Home AdExchanger Talks Podcast: Joanna O’Connell Grades The Progress Of Omnichannel

Podcast: Joanna O’Connell Grades The Progress Of Omnichannel


This week on AdExchanger Talks, we bring you a lively discussion with Joanna O’Connell, VP and principal analyst with Forrester Research and a singular personality in the marketing industry. Joanna will present a session titled “Omnichannel Buying Remains More Promise Than Reality” at AdExchanger’s upcoming Programmatic IO San Francisco conference on April 10-11.

Many fans of the programmatic discipline will be familiar with this week’s podcast guest. Joanna O’Connell has been a vocal advocate for programmatic since its early days, first as an executive at Razorfish circa 2007 and later as Forrester analyst and MediaMath CMO. She even worked at AdExchanger for a while.

O’Connell’s superpower is articulating both the progress and unrealized promise in the marketing discipline. A big focus right now is omnichannel.

“We have still got a ways to go in terms of organizational structure to enable what I would call true omnichannel advertising,” she says. “That does not have to imply that you are advertising in all channels at all moments, but rather that you have a really good understanding of your target consumers.”

The data science is daunting. Dedicated omnichannel marketers must think about not only the proper media mix for any given customer or cohort, at any given moment. They must also determine the optimal creative strategy for thousands of individual customer journeys and whether dynamic creative is applicable or desirable at each touch point, among other factors.

Sounds like a job for technology, right? O’Connell pushes back on that assumption.

“I don’t know that throwing more technology at the problem is fundamentally the issue. I think it’s process, I think it’s organizational structure, I think it’s mindset,” she says. “This is not to say that technology as it exists today does all the things we need it to do to enable what I’m talking about. It doesn’t. But if we only try to solve the problem by focusing on technology, then we are missing the big picture.”

Also in this episode: Has programmatic lived up to the hype? Are Google and Facebook good stewards of the industry? And lessons from MediaMath.

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