Busi­nesses need to stop re­act­ing to changes and start in­sti­gat­ing trans­for­ma­tion of their own – all the tools are there to chal­lenge the norm, you just have to de­cide to do it

Campaign UK - - PROMOTION -

Is it time to stop ac­cept­ing change and start or­ches­trat­ing it? “We can get bet­ter and bet­ter. The dis­rup­tion hasn’t even started,” said Me­di­a­com’s chief trans­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, Sue Un­er­man, dur­ing a round-ta­ble dis­cus­sion.

Pro­gram­matic is un­chal­lenged – ac­count­ing for 50% of all non-search dig­i­tal ads. Now in its tenth year, the in­dus­try recog­nises pro­gram­matic’s im­mense power to trans­form the way in which cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­ence ads and in­ter­act with brands.

As pro­gram­matic en­ters its sec­ond decade, fears over brand safety and a lack of trans­parency are just two of the fun­da­men­tal prob­lems the in­dus­try faces. There is also the stark feel­ing that cre­ative pro­gram­matic work sim­ply isn’t up to scratch. Huge ad­just­ments must be made.

Align­ing cre­ativ­ity with tech­nol­ogy is key, achieved by bring­ing to­gether some of the in­cre­men­tal mov­ing parts of the pro­gram­matic jour­ney. But how does that work in prac­tice?

At a lunch hosted by Cam­paign and Me­dia­math, brands, me­dia agen­cies and pub­lish­ers in­clud­ing Dell, Shazam, IBM, Uber Brazil, Canon, Zenith and New­suk, laid bare the chal­lenges and de­bated how the in­dus­try must adapt.

High on the agenda was how to solve the prob­lem of cre­ativ­ity fall­ing be­hind fast­mov­ing tech­no­log­i­cal progress. Joanna O’con­nell, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Me­dia­math, ex­plained her frus­tra­tion. “We did such a good job build­ing all this great, smart tech­nol­ogy and we just didn’t pay it off,” she said.

As Mark Simp­son, vice-pres­i­dent, of­fer­ing man­age­ment and strat­egy, at IBM, pointed out, there is so much con­sumer data avail­able, but it’s sim­ply not be­ing used enough in the cre­ative. Mar­ket­ing de­part­ments are com­ing to­gether, but the gap be­tween cre­ative and mar­ket­ing teams is hold­ing back in­no­va­tion.


Carolina Palma, Uber’s growth mar­ket­ing man­ager in Brazil, said that me­dia teams should work more closely with cre­ative teams who don’t yet have the same data, tech, or user-be­hav­iour knowl­edge that they have. “It’s go­ing to take us a long time – years, maybe – but this is some­thing we need to push hard,” she added.

Cre­atives must be more aware and hun­gry for the data and in­sights now avail­able. Nonethe­less, as Sean Healy, global com­mu­ni­ca­tions plan­ning di­rec­tor at Zenith, ar­gued: “The key thing is who writes the brief. I would imag­ine that pro­gram­matic will shift the em­pha­sis of the cre­ative process. We’re fig­ur­ing out how we get briefs to cre­atives’ minds that are fit for pur­pose. We have to push the dy­namic adap­tive cre­ative more. We should work to el­e­vate that to the high­est pos­si­ble art form it can be.”

Lee Bon­ni­face, EMEA mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Canon, agreed. “It’s about un­der­stand­ing the mes­sage you want to give your cus­tomer at the right time,” he said. “As a brand, we can see thou­sands of bits of con­tent across the cus­tomer jour­ney. We need to be clear about how we want you to use it.”

On the op­po­site end of the spec­trum, mea­sure­ment is still a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge.

“There is an op­por­tu­nity to fund a new and more so­phis­ti­cated ap­proach to the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence and cre­ative process by driv­ing more ef­fi­ciency at the point of ac­ti­va­tion. What is hold­ing us back is that mea­sure­ment tech­niques are lag­ging be­hind de­liv­ery tech­nol­ogy,” Healy said.

“I see gen­er­a­tion af­ter gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple com­ing and do­ing what they are told by their bosses and not chal­leng­ing it,” Un­er­man noted.

Dell’s global DSP man­ager, Asha Neuville, con­curred, adding: “We’re

not test­ing new things… it must be very hard for an agency, com­ing back with some­thing risky – say­ing: ‘Right, I have no idea if this will work… it could work or it could be an ut­ter dis­as­ter.’”

Un­er­man con­ceded that it can be dif­fi­cult to take in­no­va­tive propo­si­tions to a client. “They ask how you know it’s go­ing to work. We live in very hard times,” she said.


The guests at the ta­ble agreed that a flop is as use­ful as a great suc­cess in pro­vid­ing in­sight. How­ever, as Ebru Ozguc, head of brand and mar­ket­ing strat­egy at Voda­fone Turkey, em­pha­sised, busi­nesses are op­er­at­ing in very un­cer­tain times and fast-mov­ing mar­kets, with per­pet­ual tar­gets that must be hit. So how cru­cial is it for the in­dus­try to take the time and money to test new ideas?

“It’s short- ver­sus long-term,” Simp­son said. “The com­pa­nies that have suc­cess will be long-term thinkers. Spend­ing money on fail­ures and learn­ing from them is a much more ef­fec­tive use of time if you take that ap­proach on a con­sis­tent ba­sis, but it’s just tough tak­ing that first step, cul­tur­ally.”

Healy added: “Ul­ti­mately some­one has to be the or­ches­tra­tor of this stuff. “Who­ever is act­ing as the or­ches­tra­tor, be it cre­ative or me­dia – they need to get the right peo­ple in the room early. Tech­nol­o­gists get in­volved [in the process] too late. It needs to be a dif­fer­ent group of peo­ple around the ta­ble.”

So is a shift of fo­cus needed from all sides – me­dia-own­ers, brands, agen­cies and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies “ac­tively think­ing about mak­ing th­ese things work to­gether, rather than just mak­ing one piece good”, as O’con­nell put it – and would this re­quire or­gan­i­sa­tional change?

Un­er­man ar­gued that it was sim­pler than that. Peo­ple need to get be­hind one goal, which is to grow the busi­ness – not the KPIS or site vis­its. “The tech now is so ex­cit­ing and rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ily that the ca­pac­ity for us to get bet­ter at our jobs is higher and higher,” she ar­gued. “I don’t think we’ve even started on the dis­rup­tion.”

The group agreed that there was a need for greater unity and col­lab­o­ra­tion across the board – and what Ben Walm­s­ley, dig­i­tal com­mer­cial di­rec­tor at New­suk, called “the democratis­ing of data all the way along the chain”, where ev­ery­one has ac­cess to the same data and in­sights.

Nonethe­less, as O’con­nell said, while help­ing build di­rect re­la­tion­ships sounds re­ally good on paper, if there is no real will to fo­cus on the re­la­tion­ships that are truly im­por­tant, noth­ing will change.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.