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5 things marketers need to thrive in this moment and the next
October 13, 2021
Even before Covid-19 forced us to adapt to working, educating and socializing from home, our behavior was already being changed by the digitalization of many aspects of our world. The last decade has hastened the shift to a digital economy, which makes up anywhere from 4.5 to 15.5 percent of world GDP, and consumers expect seamless experiences across channels as a result. All of this activity is significantly ramping up the amount of data we are creating, capturing, copying and consuming around the world — about 59ZB in 2020, with a forecasted 175ZB by 2025 — which is making consumers more protective of the information they share with brands.
If you're a CMO in this environment, you need to know with full certainty where your marketing dollars are going and what they’re returning to your business. Only with a solid foundation of transparency, interoperability and performance can you adapt to the evolving whims of customers who want more choice and more security. Here’s how marketing leaders can meet this dynamic moment in time, and the next.
1.) Reach consumers wherever they are
More than half of every advertising dollar is being spent on digital channels, as more addressable screens and speakers emerge. The events of the last 18 months have only accelerated the growth of several of these channels. Between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, time spent consuming OTT streaming video grew 13% overall, 46% of it on smart TVs. Digital audio is expected to surpass traditional radio in time spent for the first time ever this year, after usage of the former rebounded at the end of last year. And despite a drop in DOOH ad spending during the pandemic, DOOH ads will account for 31.2% of all OOH ad spending in 2021 and 42.0% by 2025. Access to premium inventory for these and other channels, and the ability to efficiently manage creatives, campaigns and budget across them, will become more critical to engage consumers with relevance and respect.
2.) Get radical transparency
The continued opacity that persists in the digital advertising supply chain is a direct contributor to CMOs’ inability to account for their spend, and the results it may or may not drive. In fact, in a Q2 2020 survey of B2B buyers worldwide, 32% stopped using certain vendors due to a lack of transparency.
To run automated advertising that performs the way you need it to, transparency into the detailed workings of your supply chain, from fees to signals such as inventory type, fraud and identity, is critical. Look for partners who give more than a peek under the hood and allow you to evaluate how well supply partners are performing and provide full supply-chain cost reporting across the majority of inventory. In addition, the ability to share data back and forth with publishers helps both buy and sell sides understand each other’s goals and how they’re trying to get there. By cleaning up how supply is sourced and the chain of partners through which it runs, you will minimize discrepancies, ensure brand safety and make more accurate decisions.
3.) Deliver on KPIs that matter most
Incomplete metrics have long governed digital advertising, and that needs to change from the ground up to get results that actually impact your business. Last October, more than one in three US digital media professionals reported that attribution-related problems like cross-device attribution (42%), accurate measurement (36%) and assessment of campaign ROI would be among their biggest challenges for the year ahead.
Access to improved supply chain signals and publisher data is the first step to get you there; more accurate inputs lead to more accurate outputs. Then, you need the ability to optimize your bidding decisions, tap into modeled audiences to reach the most relevant, highest-value customers at scale and test, target and measure at scale. Look for technology that is adaptable enough to let you adjust all of these levers when your business needs and goals change.
4.) Benefit from interoperability
Trying to stitch together disparate tools to make a tech stack is not “integration”. To be truly interoperable, the technology you use must be truly agnostic. It cannot prefer a channel, a specific supplier, a certain identifier or a measurement solution. The ability to build custom solutions with expert help and use APIs to develop atop your core technology foundation will go a long way towards helping your marketing stay nimble, yet technically sound.
5.) Get help when you need it
Great support and service are typically not characteristics of many of the big technology providers. No matter how great the product, every marketer will need help at some point to run a complicated campaign, test into a new channel or tweak their advertising strategy as they incorporate new products, services, audiences and markets. Being able to choose from a menu of services, from the most basic onboarding assistance to full hands-on keyboard management, will help you stay agile while knowing you have a support system backing you up.
Even in a precarious time, brands and agencies don’t have to feel beholden to legacy tools or status quo processes. You can take control of your marketing with tech and talent that provide the same flexibility and stability consumers, and all of us, are craving in every aspect of life.
By Jackie Vanover, VP at MediaMath.