It’s good business to make it personal

Blake Moseley
By Blake Moseley | 5 December 2019

Blake Moseley is Digital Strategy Director, Hogarth. 

It’s no secret that personalised advertising and content increases ROI and improves campaign performance.

Accenture recently discovered that 65% of global consumers are more likely to buy from relevant and personalised advertising. And, when you consider that 81% of organisations list personalised advertising as one of their top three priorities, the fact that only 3% of ads in Google's ecosystem are personalised is confusing, at best.

So why aren’t marketers fully leveraging personalisation?

Historically, we have been limited by the quantity and quality of data, blurred lines over data governance, hesitance about untested data management platforms, and a lack of transparency around trading desks and supply chains.

However, this is hardly the case anymore. Brands are beginning to own their data sets, and data management platforms are being used to target audiences more precisely, within a much cleaner and more trustworthy ecosystem.

There really is only one crucial element falling behind - content.

Traditional content production techniques are no longer fit for purpose. Firstly, brands are now expected to create much more content. On top of this, it must reach customers at every touchpoint with tailored messaging for each audience segment - and all this, with declining marketing budgets.

There are two big issues we need to address:

1. Creating more content for less money, at faster speeds
2. Removing execution and distribution complexities

What it takes is a smarter end-to-end approach to content production.

It is undeniable that when we bring creative and media agencies together, it increases performance.

We have creative agencies - using their innate understanding to architect the right brand strategy and message for each segment. It is this mastery which deftly slices through the noise in the market to create powerful connections between brands and consumers. And, we have our media agency partners - combining a wealth of data, deep publisher partnerships and sophisticated programmatic technology to target the right audience at the right time, on the most relevant channel and device.

So, how can we strengthen these two parties even further, and empower data-driven creativity in its entirety, through personalisation? It requires a new approach to the service model. What I’m suggesting is to have creative production sit in the middle, to act as the glue between creative and media.

How can creative production empower personalisation?

As personalisation requires that we vary content substantially to target our unique audiences, the challenge before us is how to get it done without the luxury of unlimited budget, resources and time.

Consider shooting multiple storylines and scenes. It’s rarely feasible to budget for several locations with extended shoot and edit days. What we’re doing at Hogarth is investing in green room studio technology. This enables us to shoot once and superimpose different backdrops and scenes, more-or-less right in front of the brand’s eyes, in real time.

This kind of thinking also extends to multicultural advertising. Yes, we could take the most common six languages, hire six different actors and film six iterations. Or, we could harness the power of AI to rebuild and recreate one actor's mouth movements and language, through visual mapping. This is why we have started to work with deep fake technology at Hogarth. This approach is the future of personalised advertising.

The next challenge is how to remove complexity in execution and distribution. This is where we have an opportunity to leverage the power of automation technologies.

Creativity technology platforms streamline the build and delivery of multiple variations at scale and at a fraction of the price. This removes not only the complexity and manual labour for creative agencies but also for the media team.

This is one vital function that creative production takes on, to connect and enhance the work of creative and media agencies.

Imagine you were building a house. You need blueprints before you have builders on site. Similarly, you would never go from an architect’s plan straight into build, without having an engineer sense-check and sign off on them.

Let’s begin to think of production strategy as the engineering plan. The work of creative production companies can future proof the architecture of data-driven campaigns. This will ultimately build the longevity, relevance and receptibility that our customers need.

Blake Moseley is Digital Strategy Director, Hogarth. 

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