The ‘digital paradox’ facing the media industry in 2020

media predictions

Technology will continue to redefine the media landscape in 2020, creating opportunities and challenges for marketers.

 

JANE OSTLER

Global Head of Media, Insights Division

DIGITAL 04.12.2019 / 08:00

As ad spend on social and tech platforms continues to grow, technology innovations will also enable a renaissance in real-world engagement. According to Kantar’s global 2020 Media Trends & Predictions report marketers and media owners will be challenged to develop the skills, engagement models and measurement capabilities to meaningfully engage consumers in the crowded media landscape.

 

source: https://uk.kantar.com/tech/digital/2019/the-digital-paradox-facing-the-media-industry-in-2020/

Kantar predicts there will be a digital paradox; while new and evolving media channels will create opportunities, the deluge of digital touchpoints will make it more difficult to connect with consumers. Marketers will also need to navigate the ‘data dilemma,’ meeting consumer demand for relevant, personalised content, without breaching trust and privacy. And as third-party cookies start to crumble, advertisers will need to find alternative measurement solutions.

Kantar’s 2020 Media Trends and Predictions fall into three major themes:

The technology trends transforming the media landscape:

  • 5G finally gets real: The marketing industry will be one of the key beneficiaries of the 5G era, enabling far greater capabilities to reach and engage with consumers  but taking advantage of the 5G opportunity will require a significant transformation from marketers.
  • The battle of the streaming platforms heats up: New players will see the battle of the streaming platforms heat up, but an increasingly cluttered market will drive subscription fatigue among consumers.
  • Turning up the volume: Brands will turn up the volume and find their voice as we enter a new age of audio advertising. Newer audio channels are poised to gain mainstream prominence.
  • Content meets commerce: Content and commerce will converge as ‘shopvertising’ evolves from shoppable social to shoppable TV and digital out-of-home resulting in a contraction of the closed-loop marketing cycle.

The spaces that brands can credibly occupy:

  • Brands get back to reality: Brands will balance their digital presence with more real-world experiences, meaning we could see a slowdown in the pace of digital advertising growth.
  • Brands take a stand: Taking the lead from consumers, brands will become more radical in 2020. But they need to ensure their media strategy is aligned with their values and purpose.
  • Influencer marketing must measure what matters: Influencer marketing will mature as brands start to collaborate more deeply and take measurement more seriously in 2020.
  • Esports goes mainstream: esports will go mainstream over the next 12 months, presenting lucrative opportunities for the media owners and advertisers that learn the rules of the game.

The context and catalysts for change

  • The trend towards media in-housing: The trend towards media in-housing will continue as more brands build their own teams of digital experts, pushing agencies and advertisers out of their traditional comfort zones, into a new collaborative and exciting space.
  • Changing the cookies recipe: The demise of cookies could leave many marketers in the dark. Advertisers need to prepare now for the new “mixed economy”. Direct integrations between publishers and measurement partners will enable true cross-publisher measurement for the first time.
  • Doing the right thing with data: Faced with impending legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act  in January 2020, privacy ethics will come to the fore and marketers will design personalisation initiatives with a people-first, rather than tech-first, mentality.
  • Campaign 2020, crowding and clutter: Political advertising will create crowding and clutter in 2020, especially in the U.S. media landscape. Brand advertisers will need to rethink their strategy during campaign season.

2020 will be an exciting year for marketers. Increased advertising and content possibilities, along with the data generated, create a plethora of opportunities for marketers and media owners. With new opportunities though come new challenges. Emerging foundational technologies could transform media usage, and other industry shifts, such as the demise of third-party cookies, will force marketers to evolve how they measure audiences across screens and wider campaign effectiveness. Other channels, like influencer marketing and the newer audio channels, will face a make-or-break moment; their credibility could be at risk unless they evolve and live up to their promise. Marketers will need to improve their understanding of how different touchpoints effectively work for their brands – online and off.

Andy Brown, CEO, Media Division at Kantar, said: “We are launching Media Trends & Predictions at a critical time for the industry. Bringing together expertise and currency-grade data from across Kantar, this collection provides a window into the forces that are shaping the media landscape and we look forward to continuing these important discussions with our clients and partners throughout 2020 and beyond.”

For more information please visit mediapredictions.kantar.com.

Mise en perspective des impacts écologiques du numérique (Source: Greenit.fr)

 

Depuis les deux rapports du shift project, sur la sobriété numérique et la vidéo en ligne, et avec de plus la semaine dernière la sortie de l’étude de GreenIT.fr, on entend beaucoup parler de la pollution due au numérique. Ces études sérieuses sont là pour rappeler que le numérique n’est pas immatériel, et qu’il doit, comme les autres secteurs, s’intérroger sur sa croissance, son efficacité et ses usages dans un monde fini.

source: https://raphael-lemaire.com/2019/11/02/mise-en-perspective-impacts-numerique/?fbclid=IwAR0YDZh85CRSL3IrXtPMDnZlcI0-jN4ylAX5GP7b5Mk2Vibn00LTFTBv8uU

Mais, les médias étant ce qu’ils sont, on a vu fleurir des titres racoleurs blamant la jeunesse connectée faussement écolo. On voit aussi des conseils peu pertinents se transmettre et rester dans la tête des gens pour leur simplicité et leur attrait , comme « supprime tes mails et évite la fonction Reply All ». Les chiffres et les constats sont parfois pris hors contexte sans comparaison avec d’autre activités et usages.

C’est vrai qu’il est toujours compliqué de bien visualiser les ordres de grandeurs. C’est donc ce que je me suis attelé à faire avec des bulles colorées.

Voici d’abord une comparaison en taille des données qui circulent typiquement sur le réseau d’un particulier :

Comparaison de taille de différents types de données

On voit qu’on peut faire tout ce qu’on veut avec ses mails, en un épisode de série ou deux, tout est « annulé ». La vidéo est de loin le sujet principal quand on parle de données.

Mais là on est dans le pur numérique. Pour comparer avec d’autres choses du quotidien, j’ai ensuite pris une métrique pour laquelle on trouve des données facilement : les émissions de GES, mesurées en kg équivalent co2.

D’abord avec des choses dont l’échelle est comparable avec l’impact du visionage d’une vidéo en ligne en France :

Comparaison des émissions de GES d'une vidéo en ligne et d'autres actes du quotidien

On voit qu’il est tout à fait cohérent d’être flexitarien et de regarder Stranger Things.

Si vous avez de bon yeux, vous pouvez voir le petit point rouge de l’email à coté du point bleu de la vidéo… (non ce n’est pas vrai je ne l’ai pas mis, mais vous pouvez l’imaginer!)

Voici maintenant une échelle permettant de visualiser l’impact de la fabrication des appareils, là où se trouve vraiment le sujet des impacts écologiques du numérique :

Comparaison des émissions de GES d'un an vidéo en lignen de la fabrication d'appareils et d'autres actes du quotidien

Notez bien que le point bleu de la vidéo est ici multiplié par 365 par rapport au graphique précédent.

Bien sur il y a plein d’autres choses à prendre en compte, notamment l’épuisement des métaux et autres matériaux rares pour la fabrication des appareils. Ces métriques montreraient également la domination de la fabrication par rapport à l’usage.

Laissez vos emails tranquilles, la grosse bonne action en numérique est de faire durer le plus longtemps possible les appareils et d’éviter d’acheter des gadgets. Ensuite on peut réduire son usage de vidéo ou réduire la résolution.

Les données viennent de GreenIT.fr (site et études) et du Shift Project (via les deux rapports sur le numérique). Pour le calcul de l’impact d’une vidéo j’ai utilisé l’application Carbonalyser développée par Richard Hanna en collaboration avec le Shift Project. Les graphiques sont là pour montrer des ordres de grandeur et ne se veulent pas extremement précis. Les chiffres sont arrondis.

18 days and 9 modules to reach out to the highest level in digital marketing and communication (Solvay Brussels School)

Discover The Solvay Executive Master in Digital Marketing and Communication at solvay Brussels School of Economics

The programme is aimed at professionals in communication and marketing who want to go deeper into their knowledge in marketing and/or digital communication.

Apply and Brochure: http://exed.solvay.edu/fr/11-program/25-executive-master-in-digital-marketing-and-communication

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Let's Discover the Marketing Hackathon ! Solvay Executive Master in Digital Marketing… More info ? Join the Info session (16th October 2018 from 6.30 pm Brussels)

“A training programme lasting 17 days, running from November 2018
to May 2019, created entirely for you or for one of your managers”

Profile

The programme is aimed at profesionals in communication and markerting who want to go deeper into their knowledge in marketing and/or digital communication.

Key admissions criteria

University degree
At least 3 to 5 years profesional experience
A perfect knowledge of English and French will be required. Courses will be given in either of these two languages.

Exhaustive approach
The Executive Master in Digital Marketing and Communication proposes an in-depth development of your skills in the various areas of marketing and communication.

Adapted to the digital
The Executive Master in Digital Marketing and Communication is a comprehensive course in marketing and communication, totally adapted to the world of digital.

Practical insights
The Executive Master in Digital Marketing and Communication gives immediate answers to your questions, as well as practical exercises and group work tasks during the sessions.

 

Are you interested in learning more about this 17-day program?
Register for the information session to be held on 16th October 2018 from 6.30 pm at Solvay Brussels School (42 avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels) – Atrium on the ground floor. Come and listen to the free talk to be given by Hugues Rey about “Revisiting Kotler’s 4 Ps through Artificial Intelligence”. While you’re there, you can ask all of your questions about the Master’s programme. This evening is completely free of charge and includes a stand-up dinner.

Why The Customer Journey In Banking Will Never Be ‘Digital Only’ (Author: Lisa Joyce, Senior Staff Writer for The Financial Brand)

In an omnichannel world, financial consumers determine what should happen at every touchpoint in the experience. Just because the journey doesn’t start and end digitally doesn’t mean that ‘digital isn’t working.’

Source: https://thefinancialbrand.com/69504/customer-journey-banking-experience/

How consumers research and purchase banking products is complex. More than half start their journey either online or using a mobile device, and most of them end up finishing the process in a branch.

Many banks and credit unions would call that a failure because the online and mobile channels didn’t deliver an entirely digital consumer journey. That’s not entirely true. Banks and credit unions aren’t measuring digital’s impact correctly, according to the ForeSee. They contend that an “all-digital retail delivery experience” is aspirational, but not realistic.

Financial institutions might desperately want people to use digital channels exclusively (even if they aren’t fully capable of delivering such an experience). But consumers are in charge of their own journeys, which is why ForeSee concludes that digital is working even when the journey doesn’t start and end digitally.

For instance, think about how you shop for clothes, or electric toothbrushes, or a new refrigerator. It’s increasingly rare that consumers shop for a product or service using a single channel. Take a refrigerator. If your refrigerator is ready to take its last breath, you go online and start researching different makes and models. You narrow down your search to a few. But a refrigerator is a big-ticket item and you want to touch and feel it before you buy. So, you hop in the car and drive to the nearest big-box store that carries that brand. You open and close the door, check the freezer space, chat with the salesperson. You kick the tires, as the expression goes.

You then sneak off to the lumber section, out of view of salespeople, so you can use your mobile phone to look up pricing for that model at other stores — both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. You return home to think about the refrigerator. The next morning while drinking coffee, you use your tablet to order the refrigerator online from the same big box store you visited the day before. You might have been able to get the same refrigerator for a few bucks cheaper, but it was reasonably priced, you trust the big box brand, and they have next-day delivery.

Your path to a new refrigerator was a complex journey involving multiple channels: online research using a desktop computer, a visit to a physical store, mobile price comparisons, and an online purchase. And in all likelihood, you are perfectly okay with that. You don’t think the process is “broken” or that any particular channel “failed” you. Each channel did exactly what it could/should do, and you leveraged each the right way at the right time.

Consumers like charting their own journey depending on their comfort with different channels, and the type of product or service they are buying. The journey for paperclips would look a lot different than, say, a new sailboat. Similarly with services, the journey to plan a family vacation would look markedly different than finding a new accountant or hair stylist. The combination and weight of online reviews vs. word-of-mouth referrals will vary greatly.

Bank and credit union consumers are no different. Their journey is complex and almost always includes multiple touchpoints. Consumers that start their journey digitally don’t necessarily complete their transaction digitally. In fact, according to the ForeSee Experience Index, Overall, nearly two-thirds (61%) of consumers start their journey in a digital channel when opening a new account, while more than half (58%) of those end up in a branch.

Where Financial Consumers Start and End Their Journey

As part of their analysis, ForeSee broke down the customer journey, comparing the starting point and end point between national banks, regional banks and credit unions. Their resulting illustrations are among some the best infographics The Financial Brandhas ever seen — telling a rich, complex story in a simple, visual format.



Consumers May Actually Like It This Way

So why does the consumer journey include multiple touchpoints? Is it because the online or mobile account opening process is so poor that people get frustrated, hop in the car and drive to a branch? Or is it because they just feel more comfortable opening an account face-to-face?

Not long ago, there was much chatter in the banking world about the “omnichannel experience” — that consumers could choose whatever channel they were most comfortable with. But the general assumption was that digital natives (e.g., Millennials) would be thrilled if they could do everything in digital channels. This, of course, is what banking executives were hoping for — that consumers would eventually migrate to digital self-service channels so those costly branch networks could be pared back. Turns out that ultimately it doesn’t really matter what you want them to do. What matters is that they are using multiple touchpoints by choice.

The mistake that banks and credits unions make is thinking that “omni-channel” is predicated on offering a consistent experience in every channel. But consumers will — and indeed many prefer — to bounce around from channel to channel, depending on where they are in the journey. Or time of day. Or even mood. They’ll select the channel that, at that particular time, seems the easiest or most convenient.

In fact, notes Jason Conrad, Vice President of ForeSee’s retail banking business, consumers who stay in one channel are actually less satisfied than those who use multiple channels. Conrad could be more blunt: “Consumers like having multiple channels.”

And according to ForeSee’s data, the particular channels they start or end with doesn’t impact satisfaction.

Measuring Digital’s Impact the Right Way

Banks and credit unions tend to approach the consumer journey as a logical progression from point A to point B, and therefore assume that consumers want to remain in the channel they started in. If a consumer starts opening an account online, financial institutions consider the consumer experience a failure if the consumer then finishes opening the account in a branch. Banks and credit unions work feverishly to figure how they can improve the digital account opening process so that consumers stay online.

Sure, you can (and should!) improve account opening; many consumers would be thrilled to finish opening and account digitally. But others would prefer to start the process online and then visit a branch to seal the deal.

So you shouldn’t measure success based on how many consumers start and end their journey digitally. Those consumers who research an auto or home loan online but who abandon their session before completing an application doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with the digital experience. Digital could very well be doing what digital should be doing: allowing consumers to research products and services before buying… either online or in a branch.

“Measuring online conversions just isn’t as important as banks and credit unions like to think it is,” says Conrad. “Instead, they should measure and quantify digital’s contribution to conversions in other channels.”

When a consumer walks into a branch, you need to ask them about their journey, says Conrad. Did they conduct some research online? Did they look at reviews on their mobile device? Did they talk with friends or family? And what prompted them to come into the branch? Would they have preferred to complete the transaction fully digitally, or were they happy to research first and then come to the branch?

These questions will allow you to better gauge the success of your digital channels. And the answers enable you to determine which products and services consumers want to complete fully digitally vs. those that require face-to-face interaction. You can then focus on improving the digital experience for those products and services, and tailor your brick-and-mortar experience accordingly. If consumers want to complete a mortgage face-to-face with a lender, don’t spend time and money trying to fully automate the process when you could focus on a different product, such as online checking accounts. Using the right benchmarks lets you properly allocate resources to each channel.

Conrad believes that as long as banking providers manage and measure the experience wherever consumers interact with them in a standard and scientific way, the journey will take care of itself no matter how complex it may be.

“The consumer journey can be infinitely complex with an unlimited number of variations,” he says. “Just remember, branches still matter… a lot.”

Is digital an effective mass market medium? – Marketing Week

Source: Is digital an effective mass market medium? – Marketing Week

Digital media are fast becoming dominant in brand marketing but can they deliver long-term effectiveness as well as short-term results, reaching both the masses and targeted audiences?

The amount of data available to marketers using digital channels is immense. But while digital is lauded for its ability to allow brands to reach the right consumer, at the right time, in the right environment, the question remains whether it is an effective medium for mass marketing.

Digital channels are often accused of making marketers think too narrowly in their activity, meaning they sacrifice reach and long-term growth for narrow, short-term metrics.

Brands have become more acutely aware of this trade-off since the publication of Byron Sharp’s book ‘How Brands Grow’, which suggests marketers should replace targeting with “sophisticated mass marketing”.

Last year, Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard confirmed the company was moving away from targeted Facebook advertising after calling its approach too “targeted and narrow”. P&G, however, insisted it was not planning to cut its total investment in Facebook and would continue to use targeted ads for some products, such as selling nappies to expectant parents.

Meanwhile, Mars’s former global CMO Bruce McColl has asserted that he is “not a great believer in targeting”, adding that the company’s target is “about seven billion people [≈ population of the world] sitting on this planet”. Speaking at the Advertising Research Foundation’s conference last year, he said: “Our task is to reach as many people as we can; to get them to notice us and remember us; to nudge them; and, hopefully, get them to buy us once more this year.”

Both statements would indicate that the brands are following Sharp’s recommendation to “continuously reach all buyers of the category” and move away from standard segmentation and targeting if they want to grow their business. It is often not digital that springs to mind when looking to reach people at scale.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson – We should thank Byron Sharp, not attack him

Stay visible

Aviva’s brand communication and marketing director Pete Markey says there is a “sweet spot” of people the insurer wants to reach, but argues that if a business becomes too narrow, it will not be visible to customers.

Instead, he suggests the best segmentation is one the entire business can use that goes beyond targeting to focus on the experience the brand wants to give the audience.

“I see a role for broader segmentation, but I also see a role for smaller, microtargeting. It’s not one at the expense of another,” says Markey. “I’ve seen segmentation that works and doesn’t work. The danger is if it becomes the exclusive property of the marketing team, the rest of the business isn’t that interested. If you can’t use segmentation, it very quickly loses its credibility.”

IPA director of marketing strategy Janet Hull believes the natural progression is towards personalisation, driven by the rise in data generated by digital and social media.

“The insight you get from data you can then expand on, starting with the individual. That approach gives you more nuance, so you can serve creative work that works and improve the quality of advertising online and offline,” she adds.

Brands can use targeted marketing communications to deliver personalisation, which drives increased engagement and conversion rates, according to the IPA’s Social Works Personalisation guide published in March. However, the report acknowledges that strategies designed to increase brand relevance should always be balanced with campaigns that drive reach through mass marketing.

Targeting en masse

When The Economist wanted to increase brand awareness and drive subscriptions, it targeted a group of people labelled the “globally curious”, modelled on its database of existing subscribers. Despite being targeted, this was by no means a niche group, with The Economist estimating the number of globally curious people was close to 73 million.

“If a brand is to solve an awareness challenge, then reach is important, but we don’t conduct reach campaigns just for the sake of it. There will always be a longer-term goal and everything we do has a KPI to it,” explains Mark Beard, senior vice-president of digital media and content strategy at The Economist.

READ MORE: Tricks and tips for maximising digital effectiveness

“We need to make sure everything we do is driving some kind of interaction and [can] help us convert more people to subscribers,” says Beard

This was the approach taken by The Economist for its digital marketing campaign ‘Raising Eyebrows and Subscriptions’. The aim was to provoke the audience by serving them content they couldn’t ignore in order to demonstrate the relevance of The Economist’s journalism. The idea was to give people “their own epiphany” by offering content that compelled them to subscribe.

Part of this strategy involved placing ad units on articles the globally curious target group were already reading, which showed them a hopefully more interesting article authored by The Economist team.

The success of the campaign was highly measurable, generating 5.2 million clicks and 64,000 new subscribers worth £51.7m in lifetime revenue. The campaign, which won a Gold Cannes Lion last year, continues to run and has evolved to include an element of video.

The discussion is moving beyond reach to ‘attentive reach’, which takes into consideration more than just viewability.

Gerald Breatnach, Google

“We don’t really run campaigns in our digital department,” says Beard. “We don’t talk about campaigns, we talk about always-on activities and initiatives. With digital you can be short term, but it is possible to be long term too.”

Mondelez International’s digital and social media manager Pollyanna Ward is an advocate of operating an always-on digital strategy, which feeds into a wider campaign across TV, experiential and outdoor.

“For us in FMCG, we need to reach everyone. There’s no one specific audience. For us, the priority is always going to be reach. So you might have an always-on strategy where you’re planning things for an entire year and you might continuously pump out a brand message on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

“You can change that in real time and push out core brand messages at times when it’s relevant, meaning you don’t need to do continuous targeting all year round. Then shorter-term digital strategies are key with the big activations to get people buzzing and when they’re aligned with your PR, experiential and TV you get results a lot quicker.”

New measures of effectiveness

Concerns continue to persist over how effectiveness should be measured in the digital age. Facebook fuelled the fire last year after revealing a number of errors in the way it measures audiences, admitting it overstated for how long users watch videos on its site by up to 80%.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson – Facebook should hang its head in shame for measurement errors

This, in part, led P&G’s Pritchard to launch a searing assessment of the industry’s “murky” supply chain in January, blaming the “antiquated media buying and selling system” for its inability to cope with the technological revolution.

Last month, meanwhile, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell urged Facebook and Google to step up and “take responsibility” for measurement errors and ad fraud, arguing the major digital players are “clearly not doing enough”.

Yet despite these concerns Facebook’s revenues continue to soar, rising 51% in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $8.8bn ≈ cost of 2011 Hurricane Irene

≈ net worth of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, 2011
≈ Domestic box office gross, 2011
≈ cost of Spanish-American War
≈ Chernobyl costs, USD at the time

” data-evernote-id=”177″>[≈ Construction cost for Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier] (£6.9bn). So as brands appear unlikely to move ad spend away from the platform, it is more important than ever to find new effectiveness metrics.

Dixons Carphone’s commercial marketing director Jonathan Earle suggests one method is to add bespoke codes to track customers who purchase as a result of seeing an advert on Facebook or YouTube.

The discussion is moving beyond reach to ‘attentive reach’, which takes into consideration more than just viewability.

Gerald Breatnach, Google

However, if marketers want to drive sales, he argues there are digital channels that deliver much stronger results than social media.

“If the metric is to get as many people thinking about us as possible, then social has a clear role to play, but if you want to drive sales, that’s where pay-per-click comes in,” he explains.

“If I had £100 to spend on a marketing campaign and my sole aim was to drive sales, I would just use social to drive awareness, consideration and conversation as there are better channels to drive the final sale.”

Earle argues that pay-per-click (PPC) is the most measurable marketing channel, serving content to customers that matches their organic online search terms. The team can then track that traffic from the click-throughs all the way to conversion and order value. The PPC activity takes between seven to 10 days to maximise, says Earle, who advises marketers to be clear upfront about what it is they want to deliver.

At Google and YouTube, the response to measurement issues is to offer free tools like AdWords and brand lift surveys, as well as third-party viewability verification.

“The discussion is moving beyond reach to ‘attentive reach’, which takes into consideration more than just viewability,” explains Google brand planning industry lead Gerald Breatnach.

“We tend to think of this in terms of ‘WAVE’ – measuring watch time, audibility, viewability and engagement. Marketers not only need to know how many views a campaign has generated, but the unique reach of the campaign and the average watch time. Ultimately, these campaign metrics need to link to sales results,” he says.

Defining success

Understanding that success looks different on each channel is crucial to accurately measuring effectiveness and in the digital landscape there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

“If I wanted to make an impact with the younger generation,  I would be looking to see how effective Snapchat is at delivering impressions, but when it comes to different channels I would be looking at the view-through rate to see if we have made an impact,” Ward explains.

“If the view-through rate shows they only watched 10 seconds of our 30-second ad, then did we land our product message in that time? Or have they watched a pretty piece of creative, but we’ve done nothing for brand linkage and brand awareness?”

Reach is important, but on its own it isn’t good enough.

Mark Beard, The Economist

Google’s Breatnach agrees it is a mistake to think all digital channels work in the same way or only equate to “tightly targeted” performance marketing.“Online video advertising on YouTube, for example, has the potential to offer attentive reach and deliver long-term brand results,” he explains.

“Search is naturally targeted to audiences further down the purchase funnel. Programmatic has the potential to deliver both mass reach and sophisticated targeting.”

Peugeot’s marketing director Mark Pickles appreciates that to measure digital effectiveness you need absolute clarity about what you want to achieve.

“For a new product, the primary focus is likely to be on reaching mass awareness within the identified customer segments. Whereas with an established product, often the place for digital is to convert existing awareness into some form of action – what I call a ‘nudge’ – which pushes the consumer a little closer to us,” he says.

“Clearly, the metrics for these two campaigns will be different and so will the media optimisation rules. Setting a campaign that is optimised to generate hard sales leads is likely to fail when it comes to reaching enough eyeballs, particularly as our programmatic algorithms quickly seek out targeted prospects.”

The Peugeot marketing team generally sets several secondary objectives and a primary objective, which Pickles emphasises it is important to be realistic about.

He says: “If I was to set the primary objective of a campaign action as ‘how many sales can I directly attribute?’, I’m likely to under-value the secondary deliverables. A campaign might sell a few cars, but generate sufficient awareness and action that translates to results outside the campaign metrics.”

Hull argues that it is fundamental for marketers to understand the difference between what they are doing for the long term and their brand activation objectives.

“You also need to make sure you’re getting the right investment for the KPIs that you’re setting, because there’s no point setting KPIs and then not putting the right amount of money behind them,” she explains.

“Some of the clients have been saying that they have been under spending relative to the promise they have made on what they’re going to deliver. We also need to get the languages to match up. New media brings a new vocabulary and new forms of measurement, but you have got to know how they relate to the other forms of measurement.

Holding your nerve

Armed with the ability to optimise 24 hours a day, seven days a week marketers now have the opportunity to tweak campaigns in real time.

Aviva uses econometrics and attribution to measure effectiveness, combined with its brand impact index, which investigates brand health. Markey argues that marketers cannot afford to ignore the opportunity to optimise.

“The idea that as a marketer you can be asleep at the wheel is so wrong. To push a campaign out and hope it works or do campaign evaluation at the end would be insane, lazy, suicidal,” he says.

“For me, when you start any activity you need to know how you’re going to measure it throughout and consistently go back, using neuroscience to refine activity.”

However, when exploring real-time optimisation marketers must resist the temptation to make knee-jerk decisions, which take them away from their original KPIs.

“When you’re spending money on a campaign that’s aimed at trading and selling, and you say ‘I want to sell 20 of this thing and I only sold three’, you can pull that money and put it somewhere else,” says Markey.

“When you’re trying something new, it’s much harder and you have to hold your nerve. You need the levers, but you need to know when to pull them. There are many examples of campaigns that are a slow burn. There is an expectation that when the new campaign has launched, sales will double tomorrow, and we all know that’s rarely the case.”

It is not what you track, but what you choose not to track that’s important.

Mark Beard, The Economist

The Economist’s Mark Beard agrees that it is very easy for marketers to fall into the trap of tracking everything on a digital campaign just because they can.

“It is not what you track, but what you choose not to track that’s important. We track two things predominantly – the number of prospects we’re bringing in and how many subscribers we’re generating as a result of those prospects,” he says.

“There are many other KPIs we could have reviewed as the campaign went along but the danger these days where much of marketing is done via machines, is if you give the machine the wrong KPIs to optimise you won’t get the results you want.”

This is where human input plays a vital role, says Beard, ensuring the right KPI is chosen at the outset and setting up the artificial intelligence to operate at its optimum.

In a world where optimisation can happen at the touch of button, it is more crucial than ever for marketers to set out with a clear appreciation of their KPIs and then design their digital activity to deliver as part of a holistic strategy.

Case study: Effectiveness on a shoestring

The objective: Australian swimming pool company Narellan Pools teamed up with agency Affinity on a targeted, data-driven digital campaign to increase its share of the crowded Australian market.

The research: The cross-referenced five years’ worth of first-party data, including sales, site analytics, leads and conversion rates, with five years’ of third-party data spanning the weather and consumer confidence. The research found sales spiked when there were two consecutive days with higher than average temperatures.

The campaign: Looking at the weather across 49 regions in Australia, the team fed real-time temperature data into the programmatic platform. When the right conditions were met, it activated the campaign across search, pre-roll video, banner and social, targeting people who had already shown an interest in buying a swimming pool.

The result: As Narellan Pools only advertised when the specific temperature conditions were met, the company was able to reduce its media spend by more than 30%. The campaign drove a 23% increase in sales and generated an incremental return of investment of $54 (£34) for every $1 (62p) spent. The campaign also went on to win the 2016 IPA Effectiveness Award special prize for best small budget campaign.

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