As the first half of 2019 races to a close and marketers turn their thinking to finishing the year with strong results, we have identified the four most effective ways for marketers to tighten their advertising strategy.
Targeting confirmed audiences, versus assumed audiences, drives far greater effectiveness and lowers costs
Despite advances in privacy-compliant audience identification, most marketers are still targeting marketing campaigns based on assumed or black-box modeled audiences. This can lead to unfavorable brand exposure, wasted media exposure, and missed conversion and multi-touch attribution opportunities.
In fact, the cost of starting with assumptions instead of known data points is significant. Consider the following real-world examples of challenges we solved for clients given our audience building capabilities:
- A national retailer thought it knew its target audience. Using proximity data matched to our data lake, we found they were right … about 30% of their audience. They were missing 70% of the audience actually engaging with their product because they started with assumptions about what their buyer looked like.
- A TV network wanted to move from demo targeting to targeting known viewership habits. They became increasingly frustrated with the black box solutions they had used for years and instead moved to using the linear TV optimizer and automated workflows of the AdPredictive Intelligence Management platform. Using known audience inputs and transparent optimizations, they saved $6.27M in less than two years.
The truth is that ID-level audience understanding, insights and action is possible today and is a far more effective and efficient way to reach, target and engage consumers.
In-house ownership of all tech and data does not necessarily increase campaign effectiveness or speed to market
In-housing is currently a big market trend; from in-housing tech development, device graphs, creative, media planning…The list goes on. The truth is, taking ownership and control over every facet of data and tech in marketing requires massive cost and time investments in dev teams and data partnerships. It’s a difficult feat for any company, either because of the cost or because navigating internal politics and siloed teams can feel like an exercise in futility. Any one of these hurdles slows speed to market, creates insulated views on best practices and can result in disjointed internal initiatives.
All that being said, marketers, you should absolutely own your end-to-end data, including the portability of your audiences/IDs. It’s also critical that you maintain visibility and control of the inputs and outputs of audience targeting, media activation, and attribution. If you don’t know and trust the inputs/outputs, it’s pretty hard to trust and make strategic business decisions off of the results.
Once you own what matters most to your business, leverage select partners who:
a) increase your speed to market with specialized expertise and automated workflows,
b) help you impact/report against your key business outcomes, ideally using machine learning to continually optimize for results, and,
c) are willing to support your ownership of the things that matter, such as sharing hydrated ID data sets of exposed/converted audiences for you to use in ongoing data science work.
Data-driven, audience-based marketing and advertising is an imperative
We are in the era where shifting to tools that enable usable data and insights to flow seamlessly through organizations can vastly ease marketing teams’ workloads. And, it’s quickly becoming an expectation.
One only has to look at this year’s upfronts to see that the most influential brands and media companies are shifting their entire business models to focus on data-driven, audience-based marketing and advertising.
Automation and known inputs/outputs are the key to making this transition successfully.
It is possible to manually build ID-based audiences, optimize media, and track attribution to business outcomes. It’s also possible to automate those functions in a closed, black box environment. That’s where most of the martech industry is sitting today.
There are those of us who have broken that mold, and are embracing far more open and transparent environments for their clients. This includes the automation of workflows (which can reduce team workloads by 7:1) and structuring those workflows to plug into the rest of the ecosystem. For AdPredictive, serving as the central nervous system for clients’ marketing intelligence also requires us to be fully transparent with our audience targeting methodologies, market optimizer conditions such as media pricing and placement, and our multi-touch attribution process.
For marketers, automation and knowing inputs/outputs allows for 1) speed, 2) additive (not duplicative) technologies, and 3) eliminates the complicated nature of stitching together disparate data sources, tech stacks and team silos.
It’s time for actual business results to replace vanity metrics
Website conversions, number of Instagram followers and correlated TV ad/SEM spikes are marketing metrics, not the true business outcomes the c-suite wants to see. That doesn’t mean these intermediate KPIs aren’t valuable. However, none of those definitively prove ROAS. Using ID-driven audience targeting, tracking exposure across all mediums, and matching exposure to conversion produce true cost per acquisition metrics, definitively proving ROAS.
It’s thrilling to be in marketing at a time that data has or is becoming available to prove or disprove the assumptions. Cost per sale, cost per visitor, cost per subscriber, cost per viewer… These are all business outcomes that can and should be measured:
- In a timely fashion for all mediums (please don’t settle for waiting for more than a week or two for attribution results).
- With results automatically informing subsequent optimized campaigns as well as marketing and business decisions.
Marketing as a cost center has become outdated. Today’s marketing will transition into a growth center for businesses through cost optimization calculated via acquisition metrics. By implementing even a few of the above strategies, marketers can simultaneously begin the transition to growth center and maximize the impact of their 2H marketing efforts.
Here at AdPredictive, we serve as strategic technology partners for our clients. We’d be glad to help you identify the lowest hanging opportunities for 2H19 and beyond. Contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.