Using customer data to make advertising an experience rather than an interruption

Digital Marketing

The wealth of advertising and marketing data available for capture means brands that fail to target customers with customisation – and relevance – have nowhere to hide. In the age of personalisation and customer experience, digital advertising has the opportunity to serve both the brand and customer.

The relationship between ad data and programmatic performance is well understood, but less understood is the importance of combining marketing and advertising data to deliver customer-centric outcomes. The Adobe Symposium track Brand and Direct Response Marketing recognises the critical role that customer intelligence plays in driving ad creative and maximising ad effectiveness.

The most innovative and forward-think brands measure and attribute success (using either a brand metric or sales data) to guide and inform marketing results.

Marketers have never before had to grapple with an environment of such rapidly changing consumer behaviours, vast technology developments, and competitive landscapes. Change is a constant that will underpin the role of marketers for some time to come, which means staying up to date with the advertising ecosystem – particularly fast-moving sectors like Video, Social, and Mobile – is absolutely essential.

Advertisers developing data-driven video strategies, are taking full advantage of the power of brand advertising and the appeal of sight, sound and motion to all audiences.

Here I use the term “video” broadly, because to viewers (i.e. consumers) video is video whether it’s live on TV, on demand, in a mobile app, or on social media. There is a reason advertisers start their annual planning process with TV – it’s still central to the overall advertising strategy for most brands and digital forms an avenue to enhance and drive incremental value.

When you evolve your traditional planning to include deeper levels of data, you create a far greater experience for the viewer – one that adds value through advertising, rather than simply representing an unwanted interruption.

Clearly data has a role in enhancing the experiential value of advertising. However discussions about this inevitably – and not unreasonably – raise the issue of data transparency and also independence.

It’s important to differentiate partners and technology platforms based on two things:

1) Does the software empower users to customise and produce their own campaigns?
2) To what degree is the partner independent?

We believe buy-side solutions should focus on driving outcomes for an advertiser, while the focus for supply platforms ought to be the publisher or broadcaster. The danger of doing both is a potential conflict of interest. Those platforms that own media will always be challenged to provide a purely independent view for customers.

These in-built tensions are for the ad tech industry to play out. In the meantime, Adobe has seen a need for brands to bridge the marketing and customer experience, which can be done through the application of better – and new – data.

What is crucial is the recognition that a genuine customer experience can be delivered through advertising. Additionally, as we see martech and ad tech converge, we will have a better capability to action behaviours and draw immediate insights into customer needs.

There is no doubt that ad tech has changed the digital marketing environment. It has brought far greater scale and efficiency into workflows and has allowed agencies and marketers alike to access the digital ecosystem far more efficiently. It has also led to further innovation in the technology itself, with third-party verification and data companies, which have enhanced and expanded the digital ecosystem.

Ultimately, marketers have far more data and insight within their reach. They can make faster decisions and thus efficiently address customers they care about through the channels they value.

For CMOs looking at investing in ad tech solutions, my advice is this: you need to partner with a software company that has an independent buying platform – not conflicted or obliged in any way to influence outcomes.

Adobe’s ongoing commitment to complete transparency in performance and fees, ensures that the Advertising Cloud’s incentives are always aligned with that of advertiser.

Digital Marketing

Posted on 05-22-2017

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