Many people in advertising and media think they’re swimming in too much consumer data. John Hancock’s Lindsay Sutton disagrees, particularly with regard to statistics that can be used to divine people’s emotions when serving them the most appropriate content and advertising messaging.

“I don’t think we’re yet in a place where we think it’s too much, because our business is having an interesting shift from going from being very B to B focused, to all of a sudden being much more B to C focused,” Sutton, who is Hancock’s AVP, Digital Strategy Lead, says in this interview with Beet.TV.

Sutton’s takeaways from the Digital Content NewFronts 2018 center on three areas: gender equality, brand safety and being able to target consumers based on what is known about their emotional state.

“We knew that it would happen regarding gender equality. It’s interesting to see different platforms and publishers take it on, either in serious ways or in a much more right-in-your-face, humorous tone. So that one’s great to see,” says Sutton.

Brand safety is especially resonant for financial services providers, given the regulatory strictures to which they must adhere. “It’s big for us,” Sutton says.

Engaging with consumers about their savings and financial future can be “very, very emotional,” she adds. Thus it’s a good time for brands to move from targeting based on demographics to psychographics and other factors.

“So now all of a sudden, we’re adding emotion. And those types of little nuances for how we can actually create the right content to deliver a certain emotion that brings you in closer to our brand.”

While available data is “not the most sophisticated yet,” for Hancock it’s understanding who people are and their behaviors beyond what they click on or engage with. Sutton would love to be able to see “little things, like if we had something about sustainability, how do we know that that individual takes a shorter shower.

“Those are pieces and data points that I can’t yet figure out, but seeing the emotional thing and the ability to target based on emotion, I feel like we’re getting closer.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.