Motive: Using data-driven creative to amplify programmatic
by Dee Stephens (@ClickAss_SEO) The programmatic buzz has finally reached its peak in South Africa — virtually everywhere you look online, there’s something about it. In theory, the concept is fairly easy to grasp, but it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to applying this to creative and then putting this into practice.
In 2014, we heard the faint whispers of this “Mobilegeddon” that was coming for all of us, brands especially; needless to say, we never seem to get there. However, that being said, the global data and facts don’t lie: eMarketer estimates (and it hasn’t been wrong yet ) that mobile will account for about 72% of US digital ad spend by the end of 2019, coupled with Google’s tech-forward audiences who are online on their mobiles for more than 74% of their time. We may safely assume that marketers need to start responding to consumer behavior, as SA is not as far behind the curve as most believe.
Given the deep penetration that mobile has, as per my first column, marketers need to start paying attention to their mobile efforts, marketing strategies and digital marketing budgets, as well as molding the creative to the awesome capabilities programmatic and mobile offer.
Search has evolved so much over the last five years, due to the super computers we call mobile devices, and the “always-on” device is becoming the “always-on companion”, therefore driving the need for contextualised creative, all the while with the need to remember that nothing in this world can connect with a human better than a human. Neither programmatic, nor SEO, nor content marketing — none of these can forge that connection better than a real person, but we can damn sure come close!
1. Use all the available data to understand what your audience wants
Do this by leveraging the technology and molding the creative that is interesting and relevant to the consumer.
Some of you may already be using your market research and CRM to inform digital campaigns, but there is an entire boatload of data you could be missing out on: website data such as your most popular products, or audience data such as time of engagement, interests and places, contextual data like location, device, screen 1, 2 or 3, etc.
The key point here is: Know all the data before you make a decision on what your audience needs; figure out where you can be smarter with your creative.
2. Collaboration is a prerequisite
In my experience, it’s all too often that the digital, creative and production agencies are brought into the campaign process at different times, often well after the media strategy has been decided.
What’s missed is that, if we bring the creative in with the digital agency and brand from the beginning, we can build more creative relevant strategies around your target audience.
3. Communication is vital
Looking at a typical campaign, the process is frequently that one party does one portion of the work and then it’s handed over to the next party, yet it more than likely comes with no insightful data.
By involving everyone from the get go, you can ensure the ongoing communication and a much more-effective campaign.
4. Maximising programmatic
Programmatic advertising allows the brand to reach their target audiences in the moments that matter, when they make a decision, changing how we buy and sell media. In doing so, it changes the way we have to look at creative in the programmatic sphere.
There is a wealth of data available through programmatic, from first-party analytics and third-party audience data to the contextual inputs such as devices. Get smart. Leveraging all the data and insights from all the campaigns that you run may be a daunting task, and may very well require a huge change to your processes, but it’s the key to amplifying programmatic and creating more efficient, smarter campaigns.
Ensuring that the creative team is working with the planning team and that they all work with the analytics team will enable you to maximise the value of your programmatic by creating unique, niche, customised campaigns for current and potential audiences.
- Creative agencies: The opportunity is that you can deliver the “creative proposition” in the right context to the right audiences, lending its way to impactful memorable content.
- Digital media agencies: The opportunity exists to ensure that all parties have the right creative and that production agencies have the right format for the media buys. This opens the doors so you can offer a greater breadth of service to your clients.
- Production agencies: Efficiencies can be created with access to data, and insights; data-driven creative creates a far more-structured environment and process that can create efficiencies, even with campaigns that do not rely upon any dynamic creative.
- Brands: The long-ranging effects — of how brands reach users will depend upon data-driven insights that inform brand strategy, content strategy and marketing strategy when applied correctly — are vast but, in order to achieve all of this, marketers need to change their mindset. A collaborative, iterative strategy for the long-term marketing strategy.
Once all of this is achieved, your creative may be the powerhouse of your programmatic success.
Dee Stephens (@ClickAss_SEO) is a dedicated individual, an analyst at heart, data junkie, accomplished content marketer, SEO professional, SMO expert, and digital media award winner. Having worked with international and local brands such as Unilever, MSN, Times Media Group, Kagiso Media and BidorBuy, she has learned that “the volume of traffic to your page matters far less than how qualified that audience and traffic is”.
“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on MarkLives.com. Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.
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