Toomre Capital Markets LLC

Real-Time Capital Markets -- Analytics, Visualization, Event Processing, and Intelligence

Business Intelligence from Streaming Interactive Media

Real-time Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) depends on accurate, timely and actionable business intelligence. Toomre Capital Markets is working closely with The Harrison Group, a leader in custom market research and strategic marketing, to help enterprises measure, monitor and manage the reputation risk of their products, services and brands. Already there is a plethora of unstructured “raw” data to transform into information which in turn drives knowledge and economic value added. However, news out of this month’s Consumer Electronics Show suggests that the already torrential flow of raw consumer-oriented data is about to vastly increase when measuring reputation risk and the proverbial long-tail.

Microsoft announced that it has developed the technology to take full advantage of the interactive television and video services that will start being streamed into consumers’ homes with the continuing widespread adoption of broadband Internet access. As the article Microsoft Makes Google Ad Beater on The Business Online explains, this “video hyperlink can detect products displayed on a television during a show or commercial, allowing viewers to zoom into products featured on the screen and click through to detailed product descriptions. For example, viewers of Sex And The City could click on Carrie Bradshaw’s designer shoes as she walks down a New York street and be taken straight to the shoemaker’s website.”

The Microsoft video hyperlink technology was developed by Microsoft’s adCenter Labs headed by general manager Tarek Najm where the team of 50 researchers are also involved in creating other new technologies. The scientists and researchers working at adLab specialize in fields like data mining, information retrieval, statistical analysis, artificial intelligence, auction theory, visual computing and digital media. One of the more notable technologies still under development is called “social network mining”, which refers to the increasing trend of consumers to communicate with one another over the internet as members of virtual communities or social networks.

Gord Hotchkiss, the president of Enquiro, a search engine marketing firm, expands upon Microsoft’s announcement about interactive online video capabilities in an article on SearchInsider entitled Lights, Camera, Point And Click!. He suggests that search will be the connector between intent and content.

Whenever someone questions the longevity of search, this is one of the scenarios I trot out for them. Search is the engine that underlies all this functionality. It is the bridge that connects intent and content. This core functionality is what will drive almost all online connections in the future. And those connections will be controlled by whoever wins the search war. Suddenly, all the buzz around search starts to make sense. Imagine what this will do to the world of product placement. It will be a feeding frenzy the likes of which have never been seen before. Suddenly, every video can be one long, multilayered commercial. And as frightening as that sounds, remember that you're in control. You choose the advertising you want to be served. Advertising isn't an intrusion when you're asking for it.

He further suggests that search and personalization will lead to custom-tailored marketing:

Let's further envision MSN's demographic targeting layered on top of this. Now, different segmented targets can be fed different advertising messages. A 55-year-old male lawyer in Portland can see a completely different message than a 24-year-old female teacher in Armonk. A unique user experience can be wrapped and delivered to each. There's one last piece of the puzzle that really brings this home: personalization. The more the owner of this connection knows about you, your likes, your interests and your schedule, the more helpful it can be. As it aggregates information, it can be tailored specifically for you. The announcement of interactive video by Microsoft is just the tip of an immensely large iceberg. As our entertainment choices converge online and become searchable through the same technology that powers Google, Yahoo and MSN, online becomes the gatekeeper for the vast majority of advertising that will be delivered to us. And search has the key to the gate.

Gord Hotchkiss had forecast this development of highly-targeted advertising hyper-linked to video images in his December 13, 2004 article entitled “All Roads Lead Online: Convergence and the Future of Advertising.” That article is worth reading as one considers the implications of the transformation from a broadcast advertising model to one with interactive two-way, real-time connections. The implications and possibilities are even more intriguing as one considers the business intelligence that will result from the arrival of the quants from finance into the sales and marketing arena as outlined in the TCM post Businessweek: Math Will Rock Your World. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.