Ad Industry Needs to Embrace Data Sharing to Spark Growth

Industry Leaders Call for Greater Data Sharing to Spark Innovation and Grow Advertising Space

Industry Leaders Call for Greater Data Sharing to Spark Innovation and Grow Advertising Space

NEW YORK, NY — There is a wealth of data available to advertisers today, but the majority of this data is privately held, and that’s a real problem for brands and emerging media channels. Most companies view their data as proprietary and are reluctant to share information with other industry stakeholders for fear of losing competitive advantage. Is it possible that our walled garden approach to data is actually holding back innovation and growth?

Anush Prabhu, Chief Planning and Investment Officer at Deutsch NY, believes that is the case. “The entire advertising ecosystem would see significant growth if there was more collective sharing of information,” said Prabhu.

“Today I can see if you’ve walked into a store with your mobile device, just based on your geolocation. I can figure out whether you walked into another store, and what you purchased there. There is a lot of data available, however, there’s a lot more data available than is actually being shared,” said Prabhu. “If companies shared their data, there would be a lot more intelligence that we would have as marketers and brands. The more data that’s available, the better our campaigns can perform, the better mediums can perform, and then there will be a lot more money invested.”

Digital place-based media and location-based mobile are a new marketing paradigm. They are symmetrical discovery platforms, each enabling consumers to explore and discover the things they like most.

Emerging media, such as digital place-based, are bought based on potential, while established media are bought based on proven execution. If marketers continue to use old standards of measurement to evaluate emerging media, the wrong conclusion will be reached every time. If ad industry stakeholders can find a way to be more aligned and share information, the entire media-buying ecosystem would spark significant growth opportunities.

Mr. Prabhu was part of an open forum discussion called Figuring Out Multiscreen Strategies at the Digital Place Based Advertising Association’s (DPAA) 2014 Video Everywhere Summit, an annual event that brings together advertising agency media professionals, brands, and digital place-based network stakeholders, which was held in New York on November 4.

The summit covered a range of topics including multiscreen campaign planning and location-based mobile advertising. Mr. Prabhu was joined on stage by Stephen Tisdalle, Sr. VP, Brand Marketing, Oppenheimer Funds; Natasha Hritzuk, Senior Director Global Consumer Insights, Microsoft; and Michael Burgi, Director of Editorial Partnerships at AdWeek, moderated the discussion.

Beyond the Screen: What’s Driving Multiscreen Ad Planning?

According to a recent study of brand advertisers by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Nielsen, multiscreen advertising campaigns will grow from 20% of media allocation to 50% by 2016. The study defined multiscreen advertising as campaigns that run during a similar timeframe across two or more screens, including TV, computer, tablet, mobile phone, and digital place-based (DPB) media. Approximately 25% of brands are currently thinking about multiscreen advertising in an integrated way, and that spells opportunity for agencies and media providers.

Planning a multiscreen campaign starts by asking the right questions because once you understand your objectives, you can figure out how to hone your message and determine which screens you really need to use. “If you start with the screen you’re going to end up with the wrong answer,” said Prabhu.

Multiscreening behavior is incredibly complicated, according to Microsoft’s Natasha Hritzuk. “You might start one day watching TV and reading the Times digitally. The next day you might be doing email while you’ve got your tablet open. How can you pin a media strategy against behavior when it changes so frequently? Once you begin to understand the behavior, you can start to understand the needs and the motivation driving multiscreening.”

Behavioral motivation is only half of the equation. When we begin to factor in data variations between geographic regions and consumer lifestyles, planning advertising across multiple screen-based platforms is overwhelmingly complicated.

Content is everywhere and the shear volume of content can easily dilute a brand’s messaging. In fact, there is so much content, measuring it through reach and frequency may not matter anymore. Finding a way to break through with relevant content is one of the biggest challenges facing brands today.

“How do we make content relevant? How do we know when we have enough data and insight to share content the right way, on the right screen, and at the right moment? This is where data comes in,” said Mr. Prabhu.

Depending on the target audience and screen type, consumer behavior can change significantly. We need to understand the relationship between the appropriate content for the appropriate screen, and how that works from a consumer perspective, according to Hritzuk. “At what point do screens become secondary to the content? We’re moving into a world where multiscreen planning is becoming more agnostic. The focus is shifting to targeting people with the right content, regardless of what screen they are on.”

Tapping Into the Discovery Mindset

Reaching consumers with relevant content is about understanding who they are, where they are, and what they are looking for at a given moment in time. Once we understand the nuances of the moment a consumer is in, we can begin to understand and shape their experiences.

The panel reflected on their personal encounters with DPB media, and highlighted unique creative opportunities to fill passive moments and respond to the immediacy of the moment.

“If somebody asked me to recall a TV ad that I’ve seen in the past month, I’d be hard pressed,” said Hritzuk. “But I vividly remember a whole series of ads I’ve seen sitting captive in the back of a taxi and on JetBlue. We’re conditioned as consumers to be very attuned to visual stimulus. When you don’t have anything going on, you’re going to be more receptive to messages. I can remember three things that I’ve seen recently in the back of a taxi, and I can vividly replay those ads, so it’s interesting. These are more passive moments where consumers are going to be very receptive to messaging.”

“One of the most interesting experience I had recently was sitting in a cab in the middle of summer. It was 104 degrees, one of those terrible New York City days and you’re sopping wet, and then there’s a Vitaminwater ad that talks about how it will cool you down,” said Tisdalle. “The sequencing and timing of that—when it happens to be 104 degrees–is highly relevant. We need to see more of this kind of calculated positioning and ad placement that uses immediate and relevant things that are currently happening in the environment.”

“It’s about marketing to people’s needs,” added Hritzuk. “Each stage of a consumer’s journey has very specific needs. Whether it’s personalization or information, the content should pivot to these needs, and that immediately breaks through the relevance barrier.”

Photo courtesy: DPAA

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