Data is at the front and center of our industry conversations, and this is the year where brands truly realize and embrace the significant power of real-world data. Agencies also play a significant role in this evolution as they invest in their own data platforms and expand their capabilities.
In my recent conversations with industry peers, they shared the same sentiment, that this is the year when our industry effectively leverages data integration across the marketing ecosystem. One significant aspect of this industry evolution is the injection of physical-world data with other data sets, as well as mobile. Mobile data is the glue that connects all data with the broader ecosystem.
Data will lay the foundation for four important advances in our industry:
- Mobile Audience and Attribution Challenge Will Be Solved. In 2015 we saw huge strides made by brands and agencies embracing the next level of attribution metrics. This is the year where new forms of measurement solutions become the norm as we shift towards closed-loop metrics, such as foot traffic, transactional data, and other data signals. Moving away from the age old and ineffective CTR.I expect to see this continue in 2016 as marketers continue to increase their investment in mobile by leveraging location data for robust audience insights and measurement metrics that allow for more sophisticated marketing strategies. By year’s end, marketers will truly have a holistic view of their customers and campaign performance from the integrated solutions currently being introduced in the market. As the glue that ties online and offline data together, mobile data plays an important role in this significant industry evolution.
- Brands Unlock the True Power of CRM Data. Brands will continue to invest heavily in data management platforms (DMPs), and we will see these DMPs continue to evolve to support more omni-channel marketing, offering brands richer datasets beyond their own first-party CRM data. Integrating CRM data with external data provides, marketers will have more information about their customers than ever before. This year we will continue to see more omni-channel onboarding and distribution channels open up. Marketers will be able to create a holistic marketing strategy across different channels by filling in the data gaps that traditionally exist with CRM data.
- The Data Revolution Will Significantly Disrupt TV Advertising. Marketers want more detail than the traditional TV planning and measurement services currently offer, including data-driven ROI metrics. There are strong market indicators that traditional TV advertising planning, buying and measurement is changing as consumers move into the driver’s seat by shifting their viewing behaviors and controlling their viewing schedules. Data has become more deeply infused into the TV advertising process for better audience targeting and ROI measurement.This industry evolution will continue to accelerate this year, and trends suggest that data will play a major role in the upfront and programmatic buying processes, as well as new TV audience and measurement standards. We will see more TV campaigns measured based on conversion metrics and metrics similar to other marketing channels. Marketers need closed-loop measurement to understand if their ad campaign drove store visits or purchases instead of the traditional metrics used for the last five decades. Having the ability to measure ‘apples to apples’ across channels is the holy grail.
- Mobile Programmatic Will Catch Up With Online Programmatic. Programmatic buying is growing exponentially across the marketing ecosystem with mobile being the frontrunner. The rising budget allocation to programmatic is not new: what is new is how brands are moving their first-party data onto programmatic platforms. As mobile programmatic audiences become more widely available and sophisticated, we’ll also see a rise in first-party data on programmatic platforms. This opens a whole new gateway to more sophisticated buying and measurement.Brands now have the ability to run digital campaigns across mobile and desktop targeting the same audience programmatically. I believe we’ll see this shift accelerate and drive new forms of measurement. We’re already seeing large mobile audiences more widely available on programmatic platforms and traditional programmatic now offer mobile and online audiences, which will accelerate marketing dollars shifting to programmatic. Given consumers’ behavior and their significant time spent on mobile, buying mobile programmatically will become a necessity, not an option.
Data is at the core of our industry’s transformation and leveraging new signals such as physical-world data makes these connections possible and enables marketers to have a holistic view of their customers and campaigns. As our industry evolves to meet market demand, we will see solutions that empower marketers to evolve their strategies and success metrics to adapt to new consumer behaviors.
Michael Fordyce is CEO of Ninth Decimal. He has spent the last 25 years contributing to the innovation and evolution of the mobile and ad tech industries. Serving as the chief executive officer of NinthDecimal, Michael has deep experience in local and mobile advertising, with a career spanning over two decades in business development, strategic alliances, marketing, product management and sales within the telecom, mobile and Internet industry, including leadership roles at MCI, Ingenio, and AT&T. He has co-authored three approved patents for advertising technology.