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R3 report shows growth and performance of ad tech

Global marketing consultancy R3 has produced a new report, Adtech 40, listing what it says are 40 best examples of technology in advertising, using case studies from the likes of Coca-Cola, Tesla, Samsung, Unilever and others.

GregPaullSuitR3 Principal Greg Paull (left) says: “Within five years, the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO. Understanding the latest five new digital demands will be crucial to their role.

“The digital ecosystem is expanding at breakneck speeds. We were driven to identify the upcoming tech trends by client requests to look for best practice when integrating digital both into their own working processes, as well as into their agency relationships.”

All cases were judged on four criteria: proven on top brands, proven on innovation, proven on recognition and proven on results. R3 identified five digital demands:

1/ Tech Must Transcend Borders – Almost a full quarter of the case studies included in the report are global campaigns. In addition, Asia and North America each accounted for 30 per cent of the winners. With over 60 per cent of the world’s population, coupled with skyrocketing internet and mobile penetration, it’s not surprising that Asia is taking the lead when it comes to tech innovations. For example, MasterCard’s ‘Priceless Engine’ (below) was a global initiative, driven out of Asia, generating a 16 per cent lift in GDV (gross dollar volume).


2/ Engagement is King – winning campaigns came into four categories – Engagement, Acquisition, Tracking, and Performance – with 47 per cent of the winning case studies leveraging technology to increase engagement with consumers. The leaders in this sector are creating individual brand experiences using big data. For example, Tesla showcased its new retail experience tool in the report, building more customized sales as business increased 85 per cent in 2015.

3/ Mobile First & Mobile Sustainable – By some measurements, mobile ad spending will account for nearly a quarter of total media spend this year. Brand strategy has to start with mobile; it can no longer be just a secondary channel. Almost a fifth of the winners in AdTech 40 have a mobile app component, and several of the brands’ campaigns were designed for a completely mobile experience. Several of the other top trends identified in the report point to the importance of mobile in tech-driven marketing – including social innovation, cross-screen, and gamification. For example, Taco Bell’s mobile app received more than 4.7 million downloads and generated a 20 per cent increase in average check.

4/ The Agency Model is Shifting – In a previous R3 report – Integration 40 – Six Degrees of Integration were highlighted, demonstrating a trend towards digital at the center. AdTech 40 supports those findings, showing that marketers are moving away from AORs – it’s all about collaboration. Whether it’s agencies working with other agencies, tech vendors, or the marketer’s own internal teams, one thing is clear: whoever has the best idea wins. A Coca-Cola entry, Lyric Coke, was led by the brand’s digital agency, supported by five others, increasing sales by 10% during the campaign period.

5/ Data Drives Everything – Building an integrated, personalized campaign that makes a consumer feel that the brand is speaking directly to them is all done by leveraging data. As the Internet of Things connects more and more devices, there will be more data available to marketers than ever before. The Economist, for example, used big data and real-time marketing in a featured case to drive lifetime revenue up by $18m on their customer base.

The full Adtech 40 report is here.

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