Cannes is about creative, but did you know the revolution around data means you can be more creative than ever before, and deliver more of your creative ideas than you’ve ever enabled in the past?
Advertising is about the emotional relevancy delivered to the right people, at the right place, at the right time. Advertisers have promised efficiency for years and it manifested in aggressive media pricing coupled with insights about the target audience shaping the message to be delivered.
Agencies developed a “big idea” for a campaign, which was placed across media channels to build reach and frequency to drive behavior resulting in purchases. That model has existed for years and is not any different than it was in the 1960s. In fact, if you look closely you might be surprised to see just how similar it truly is.
Between 1960 and 2016 a lot of change occurred that dramatically impacted the advertising landscape. Your message was received because there was little clutter and your campaigns had legs, living on for months at a time; wear out was rarely an issue. Advertising was simpler back then, and probably a lot of fun!
Look at the landscape now: the pendulum has shifted toward math and data. Insights and behaviors are trackable in real-time and data science enables immediate activation of your customer insights. The options for how to reach your audience have multiplied exponentially and it’s difficult to break through the clutter to reach them.
They also are far more cynical, leaning toward ad blocking and ad skipping to return to the content they were engaged with. Engagement with messaging is at an all-time low, and yet advertising spend has never been higher. For an industry that shifted to be very quantitative, the math simply doesn’t add up.
Despite these changes, advertising is still important because of two trends: consolidation and emotion.
Targeting, along with consolidation, drives us toward an easier advertising experience. Within digital media, the landscape resembles TV in the 1960s, focusing on large partners like Google, Facebook, Twitter and a few more. It’s analogous to the domination of CBS, NBC and ABC 50 years ago. The difference is that while these channels provide a mass audience, they deliver a targeted segment at a premium to advertisers.
You know your audience is there, and if you buy the media on terms that allow for transparency, then you can tweak the message and delivery format to find the right way to speak to your audience. There are very few advertisers who look at these platforms and say they’ll pass. They are an important part of your media plan and, as an advertiser, you need to work with them. As the saying goes, you follow the money and the money says this is where the audience is.
In the past, you focused your energy against the “big idea,” but with segmentation you can personalize to groups and deliver multiple big ideas to subsets of your target audience. Reach is not a mass concept as much as it is a targeted concept. It transforms to be about reaching a targeted audience with a personalized message and it includes recognizing that different stages of the customer journey require the delivery of different messages.
This frees up agencies to do more and to take bigger risks. You can sell multiple storylines and campaigns to a customer because you can prove the value of multiple messages in market. It’s not just about a static insight into your customer base. It’s about recognizing your customers are dynamic and their needs also are dynamic. If your audience can change, so should your message!
Creative teams overlook data because they think it’s the role of the media team or the research team, but data can be the tool that allows the creative to have more of their work come to life! Why argue with the client about which campaign to run when you can multiple versions and bring them all to life?
Is it possible that data will allow creativity to be set free?
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