Editor's note: The webinar covered here, which took place yesterday, is now available on-demand.
According to Turn, in 2015, 54 percent of global programmatic media spend went to desktop banners. Cindy Deng, managing director at Turn Asia-Pacific, said by 2019 marketers can expect media spend to be “more distributed to different platforms.”
“Marketers will have to allocate their spend to different devices,” said Deng. However, doing so will introduce new challenges and marketers will need to have an easy way to connect with and track different channels.
Citing an Accenture study, Deng said the average marketing department works with 19 different marketing technology vendors. As a result, 78 percent of customers engaging with a brand report a fragmented experience from platform to platform.
“The sales funnel marketers used to use is now gone,” she said. “Most consumers are already 57 percent of the way through their decision-making before they complete their purchase decision. Luckily, 67 percent of a consumer’s brand investigation is done digitally.”
Deng believes marketers will need an “omnichannel tech stack” to integrate all their data and digital marketing activities and the data-management platforms (DMP) is the linchpin to achieving this strategy.
The three omnichannel challenges
- Achieving omnichannel marketing: the ability to reach consumers wherever they are on whatever device they are using and how to measure and track.
- Understanding the customer journey: placing customer experience and ‘personification’ at the heart of the marketing strategy.
- Impression quality: making sure that marketing communications go to the intended audience. Are they viewable and being seen by human eyes?
Three omnichannel fears and solutions
One of the pillars of omnichannel marketing is programmatic media buying. But for the uninitiated, it can be quite intimidating. To make it work, marketers firstly need to have their data in order.
Here are some common fears as shared by Deng; Janice Chan, senior director, digital marketing, Asia-Pacific, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide; and Hari Shankar, managing director, Ecselis Asia, head of paid digital survey, Havas Media.
The first fear: Data management scares marketers away. The vision of achieving everything from the onset, such as multi-touch attribution and integrating all the brand’s marketing data from the beginning, seems like an insurmountable task.
Solution: Deng believes marketers need to start with the kinds of data that are going to be easiest for them to draw out and analyse.
“For most marketers it’s going to be website, app and campaign data and to see who is seeing, clicking, viewing their ads, campaigns and videos," she said. "This is called first-party data." Other forms of first-party data may include the marketer’s CRM, mobile, social, and sales data.
The other is second-party data, which can be from stakeholders that might have a mutual goal and can in turn help marketers achieve their marketing goals. For example, this could be a credit-card company working with a restaurant group to share customer data that could be mutually beneficial.
Finally, there’s third-party data, consolidated from exchanges, sites, surveys and social media that marketers or agencies can immediately leverage.
Bringing together the first-party data will already be a good initial step forward to better understanding what’s working and what’s not.
The second fear: You need to test to know what’s working in your programmatic and omnichannel strategy, and this takes resources.
Solution: According to Chan, Starwood has been using programmatic for over two years for performance-marketing campaigns to drive booking directly to Starwood’s hotel websites.
“It has been extremely successful for us in terms of driving ROI, reaching a wider audience and focusing our spend on one or two trading desks,” said Chan.
However, to find out how different exchanges worked, Starwood had to diversify its media spend among different ad exchanges. At the same time the ad would then show up to the same user multiple times.
“It’s only through testing that we’ve since looked at ways to reduce that,” said Chan. “And to find out what’s working for us and what isn’t.”
Shankar agreed that testing, setting clear goals and using KPIs and frequency capping are crucial requirements.
“Programmatic is the big elephant in the room. A lot of brand marketers are really savvy, but for those that are looking to start, I’d say the first step is to understand what it is,” said Shankar.
He suggested that the key is to have a good planning methodology. “Are you trying to get ticket booking? What’s your KPI?” said Shankar. “Are you going to carpet bomb and target everyone, or are you cleverly looking at specific users and the stage of the customer journey they are in and using different messages and creative?”
Shankar added that the media ecosystem is also made up of opposing dynamics, making it all the more important for marketers to have clear goals: on the one-hand publishers are trying to get maximum impressions, while platforms trying to get maximum the maximum quality.
The third fear: Ad fraud
Solution: Chan suggests using third-party tools to verify.
“There are companies out there looking at viewability and click fraud,” said Chan. “But there are limitations to this. It only works outside of China and these tools can get quite expensive, and of course this is on top of all the other ad tech we pay for as marketers. But it’s a worthwhile investment.”