April 19, 2017

Data & Innovation Conference: Lessons Learned

Last month we attended the morning sessions of the IAB’s Data and Innovation conference held at the British Museum.

Four speakers ran us through the key trends in digital marketing centred on the use and activation of data as the key to an innovative media strategy.

Data and innovation conference_for site

First up we heard from Michael Andrew, General Manager, Data Science, AKQA, looking at how artificial intelligence is dominating consumer experiences. AI has the scale of mass broadcast advertising while being able to harness the specific tailored messaging developed through digital communications. It encourages two-way conversations through technology and can be seen prominently in the advancement of messenger bots, allowing brands to speak to consumers one to one at any time of the day or night.Computer power is enabling any surface to become a medium; IKEA’s investment in Space 10 design and innovation for urban living shows how brands are helping to fund these advances to ensure their products are at the cutting edge. Prototype tables that double up as screens could give us an AI enhanced experience on every surface in the house in years to come. Ultimately, human experience is at the centre of AI and if brands look to bring this into their communications they need to understand how to use the data they have effectively and make all simulations seamless.Discussions lead by Emma Hargreaves, Senior Client Director, Kantar Media and Nic Travis, VP, Head of Digital Marketing, MBNA lead us on to getting to grips further with how we need to manage data. As programmatic has now reached 70%+ of UK ad spend, the media buying tool is no longer the ‘new’ way but the dominant media distribution for advertisers. Hargreaves posed the question ‘how can my already more efficient campaigns work harder’? The answer:

  1. Campaigns need a joined-up approach to optimising digital consumer targeting
  2. Transparent flaw-proof programmatic campaigns

Travis went on to discuss the important of adding ‘incrementality’ to marketing plans as there is a need to move the industry on from an outdated click-based measurement that undervalues display advertising. Furthermore we need to make progress from the current view-based measurement that tends to overvalue display advertising. Cross Device also plays a key role in looking at consumer behaviours and to do this we need to move on from a probabilistic to a deterministic advertising model. This is easier said than done but with the rise of cookie-less targeting from services like Facebook, we are starting to see this increase.Leading on nicely from this, was the final session was delivered by Jon Schulz (CMO, Viant) who introduced their people based marketing solution. Through (on and offline) data partnerships and technology acquisitions they have created a unique cross device solution seeing 24.5million UK users across 100 million devices.We live in a device agnostic world and so linking online and offline data will give us a view of consumers that is fundamentally more accurate than if we were look at either on their own. The key to being able to talk to relevant markets can be found in consumer insight.Fundamentally – we are all ‘consumers’ and so we are already acting and thinking like one. Our own experiences are subtle shifts from devices, screens and the real world and so being able to track that is essential for understanding what channels are playing a part in a brand’s growth.In summary, it was an excellent morning and lead to some through provoking takeout’s:

  1. AI is here and it is happening – brands must adapt to be a part of this narrative
  2. Marketers need to take control of data in order to add depth to campaigns
  3. ‘Incrementality’ is key and efficiency needs to be driven by data and across devices
  4. OUT: Cookies IN: People based advertising

Charlie Griffin, Account Director

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