July 15, 2013
The last 15 years of marketing innovation are indelibly etched in history, yet the prior 30 years set the groundwork for why this all makes sense. Mass marketing strategies that drove tremendous advertising growth in the 60’s and 70’s gave way to targeted audience based concepts by the late 80’s. Around this time marketers crowded consumer choice, proliferating brands and even non-brands, in an environment where consumers already faced tremendous friction in their ability to gather information for evaluation and purchase.
Then in the early 90’s we all partook in the greatest, most timely invention of all, the Internet.
More than a new technology or a new advertising channel, the Internet cast a milestone that marks the shift in consumer objectives forevermore; from acquiring information to filtering information and increasingly creating information. This consumer shift is the primary wedge inserted to marketing and advertising, especially for brands that have yet to realize this change; exacerbated by waning consumer response rates, many brands have upped the ante by driving even more impressions, using new technologies to drive efficiency and reach.
More than a retro-futuristic steampunk story, if we were to sit down and examine what’s available would we again build the rigidly siloed marketing systems of today? Of course not. Marketing starts with audiences and objectives, not channels and data siloes. In a sense, I’m advocating a righting of the marketing equation, placing the consumer rather than channels as the primary concern. Viewing the equation from the this dimension, we eliminate complexity and increase targeting accuracy, experiential consistency and measurement accuracy.
July 20, 2012
I’ll admit it… I’m in my 15th year of digital marketing, wrapped inside a 28 year career of marketing. While this can make me sound like an old fart, I realized quite a while ago that I no longer think in digital terms… I apply digital concepts, tactics and measurement to marketing strategy.
More than parsing words too closely, this goes to the core of all multichannel marketing and consumer centric strategies. Thinking in terms of channel based strategies, a.k.a. digital marketing strategies, is antithetical to success. Your target audience IS your target audience, regardless of where they come upon you.
Consider the rage of discussion around data management platforms, real time bidding and web recommendation tools. Across the board, all value the input of digital signals to try to deliver better or more efficient digital media. Is this the right answer? Last time I researched the area of media consumption, I found that consumers amass about 42% of their media impressions through digital channels.
If you still believe in the “digital marketing strategy”, today’s best practice, consider that you’re looking at less than half of your cutsomer engagement to deliver less than half of their impression of your brand. How does that align to the other 58% of media impressions? How do you control consistency between those impressions?
Hope you get the point. Start thinking about your marketing strategy, and how digital signals and media can help achieve your objectives. The world is turning increasingly digital, but until you make this shift, or until 100% of your audiences impressions are digital we’ll never see an alignment between the digital marketing strategy and overall marketing stratetgy… we’ll never see true consumer centric marketing or true customer engagement.
March 12, 2012
Yester-year I worked to connect large direct response retailers to their first ecommerce experience – integrating commerce and content systems into “enterprise resource planning” systems (ERP). While we hear less about ERP systems these days, the point of those solutions was that it really did connect all aspects of the business… finance, inventory, customer service, billing, and more.
Today, we use the word enterprise to describe something that we either want a VC to perk up and hear, or something that involves merging a few disparate things. I read a MediaPost article today, “Enterprise DMP Will Require Companies to Merge Data Silos“, and was reminded of this point.
While I thoroughly agree with the authors premise that data silos are on their way out, I disagree that having a larger silo is substantively better. Or, that it represents the “enterprise”. Combining more digital data for the purpose of sending more, or even better, digital messages is a great ideal but is not the right answer. Two points to consider…
- To rightfully use the term, enterprise, it should at least cover a majority of the average media spend, if not all of it. Combining all digital channels, the best we can see in this digital coverage is about a 25% of ad spend and 40% of the consumption of media.
- Consumers exhibit multichannel behavior, 70% research and purchase in different channels, online versus offline. Being better at just the online part of this equation match well with consumer expectations or marketer needs.
March 9, 2012
The concept of “last click” is as flawed as attributing the purchase of an adult beverage to the neon sign hanging outside the liquor store. The concept of “Digital attribution” simply tries to count the number of beer signs the person saw. What about TV, bill boards, demographics and socioeconomic factors?
While reading a Digiday article this morning, “The Last-Click Attribution Dilemma“, two arguments presented by the author struck me as worthy of comment…
- Authors point – Brand marketers are staying out of display ads because of the inherent inability to properly attribute spend to results. Really?!? Is TV a good example of being able to attribute spend to results? Of course not. Yet, this has been the haven for brand dollars for generations. I suggest that while attribution is AN argument to this issue, the main argument is that display ad technologies target consumers very poorly and that those targeting capabilities have little to do with the knowledge and needs of brand marketers. Comscore identified that 80% of targeted ads fail to reach their intended audience. Pause for a second… yes, 80% failure. Why? They all rely upon poor proxies of the real, underlying predictive insight required… bad and incomplete data. 3rd party cookies, context and behavior are not sufficient. Individually or collectively.
- Authors point – focus on expanding perspective of digital touch points to do attribution properly. Three research points come to me: 1) about 40% of ad impressions occur in digital channels; 2) Forrester estimates that 70% of consumers exhibit multichannel behavior – researching in one channel and purchasing in another; 3) multichannel customers contribute 4-5 times the revenue per customer than single channel customers. Doing a perfect job at assembling all digital touch points will never be enough. I suggest it’s a false objective. It misses the perspective of consumer behavior, information necessary to support executive media mix decisions and simply creates focus on the minority of ad spend.
All of this makes me thirsty… Sierra Nevada’s my favorite beer!
January 19, 2012
Here are the highlights… in three points…
1) Learn to identify and digest anonymous, semi-identifiable and identifiable data
2) Learn how to leverage customer lifetime value, or a strong proxy for customer value, in your media investment decisions
3) Learn how to better market at the customer level, this will be the trend to discuss next year!
December 30, 2011
Subtitle: If all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail
I recently read an article in digiDay, written by the CEO of a modestly large online personalization firm. The title drew me in… “Outsourcing Data Management is a Mistake“. As I read, I was consistently impressed with the idea that narrow solutions, while interesting, lead to profound mistakes.
An open reply to the article –
If the proposal is that better management of online data needs to drive towards online personalization, I believe the premise and conclusions of the article are too narrow. While interesting, they are incomplete. Consider this, even if the premise is executed perfectly, advertisers will still have not solved 60% to 80% of the problem. A growing portion of media is being consumed online and a growing number of transactions are occuring online, but it’s still a minority.
The root of my point is that the writers premise solves only a small portion of all consumers interactions with a brand… not all portions of some consumers. In a world where more than 60% of consumers act in a multichannel manner and bring 4 to 5 times more value (Forrester research), solving the larger problem of multichannel insight has become the new table stakes. Using the writers premise, relying solely upon online actions to drive personalization, success would rely upon shere luck that a media impression would actually be triggered by the appropriate marketing reason.
Until we have a data management solution that leverages the knowledge, segmentation and targeting of a brand as the primary data select and targeting methodology, we’re going to be chasing after the big money with small solutions. Consumer behavior is more complex than the distillation of online data. Consumer expectations are greater. The problems marketers are trying to solve are larger.
What you propose isn’t wrong, I feel it’s just incomplete.
Love to hear your thoughts!