The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

Data-driven creative connections with Tim Mahlman, President of Platforms, AOL Inc.

This week’s guest blog is an excerpt from the original article, published in our official Oracle Data Cloud Live at Cannes magazine, written by Tim Mahlman, President of Platforms, AOL Inc.

Today’s consumers crave experiences they can engage with on their terms and content that’s tailored to what they’re interested in. But the reality is people think most brands just don’t get them, and they’re turning to ad blockers in droves, cutting out roughly $21.8B of ad revenue globally and $10.7B in the US alone.

Simply put, consumers are demanding content they want, when and how they want it—and they’re challenging advertisers and publishers to get inventive.

The key to getting there? Breaking down barriers between data, automation and creative. Tapping into a combination of technology and creativity is now essential to manifesting experiences guaranteed to win over the hearts and minds of consumers.

We put some numbers behind this shift to understand how the future of creative is evolving for brands, agencies (media buyers and creative alike) and publishers. Here are four key takeaways to keep in mind.

  1. The creative process can and should be simplified. The current creative process happens in expensive, ineffective silos that are complex and costly. Nearly 50% of brands, agencies and publishers juggle more than four vendors to build, manage and optimize creative assets and many are using up to 20. With the constraints on time and resources needed to develop engaging and relevant content, it’s not a surprise that consumers aren’t excited about the results.
  1. Data is your best friend: use it to unlock, not stifle creativity and consumer engagement. While automation is a critical tool for success, data is the lifeblood. By looking beyond standard demographic and behavioral data, marketers and publishers can better understand the moments, mindsets and motivations consumers experience when engaging with content in order to offer experiences they actually care about. 46% of advertisers use data to optimize and inform their creative strategies, with more projected to do the same.
  1. Programmatic planning and buying is the best testing ground creatives could ever ask for. One of the biggest opportunities that comes from the ubiquity of programmatic execution is the ability to test and learn and do it much more broadly than ever before. This transformation is compelling marketers to look for a programmatic solution that seamlessly melds those two worlds together and offer what is deemed most beneficial: audience data integration, smarter dynamic creative optimization and workflow management.
  1. In-house is a growing trend—understand what it means and if it’s right for your organization. It’s clear that programmatic is bringing efficiencies to all areas of the creative, buying and planning processes, precipitating an increase in the investment in and focus on in-house competencies. 49% of brands, agencies and publishers have brought programmatic creative in-house--and 26% plan to in the next year. Why the major shift? Marketers and publishers see the importance of taking measurement and attribution, as well as dynamic creative optimization in-house.

Start harnessing data-driven creative, now.

Not only is programmatic solving for the creative production, management and optimization challenges that plague many organizations, but it’s also harnessing data to tailor experiences in a captivating, scalable way that inherently puts your consumers at the center. That is why the future of creativity is programmatic, and it’s here now.

Read more in our Oracle Data Cloud Live at Cannes magazine.

To learn more about the future of creative, dive into our multi-part series. Find out how to break down boundaries, open up to new approaches and give consumers what they want.

About Tim Mahlman:

As President of Platforms, Tim Mahlman is tasked with leading the continued growth and success of ONE by AOL. Additionally, he is the founder of Vidible, a Video Content Exchange Platform that streamlines the way video content owners syndicate their content to publishers. Tim came to AOL by way of its acquisition of Vidible in 2014, where he most recently served as Founder/President. He brings 20 years of digital advertising technology experience to the AOL team.

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