The presence of ad tech at Cannes Lions has grown dramatically over recent years and last week’s festival brought this to light. As consumers are faced with information overload, brands are finding personalised targeting more important than ever before in order to cut through the noise and engage consumers with their content.
Advanced technology platforms offer the tools for marketers to perform instant analysis of huge volumes of data, enabling them to measure and achieve ROI in ways they could only imagine a few years ago.
WPP reported recently that digital marketing, programmatic buying and big data now account for about $14 billion of its $18 billion revenues. Data insights are clearly becoming more important for advertisers to produce strategic creative campaigns and tech companies’ presence at Cannes Lions is invaluable to drive this innovation in a global marketplace.
Programmatic means that ads are served to audiences based on insights about their browsing behaviour and individual profiles, meaning that advertisers no longer have to hope that they are reaching the right audience. Their customers are identified and targeted through data.
Being able to reach audiences anonymously based on activities, preferences and buying habits is invaluable to brands because today’s consumer travels across so many digital touchpoints. Marketers need to locate the optimum time, channel and content for interacting with their audience at different points in the customer journey. This puts the impetus firmly on marketers to have better insights, data, and analytics than their challengers – it’s the only way to deliver the personalised experience that consumers are seeking.
I expect that within the next three years nearly all advertising will be programmatic, regardless of device or format. Consumers only respond to relevant content and marketers want to be able to address their audiences wherever they are. With an ‘audience first’ and then ‘channel second’ approach, advertisers can ensure that they are reaching valuable eyeballs, rather than appearing on a channel just because they have planned to or think they need to. Companies want to associate their brand with premium content and deliver more relevant messages to the right users.
The next step in programmatic advertising is for it to be televised. The traditional TV formula is evolving. Instead of using data about shows to find desirable audiences, could marketers actually use data about audiences to find desirable shows and to change the advertising experience?
Buying programmatically for TV is still in its infancy, especially when some broadcasters will need to be educated about the benefits of programmatic. However, with online video being bought in this way, programmatic is certainly moving onto the agenda of TV buyers. TV already gets most of the advertising dollars but much more money will go toward TV advertising if everyone adopts programmatic.
Advertisers are battling with the fact that 94 per cent of people skip ads but if the experience for the audience is more targeted, personalised and relevant, brands have a higher chance of grabbing their interest. Ad tech’s presence at Cannes Lion is just one indicator that the programmatic revolution has started – technology matters to creative more than ever.
Pierre Naggar is managing director EMEA of software and analytics company Turn