The rise of advertising technology has seen much synchronising of marketing strategies around data or the programmatic promise.
Not everyone agrees that the heavy dependency on data and artificial intelligence solutions alone is the only way to survive the future.
Synchronising for the future
In fact, as Fredrik Kinge, Global CEO of ECI Media Management, explains, there could be a smarter way to manage our marketing investments, but it needs a slightly different kind of synchronicity…
Over the past 10 years or so, there has been an over-reliance on data and technology in marketing.
An increasingly fragmented and fast-changing media landscape has led to a search for systems, processes and technologies that ensure efficient, effective investment of marketing dollars.
But the promise of programmatic has failed to deliver sufficient value for advertisers.
The expectation was, to use a metaphor from Steve Jobs, that programmatic and data would be a bicycle for the advertising budget, as the computer is a bicycle for the mind.
However, the level of waste and lack of transparency that are unfortunately characteristic of programmatic have meant that this way of investing in media hasn’t necessarily led to higher efficiencies for advertisers, because you always need to invest at least as much into other channels to deliver an effective media strategy.
Lost art of sussing human behaviour
Somewhere along the way the key factor in marketing – consumer psychology and behaviour – has been lost.
A tendency to look only at costs has ruled and gradually reduced every media channel’s dimension to the lowest common denominator, so that cost can always be counted.
Money divided by contacts is a one-dimensional way to look at the complicated process of communication, which is, after all, an art as well as a science.
Modern auditing and procurement require a more holistic view of media value, so that it is indeed an ‘investment’ and not simply a ‘cost’.
Now please don’t think that I don’t recognise the importance of accounting for every dollar invested.
Counting is crucial and it’s undoubtedly a force for good. But it’s also important to make sure you are counting the right things. Only counting impressions, clicks or other ‘things’ is not good.
We need to measure the combined dimensions of qualitative and quantitative metrics in media and create the crucial synchronisation between numbers and creativity.
Nothing is more important than knowing what is working and what’s not. Looking at the quality and quantity of both input and output is what drives ROI.
Advertisers need support to connect the dots from strategy to implementation to follow-up, so there must be synchronisation between what is said to the consumer, via the creative message and design, and how the message is distributed to the right person at the right time.
Smash silos in favour of synchronising
The issue of silos remains a challenge for advertisers. It used to be the silos between media and creative, then within media groups.
Now, the demand for experts has led to silos even within agencies, for example between strategy, creative and buying. Agencies have now understood the importance of breaking down silos and are acting up on that understanding.
Accenture Interactive, for example, has appointed creative agency chief David Droga as CEO and Creative Chairman, bringing together consultancy and creative practices, in a clear response to the shifts we’ve seen over the last 18 months.
There has been so much focus on media efficiency and data in recent years – but now the tide is changing.
There is – rightly – a more holistic view of what an effective media strategy is. It’s about efficiency, yes, but it’s also about ensuring a relevant media mix, timing strategies and placement context, so that the allocation strategy drives ROI.
All that should go hand-in-hand with data-driven creativity; in this way, advertisers can build meaningful relationships with customers.
It’s an exciting future, and one in which we look forward to supporting our clients as they drive higher media value.