A Call To Arms: Marketers, Seize What’s Under Your Nose

joannaoconnelrevised“Marketer’s Note” is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Joanna O’Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research

When I think about the year ahead in digital marketing, I am excited…and a little impatient. Many of the most urgent opportunities – real measurement across channels, tackling audience targeting “versus” privacy, the future of television advertising – have been emerging for years.

Will the future hurry up already?

It’s up to marketers to see these opportunities as what they are, doors to walk through that will change the future of marketing:

  • The acquisition of Datalogix (always well regarded, but under the radar) by tech giant Oracle (a company that every brand has heard of) could spell a huge leap forward in connecting online-to-offline measurement if more large marketing organizations would only be willing to experiment with it. Imagine if every brick-and-mortar marketer woke up this year and said to her boss, “I know we’ve been using the same marketing mix model approach for the last 50 years and we feel really safe with it – but is safe really good enough in today’s market?” and her boss actually listened?
  • Companies like Protegrity are predicting a revolutionary battle cry from consumers when they finally wake up, en masse, to what’s happening with their data. They may or may not be right in their prediction, but they are absolutely right in their sentiment – consumer data is a highly valuable asset that should neither be ignored nor abused – and we’d all do well to step up our game in its management. Right now, we as an industry are schizophrenically bouncing between both states. A more direct, open, honest relationship with consumers – led by brands – about why and how we as marketers wish to use their data to make marketing more meaningful, relevant and enjoyable, perhaps could begin to change the conversation and head off a real crisis of faith on part of our customers.
  • Innovations by the coolest TV companies you’ve never heard of, like AudienceXPress (owned, by the way, by one of the most entrenched infrastructural players in the TV market, VisibleWorld, which you’ve also never heard of), that allow buyers to log into a user interface, set audience, reach or performance targets, press a button to develop a TV advertising schedule, then press another button to execute it – taking TV planning and buying from days to minutes. Imagine taking even just a small chunk of your biggest advertising line item – your massive TV expenditure – and making it faster and smarter overnight, just by being willing to try something new.

So let’s be bold this year. Let’s take chances in our marketing, and not just in digital. Let’s make a pledge to try new things big and small, whether simply doubling down on a meaningful test of a new device-appropriate (read: not just a tiny banner ad) mobile ad format, or going all-in on customer-centricity by creating a new C-suite position dedicated entirely to spearheading a consumer’s experience with the brand.  Or starting to tackle even just one of the three things I bulleted above. Let’s shake the tree, people.

Here’s to a new year!


Follow Joanna O’Connell (@joannaoconnell ) and AdExchanger Research (@AdexchangerRsch) on Twitter. 

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