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Brands double down on data, but trust is still an issue

Marketers are under more pressure than ever before to justify their media spend which has helped usher in the era of big data and the rise of ad tech. To help facilitate this transition, the IAB has launched the inaugural IAB Tech Fronts event where ad tech outfits can pitch their wares.

The programme of events kicked off today (14 March), at the trade body’s training venue where an AOL-hosted event saw Derek Luddem, Mondelēz International, area media manager for North Europe, joined Danni Murray, Warner Bros. Entertainment’s group director for media and marketing, to discuss their respective ongoing transitions to becoming more data-led.

Both marketers spoke of their enthusiasm to ‘follow the eyeballs’ of their intended audiences which includes a willingness to look at the potential to take money out of their traditional TV budgets in favour of investing in mobile media placements.

However, the lack of a persistent method of measuring which ad exposure ultimately drove a visit in-store, or to a brand’s website (this is often referred to as a universal device ID) is troubling companies that want to better attribute value to the price of their media investments.

Mondelēz’s Luddem spoke of his belief in the value of mobile advertising for his company. “There’s been a couple of things in the press about [us] diverting in mobile, as mobile is pretty much always close to the consumer at the point of purchase,” he said, adding that the emphasis on mobile was a conscious move, but honing his attribution strategy was an ongoing work in progress.

Data management

Meanwhile, fellow panellist Murray spoke about the cautious approach his company was taking to data management, especially when it comes to working with third parties. He told attendees that the entertainment giant was in the early stages of pairing with “second party data partnerships.”

Although protecting their customers’ privacy, as well as the potential commercial sensitivity around issues such as data leakage required a cagey approach when it comes to pairing with third parties.

Murray went on to describe how its in-house data team would acceptably work with third parties when it comes to sharing data. For instance, Warner could potentially pair up with a third party that has a mutual data management platform (DMP) provider and then cross-reference their audience insights within the security stipulations prescribed by said DMP.

Also on the panel was Andrew Moore, AOL’s managing director of platform, EMEA, who said that it was down to ad tech outfits like his own to help marketers benefit from their 360 view of the industry.

Moore also went on to iterate his belief that in 12 months time such panel won’t be talking about mobile programmatic as a silo, it should be the norm

The obligatory ad blocking discussion

The on-stage conversation went on to address the thorny issue of ad blocking with the panel’s final member of the panel Louise Weston, managing director of Atomic Live, programmatic creative arm within the wider agency, claiming the rise of certain practices with the emergence of ad tech (such as careless retargeting) have inadvertently spurned ad blocking. According to Weston, the correct approach to ad blocking should be even better creative, smarter targeting and more relevant content.

Warner Bros’ Murray offered his assessment: “Its alarming that a lot of the audience we want to reach (typically 16-24 year-olds) are proactively installing ad blockers but the whole thing about programmatic is that you can find a way around that.”

Quality of metrics

Elsewhere during the day, a separate session hosted by Index Exchange saw company CEO Andrew Casale front a multifaceted conversation where key trends were the need for an increased a focus on traffic quality, and the creeping industry refragmentation over whether an ad was actually seen by a human.

The Drum will be reporting from the IAB Tech Fronts sessions all week