?This survey stat is an extension of the social sharing phenomenon we?re already seeing with devices like Fitbit and the Nike+FuelBand and apps like My Fitness Pal and Map My Run,? Mr. Janelli said. ?Except in this case the reward is tangible: a coupon or a special offer on a product that the user may wish to buy.? 

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York.