Programmatic media buying systems must do more than simply access cheaper and more targeted impressions. Marketers need to “empower” these systems by building creative that can be “customised and seamlessly delivered by media buying algorithms”, says a digital trend report by global research based agency, Millward Brown.
The company’s 2015 Digital and Media Predictions report lists 11 trends that will provide marketers with a “clear guide to the challenges and opportunities of the next 12 months”.
“To date, the debate around programmatic media has been firmly centered on the ‘how’ of operations and behavioral metrics such as cost per click,” said Duncan Southgate, global brand director for digital at Millward Brown. “In 2015 we expect marketers to be equally focused on the benefits programmatic may be able to bring to building meaningful brands and the opportunities to leverage it more creatively.”
Southey said this should not come at the expense of other key “key campaign objectives such as communicating brand messages and building long-term desire”. Millward Brown believes successful programmatic providers will “increasingly differentiate themselves based on their ability to deliver campaigns that not only drive behaviours but also improve brand metrics”.
1. Second screen syncing brings greater multiscreen control
New second screen sync technologies offer great potential to amplify your own TV spend… or to hijack that of competitors!
Millward Brown had meshing (simultaneous viewing of related content across multiple devices) on its radar in 2014. This year, with a new era of multiscreen advertising beginning, controlled second-screen syncing is set to appear on more and more media plans. Second screen syncing is planning media so that within seconds of a TV ad airing, a complementary ad appears on consumers’ digital screens. Time-synced digital media plans use listening technology to identify when a specific TV ad airs; the technology then triggers the ad server to buy up available inventory across a network of sites, and the digital ad appears for a short period following the TV spot. Most syncing technology can run digital ads across desktop, mobile, and tablet, so advertisers are able to reach their TV audience by the second screen of their choice.
2. Breaking down social and mobile silos
The fragmented and competitive social and mobile landscape drives advertising innovation but brings with it inefficiencies and challenges.
Social and mobile media are no longer new media, but Millward Brown says marketers are spending energy developing siloed strategies for each platform. These media have yet to achieve the sophisticated measurement of their more established counterparts—most platforms can only offer peeks inside their own performance. To prove their collective value, social and mobile platforms need to offer a more coordinated look at the landscape they occupy. 2015 will see the start of a transformation from “walled garden” marketing and measurement toward cross-device, cross-platform, and cross-media approaches that evidence the full impact of these platforms on brand equity, consumer behavior, and sales.
3. Not just big – intelligent
In 2015, marketing will experience a mind shift in focus from “big” data to streamlined “intelligent” data.
Marketers are data rich but insights poor. Despite the promise of Big Data, investments in powerful data processing platforms can be costly and, at best, only marginally useful when marketers lack a firm understanding of the quality of the data and appropriateness of its applications. This year will see brand marketers culling big data assets to “must haves,” investing in analytic talent, and applying predictive analytics to orchestrate investments across retail and communication channels to drive brand equity and sales. Marketers are currently facing the front end of a steep learning curve of how to efficiently harness the power of Big Data.
4. Paid advertising propels micro-video into the mainstream
Micro-video platforms provide smart paid marketing opportunities, but only brands who know, learn, and love those platforms will succeed.
Brands spent much of 2014 working to find a place on social micro-video platforms like Vine and Instagram. Their efforts so far have been earned media, as consumers rewarded their creativity with likes and shares, but there is now some movement into paid placements. Micro-video platforms will become more important as an ad channel in 2015, but brands will need to tread carefully to avoid consumer backlash for invading their personal space. Instagram has begun to test the effectiveness of paid ads on these platforms with a limited number of brands. Ads on these platforms must be immediately captivating and entertaining, and consumers on these sites have high expectations of creativity.
5. Digital advertising at 21: marketers get savvier about multi-generational multiscreen marketing
Optimize across devices by aligning branding objectives with learning about how screen usage varies by generation and contextual task.
In digital advertising’s 21st year, multiscreen marketing across TVs, laptops/ PCs, smartphones, and tablets will finally become more unified. People’s relationships with all of the screens in their lives (and most people have at least three) are not fragmented at all—they’re integrated. In 2014 audiences figured out how to harmonise their various screens, and in 2015 marketers will catch up. In 2015, the savviest marketers will invest in understanding what drives screen preference so they can match these drivers with the branding outcomes they hope to achieve.
6. Programmatic gets creative
Programmatic advertising evolves by merging smart and engaging creative elements with existing media buying algorithms.
Historically, programmatic ads have been simplistic and formulaic to enable the adaptability required of the format while processing the available information on a given person, but the ads themselves must now become more engaging to break through the clutter each of us experiences every day. To meet this need in 2015, creative agencies will increasingly partner with developers or build up their own advanced programming capabilities and cross-functional abilities to produce and deploy smart ads with customizable creative elements. The best of these executions will not
7. Programmatic increasingly contemplates brand
Marketers will question whether programmatic optimization is damaging or enhancing brand building.
Programmatic advertising, which relies on algorithms to determine in real-time whether or not to engage a consumer, is a staggering innovation. However, those algorithms often rely on limited digital touchpoints, which ultimately overweight the importance of direct-response metrics and KPIs. Brands are becoming aware of this overweighting, and in the next year, they will increasingly demand that these programmatic algorithms also consider softer measures of brand health. Advertising objectives for many large brands are often more focused on building awareness, communicating messages, and moving brand attributes. These activities currently don’t have a traditional digital footprint; rather, they are psychological footprints in the mind of the consumer.
8. Consumer-focused location-based marketing blooms
Location-based marketing opportunities are powerful when brands focus on consumers’ interests rather than on their own.
The evolution of the smartphone has provided us with unparalleled convenience and access to data, but this access goes both ways. Never before have the likes of Google, Facebook, and their advertisers had more access to information about us, and increasingly, about where we go. If you are carrying an iPhone or Android device and the location services are active, chances are Apple and Google are tracking your every move. It was only a matter of time before advertisers started to cash in on this wealth of data that is being collected 24/7. The advertisers that see the greatest returns from location-based targeting will be the ones that look at this technology from the perspective of what it can offer their consumers, rather than merely trying to support their own interests.
9. Native advertising more often gets it right – but choose wisely
Optimise across devices by aligning branding objectives with learning about how screen usage varies by generation and contextual task.
Native advertising—online ads created to blend in with a publishing platform’s format—will be huge in 2015. However, not all native solutions are created equal. The worst are perceived as blatant propaganda and are as boring as your parents’ vacation slideshow. But the best evoke positive feelings, resonate with consumers, and drive brand impact. Advertisers should identify publishers getting native right and then partner with them to execute best-in-class solutions.
10. Analogue goes digital
Brands must leverage mobile-enabled connectivity coherently through every aspect of their marketing programmes.
Conventional wisdom says that our mobile phones are the vessels by which we bring the digital world into the physical, but we’ve moved beyond the point of intersection. From the places we take them to the apps we choose, our phones know us as few others do. They have come to represent us— our digital avatars. Millward Brown’s AdReaction 2014 study demonstrated that mobile devices have already become the dominant screen globally for the 65 percent of people who have them. Moreover, research from Millward Brown South Africa shows a staggering 74 percent of people abandoning purchases. Accordingly, mobile devices are transforming traditional media forms into interactive digital touch points—in short, connected mobiles turn everything digital.
11. Winning in the digital age
Winning organisations will court innovators, focus on digital, think collaboratively, and see the big picture.
Through Millward Brown Vermeer’s Marketing2020 research in association with Google, we have realized that winning marketers understand that digital has transitioned from simply a channel choice to a powerful marketing tool—but not all organisations can make brands win in the digital space. Fortunately, several trends will distinguish winning organisational models in 2015 and beyond. Winning organiations will lookfor innovative, fresh perspectives to disrupt the streamlined thinking that plagues lethargic organisations. Adaptive, agile minds are necessary for the difficult task of managing the spread of touchpoints and allowing an organisation to anticipate the market’s ever- changing structure.
Click here for the full report: Millward-Brown_2015-Digital-and-Media-Predictions
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