Last Wednesday Felipe and I attended a breakfast hosted by the IAB in which digital marketers came together to discuss current and future trends pertaining to performance marketing and digital advertising. The keynote speakers were representatives from News UK, PubMatics and Twitter who shared their latest research, within their respective fields. Below is a recap of the topics that were discussed!
The first talk, presented by News UK, reported on their findings from Project Footprint which looked at the behaviour of consumers both online and offline. The study tracked the importance of the customer journey, and tried to decipher how influential advertising is when it comes to attribution.
What do people do after they read content or see an advertisement both online and offline? Do they complete a sale, fill out a form, call for more information or purchase an item? This question of attribution along the purchase path is what a majority of companies are desperately trying to uncover in order to fully justify, measure and optimise each touch point along the customer journey.
With the ever-imposing threat of ad blocking, questions of the importance of digital adverts were discussed in great detail. However, data from Project Footprint indicated that ad exposure does in fact facilitate conversions and can even stimulate other actions such as conversations on social media, about a certain brand or product. The study followed individual customer journey’s to determine what will happen after they complete their journey. The findings proved that some individuals did indeed become brand advocates, which therefore indicates that when a person is exposed to brand advertisements along the purchase path, they are more likely to choose that product or service. Taking it one step further, they are also more likely to recommend that product or service to friends as well. However, one crucial take-away from this study was that companies need to ensure their advertisements are targeted to the right audiences at the right time. Making sure the advertisement and offering is relevant to the consumer’s interests increases the likelihood that the individual will purchase the product or service.
We then moved onto discuss the Quarterly Mobile Index, a study conducted by PubMatics, which analysed cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) as a volume indication of supply and demand. The goal was to provide publishers and advertisers with key insights into the mobile advertising industry and observe broader digital trends that occurred at the beginning of 2016. The study reported that CPMs grew; year-over-year in both the US and EMEA regions and this can be attributed to large sporting and cultural events. Advertisement at big social events, like the Olympics, is done at a large scale and therefore the impact of this is still highly relevant in today’s world. The study also indicated that mobile’s relevance in the digital industry is growing and advertisements on mobile are more popular than on desktop. This is a trend that is increasing every year and therefore companies need to ensure they are fully optimising their campaigns for mobile devices. In addition, ad-bidding was also discussed as something companies should explore as it allows marketers to see trends and view where certain campaigns are performing better than others, all with the end goal of optimising the campaigns
We then moved onto the final discussion which looked at how to optimise communication on Twitter. The big question raised here was the true value Twitter contributes to brands and if it continues to prove its worth after 10 years. Here at CAKE we love to communicate with our customers, prospects and other industry leaders via social media channels including Twitter. It is vital that every company finds its own style and experiments with what does and does not work. This is key to successfully utilise Twitter and to build their social media audience and encourage brand engagement. If properly optimised, Twitter can enhance customer relations and act as a PR platform however, there is still the concern that not enough companies are fully optimising this free social media platform. Then again, Twitter is not for every company but there is no harm in experimenting for free!
Overall, the three talks raised interesting discussion topics with regards to the influence digital advertisements play in the greater online and offline marketing ecosystem. The research undertaken by the three different companies indicated that although ad-blocking seems to be posing a threat, advertisements are still key indicators of consumer behaviours and easy to track. This tracking element is vital in understanding and optimising ROI – which at the end of the day is exactly what companies want and strive for! Thank you to the IAB for hosting such an insightful event!