Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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My 2020 resolution

Doubling down on addressable marketing!

Marketers need to focus on 3 main priorities for 2020

If marketers lose the ability to “recognize” a user, it threatens programmatic and independent MTA methods that must connect ad serving, profiling, and outcomes at a user level. Potentially, this will drive even more ad dollars to the big three (because they are based on first party log-in). However, marketers want choices and the ecosystem will fight back…

1.Do what is needed to support addressable marketing

a. Expect and encourage universal identifiers. LiveRamp, The Trade Desk, the IAB and a few others are working towards first party systems for universal identifiers. Publishers who are not in the big three and DSPs will want this to protect their ad businesses.

b. Explore private exchanges and direct deals. Most of programmatic is already private and direct anyway. These deals can give marketers access to publishers’ first party classifiers, improve reach against desired targets, and guarantee safety.

c. Data strategies for MTA must change. Assuming tags, cookies, and user identifiers in ad server logs go away, typical mechanisms for linking ad serving and conversion data will no longer be available at sufficient scale for MTA. Marketers should start talking with their MTA providers to understand their response strategies.

d. Targetable segments need more scrutiny. The creation of third-party segments has always been opaque, and now it will get worse.  Marketers will want to verify that segments are what they purport to be.  Via a research service I offer in a partnership called Jolt! we score different providers of the same segment; we have seen a range in “validity index” from 250 (good) down to 75 (below gen pop…really bad.)

2. Brand vs. performance understanding

Brands exist in the minds of consumers so surveys are needed to understand brand-building. The mapping of media tactics to brand vs. performance benefits is not “0/1”; it is more like x and y coordinates. The MMA is working towards better understanding of this with its “brand as performance” initiative that combines digital analytics and brand surveys in a single source way, using first party, permissioned and persistent identifiers. (contact me to learn more…joel@rubinsonpartners.com)

3. Use Marketing research databases to fill in the gaps

Digital data only takes the analyst so far.  Marketers cannot independently see the effectiveness of ad serving within walled gardens. Frequent shopper data has some gaps. Well funded marketing research providers are increasingly building unique, opt-in, permissioned databases at large scale to address these and other gaps.

The bottom line for 2020:

Ad spending trends are clear; marketers won’t go back to 1990s marketing. Addressable marketing should now be viewed as the base and not the bolt-on of media planning, Although, bottom up planning tools have not yet emerged At the same time that marketers drive for more efficiency, they also need to learn how to use addressable marketing to build brands (can be done…a future blog for sure!). As new rules driven by heightened concern for privacy rock the digital data ecosystem, marketers, with their media agencies and tech partners, will need to work towards replacement identifier approaches.