Mobile-first? No, Audience-first

Turn Pierre_NaggarPierre Naggar, managing director EU at Turn says that programmatic enables advertisers to target consumers more precisely and more contextually than ever before. 

The modern marketer is drowning in a sea of data. While brands now have access to vast amounts of consumer browsing information, they are often also sitting on a goldmine of under-utilised data within their own systems. The challenge is utilising and combining these different data sets to find the right insights for their brand and their marketing objectives. These insights can transform this “big data” into instant, actionable and targeted advertising strategies.

With many consumers anxious about the data that brands have collected on them, marketers need to be transparent about what information they are collecting and how they will use it to improve the customer experience. The Forbes “Promise of Privacy” Insight study, conducted in association with Turn, revealed that 53 per cent of b2c customers and 45 per cent of b2b customers are generally willing to share information when they perceive a benefit from the exchange.

These findings highlight the fact that consumers remain happy to provide information, even if the balance of value favours business, paving the way for a positive conversation between consumers and brands.

With the ability to access a complete picture of consumer browsing behaviour, preferences and brand interactions, advertisers can now take an “audience-first” approach to ad buying, re-aligning their top-level strategies to think about reaching particular customer types across multiple media and devices, rather than relying on single-channel tactics.

So, what steps can brands take to ensure that they are enabling timely and relevant advertising?

Audience-first thinking
By considering how to interact with their audiences across all channels, brands are more likely to capture the attention of today’s distracted consumers. The Turn October 2013 Global Digital Audience Report revealed that advertising ROI increased by an average of 3X for brands moving from single to multiple channels, with a 24 per cent increase in conversions when advertising across multiple channels.

When the modern consumer travels across so many digital touchpoints, marketers need to locate the optimum time, channel and content for interacting with their audience at different points in the customer journey. The individual advertising opportunities are phenomenal; our own advertising platform sees more than 1.3m programmatic advertising opportunities every second. This puts the impetus firmly on marketers to have better insights, data, and analytics than their challengers – it’s the only way to deliver the personalised experience that consumers are seeking.

Personalising the customer journey
With individuals moving across devices and channels, brands need to achieve a holistic understanding of the consumer journey. For example, if a female shopper’s browsing activity indicates an interest in summer clothing, then a retailer will know to contact them when its new range is launched. By taking full advantage of their anonymised data profiles, retailers can think beyond the content they are delivering and consider the audience’s favoured times and channels – whether that’s social media, mobile or email – in order to optimise their customer communications continuously.

Real-time advertising
As marketers shift to this audience-first thinking, buying advertising based on the value of the audience at that particular moment is only natural. Our Advertising Intelligence Index applies global standard economic models to measure trends in advertiser share of voice for various sectors across the year.

In retail, for example, Black Friday looms large in the calendar for every business, but it is only a small number of advertisers that spend big budgets on advertising to drive footfall into stores. Cyber Monday, on the other hand, has seen higher competition from those with lower ad spend, suggesting that companies will use technological tools to source valuable data insights from Black Friday and create a far more considered strategy that centres on increasing the bottom line. It’s about valuing the opportunity by looking at the return on investment from a specific demographic.

Right customer, right ad, right time
Thanks to real-time advertising, buyers can access a huge range of inventory across a wide range of sites and cherry-pick only the audience they deem most valuable to them. Working with ad exchanges and publishers, brands can harness their data-set to build an anonymous, but comprehensive, picture of the type of consumer behind each and every impression, enabling better ad targeting. By serving the right advertising message to the right consumer at the right time, brands can reduce wastage and boost the value of media investments.

Being able to target audiences at such data-driven, granular levels means that advertisers have a fantastic opportunity to optimise their marketing strategies and media buying. With the overall objective being to engage the target audience, and having greater confidence that they will deliver a direct result, it’s time for advertisers to harness the big data they have already collated and use it to action advertising messages that will resonate with consumers.

Pierre Naggar is managing director EU at Turn