Stuart Smith’s Interview With iMedia UK about how to drive better cross-channel advertising
How are brands and agencies making the transition to a model where data takes centre stage?
Data is becoming increasingly central to the delivery of effective marketing. The priority for any brand should be to ensure the business questions are right and then evaluate whether data will help answer those questions. The data isn’t the starting point – only with the right questions can data be molded into valuable insight.
A key priority is to connect data sets and data in isolation to create a strong proposition.Media metrics are a part of the process, but have to be joined robustly to another source, for example, sales data.
Once an evaluation can be undertaken to find out how, one affects the other, then marketers can unlock the ‘gold’.
The most significant challenges are often around permission. Many marketers would love to have greater access to their organisation’s customer data for marketing purposes, but sensitivities around personal data are more heightened than ever before.
Consumers understand the value of their own data and want to know that this value exchange is a good and relevant one before information is passed to the marketer.
Another challenge is in the area of talent. It’s tough for agencies to grow a data team organically at scale, and agencies can attempt to enhance their data credentials through acquisition or through partnering with the right data companies in the marketplace.
For Mediaocean business, we aim to make our platform an open one that can handle the inputs and outputs that result from using an array of data sources.
How is the relationship between brands, agencies and technology providers changing in the quest to deliver targeted and integrated advertising solutions?
Collaboration is key for effective digital marketing. An advertiser would prefer to produce a single brief, so it’s imperative that media and creative agencies, content providers, ad-tech companies and brands all work closely together.
The technology available to target consumers is constantly evolving and, from an industry perspective, we need to ensure that the technology we use to plan, manage and measure advertising continues to evolve, we can only do this through collaboration.
The immediate challenge for Mediaocean and our agency partners is to centralise the connection between offline and online media by enabling an open, central platform to connect to the various ad tech, data and supply side companies. This improves the flow of communication and reduces manual workflows in disconnected systems.
Where is the sweet spot in terms of integrating traditional and digital media?
The sweet spot exists wherever the consumer is. Any campaign should start with a detailed understanding of behaviours – not just audience behaviours, but customer and prospect behaviours. What media do your most valuable customers use and when?
What is their path to purchase? How many times do they need to see an ad on TV before going online to find out more or heading to a bricks and mortar store? Our job at Mediaocean is not to assume to know the answers to these questions, but to enable our agency clients to execute across channels seamlessly so that their clients can reach their customers wherever they are present.
What technologies are you most excited by in terms of helping clients to address the attribution issue?
There are few things more complicated than multi-channel attribution modelling and for marketers to better understand the best performing channels from which they gain their return on investment. I see the challenges falling into three areas.
Firstly, attributing the offline effect of online marketing or advertising is still difficult. So, in other words, how do I know whether a customer who came into my store, called my sales team or simply changed the way they feel about my brand, was inspired to do so by my digital marketing activity?
Secondly, accurately attributing the impact of marketing activity across different devices is also very challenging.
Thirdly, understanding the contribution of each digital channel can be tough, so if I combined social, video, display and organic search components to my digital marketing, how much value do I attribute to each in the run up to that last click?
Technology companies are making great strides in automating improved attribution and analytical capability, but what really excites us at Mediaocean is the ability to combine this information together under one platform.
We are currently in the process of exploring a number of technology, data and system integrations with the intent of allowing agencies and their clients to more easily and effectively access cross channel marketing attribution metrics, which will provide an important context at points where decisions are made.
How do you expect to see media and consumer change shaping the future structure of agencies and media planning workflows?
If we think about the consumer, most people don’t use the word “digital” in relation to their media consumption. Nonetheless, more and more media is being consumed through connected devices and services, and so convergence is a key trend.
In terms of TV and radio, linear viewing is increasingly being supplemented by live streaming, catch-up, on demand, mobile or second screen viewing delivered via internet enabled services. Commuters in London now consume more news on tablets than through printed newspapers and a large proportion of the outdoor ads they are exposed to are supported by what we loosely describe as digital technologies.
Then, of course, social media platforms are jockeying to become the companion of choice to TV and other media, which is another form of convergence. Equally, consumers don’t think of their browsing, search and online purchase activity as “digital”, but these behaviours are crucial for marketers to understand.
It is therefore becoming increasingly important for marketers to effectively address the right audience with integrated campaigns to deliver strong creative and relevant messages to the consumer across channels to influence purchasing decisions.