When it comes to launching a new advertising campaign, most marketers tend to focus their attention on the creative aspects – engaging visuals, strong branding, and thought-provoking copy. As a result, the digital strategy tends to get placed in the back seat, often only becoming a focal point during the delivery stage.

While we may be living in an era where we have access to enough data to make our marketing peers from decades passed jealous, most of our marketing efforts are still reactive in nature. For instance, the majority of marketers make changes to the content and design of a campaign after it has gone live and the results have come back in.

But there’s a growing opportunity for data and technology to work hand-in-hand to deliver more effective, targeted and predictable advertising campaigns.

Programmatic ads are picking up the pace

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation software continue to move forwards, marketers will soon benefit from advertising with new technologies and near-concrete results before their campaigns go live.

According to a recent study by Demandbase and Wakefield Research, 77% of marketers are convinced AI is a critical trend in the marketing industry, and 80% believe it will revolutionise the whole sector over the next five years.

Yet, despite this confidence in an AI takeover, 90% of marketers said they aren’t currently using it at all.

Automation technology already has the ability to process large amounts of data and separate the facts from the noise, but as AI continues to grow, we will see all new technologies being applied directly to brand’s marketing campaigns.

So, what will all these changes mean for marketers? Here are some potential outcomes:

• Predictable results - With access to more translucent data, marketers will be able to create campaigns knowing it will be successful before clicking “publish”. How? Because every word, colour, symbol and image will be optimised for your intended audience. You will be able to compare different variations of an ad knowing how each version will perform before publishing.

• Real-time ad bidding - Using special algorithms, your ads will make real-time bids on advertising spaces - utilising your settings and data to get your ads in front of the right customers, on the right websites, at the right time. This automation will save you time, lower the cost, and improve targeting.

• More campaigns - While most humans can only handle between six and ten campaigns at a time, AI is going to eventually allow marketers to set up thousands of campaigns (if not tens of thousands).

TV technology is getting with the times

Since the 1960’s, TV has proven itself to be a solid and secure advertising platform, and it still very much is, with the average person in the UK spending four hours and 37 minutes a day watching some form of video content, according to Thinkbox, and TV accounting for 74.8% of it.

And while the majority of TV advertising still relies on traditional methods, there’s a new wave of data-driven and hyper-targeted TV advertising platforms making waves in the industry.

For instance, the advertising platform Sky AdSmart enables brands to choose from around 1,200 different attributes when selecting the audience that views their ads - meaning Sky is dishing out different ads to households watching the same show.

With access to over seven million homes in the UK, AdSmart combines its own customer data with that of profiling experts such as Mosaic and Mastercard, enabling brands to target households in a particular area, or of a specific age, or with pets - for as little as £3,000 per campaign.

AdSmart’s targeted and cost-conscious approach means it is now possible for challenger brands to get a foot in the TV advertising door. No wonder 70% of AdSmart’s advertisers are new to TV or Sky advertising.

There’s also a range of broadcaster video on demand (VOD) platforms, such as All 4 and ITV Hub, offering the same tailored approach, but for online audiences watching TV on catch-up. According to a study commissioned by Channel 4, advertisers gain three and a half times higher attention levels on broadcaster VOD platforms than on YouTube.

These new advances in technology are not only creating more effective avenues for brands to reach their target audience, they are also creating a more transparent and predictable model.

So how will this all impact you? As this new technology becomes more embedded in our marketing practices, you will be able to celebrate a successful advertising campaign before it goes live.


By Duncan Ramsay, chief strategy officer at Scorch London

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at http://www.gdprsummit.london/

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