dmexco 2015: embracing a data-driven, multi-device universe

This year's dmexco theme, 'bridging worlds' is more than just a nice sentiment. It reflects marketers' pressing need to navigate an increasingly fragmented digital world, through bold thinking and continuing innovation to connect consumers and brands more seamlessly, says Joe Connors, head of client solutions, AdRoll.

dmexco 2015: embracing a data-driven, multi-device universe
dmexco 2015: embracing a data-driven, multi-device universe
The typical customer will now use anything from three to five devices during the course of making a buying decision

Our team will be joining over 32,000 other attendees at this year’s Dmexco event, which promises to offer plenty of advice and insight into how marketers can successfully bridge worlds and ecosystems to deliver consistent and effective messaging to targeted consumers. Below is our take on three of the event’s most prominent topics:

Be where your customers are (every step of the way)

Research published by Ofcom last month tells us that mobile has overtaken the laptop as our device of choice for browsing the web. But for marketers it’s not as simple as focussing on mobile as your platform of choice - mobile is being used as well as laptops and desktops, not instead of. According to eBay, the typical customer will now use anything from three to five devices during the course of making a buying decision, and to connect with that customer at every stage, you must be able to reach them on each of those, in a coherent fashion.

There are now marketing and advertising architectures to meet these multi-device needs, but what is alarming is how many businesses still choose not to invest in them. According to AdRoll’s 2015 State of the Industry report, only 20% of European marketers consider mobile to be their biggest concern. The result is often a disjointed campaign that serves neither the brand nor the customer. The first step must be to lay the foundations for a marketing campaign that can find the right customer, and speak to them in a way that is clear, on the device of their choosing.

Establish who your customer is to increase ROI

Online advertising has come a long way in a few short years. With the advent of programmatic and retargeting, you no longer need to segment your audience using a broad split of age, country and gender. Today, you can go much deeper using anonymised data. Examining purchase history, you can ascertain the likelihood that your intended target will be interested in your product with a far higher degree of accuracy.

One way to do this is to pool data. AdRoll’s Prospecting platform, launching this month, is a good example of this. Advertisers can pool this kind of customer purchase data, and through it, segment audiences that are much more closely aligned in their tastes and shopping habits - less ‘lookalike’ and more ‘actalike’. In short, the key is to measure consumer intent, rather than consumer demographics.

This kind of top-level data does nothing to signify each person’s shopping habits. You may as well segment people based on whether they drive a car, or breathe oxygen

For example, think of the people who might attend a football match. They are all incredibly varied - just because they all go to the same match, it doesn’t necessarily mean they all share the same tastes or buy the same products. This kind of top-level data does nothing to signify each person’s shopping habits. You may as well segment people based on whether they drive a car, or breathe oxygen.

But if you match those individuals in the crowd who also drive the same kind of car, use a similar mobile phone and have the same taste in shirts, then it’s much more likely that they are also going to share tastes in other areas and for other products. Even location-based data can determine the success or failure of your campaign - a twenty-something in London and a twenty-something in Birmingham may not share the same tastes or priorities for example.

Such analysis will quickly show you who your audience is, and give you a much higher success rate when it comes to targeting them. In fact, our own data tells us that companies who take this approach see up to 8X click through rate compared to normal targeting methods.

Put the customer experience first

The number of businesses who still aren’t mobile friendly is simply staggering

The number of businesses who still aren’t mobile friendly is simply staggering. Research released by Barclays in April this year shows that  UK consumer retail spend on mobiles and tablets is forecast to hit £53.6bn a year by 2024, but only 3% of retailers said they are mobile-ready and 70% said they did not have a mobile-enabled websites or apps in place.

The customer experience is not just about adapting to a mobile screen though - it’s recognising what step of the buying process the customer is on – and leveraging online marketing to support this intuitively. Displaying ‘buy now’ banners to a customer who is unfamiliar with your brand, for example, is just putting the cart before the horse, when this early part of the journey should be focused on brand and product recognition. As they move further along their decision making process, messaging should evolve accordingly, to provide ever more tailored creative and offers.

Each of these will be a key theme at this year’s dmexco, but they are much more than just talking points. These are fundamental pillars to success in reaching customers who are spread across many devices and channels. Consumer behaviour is radically evolving yet many advertisers remain statically embedded in traditional strategies. You’ll have heard the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. It’s no different in the world of marketing. It’s now time we bridge worlds, and actually do it, rather than just talk about it.