I recently attended Advertising Week Europe, where I joined experts from all sides of the advertising landscape to discuss the business trends and issues that are shaping today’s industry. I was asked to talk about how AdTech fits into the overall MarTech picture, based on my experience helping hundreds of clients in the EMEA region use technology to bring more strategy to their paid media spend.
The media landscape has never been more fragmented, and technology has never been more important in helping advertisers maintain a clear picture of the audiences they are trying to reach. In recent years, there has been an explosion of different screens and formats, with audiences constantly moving backwards and forwards from Facebook on their tablet, to video-on-demand on their smart TV.
The funnel no longer resembles the simple awareness-to-purchase pathway I knew when I began my marketing career. Consumers are following the media equivalent of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel, and it is increasingly difficult to ensure that this journey follows a consistent and coherent narrative. The situation is further complicated by internal silos, where various departments are failing to share information and coordinate their efforts.
However, brands realise how important consistent Customer Experience (CX) is to building customer loyalty and driving sales. According to the recent Digital Trends survey conducted by Adobe, brands that offer compelling CX will typically boast better brand awareness, higher return on advertising spend, greater customer retention and higher growth rates. And yet the industry clearly has a way to go, with the same survey showing that 87% of customers believe brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless customer experience.
The good news is that a unified customer experience becomes a lot easier to deliver once brands are able to integrate their overall marketing technology backbone. As part of the Digital Trends survey, we looked at the leaders in CX and the qualities that set them apart from their peers. The results were telling: 32% of CX leaders have a highly integrated cloud-based technology stack compared to 7% of their lower-performing peers.
Using technology to connect advertising management with overall marketing and business management has several benefits. Unified technology helps brands synchronise their efforts in audience management, media buying, measurement, analytics, and creative. This helps keep messaging consistent and relevant across the entire customer journey, no matter how fragmented it may be. It also helps each aspect benefit from insights gathered at other points along the chain. Experience has shown that Adobe customers who join their Analytics to their Ad Cloud platforms typically experience a 14–18% lift in ROI on their advertising spend.
It has never been more important to provide a unified customer experience. The world’s leading brands are looking to technology to bring together the various disparate elements of their marketing activities, and AdTech remains a crucial part of any effort to fully understand and manage the customer journey. At Advertising Week I was asked how AdTech fits into the bigger picture and – as I concluded in my presentation – the answer is quite simple: it needs to fit tightly and neatly within a brand’s overall MarTech stack.
You can view my full presentation from Advertising Week on Slideshare.