Byravee Iyer
Apr 30, 2015

Audience planning edges out channel media planning: I-COM

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - Data driven activation, multi-channel attribution management and cookie-based metrics versus device-based decisions were the dominating themes on day two of the I-COM conference in San Sebastian, Spain.

Harvey Goldhersz, Michele Madansky and Glenn White discuss how briefs have changed
Harvey Goldhersz, Michele Madansky and Glenn White discuss how briefs have changed

Harvey Goldhersz, chief data officer and CEO of GroupM Analytics, and Glenn White, director of media infrastructure with game developer EA, kicked off the morning talking about how media planning is undergoing a step change from channel-based to audience-based planning.

Goldhersz’s realisation of the potential happened a couple of years ago when GroupM Worldwide CEO Dominic Procter approached him to allocate 50 per cent of his time to analytics. At first Goldhersz declined the offer, but, reconsidered and eventually asked to focus on it full time. His reason: Data is the next frontier and it’s going to transform and influence marketing deeply.

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The GroupM executive said briefs have transformed quite radically from channel planning to audience buying. “We’re concerned with who we want to talk to, how many people we want to talk to, and only then do we choose which media channel we want to reach them in.”

For White, who operates in the video gaming space, analytics are critical to re-engagement, engagement and netting new acquisitions. “The way you target audiences varies from channel to channel so mapping that entire chain of identity becomes critical. For us, this really helps determine what consumers feel when they’re seeing our ads. And that in turn helps us optimise their experience and making sure they get the best out of the game.”

Goldhersz noted that marketers are dealing with a flood of data and they’re open to new things and experimentation, a fact underscored by a recent study by the firm. “The role of data can really help understand the consumer journey, media channels and content that can help guide consumers and build brands,” he added.  

Cookies versus device

In a separate session on data activation, Steve Simpson, EVP and global MD of data and analytics for Starcom MediaVest Group, said brands and agencies need to be “thinking less of activating data and more about activating people and thinking of business challenges”.

Simpson argued that cookies are not people, and that marketing should begin with people. He said device IDs create consistent data that can link strategy and execution, and added that personalisation ultimately drives incremental benefit.

Starcom is starting to think of interesting ways to identify people such as registration data on mobile devices, a much more relevant connecting point than a cookie, he said. “Using this, we can understand people quickly and enrich that view using different data that isn’t about location,” he said.

Reiterating the point, James Dailey, product marketing manager with Atlas, said cookie-based metrics overstate reach by 58 per cent and understate frequency by 141 per cent. “This is a problem for targeting,” he said.

Atlas is trying to solve the problem by using the global Facebook population as an anonymous panel. “The frequency of Facebook usage is a huge opportunity, and it allows us to reauthenticate who the person on the device is and get a much more holistic understanding of path to purchase. This drives business results and not just marketing KPIs.”

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