Together, technology and the dramatic increase in always-connected consumers are pushing data-driven marketing onto the centre stage of corporate strategy. Marketers are being put to the test to prove return on investment (ROI) and as a result there is more demand for concrete ways to showcase the value of marketing to the wider organisation.
Advanced technology platforms provide the tools to perform instant analysis of huge volumes of data, enabling the targeting of audiences to achieve ROI in ways that could be imagined only a few years ago. However, this multitude of data can also be overwhelming and it is near impossible for a brand to integrate and analyse it all alone. Marketers, therefore, need to build an ecosystem of partners, from the chief information officer (CIO) inside their company to technology providers outside, to take full advantage of the opportunities that today’s digital landscape presents.
External ‘big data’ partners need several key attributes in order to aid marketers in successfully reaching hyper-connected consumers. Firstly, they must be able to analyse and act upon big data in milliseconds. The online world is fast-moving and marketing is increasingly revolving around real-time interactions and reactions. Acting according to the pulse of your audience’s key interests is crucial in order to appear at the right time with the right message, and as a result, brands need to consider when, where and how to use digital advertising to best reach their most valuable audiences.
Marketers are increasingly looking for leading-edge research and insights, such as Turn’s Advertising Intelligence Index, which applies global standard economic models to measure trends in advertiser share-of-voice for various sectors across the year, to see when it is most effective to reach particular groups of people.
There is no longer an excuse for not knowing which half of your marketing budget is wasted. Those brands still planning their marketing calendars on gut instinct, or because things have always been done a certain way, are going to be quickly overwhelmed by competitors that are using data to evaluate the effects that their marketing is having. It is only when you use data to demonstrate the effects of communicating through different media at different times that you realise many of your previous assumptions will have been wrong.
Secondly, being able to target audiences anonymously based upon activities, preferences and buying habits is invaluable to brands. The long-standing debate around tracking people’s internet browsing using ‘cookies’ rumbles on and many consumers express concern about the data that brands have collected on their online behaviour. The Forbes Promise of Privacy Insight study conducted in conjunction with Turn revealed that 53 per cent of consumers are willing to share information when they see a benefit from the exchange.
Although customers are willing to provide information, they need to understand at the same time how it will improve their brand experience. Anonymised profile models using only non-personally identifiable information (non-PII), such as that offered by Turn, mean that consumers receive relevant and targeted communication without giving away highly personal and unique details.
Brands could even be required by law to learn how to use targeting models that depend less on personal information in the future. Legislation currently being discussed by the European Union could completely change the nature of how consumers give consent for their data to be used, potentially leading to far greater restrictions on marketers. By adopting anonymised targeting methods, you can show customers that you care about their privacy, but also begin to future-proof your marketing for any new regulations.
As a result of strategic data partnerships of this kind, brands are able to access a complete picture of consumer browsing behaviour. These partnerships allow you to access valuable big data mined from external data providers and to reach particular customer types across multiple channels, rather than relying on a single-channel approach. Turn’s analysis shows that moving from single to multiple channels drives an average 300 per cent improvement in advertising ROI.
By working with data, the chief marketing officer (CMO) role has evolved in recent years, and many have adopted a different strategic role internally as a result. In fact, according to a recent Gartner survey, there has been a nearly 300 per cent increase in the number of companies that view marketing as a strategic function in the past two years. As a result, marketers are building new partnerships within their organisations and will continue to do so to cement their strategic position. For example, without the support of the CIO, how can the CMO ensure that the technology is in place to calculate and measure their marketing campaigns effectively? By working strategically across departments, particularly with CIOs and IT, CMOs can reach their goals and implement their strategies more easily.
A positive addition to both the marketing and IT team is the marketing technology platform vendor. Media agencies and corporate marketing departments typically use demand-side platforms (DSPs) to plan, implement and track ad campaigns across multiple channels including mobile, display, social and video. By orchestrating real-time actions, the DSP builds customised solutions that address the needs of the brand’s customers. Complementing the DSP, the data management platform is able to access and analyse all relevant data sources instantaneously, including a brand’s first-party data such as campaign performance, ecommerce data, customer relationship management data, offline sales, and so on.
Although big data presents modern-day marketers with the opportunity to showcase ROI in new ways, without the right integration and analysis tools this big data is not actionable. The plethora of data available has made digital marketing increasingly complex. However, by working with the right provider, this burden is not on the brand – the right partner will have the tools to meet all current and future needs.
When all of the marketing players and technology pieces are in place, brands can truly thrive in real-time digital marketing with an ‘audience first’ approach, based on real data insights, to inform their strategy.
Managing director EMEA
62 Margaret Street
T: 020 7255 5650