Despite the moveable feast of choices for marketers today from the proliferation of channels and platforms, content creators, formats and brands, data from Kantar Millward Brown's 4th annual Getting Media Right study reveals a weighty gap between aspiration and reality for marketers. The quote that follows is a good example.
"People sometimes say, 'What keeps you awake at night?', and it's the integration of brand. That choice is fantastic but on the other side, it's also fragmenting our brands. I don't want to actually optimise for any one channel; I want to optimise the brand experience"
Keith Weed – Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Kantar Millward Brown learned from the study that many marketers echo Mr. Weed's sentiments –they see integration and cross channel marketing as best in class, yet they identify gaps in measurement and inconsistent currencies as a barrier to achieve this vision. Marketers identified cross channel and cross device marketing as having the highest impact; yet, 86% of advertiser, 79% of agencies and 78% of media companies stated that it was tough to assess how well brands perform across channels.
This lack of visibility is particularly vexing to marketers because, as Mr. Weed states, not only must they optimise for the brand experience, but they're under pressure to optimise earlier. 54% of marketers stated that the point at which they begin optimisation has moved up in the past year.
Our analysis reveals that the lack of visibility that exacerbates the fragmenting of brands is driven in large part by three factors. First, there are identifiable gaps in the channels that can be tracked and measured. Second, marketers are using different currencies for different channels, with the lack of a common thread or currency across platforms or channels. Third, despite having many choices of data to use, marketers' trust of the data available to them varies by source, and they still require additional insight and automation to act on it.
67% of marketers' state that the biggest gaps in data lie in cross channel and cross device measurement. For advertisers, these gaps translate to a lack of confidence in their media mix. Only 43% of advertisers state that they have confidence in their media mix, down from 2016, when 50% of advertisers stated confidence in their media mix. Advertisers' doubt in their media mix is not shared by agencies. 75% of respondents for agencies stated they were confident in their media mix – up from 70% in 2016.
Interestingly, despite industry backlash against 'walled gardens' and other digital data 'islands', it's the lack of trackability on TV and more traditional channels that impedes marketers' cross channel aspirations. Less than 1/3 of marketers describe television investments as 'highly trackable', and this estimation drops even more for the traditional channels struggling the most like radio, magazines, and newspapers.
Addressing measurement gaps and trackability benefits both advertisers and media channels directly. If trackability improved, 40% of advertisers stated they would increase their investment in TV, and 74% of advertisers stated they would increase their cross channel investment.
The cross channel aspirations of marketers are also thwarted by the overabundance of measurement currencies in circulation. These key performance indicators vary by channel making comparisons and holistic benchmarking daunting, expensive and time consuming. While for television measurement, marketers most often default to reach and frequency metrics, behavioural metrics are the most common currency for mobile investment, and ROI/sales metrics the most frequently utilized for online.
Trust and Actionability
Marketers cite many sources of data available to them – in-house data; third party data; agency data; data from publishers; DMP, and DSP data. While "too much data" may seem like a good problem to have, it becomes another variable that marketers must weigh and evaluate, particularly because of varying levels of trust in the data. Trust of data varies from 35% (media companies' trust in DMP and DSP data) to 79% (advertisers trust in proprietary data from their insights or data science teams).
Lack of trust also figures prominently in marketers stated tactical challenges with Viewability and Brand Safety/Adjacency concerns being most top of mind – and consistent across advertisers, agencies and media companies.
So how can the industry prevent a marketer's insomnia over the current state of integration? We offer three suggestions:
- Close the gaps in measurement on platforms – it will result in more confident and steady investment on your platforms and channels.
- Apply discipline to the currencies and data sources you utilize – it will make comparison and a broader view possible.
- Prepare – content and channels will proliferate more rapidly than ever. Agile optimisation to maximise the brand experience will be the cost of entry.
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