Oct 19, 2016

Leading with data innovations

The methods marketers employ to identify the right audiences are evolving in pace with the adtech market.

Better Together… GroupM announced the launch of the GroupM Trusted Marketplace
Better Together… GroupM announced the launch of the GroupM Trusted Marketplace

GroupM China CEO Patrick Xu made a resounding call for new skillsets and practices at the 2016 edition of Digital Momentum held in Shanghai. “Marketers have to innovate constantly to generate the maximum ROI and utilise technologies to realise the value of data,” Xu said. “Most importantly, they must know the viewability level of their advertising in order to identify fraud and maintain brand safety.”

“Innovation, data and effectiveness have become the industry’s major areas of focus.” 

Rob Norman, chief digital officer of GroupM Worldwide, called on marketers to “create new muscle memory”. 

“We need to think more about how people actually use media and platforms and how we create value beyond advertising that ushers in a new kind of brand love built on a combination of exposure, experience, value exchange, participation and sharing,” he said.

Liu Peng, author of Computational Advertising, said that he believed brand marketers should not just care about their target audience, but also those who proactively spread your online content.

“The most important thing for today’s marketers is to find their real business objective, and then leverage related data, especially that which is generated by consumers, to achieve it,” Liu said.

Safety first

Another hot topic on conference day was the newly launched GroupM Trusted Marketplace (GroupM TMP)—currently the largest digital inventory ecosystem which corrals nearly 30 partners including Tencent, iQiyi, ThePaper,, Huawei and Weibo. Several conference speakers agreed that this is a strong lead to a safer environment.

Expanding the definition of premium inventories, GroupM APAC CEO and China chairman, Mark Patterson said: “It not only refers to the best ad spaces at the best time, but also the spaces that your ads are actually seen by [your] target audience, and with zero fraud.”

Innovating on all fronts 

Sandra Cheng, emerging channel director at Pfizer, noted that marketing on ecommerce platforms are more important now. “Their fast-changing ad formats, big data ad products count for something.”

Jerman Zhang, Managing Director of ecommerce in GroupM China, shared how new formats, such as fans parties, ecommerce livestreams and celebrities, have fueled a necessity for distinct ecommerce marketing strategy. “It’s very challenging to market on multiple platforms,” he said. “Apart from implementing competition-based strategies, advertising buying strategies and real-time optimisation to increase the pool of target audiences, we also need to generate free traffic with content marketing and social networking.” 

The traditional marketer approach to define target audiences is also being challenged, said Benjamin Wei, head of mobile for GroupM China. 

Wei, who leads GroupM’s mobile service product Hummingbird, believes with partnerships aross data partners Getui, Talking Data, Alibaba and Tencent, how you use data becomes more important than its creation.

Anchoring the day was the internal partnership between Wunderman, GroupM and Kantar — Project Compass. Collating data across media, lifestyle, purchase and demographics, Gao Baosheng, China project lead, said that enduring profiles have six elements: a consumer’s “media exposure, is connected to the client CRM, saves recent product purchase behaviours, demographics, overlaid with consumer research and third party data from players like Union Pay.”

When strategies line up with automatic data mapping and audience targeting, Wei said, it can trigger chemical reactions between online and offline data at mobile terminals. “The Chinese mobile landscape can no longer depend on demographics to pay dividends,” Wei explained. “Today it needs to profit from data dividends.” 

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