Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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Marketing has a new intelligence engine…and it lies OUTSIDE of the marketing research/insights team. Yes, researchers: you are now on the outside looking in on the central brain of marketing!
The DMP (Data Management Platform) is the brain behind programmatic advertising and is also informing other types of ad buys.
The DMP is a formidable source of intelligence. It can house thousands of profiling variables and digital ad response results at the individual user level for hundreds of millions of customers and website visitors. Yet, the brain is not as smart as it needs to be unless you teach it marketing strategy by integrating research results.
So, here is a plan for 2016 for you to get back in the game and maybe become the star running back!
Learn something new…
1–Understand the digital ad tech ecosystem, the DMP, and web metrics basics.
Understand what the DMP contains, how the data got in there and how it drives programmatic marketing and other media buying. Advertisers: talk to your media agencies. Suppliers: talk with your clients who work with their DMP. Attend workshops. Become familiar with the basic web metrics reports for brand websites, Facebook pages, etc.

2–Measure media behaviors

Most consumer researchers do not study media behaviors. However, media is the way we connect consumers to brand ideas. Is TV still the 800 pound gorilla? (Yes…still #1 in time spent but no, as TV content now has a significant online viewing component and half of us multitask.) Has mobile killed the computer? (No, Steve Jobs was wrong on that one.) How many have a smart watch or smart home device?
3–Understand the consumer/shopper journey.
How are consumers exposed to your brand and competitors across devices, channels, and daily life? What triggers a shopping journey? What is the required symphony of integrated marketing to produce a successful outcome? (More on understanding the consumer journey here)

Do something different
You can’t change everything but you need to change SOMETHING. Movement is essential.
1–Get into the DMP game: connect measurement from trackers and segmentation studies into the DMP to make that brain smarter.
2–Turn your survey brand tracker into a brand guidance system. Integrate social and digital data streams to create a complete picture of brand health, build a predictive model for the coming quarter, and reduce survey bloat. Merge in key digital profiling data used by the DMP.
3–Get digital right by improving the way you determine marketing effectiveness. I’m sure that your marketing mix models do not handle digital and social as rigorously as spending on TV, promotions, etc. You might even change the modeling engine and use a 360 communications approach that is respondent based, tags all digital assets, and merges in digital profiling data.
I know the appetite exists for this “change agenda”. Over the past year, I have conducted numerous assignments to help suppliers and client-side advertisers demystify digital, data-driven marketing and how to retool research approaches to align to this new world.
Marketing practices are transforming at a remarkable pace…research professionals need to keep up or lose their relevance.

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