Transforming media landscape: 3 key facts a marketer should know

don draper

1/ Programmatic advertising can really add value

Will users revolt against intrusive online advertising?

Today's media landscape is looking cluttered. Digital advertising has also become cluttered with interruptive ad experiences. Now, users have spoken: they don’t want pervasive ads, and they don’t want to be interrupted. The ad blocker issue is increasingly becoming a concern – especially as the main reason most consumers have not yet activated an ad blocker is just because they are not aware they could block ads. Also, requiring users to disable their ad-blockers to see the content is not the solution: this is the fastest way for publishers to discourage them from visiting their sites. So how to show people that advertising can be hyper-relevant and even fun for them?

Let us not forget that our mission as marketers is to add value to consumers.

Instead of distracting the users, advertising should reach people exactly when they are interested in the same subject, are looking for answers or are making decisions. The advertiser’s challenge is now to achieve a win-win for both the brand and the audience that finds the ad. Delivering the right ads to the right people is key, and that’s what contextual programmatic advertising is about.

According to eMarketer, US programmatic display ad spending should reach over 70% of total display ad spending in 2017. As an example of this extraordinary potential, a survey we just published in partnership with Connectiv Study reveals that programmatic already accounts for at least 15% of Digital B2B Spend([1]). However, focusing on past behavior using search and purchase history tends to underperform. Why? This advertising is also perceived as annoying and disruptive. How, for instance, to understand why you are seeing a fashion or holiday ad (a very personal matter) in the middle of a professional website that talks about finance or economy?

Context is making its way into the digital media as in print advertising industry in the past.

This is the immense value of contextual programmatic advertising, which provides the ability to target groups of people based on the content the user is consuming (and not only on behavior history) with high degrees of accuracy. Isn't good marketing all about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time? Now is the time for topic-based advertising on matching pages in real-time and across channels, which can provide people with content that interests them.

The media context should also be a key part of the message. Today’s media mix is not just TV, radio, cinema, OOH (Out Of Home), print and online. News and information sites, online video content, specialised content sites, search, review sites and different social media platforms are all distinct elements of the new media mix. The advertiser should also identify the most relevant digital environments to deliver their brand’s objectives and messages.

2/ Content marketing isn’t just about content

Content must be tailored to customers

What is content marketing? Put simply, content marketing is a form or marketing that places content first. This is one way in which marketers can help the empowered buyers through their decision journey. So, similar to any marketing activity, it should offer just the right experience for consumers at its different stages. As the media landscape is becoming more complicated, and customers harder to reach, it is imperative that content is used correctly at each stage of the decision-making journey. It also means optimizing the persona awareness over time to offer a rich and personalised experience for customers every step of the way. 

There are so many touchpoints that marketers can integrate to help create that rich experience.

The good news is that with the number of publishers and social platforms available today, brands have many new ways to connect with and engage their audiences. Instant Articles, Google AMP, social media native video or all new distributed media channels are new huge opportunities for brands.

For example, by popularizing the “vertical” video format, Snapchat has encouraged brands to avoid disrupting the user’s mobile experience. And today, more people are using these screens for video viewing. Live content can also be a significant opportunity for brands. Among the earliest adopters of Facebook Live, for example, were Red Bull, Dunkin Donuts, IBM([2]) or Heineken. “Instead of spending hours and hours on community management on Facebook, now we are able to address consumers’ questions with a single video clip in real time and repurpose the content when they ask the same questions periodically”, said Greg Eckelman, head of strategy for Heineken’s social media agency, We Are Social for Digiday[3] 

From content marketing to participation marketing

Today, brands can benefit from the shift in the media landscape by investing in co-creation. The uninterrupted succession of media innovations and the democratisation of content creation have led to the fact that the relationship and the interaction between consumers and brands has changed. Non-professional users can also co-produce and share media. They can help brands to cut through information overload and engage new audiences. In such a collaboration, everybody wins. This reinforces mutual credibility for all involved and adds authenticity to campaigns. Now is the time for brands to invest in content co-creation with their communities, and especially with industry influencers like independent thought leaders, passionate customers, bloggers or youtubers (book co-writing, participation in a webinar or video, quotes, tips…) 

3/ Better measurement means breaking down the silos

Cross-media measurement is a top-of-mind concern

Media fragmentation is increasing. Consumers are exposed to multiple channels (online and offline). They interact with Earned, Owned, and Paid Media frequently in their daily lives, often across multiple devices. Brands and agencies focus more and more on integrated cross-media campaigns, and therefore the need for a total view of the consumer that matches the way consumers actually engage with content across all platforms – not just one particular media.

Media consumption, performance, and value

How can your most effective cross-media campaigns be identified? How to determine the best split between each media to reach the audience effectively? Today, unified media measurement approaches across different channels can include cross-media audience measurement (TV and online audiences together for example), advertising analysis run at a macro or industry level (whether television, radio, out of home, print or digital), cross-media audience profiling, PR monitoring and evaluation or any insight backed with sound data to assess the headroom for growth or modelling market dynamics.

From a ‘media-first’ approach to a 'customer value first' approach 

In parallel, marketing teams should move away from channel-centric to a “customer value” approach. When they are arranged by a communication channel, they would be often better organised by the client type. Today, customers are increasingly giving up on a brand because of disruptive or irrelevant marketing messages. However, especially in large companies, marketing teams often still see marketing campaigns and data in silos. Content writing teams stay focused on tracking how well the blog performs. The PPC teams keep their attention on how well their search ad campaigns are driving traffic for the cost. Even CMOs often see the marketing analytics from each in distinct dashboards, while they should stay on top of all the departments and campaigns at once.  Think about your experience: don’t you think that teams aligned to customer value will be more likely to do integrated marketing than those that compete on a "my channel is better than yours" basis?  


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