“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 Jay Friedman, COO at Goodway Group.
Long ago there were only small specialty stores. Now we have Walmart, where we can buy tires, a pair of shorts, fertilizer and steaks for the grill, all in one place. If you prefer, you could do all of this at Target or Meijer as well.
For some, this product aggregation across all categories is the ultimate convenience and provides significant benefit. This is the core of what a demand-side platform (DSP) does: The best DSPs tie inventory from mobile, video and display together for unified access.
But what if someone built a new one-stop retail shop, where shoppers could get everything from Walmart, Target and Meijer all at one place? I don’t think that sounds all that great – pretty unnecessary, actually.
Yet this is a trend we’re seeing at some agencies and brands, aggregating multiple DSPs under one umbrella as a “combo DSP,” or similar names.
Our industry spent 15 years aggregating online inventory, from publisher networks to ad networks to exchanges and finally DSPs. Now it’s all in one place – the aggregation is done. Why the desire to keep going? I think the answer goes back to Roman times and ties us into our second topic.
Ancient Rome had pits where men would fight each other or animals to the death with a cheering crowd in the background. Well, that’s not too PC today, but a DSP bake-off? That’s the next best thing. I actually spoke to someone from a large brand who told me it pitted eight DSPs against each other “bracket style” and was proud of it.
Whether money is being spent in meta fashion with good intentions or bracket style with really confusing intentions, this is making your spend less efficient. Here’s why.
This one is so obvious I feel silly saying it. The most basic elements of marketing are message, targeting (reach) and frequency. It’s hard enough to get frequency right in a single platform. It’s downright impossible when working across multiple platforms within a single campaign.
Marketers shouldn’t leave to chance something that represents one-third of a campaign’s effectiveness!
Last Ad Seen Or Clicked?
I’m shocked at how many brands and agencies still work off the last ad seen or clicked (LAS/C). The single largest digital priority in 2016 for CMOs of brands operating this way should be to get any attribution model baked into their digital media.
If CMOs are in bake-off mode, it’s highly likely they are using LAS/C to judge success. It’s also likely each DSP is also using LAS/C within its own platforms – double bad. I’d posit CMOs could double their digital marketing efficiency just by using a single platform and any reasonable attribution model within the DSP, not just cross-channel.
Strategic Partner Or Vendor Manager?
Has an agency or marketing department fallen into the “vendor manager” trap rather than being a strategic partner? There are a few easy signs to see if this is happening.
First, look for agency presentations that are littered with vendor logos, essentially using their credibility to supplant their own.
Another indicator: The agency or marketing group derives value from constantly testing and using bake-offs to determine who is best. The agency or marketing group may also treat vendors like 50-cent T-shirts. If there is a stain on the relationship, they toss the vendor rather than work through the problem.
The CMO needs strategic marketing thinking. Of course they need to allow, coach and encourage their marketing team and agency to perform that role.
Digital media is the most measurable form of advertising we’ve ever known. It’s also an easy medium to measure incorrectly. Our industry is at a point now where more media than not is measurable down to exact desired effect. If marketers focus on this with a few intelligent strategic partners, their media will work harder for them than any of their competitors.