Five hurdles brands need to overcome to focus media on the audience not the channel

For media planning to flourish amid tougher financial pressures, marketers and agencies at this year’s Festival of Media (FOM) identified five issues they need to address in order to reach targeted audiences at scale instead of just working the margins with their strategies.

‘Data (or programmatic) can be the Viagra to creativity

What separates good marketing from meaningful marketing is creativity and it’s no longer the domain of creative agencies. That was one of the messages that permeated throughout this year’s FoM where marketer and agency debated how programmatic and personalisation should evolve in future media plans.

“Programmatic is the Viagra to creativity,” espoused Daryl Lee, global chief executive of UM, while his counterpart at Maxus Worldwide Lindsay Pattinson urged marketers not to forget about serendipity, brand engagement instead of just focusing on programmatic and trading. The two contrasting views are both indicative of how programmatic and more broadly data has to sit in the ideation of agencies if advertisers are to be able to make the discipline about precision rather than automation.

Kellogg’s, Mondelez and Unilever were among those heavy spending brands at the gathering to indicate that they are changing, having realised that programmatic can inspire creativity rather than just be a media play.

“It’s about using programmatic as a strategic marketing tool underpinned by your ability to manage data, extract consumer insights and develop native content,” said Mondelez’s media director for Europe Gerry D’Angelo.

To DMP or not to DMP

Unless companies have search, social and mobile engrained into their DNA then the prospect of taking programmatic in-house is pointless. The sheer scale and complexity of building the technology stack needed is a risk and that’s before an advertiser would have to source out the talent needed to make it work. Instead, a shrewder move would be to take the data management platform (DMP) in-house. Mondelez’s D’Angelo said it was one of the options it was considering in order to take its programmatic play forward, while Xaxis chief executive for its EMEA business Caspar Schlickum said it was something it encouraged all its clients to do.

Our DMP is not a client DMP it’s a media behavioural DMP,” he continued. And I think clients need to take more strategic ownership of their data and I think they’re starting o talk about that.”

Adopting a media first mindset

It is an approach that sums up the way brands hope to fully break from the channel mentality that is admittedly holding back their marketing. Unilever revealed at the festival that is now briefing media first when developing marketing strategies, while Kellogg’s vice president of global media and strategy Jon Suarez-Davis said its media division was its new creative department when trying to describe data’s impact on its marketing.

Suarez-Davis’ revelation highlights the advantage media agencies have is the access to data in the move toward better targeted marketing. He went on to add how its focus on co-creation with its media agencies had allowed it to leverage Starcom’s “breadth” of resources, categories and meta data with its “depth” of brands (see above), disciplines and first party data to spread data-led planning across the purchase funnel.

Forget about mobile first. Think what value your brand can add and deliver it as content

If you’re a customer first company then you’re a mobile first company, said GSK’s head of digital media Khurram Hamud. It is a thought shared by his fellow panel members from The Weather Channel, Mondelez and Mastercard, who all admitted to being at various places in their attempts to use harness mobile media better. GSK’s said it needed to think about consumer behaviour more on mobile devices but was happy with its progress, while Mastercard’s group head of global media Ben Jankowski said it was on the right path and Mondelez’s D’Angelo felt the business was not where it needed to be.

“The way that we drive growth is trying to identify what the barriers and opportunities for growth are and the only way of doing that is to be consumer centric,” said D’Angelo. “You look at mobile’s role within that and you begin to identify roles for it to be a commercial enabler rather than just saying ‘hey lets do more mobile’”.

One key barrier, said Hamud, is advertisers tendency to bombard people with multiple messages, particularly in-store. Despite mobile’s rapid growth, it is a channel still in its infancy with unresolved data and security issues. Indeed, more than a third (38 per cent) of consumers are comfortable with brands capturing their mobile data and this figure rockets to 72 per cent for brands that are trusted, according to eMarketer.

Diversity is pivotal to the media models of the future

Brands and agencies urged the industry to work harder to ensure diversity. Cultural diversity impacts business because consumers want their brands to be a real reflection of themselves and yet many festival speakers highlighted how it was still a tick box exercise in some cases.

And its not just about gender. Maxus’ Pattinson said race was also an issue, arguing that there are “no male or female leaders, there are just effective leaders”.

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