The journey to in-moment advertising

Arsham Imani
By Arsham Imani | 25 February 2016
Arsham Imani, Kenshoo VP Australia and New Zealand

Digital marketing is transmuting rapidly as new publishers, media types and ad formats emerge. Marketers aim to optimise their campaigns by maximising conversions, ROI, and revenue while decreasing cost per acquisition (CPA).

However, marketers need to think analytically about each marketing moment available when sending a message to the customer during his or her journey.

As digital marketing has evolved, marketers now have more signals available to them to better understand each interaction. The goal should be to become more knowledgeable about all the signals and data available in a marketing moment so that a better experience can take place between a brand and its customer, creating an easy and fluid experience and conversation with the customer.

Most often, these moments are not being leveraged to their fullest extent. The language used within the digital industry can be evolved to better support this goal. The term ‘channel’, for example, no longer accurately reflects the customer journey and perhaps constrains the ability of marketers to seize new opportunities, as the approach can become too siloed and one-dimensional.

When we consider a browser, device, a search opportunity, and a social ad unit, they can no longer be correctly grouped as merely different channels. The publisher, device type, and ad format are merely mechanics on how to deliver the marketing message. Rather than just focusing on the ad unit you plan to deploy, the key is to find the right moments to engage with the customer.

By focusing on moments, brands can position their messages to the right audience, at the right time ‒ irrespective of the format, device or publisher. Perhaps we should now think in ‘dimensions’ that make up these marketing moments.

The digital marketing dimensions predominantly deployed now include search, social, display, email, mobile and in-app paid advertising. However those environments encompass browsers, 1:1 platforms, applications and different devices. For example, retailers can now run shopping ad campaigns across Google, Bing and Yahoo!, while Facebook offers its Dynamic Product Ads service. With reach across both desktop and mobile, retailers can now promote their product catalogue to capture active shoppers.

As these so-called channels proliferate, marketers will need to learn and understand a landscape that takes in publishers, devices, ad types, and different target audience behaviour.

This is further supported by the emergence of newer outlets that can be folded into marketing strategies, such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram. With all these new dimensions, the real challenge of digital advertising is getting the mix right. Technology and algorithms can help with this, by combining the fire-hose of social and search data into a single marketing funnel.

As marketers learn how to analyse and act on this increasing volume of data and activity, they will get better at managing these new dimensions and technology will remove the false divides that currently exist.

To be truly agile and keep up with customers, there needs to be more focus on the marketer’s relationship to consumers and less on the media. Instead of asking what is the right channel, advertisers need to ask, how do I get more people to engage with my brand, buy my product, and install my app?

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