One of the single biggest expenses for any brand is the marketing budget — and the media budget in particular, according to Jim Helberg, executive vice president and chief media officer of ad agency RPA.
What if we could reduce the overall investment needed to move customers through the journey to the ultimate conversion of sale? Reduce the cost of selling.
At Cannes Lions 2019, The Drum spoke to Helberg around gaining clarity on the ways to reduce wasted reach.
There is an opportunity for brands right now. However, most of the industry is addicted to “lower funnel” tactics — and as a result, are spending too much on converting immediate sales rather than building the brand as well.
“The market today continues to see tremendous pressure on ROI and proving that this large expense that is media is working,” expressed Helberg.
However, a paramount evolution comes by pushing the focus away from media KPIs and concentrating on margins and profitability for specific client businesses. “The focus here is on media efficiency which has traditionally been the marker that we used,” added Helberg. “We have to get consumers to the point of purchase with as little need as possible for incentives.”
Personalization has been key for around 10 years, but the industry is now more focused on addressability and one to one marketing. Helberg insisted that efficiency will come from reading consumer signals really well. “The sophistication around addressability gives us the chance to see online and offline advertising exposure and then relate that particularly to online shopping.”
How will this allow brands to save media costs? When it comes to savings, the industry has to define what they’re really shooting for, what the objective is. “In reality, if you're going for profitability and margin for a client’s business you must bring a consumer through the journey with little need for incentive and ultimately convert where you will have a consumer loyalty for life and value for the long term,” he explained.
70 million households in the US are fully addressable, proclaimed Helberg. There is an opportunity to go one to one with consumers with the messaging that can be sent to them, the level of relevance that marketers can give them and the ability to then watch them shop based on those actions. “Addressability is the future of marketing and we're at the tipping point right now.”
Truly effective addressability requires great precision and sophistication of tools, At RPA, for instance, there is the technology and the data points. “What is needed now is the arsenal of creative messaging to drive absolute relevance to consumers as we bring them through all different points of the consumer journey,” concluded Helberg.