How to make a resolution a reality
A view from Marla Kaplowitz

How to make a resolution a reality

Will we achieve 100% viewability in our time? The CEO of MEC North America considers the challenges of 2016

It’s easy to make resolutions. Achieving them is an entirely different story.

Marketers know that once the pronouncements are uttered, the real challenge becomes how to bring those ideas to life. Looking across some of the top trending topics of the past year, I’ve surveyed some of MEC’s key leaders to identify the most prevalent issues marketers are aiming to tackle in 2016 to future proof their business.

Take a look to see how you currently rank in these areas, and check back again in six months to see how you’ve progressed.

Activating a cross-screen attribution model
The proliferation of technology means marketers need to think realistically about how to bring cross-screen models to life.

Cross-screen measurement and tracking solutions are maturing quickly, and we now have a number of deterministic (known users) and probabilistic (probable users) options available. As a first step, marketers must measure the impact of cross-device on current activations. This highlights the level of impression duplication across devices and allows us to plan better journeys for the future. Once we understand the device journeys, we can then recommend cross-device solutions to target ads in the most efficient way — this includes sequential storytelling across multiple devices.

Making the data/creativity connection a reality
How will marketers extend data-driven targeting strategies to the creative message to ensure that the right message is delivered to the right user?

Creative and programmatic are coming together to transform marketing, with programmatic creative now powered by dynamic creative optimization platforms. These platforms are not new to the market, as retailers have deployed the technology for retargeting product information for years.

Pulling in a wide array of data assets, including audience behaviors, product details and macro assets, like weather, to deliver the right combination and call-to-action to the right user has made technology an integral part of branding. The applicable use cases for dynamic creative technology are now universal and limitless, empowering marketers to more deeply connect with audiences.

Viewability in our time
Getting to 100% viewability is a critical goal to strive toward, but will this mandate be achieved in our lifetime? In one poll conducted in January 2015, 65% of respondents identified viewability as the biggest issue for 2015. Of these, 60% thought that the majority of publishers would not achieve this by end of 2015.

Well, the squeaky wheel wins.Thanks to incredible efforts by GroupM and other industry leaders, we have pushed hard to achieve 100% viewability for digital media. Due to this persistence, the vast majority of impressions bought by the group on behalf of clients are only paid for if we can verify that they are viewable. We also suspect that publishers are allocating inventory based on client demands; if we press for 100%, we get it. If others are satisfied with 70% or 50%, that’s what they get. Which side will you sit on?

As the conversation heats up, other developments in this area will continue to advance, including: verification software improving measuring fraud; the ability to measure mobile in-app viewability, and the increased application of viewability standards to programmatic buys.

Content pathway
Content marketing’s proven effectiveness was a hot topic in 2015. So how will marketers prove the ROI in their content investment, particularly in driving ecommerce?

The higher-quality engagement that comes from an always-on content marketing plan is now emerging as a key driver of a re-engineered online purchase journey. Some online retailers with significant content marketing investments report that shoppers who visit their online store through owned content sites, spend 50% more than other shoppers and tend to buy higher-margin products. Additionally, conversion rates are +700 points and purchase frequency is 50% higher. Results like these, will have CMO’s leaning into the content marketing plan with more interest and investment.

A cottage industry has cropped up around New Year’s resolutions with university studies, financial gurus and personal health experts each offering their opinions on why resolutions succeed or fail. My advice is not to make any resolutions, but make an organizational commitment to change. And check your progress often to see if you’ve been true to your word.

Marla Kaplowitz is CEO of MEC North America.