“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 John Ferber, chairman at Bidtellect.
Although there is much discussion around the power of first-party data, there is another first-party asset that represents a huge untapped opportunity for native advertisers.
Brands should start exploiting their own first-party content in a more meaningful manner. First-party content offers a trove of unleveraged assets that could be potent raw materials for the creation and crafting of engaging and scalable native ads.
In turn, the proliferation of engaging native ads at scale will fortify the nascent feedback loop that all marketers are developing through data-driven marketing. The collection and analysis of consumer signals that lead to refined, strategic omnichannel advertising and branded content will be vital to brand marketer success in coming years.
Companies have always produced a multitude of content to run their businesses. For example, Procter & Gamble has created for all of its brands, such as Pampers and Tide, large amounts of content intended for marketing collateral, including point of sale. However, a lot of that content has never seen the light of day in terms of consumer exposure online. Or, if you go to Home Depot’s website, there are numerous how-to articles that can be repurposed to engage with consumers and drive sales.
Instead of relying primarily on offer-driven advertising to generate sales,
brands and their agencies would be well served to prioritize value-driven content at their fingertips that could really move the needle for their respective brands.
An engaging piece of content takes the time to properly explain the underlying value proposition of the product. Organic, relevant user experiences that inform and educate will in the long run drive greater revenue. As the tagline of the old New York City clothing retailer Sy Syms goes, “An educated consumer is our best customer.”
Why are brands not meaningfully exploiting these mountains of owned content for marketing purposes? There is not one global reason. For many brands, the Internet as a viable sales outlet is still a new concept as they have historically relied on bricks and mortar.
Many brands could repurpose sales training content for consumer marketing. Mattresses, for example, require a lot of purchase consideration; the organization will typically provide reams of information to sales people but not to consumers directly.
Even when companies go that extra yard it’s not enough. Car dealerships typically produce tons of great brochures but the depth and nuance of information doesn’t transfer to its TV or typical display advertising because of the obvious format constraints. The best types of advertising, however, can send engaged consumers to landing pages where there are broad palettes from which to paint brand stories.
So who can light the fire under brand marketers to utilize first-party content better? Agencies. As agencies refashion themselves in a challenging time to evolve the mantle of leadership with their clients, pushing their clients to collate and deploy their native content in a disciplined and organized manner could really help them enhance themselves in the eyes of their clients.
Many agencies shy away from native because of the perception that clients have no content. However, in many instances, brands have created the content but haven’t shared it with agencies in a systematic way. Therefore, this content is not necessarily aligned with what agencies conceptualize.
If agencies can proactively prod their clients to connect the dots, it could lead to a formalized approach to content creation leveraging existing content, which could reap significant benefits for all parties.