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Creative Challenges Remain In Cross-Platform Campaign Planning


CreativeThe best marketing and advertising campaigns offer consistent content, optimized across devices. This might sound simple but, according to a number of media executives Tuesday at Tapad Unify Tech in New York, it’s easier said than done.

Nevertheless, customers have certain expectations around consistency and optimization. According to “Tapad’s Path To Purchase Consumer Study,” a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by Forrester Research in March, 71% of consumers reacted negatively to content and ads that are inconsistent across devices.

The data showed 52% of the users want to see content consistent with a brand or application, but optimized to the device.

Developing that consistency begins with planning.

“Advertisers should have an idea of what consumers do on mobile, desktop and tablet and realize that those [channels] are your content strategy,” said Mike Lieberman, co-president, US of WPP-owned mobile marketing agency Joule. “If we’re not thinking about that when we’re designing creative messaging, we fail.”

Erin Kienast, SVP and director of mobility for Starcom USA, said the media agency frequently partners with publishers when planning mobile campaigns for CPG clients and there is not enough focus on screen-specific content.

“The biggest pain I deal with daily is creative,” she said. “For the amount of money brands are [working with] in mobile, it’s absurd I still don’t get mobile content [and assets]. Mobile creative guidelines – this is what we need. We will never crack the code on ROI until we have consistent creative.”

Much of the debate centered around whose responsibility mobile creative optimization falls to – the agency, the advertiser or the publisher?

“The creative needs to come from the agency,” said Emily Evans-Allen, SVP of sales development, BI Studios & Ad Strategy, Business Insider. “If BI builds it, it’s usually a one-off” instance that’s not consistent with broader campaign messaging.

It’s not uncommon for media planning and execution to take precedence over creative assets or content, as Mike Zeman, director of North American digital marketing for Netflix, recently pointed out.

As programmatic media and real-time bidding open up more opportunities for targeted messaging, “why is creative often an afterthought where agencies are given too little time to do great creative work or assets are handed over to publishers just hours before a campaign is meant to launch?” he said.


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According to Starcom’s Kienast, this is both an organizational and budgetary challenge the industry must overcome.

“I’ve had TV-focused partners say, ‘Why would I build out creative [for mobile] when the majority of dollars are still going to TV?’” Kienast said. “But we are consistently approaching the markets as one. It used to be ‘ad first,’ but now it’s, ‘What data do I or my publishing partner have about my consumer?’”

That data is certainly important. Christopher Reynolds, VP of marketing analytics for Condé Nast, spoke about the publisher’s efforts in the past year to identify premium audience segments for brand advertisers both on and off-property.

But mobile advertisers need more than data; they need to understand how best to apply it from a creative standpoint.

“The biggest question [we still have] is how to make experiences incremental and knowing what content to deliver in what environment,” Reynolds said. “We deal with our own consumer journey and how they engage, spend time with products and then possibly pay for them, but then it’s how you apply that to an advertisers’ user journey, and understanding the mindsets of the consumer, what device they’re using, and it’s frankly still very challenging.”


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