Imagine a world in which marketing professionals are asked to deliver increased return on ad spend (ROAS) on a daily basis in the face of inaccurate performance metrics, questionable viewability, increasingly elusive consumers, fragmented data silos, skyrocketing media costs, and little-to-no industry bargaining power. Sounds pretty bleak, right?
Yet the truth is that in advertising, this is our reality. Tech titans Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Alibaba threaten to overpower all other players in the industry, implementing data policies and self-regulating performance metrics that skew in their favor. To make matters worse, consumers are changing their behavior more quickly than ever, along with their buying journeys – faster than companies can react. In order to protect the interests of advertisers and keep up with shifting consumer dynamics, cross-industry collaboration from media companies, agencies, and programmatic software providers is needed. The ecosystem must band together and use the powerful combination of data activation and premium media in order to survive and ultimately thrive.
1. Remember, strength lies in numbers
To give advertisers competitive alternatives that put brand safety and inventory quality first and foremost, media companies, agencies, and programmatic software providers must form an alliance to amplify their individual strengths.
Media companies possess premium content and extensive reach. Companies such as Sky, ITV and Channel 4 can offer their broad market reach and unique content to provide agencies with targeted, premium opportunities to reach their clients’ audiences at scale.
Agencies bring client-specific strategic thinking, industry expertise, and creativity to the table. Amidst a slew of industry changes, agencies themselves are evolving to reposition themselves as expert partners when it comes to creating effective media strategies for clients. Agencies serve as a strategic guide and digital transformation partner for clients seeking to turn the negatives associated with changing consumer behavior into positives.
Programmatic software providers help media companies, agencies and their clients tackle this brave new world as efficiently as possible through programmatic execution. Programmatic software providers contribute buying technology for agency media planners, data modeling and analytics capabilities, and third-party brand safety enforcement and campaign measurement.
2. Use data activation and syndication to engage consumers across channels
Data is a powerful asset. In fact, unequal access to data is what has fueled the growing clout of Facebook and other tech giants. Within their Walled Gardens, these companies gobble up advertiser data but limit the granularity of the data and metrics that marketing professionals can get back out should they wish to reach the same audience elsewhere.
However, media companies, agencies and programmatic software providers are uniquely positioned to put first-party client data to use across multiple channels in a way that the tech giants cannot, while still complying with GDPR regulations. By uniting an advertiser’s first-party data with the large amounts of deterministic consumer data generated by media company platforms and the third-party data that can be accessed through programmatic software providers, agencies gain the ability to syndicate large, highly-targeted audiences across all channels – including desktop, mobile, social, and television – on behalf of clients.
Advertiser data is kept private through the built-in controls of top demand-side platforms that keep data anonymized and within the hands of each owner, whilst still allowing agencies to use it for campaigns. This is key to making advanced, open audience syndication work. And with data privacy concerns removed, advanced varieties of TV such as Connected TV bring granular audience targeting and reporting typically associated with digital into the realm of television at last. Given that 56% of people in the UK now regularly watch content on TV* platforms such as ITV Hub and All4, and other European markets are following close behind, data-driven Connected TV advertising is one of the best media options in market capable of reaching the largest audience.
3. Make Advanced TV a key part of 2018 media plans
Advanced TV formats including Connected TV are rapidly expanding in Europe, with a number of media companies on track to make their inventory available programmatically in 2018. Research consultancy MTM London predicts that ad spend on CTV in Germany, France, Spain, the UK, and Italy is expected to more than triple by 2020. Traditional television advertising – and its new Advanced varieties – are high-impact formats that enable advertisers to connect with large audiences in a premium environment. Advanced television buys command significantly higher CPMs and premiums than other types of media due to the non-skippable full-screen format, one-to-one targeting capabilities, and ability to frequency cap. This means that advertisers can feel confident in reaching key audiences with relevant messages without being plagued by the waste or quality concerns that surround other ad formats. By working together to plan and execute Advanced TV in 2018 marketing mixes, agencies, media companies, and programmatic software providers can help clients tell compelling stories to their target audiences in a one-to-one premium environment.
What does the future look like?
It is unlikely that the looming presence of the tech giants will diminish this year. Consumers aren’t about to slow down, either. But if media companies, agencies, and programmatic software providers band together to syndicate custom audiences across channels and premium media formats such as In-Feed video and Connected TV, well – suddenly the value proposition Walled Gardens offer to advertisers becomes far less clear.
Mike Shaw, vice president, EMEA, dataxu
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7636 8010