London was a-flurry with discussion, debate, and discourse, courtesy of Advertising Week Europe, March 19 to 22. Of course, due to the upcoming implementation of GDPR, data and marketers’ access to and use of it was the hot topic of the week.
But in the optimistic words of Phil Duffield, Adobe Advertising Cloud’s EMEA managing director, “Challenge creates change.” This year’s event certainly started that change ball rolling across a number of other topics, as well.
Here’s a recap on what people were talking about in their post-panel discussions.
From Personalisation To Hyper-Personalisation
Data-enabled experiences for an audience of one are now not only a reality but a must. Gone are the days when every single customer has the exact same experience, and, therefore, gone are the days when one-size fits all advertising strategies should be put in place by brands. Data, with some help from AI, enables brands to create personalised content at scale, challenging advertisers to think laterally on how best to leverage customer data better than their competitors.
GDPR And Respect For The Consumer
Know me but respect me: That’s what consumers are saying and now demanding. GDPR is shining a light on the value exchange like never before. Brands will need consumers’ consent to target them with their data, so they need to ensure that the experience they provide is worth opting into and that the data is treated with respect. Consumers are going to ask more questions about who has access to their data, where it is stored, and how long anyone has access to their information. Publishers are going to have to make their subscription and data storage policies transparent and easy to navigate. Expect a magnifying glass and lots of questions to be asked both internally and externally.
One Measurement To Rule Them All
Multiple platforms, one way to measure: That’s the goal for all marketers. New technologies, platforms, and devices have created endless opportunities for brands to reach consumers, but it’s resulting in multiple ways to measure the success of a campaign. Key players in the industry need to agree on a mutual set of metrics to create a seamless measurement process. Brands are demanding it, and the industry will need to catch up if it wants digital spend to continually increase.
Match The Heart With The Head
Intersecting creativity with tech is a must. Creating ads that are amazing to look at or feature “wow” moments of inspiration might be cool, but if you aren’t informing that creative with data and insights, then you’ll essentially be creating great art that will hang in a gallery no one ever goes to. On the flip side, nailing the targeting, for example, is a must, but if the ad is the online or TV equivalent of watching paint dry, then you probably won’t find a lot of success. Indeed, technology is giving rise to endless opportunities in the ad space, but brands mustn’t forget that behind every good ad campaign is humanity and creativity. The challenge for brands is to find the balance between the creative and human element.
Safe As Online Houses
We all want to feel safe. So do brands. Brand safety has been on the agenda for too long now. It’s up to the advertising industry as a whole to collaborate and ensure that at next year's Ad Week Europe. This will require an agreed set of guidelines that key players across the ad supply chain hold each other accountable for.
So that’s it for another year. The industry has the opportunity for a bright, shiny future if we practice what we preach and establish the measurement, metrics, and materials needed to help us survive–and thrive.