Real Time Marketing Reloaded
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Real Time Marketing Reloaded

SALVATORE IPPOLITO, COUNTRY MANAGER ITALY AT TWITTER AND BOCCONI ALUMNUS: BIG DATA FAVORS INNOVATION, NATIVE ADVERTISING AND COMMUNITY TAILORED INFORMATION

Glass doors, personal organizers, coffee cups: at the Twitter headquarter in Milan nearly everything is marked by an hashtag or with the iconic blue bird. The hashtag #planthemoment is printed on a wall-hanging calendar. It marks the key moments in the next two months, from the X-Factor final to the Champions League draw. “Sports, music and tv boost conversation”, says Salvatore Ippolito, the Italian country manager since April 2014. In the ’90s he obtained a Bocconi MBA. He has worked at Nielsen, UniCredit, 3M, Microsoft Advertising Italy.

What kind of data do you collect?

We gather information through our users’ behavior. We use semantic analysis to identify the recurring words in conversations. We search through the things our users write, but also look for the accounts they follow, the people they interact with, the times at which those events happen. This information goes into a database that is produced on a global scale by half a billion tweets a day.

Which tools do you use?

The crucial capabilities are data processing, data analysis and the creation of platforms that make it easy to interact with the market. In May 2014 Twitter acquired Gnip, our partner social media firm that was already giving us insights from aggregated tweets. Now we’re able to offer new tools that connect companies to the Twitter information flow. Our business deals with third parties such as IBM enable them to manage data. Companies can also interact with social agencies that gather information through Gnip.

A precise targeting makes the data precious, right?

We give companies accurate information. We’re one of the actors that subverted the rules of targeting moving from the old socio-demographic targeting to segmentation based on behavior.

Is there a Twitter way to deal with big data?

We do it in real time. We can analyze user behavior and measure the engagement at any time. We can tell companies what is the perfect time to bring up a topic and which users to address. Thanks to big data, real time marketing is no more just a catch phrase. It’s reality. At the very end of the process there’s native advertising. It’s so well targeted that it doesn’t feel like marketing at all: it’s experienced as a part of the flow.

Are big data an internal drive of innovation?

Yes, we nonstop monitor them to decide the next step in the product evolution. In the United States we debuted Moments, a new feature that aggregates the best tweets on a topic. It will be launched in Italy too, we still don’t know when.

What is the future of big data?

“Things” that tweet will be more and more important. There are some clues: the creation of automatic tweets to inform about earthquakes or river levels, to manage traffic jams in big cities, to monitor sharks approaching to shores. Companies are realizing that social listening isn’t just about reputation, it’s about analyzing data. We’re looking at the tip of the iceberg: a whole universe of data is waiting down below.

by Claudio Todesco

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