For the first time in our industry’s history, this year is set to see more money spent on digital advertising than on any other method. Moreover, as the spectre of COVID-19 continues to loom, it’s a trend that is undeniably set to continue as we navigate into the future. Advertisers who had already recognised the power of digital are now reaping the benefits as the effects of lifestyle change and the subsequent impact on consumer behaviour have been a natural match with this approach.
The pandemic has highlighted the priority for brands to develop digitally. Pre-COVID, wiser businesses were already heading up big digital drives, mainly aimed towards encouraging shoppers to make their purchases online rather than in bricks and mortar stores, and on improving the online experience of using their websites and apps. Data was important, with a focus on monitoring stock in real-time. Elsewhere, syndication across social media channels such as YouTube, and apps or email were being developed, with the focus on content and communications.
When the same bricks and mortar stores closed overnight, the game changed. The focus on drawing customers away from the high street ceased to be relevant when that high street was no longer open for business. The gradual migration of consumers was over and the digital age was here. With all customer engagement now taking place online, those brands that had not prioritised their digitisation were now at a clear disadvantage. Those that had, could react nimbly to the new consumer landscape whilst the others were scrambling to catch up.
All of these digital developments require investment in the necessary technological infrastructure, which includes, crucially, skilled marketers able to maximise the benefits of the data effectively. Putting technology at the heart of operations unlocks the potential for reaching targeted audiences through personalisation of content and advertising. This means that brands can get to know each individual customer’s preferences in order to tailor their response, thus optimising engagement, whilst also using the patterns from the data to develop shareable content with broad mass appeal.
With the need to be agile, it makes sense to purchase programmatically, and currently, almost 70 per cent of advertising is now bought this way. To maximise the impact of advertising, the targeting must take full advantage of data analytics which means ensuring a holistic understanding of the way that the technology can inform marketing choices.
Investing in approaches which integrate a customer data platform into media purchasing is far less effective when the human members of the team are not fully aware of the potential presented by the new technology. The best outcomes are found by brands that fully engage with the technology from the boardroom to marketing staff, with every player aware of its power.
It’s evident that the COVID pandemic has driven an unprecedented need for urgency in innovation, bringing challenges to management on a previously unseen scale. Yet the opportunities for brands that embrace the digitisation technology are also at an all-time high. Why not contact our industry-leading team here at Clifford Associates to discover how we can help in attracting the senior digital resources needed in your organisation?