Last week we were lucky enough to score ourselves a pass to AdWeek Europe. While everyone else queued to attend the popular, attention grabbing sessions such as the Martin Sorrell, Bernie Ecclestone debate over the Brexit, we went along to the sessions that keep our hearts pumping - the data sessions. Across the often lively debates, key themes emerged. Those of Speed; Relevancy; Creativity and Engagement.
The Need For Speed
Nicole Goodwin, Marketing Director of Jagermeister, summed the need for speed up nicely. Jagermeister are a brand that use media to amplify social. During a social campaign, they need to have data readily available to track how the campaign is performing, to be able to quickly pull together a media campaign to build on its success. By sticking close to the data, they can take full advantage of consumer engagement and drive effectiveness.
The discussion of speed also came up in a session discussing the importance of the quality of data vs the quantity. The panel agreed that the ability to run attribution modelling live during the campaign will allow brands to optimise segmenting throughout the campaign, thereby improving overall effectiveness.
Relevancy: Looking for the 'So What?' factor
A common theme that ran through the large majority of the sessions was the importance of continually questioning data to understand the 'So What?'. Data has to be actionable. Data should help drive the gut and creativity. The relevancy of the data is key. Not its predictability. There is a balance to strike between being data led vs data informed. The Data Magicians panel were in full agreement that where there are lots of silos of data, it is too time consuming and costly to bring it all together. The ideal approach is to piece it up as you go along and let the 'so what?' drive it. The Data Congress panel agreed, you can have a massive range of measures/KPIs, but ultimately you need to think about what you are trying to achieve and measure that.
In the Future of Automation session, Theo Theodorou of xAd stated, 'its not about big data, its about the right data' arguing that data should be used in the right way to identify unique and effective ways of targeting consumers. The main focal point of the session was how the traditional media channels TV, OOH, Digital and Radio were being disrupted by the rise of programmatic, data and automation. It is estimated that within 5 years, all media owners are looking to be at a point close to 100% programmatic (with the exception of OOH which is aiming for 75%). Programmatic TV is on the rise with the introduction of products such as Sky AdSmart coming to market. Within their location based targeting, they can identify whether a consumer is in or out of market and target with a different message accordingly. There is however still a lot of red tape affecting programmatic TV as the ad that is served has to be suitable for the programme. This is currently restricting the use of programmatic during shows.
The data congress panel gathered at the end of the data day to discuss how data and analytics drive the bottom line. First up for discussion was the revamp of the EU data laws expected in the summer of 2016. While we're all still waiting to hear how this will impact the industry, there was a general view across the panel that it is most important to put the customer experience at the heart of any data-led strategy. We need to ensure that we are not bombarding consumers with messaging that might annoy them and alienate them. The data magicians panel unanimously agreed with Nicole Goodwin of Jagermeister that we should be respectful of consumers data as if it is our own.
Creativity: Is it Content or is it Advertising?
The objective of both content and advertising is the same - to engage with consumers. In a session on Convergence: When Branded Entertainment becomes Valuable Entertainment, the panelists agreed that there is an element of risk associated with content. 30 minutes of programming is much more risky than a 30 second advert. All were in agreement that return from content is not guaranteed or even tangible. There was also agreement that content is much harder for some brands to create than others. For example, sports brands have assets available to them to use in content production. In a session on the Marketers Toolbox, discussion centered on marrying the context of consumers with the context of the creative. Are you targeting the right person with the right type of advertising or content? There was agreement that advertising is becoming more and more like content. And more content means more creative! In the past where new creative every 6 months was sufficient, you now need new content every week!
Factors discussed that should be borne in mind when producing content was the idea that the less branded the content, the better it works. Also, overt product placement doesn't work as well as more subtle use. In addition, the 'coolness' of the brand heavily drives the success of the content.
Engagement: Don't be Creepy
The panel on the Marketers Toolbox discussed the importance of being able to know who people are cross device but were also very much in agreement that we need to follow the Snapchat code and 'don't be creepy!'. No-one wants to feel like they are being followed around online!
An interesting session that looked at engagement in the automotive industry was called 'Fastest in Media'. The panel discussed the importance of car launches for automotive brands. Car development can take 5-6 years but the launch is becoming much more instant. Historically, journalists would receive a printed press pack, get to drive the new car, spend 2 weeks writing the review and then 2 weeks later it would appear in print. Now, the response is much more instant. Digital Technology means journalists can give their opinions instantly, without full consideration and they can't take it back. In addition to Facebook favouring live videos, could the impact be live car reviews?
Virtual Reality (VR) could soon become a big player in the automotive market. Porsche have trialed this in car demos round racing tracks but so far have only achieved in making the user feel sick! Further development is required. However, could VR be the only way consumers experience cars in the future? Research has already shown us that the number of dealers that a consumer will visit when purchasing a car has fallen significantly in the last few years, preferring to research and shortlist online. If consumers are able to experience the car without visiting a showroom, will this change the purchase route entirely in the automotive industry? Interesting times!