The Digiday Brand Summit in Key Biscayne served up a diverse lineup of topics presented by experts with equally diverse professional backgrounds. From Chili’s VP of Digital Innovation to Kardashian Beauty’s SVP of Global eCommerce, the conference ensured that attendees were able to draw from brand marketing perspectives different than their own. As I made my way in and out of workshops, panels and networking sessions, however, I was struck by the common marketing challenges discussed by many of the brands ambassadors at the event.
The biggest issue to take center stage was the proliferation of mobile devices and the effect that cross device behavior was having on consumers’ shopping habits. It was clear that brands were struggling to identify the most effective ways to reach their customers across devices, while also accounting for each advertising dollar spent.
While these challenges were seemingly pervasive, it was very encouraging to hear that most brands also shared an understanding of how they could solve these cross device challenges by leveraging first-party customer data to develop a single view of each consumers’ online and offline purchasing activity – an approach to digital advertising that we at Viant refer to as “people-based.”
Companies who have accumulated large databases of registered users like Facebook and Google have helped to shift the advertising industry’s attention to the inherent benefits of people-based advertising models. Unfortunately for these tech giants, however, their platforms only allow for deterministic advertising within their own walled gardens rather than across the open web – an important difference for brands to understand.
Additionally, in a marketplace where the term “people-based” is becoming more commonplace, marketers must also be wary of ad tech platforms that claim to offer deterministic capabilities that are actually cookie-based or dependent on other anonymous and unreliable proxies.
To better understand the inherent benefits of a true people-based approach to advertising, let’s look more closely at some of the specific marketing challenges that arose out of the Digiday Brand Summit and provide an explanation for how people-based advertising across the open web can help solve them.
Top 3 Marketing Challenges in 2016:
- Measuring cross channel return on ad spend
- Creating seamless cross-channel consumer experiences
- Driving new customer acquisition
Challenge 1: Quantifying Return on Ad Spend
People-Based Solution: While e-commerce continues to grow, the majority of transactions still occur offline. Despite this, in-store purchases are still heavily influenced by online activity. This makes it imperative to create a link between digital ad exposure and in-store purchases. With people-based ad targeting across connected devices and the right data integrations, marketers can close the online-to-offline gap by linking online ad exposure to in-store purchases.
Creating this online-to-offline link is helping advertisers gain cross device insight into how, when and where audiences are interacting with their brand’s ads. These attribution models properly arm marketers with the much-needed data to pinpoint ROAS, and to develop future campaigns that are appropriately segmented and personalized.
Challenge 2: Creating Cross-Channel Consumer Experiences
People-Based Solution: In 2007, American households averaged 2.8 connected devices. Today, that number sits closer to 10. Simply put, the use of connected devices in the home is skyrocketing, and for marketers this poses a big problem: third-party cookies are not supported on mobile devices, rendering probabilistic (cookie) modeling much less effective.
On the other hand, this cross device trend creates an exceptional opportunity for brands to engage with their audiences in a whole new (and interactive) way. As the number of connected devices in the home continues to rise, it’s more important than ever for marketers to properly identify their customers, and to deliver messaging that is pertinent and relevant to them. To do so, marketers must employ ad tech solutions that leverage registered user databases offering actionable consumer data.
Challenge 3: Driving New Customer Acquisition
People-Based Solution: Not all customers are created equal. The days of probabilistically targeting anonymous users in a black box are over. Now, through a people-based approach, marketers can leverage registered user data instead of cookies to create a single view of each consumer across all of his or her connected devices.
Brands that employ a people-based approach will be able to better understand the most effective aspects of their campaigns, such as the touchpoints leading up to each purchase. This is particularly helpful for acquiring new customers, as marketers armed with cross device behavioral insights will be capable of optimizing their campaigns to effectively reach the prospective customers they previously weren’t able to target.