“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Adam Chandler, senior vice president of revenue at Rubicon Project's Buyer Cloud.
As more brands discuss in-house automation strategies, there is an increasing need to educate brand marketers on the value of automation technologies and how they relate to a brand’s business goals.
I speak with brands every day about incorporating automation into their advertising strategies. One thing is clear: Tech-side salespeople need to explain automation in everyday terms, not in the current alphabet soup of programmatic slang.
Historically, we sold advertising technology to tech-fluent counterparts from agencies and agency trading desks representing brands. Today, the process begins with more technical groundwork, such as syncing proprietary data from the brand and publisher and writing algorithms that optimize campaigns to a brand’s metrics. This is all common vernacular for those deeply entrenched in the industry, but the process can be complicated and confusing to others who are not so familiar.
As the marketing world evolves and more brands get closer to advertising automation, either moving in-house or partnering more closely with agencies, they are forging their own direct relationships with technology providers. Marketing counterparts are now a part of the automation decision and salespeople need to alter the way they talk about automated advertising. They must replace presentations on how automation technology works with conversations on why it matters for brands.
Rather than list feature after feature – “Let me tell you how great our bidder is!” – salespeople need to emphasize the real benefits of automation technology for brands, speaking the language that marketing decision-makers know and use. Understanding a brand’s customer, in terms of how they make purchasing decisions and how technology can reshape this marketing conversation, should be the foundation of every discussion.
This shift marks a new intersection between business objectives and digital delivery. Salespeople must clearly and simply communicate how automation makes digital advertising manageable, efficient and more productive, helping them meet business goals by consolidating the sheer volume of advertising options and man-hours inherent in digital marketing execution.
Instead of discussing the effectiveness of "bidding" or the value of "data-driven decisioning," how about discussing how products drive brand awareness, consideration and, ultimately, revenue for the brand? We must learn to speak to the benefits, not the jargon.
Selling automation is selling the new operating system that allows a marketing team to reach consumers via all the ways and means they can now be exposed to a message. It’s selling workflow solutions that make media buying more efficient than ever before, so the marketer saves money and time in discovering, finding and reaching new audiences. We may know this, but we rarely say it in this way. We mask the real meaning with acronyms and terms like “RTB” and “programmatic.”
It’s confusing, it’s ostracizing and we need to be much better at clearly articulating the value and benefit.
The delivery of real-time marketing depends on automation, and the adoption of automation depends on sellers being able to distinguish its real operating benefits in plain English. As with any great sales conversation, this one must begin with the “why.”
Automation technology makes it possible to get relevant advertising to market instantaneously in a more focused and efficient way than ever before. That’s a simple and straightforward concept. Now we just need a simple and straightforward way to talk about it.