I would have never imagined we would be starting 2020 with such a bang! Advertising aside, we’ve experienced unrelenting weather conditions, a global political circus unfolding and viral epidemics grinding tourism to a halt, resulting in significant economic uncertainty for almost all industries.
And the digital media industry isn’t immune to it’s fair share of drama, with doom and gloom shrouding the headlines.
Google is killing the cookie. Antitrust regulators across Europe are prohibiting Facebook from combining data sources and virtually every independent DSP is being gobbled up by media conglomerates. It seems as if every time you look out to the media press skies, the clouds are gathering.
Despite the negative headlines, I am far more optimistic about our outlook and can see that we are experiencing a very exciting shift in advertising. It is a time where digital media channels are becoming more accessible for all marketers, including the all-rounder, who values numbers as much as they value brand building, but who has been firmly planted in the offline team.
Similarly, on the other side, digital marketers will start to learn the skills, measurements and long term brand building strategies crafted by traditional media buyers.
I have watched as the industry has changed, adapted and grown and this year, we will see many of these silos start to come together, unify and make sense.
Here are a few of the things that make me hopeful about where we are heading in 2020:
Traditional Media Channels Are Becoming Programmatic
Programmatic media is expanding to access inventory space that was never possible before. Official numbers released in the latest ThinkTV half year results show BVOD soaring and being crowned by CEO, Kim Portrate as “Australia’s fastest-growing advertising medium”. We saw a 43% increase in ad revenue for the six months to December 31st 2019 and these numbers will continue in CY20.
Consumer preference is rapidly shifting with user rates continuing to increase for both live and on demand services. User consumption of BVOD services for the six months to December 31st 2019 increased by 36.9% on the previous year’s figures.
It sets a great foundation for more innovation in the connected TV space, not least of which the release of VOZ, a world first virtual profile of Australian households and individuals.
Programmatic Out Of Home Is Here
The long awaited arrival of programmatic out-of-home is an important milestone for our industry and more importantly, for advertisers and consumers. As we constantly pursue a connected and complete picture of what our customers are doing, this appears to be another major piece in the programmatic puzzle aiming to connect media together.
A few quick but important reasons as to why this is great for advertising:
The out-of-home space occupies roughly 6% of the approximately $17B Australian ad market. By connecting this slice of the pie digitally to the rest of our media mix, we start to form the picture of our customers’ journeys. We start to understand the impact of our messages.
Secondly, GDPR, privacy, walled gardens – however you want to label it, are trends that all point to the death of the cookie and the need to focus on other important markers of first party currency. With the introduction of programmatic out of home, we will start to harness the true potential of targeting and retargeting by device ID.
It’s out with the cookie and in with the device graph. With this technology we are able to monitor the movement of devices as they roam around our target regions. We can now dynamically serve creative to customers on one of the most impactful screens possible.
For the first time ever, we have the chance to make billboards relevant. These surfaces that often block buildings, vistas and beautiful scenery with ominous De Rucci bedding furniture images can become relevant to the areas they inhibit.
Advertisers will have the ability to not only target customers that are actually interested in their products but will also be able to see whether it drove purchase intent by measuring foot fall into physical locations. By measuring the proximity of their device to a physical location, we are beginning to attribute impressions to the point of sale, unifying our marketing channels and connecting exposure to intent.
Lastly, but certainly not least, advertisers will be able to utilise the list of device IDs, safely hashed and encrypted, that have been exposed to these ads and retarget them on other channels, bringing us closer to the holy grail of unified marketing.
Long Term Programmatic
I have been guilty of short term thinking. I think everyone who has come up in the digital era has. We have relied on 1 day, 7 day or 30 day windows to assess channel effectiveness. We have taken the proliferation of data as an excuse for marking effectiveness decisions based only on what we can measure and see, in real time.
The problem is that consumer decisions take time, often longer than the windows we are measuring. And with the introduction of such strong brand building channels, programmatic media has a responsibility to avoid shoe horning these channels into our old ways of measuring.
We must take the marketing fundamentals that have lasted the test of time, such as the AIDA model and integrate this with the principles we know about consumers, their non linear progression along the purchase funnel and the importance of a multi touch conversion paths.
Connecting The Dots
This year we will be running deep, custom attribution models for advertisers across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The goal is to provide advertisers with a view of how their customers purchase over the short and long term. The teams at Bench will be bringing a new level of data science into the mix to connect the dots in discovering the best media mix and customer journeys to suit each specific brand.
We have a series of exciting engagements over February and March to uncover all there is to know about digital branding, new media including the launch of programmatic Out-Of-Home and how it all comes together.
Look forward to sharing more.
Chief Commercial Officer | Co-Founder