Prediction pieces are always fun to read – a year later. The benefit of hindsight can make anyone an expert. But as I plan my own team’s marketing mix for 2018, a few items struck me as worthy of sharing
App Usage Will Build Better Audiences
Mobile, particularly the smartphone, and specifically apps – is eating into desktop’s share of time spent. Yet the vast majority of third-party data segments are based on desktop cookies. That creates an inherent problem for marketers: their customers and audiences are on mobile, but the ecosystem is predominantly working off desktop data .
That list of in-market auto buyers, or heads of households, or avid golfers – are based on stale data. Or at least not the most relevant data. It’s time for marketers to update the way they think about those canned audiences segments, and one way to do that is to use app-based data. This doesn’t necessarily mean reaching people in apps, but instead using consumers’ app usage as targetable attributes. For example, people using movie apps to look up showtimes or view the cast could fall into a movie-buff segment, which they may never fit into based on desktop data alone. These are app-based segments, but they can be leveraged across all channels and devices.
People-Based Identity Comes into Its Own and Becomes a Differentiator
Every brand wants to do people-based marketing, and most think they’re ready to do so. But people-based marketing requires people-based identity – and not every marketer understands the difference . If we’ve been through the year of mobile, the year of programmatic, and the year of “cross-device” we’re about to have the year of identity. As marketers become more and more versed in data, terms like coverage, precision, extension rate, and match rate will become as common as an impression, click, and conversion.
Mobile Gets More Creative Touch
Banners are stale; video is predictable. But custom creative gives brands unique new ways to stand out beyond the standard formats . A few interesting examples I’ve seen are units that let consumers build their own vehicles by selecting paint colors and trim, add coupons directly to their Apple or Google Wallets, location-based expandable ads with maps built into the unit to show the nearest store, and “scratchers” that encourage audiences to use their finger to wipe away the overlay for a discount code or other uses. I saw one particularly creative application of that format for an insurance company that showed a picture of a damaged vehicle, and you could wipe away the damage with their finger. That’s a memorable ad!
Location Extension Adds New Possibilities
Location targeting is commonplace, but what about location extension? By layering location data with retargeting, brands can reach audiences based on where they’ve been – not just where they are – and do so on all of their devices. Brands can reach store visitors later at home on a tablet to show a cool interactive creative asset, on connected TV to show a nice video, and on desktop to encourage a purchase. Plus, marketers can win over customers of competing brands using their location data. Imagine someone visiting a competing store - have you seen the ad for my store? What about a customer who just visited a rival brand’s dealership – have you seen the latest features on our vehicles? Visited a different mobile carrier – have you seen our most recent data plans?
Digital Helps Put TV in Primetime
Marketers now face the reality that there are two completely separate TV audiences: the traditional cable subscribers, and the cord cutters . In general, baby-boomers still watch cable, while millennials are heavy streamers. To reach both audiences and measure results, marketers need to think about TV the way they think about digital. Fortunately, with connected TV and even programmatic TV offerings, this is a reality. Brands can reach consumers across all devices in one plan, as well as benefit from actionable reporting. This audience-based approach aligns with the shift currently unfolding with upfront TV buying: brands are moving away from program-based buying and concentrating on getting in front of their ideal audiences, regardless of what they are watching. These digital capabilities will help the big TV buyers (CPG brands, automakers, retailers, etc.) get the impact of traditional TV and be able to measure it.
A Measurable Leap in Reporting & Attribution
At Drawbridge we think about measurement and reporting in three general categories: The first is standard IAB metrics such as impressions, clicks, and CPMs. The second bucket is differentiated and proprietary reports available only through a specific partner that can help you understand something unique, like viewability, and the third group of reports is integrated reports. Those integrated reports are often where the real insights are. It’s when data from third-party partners becomes enhanced by first-party reports.
A great example of an integrated report is combining product-level purchase data with cross-device ad exposure. This allows for purchase-based insights to be delivered in-flight. Marketers can easily see which specific devices or creatives are driving the most sales of specific products, and adjust the campaign delivery based on creative, devices, time of day, etc., all mid-flight. Capabilities like these make marketers smarter, and as a marketer, there’s incredible value in reports that help me make sense of our mix. I expect more and more marketers to get more diligent about reporting and attribution in 2018.
As with any predictions – they may not all come to fruition. What do you think? Will I be kicking myself for these a year from now?