The digital transformation of our society has certainly impacted the advertising industry as a whole. We have come a long way since the Ad Men from Madison Avenue half a century ago. Today, our media mix is multi channel, our audience is mobile and on the go, out of home inventory is becoming programmatic, voice search is trending, we monitor performance in real time, and we live under the promise of data-driven marketing.
‘Data’ has always been used to justify media choices. Nothing new there. No advertiser can afford all available media and every channels. Each product and service is meant to satisfy a particular demand at a particular price, and the right message has to be sent to the right audience. Does that bring you back to Marketing 101? That’s because advertising is part of your marketing mix (the Promotion of the 4P’s). But how can we know that we are maximising the impact of the advertising budget vs. our target audience? It is impossible to connect a euro invested in a TV ad to the individual sale of a tube of toothpaste. That is where market research and intelligence come in, to help identify the target audience, and the most appropriate media to reach them, and that’s why reach and frequency have historically been the key performance indicators.
Enter the age of digital. Although the first banner ads appears in the 1990’s, Digital Advertising has developed and picked up as of the 2000’s. Today every pitch and every plan must be backed by extensive market research and customer data intelligence, but also by all sorts of previously impossible measurements. In the advertising world, big data means that media channels have multiplied, that screen size variations have exploded, and that all of it can be measured one way or another.
Marketeers and advertisers have a job to be done: to promote the awareness and consideration for their brands to a relevant customer base. To this end, they have access to - sometimes vast - amounts or resources which must be allocated appropriately. In today’s world, with ‘better than ever before’ measurement, advanced audience targeting and modern advertising technologies, the job of the advertiser is easier than ever. Or is it? I would argue that this overload of data and choices is making things a little spicier, that resources can be better allocated, but that it takes more work to get there. In reality there is a cost to achieve this data-driven improvement in the marketer's allocation of resources. And if all stakeholders do their jobs well, the savings will offset this extra cost, by a lot. My main message here is that resources and strategy are required in order to achieve enhanced advertising efficiency.
In future posts, we will deepdive a little in those digital advertising specificities through the angles of technology, measurement, resources and audiences.