Here’s an interview with Bridget Bidlack, Vice President of Global Product Management, Experian Marketing Services about how Ad tech/Mar tech convergence enables companies to meet consumer demands.
Q: What does the convergence of advertising and marketing technology mean for marketers?
BB: The collision of ad tech and mar tech, or what is now being coined “mad-tech,” is revolutionizing the brand experience for both marketers and consumers. We’re now able to move beyond the relevant ad and the personalized email to create experiences that transcend the channels.
Traditionally, advertising and marketing have been separated, with a small degree of connectivity at the cookie level. Advertisers can use their own first-party data, but without a true persistent match, they have to supplement that data with third party data, at the cookie level, without ever being really sure about the data’s precision.
Conversely, in owned channels such as email marketing — where first-party data is primarily used — marketers can enhance their customer contact data with behaviors and preferences. The challenge is that they often only use this data within a single channel, resulting in a different view of the customer between paid media and owned channels.
Q: How can marketers surpass these limitations?
BB: When you can break down the wall between paid and owned channels, as well as match cookie data to behavior data, you can reach your audiences across channels with messages that will create the best customer experiences. As the ad tech world continues to become more addressable, it is important for marketers to work with a third-party that has a persistent view of customers across all channels.
You shouldn’t have to log in to different platforms — which may tell you different things — and try to manually distill that information to understand your customers and their behaviors. What’s exciting about the Experian Marketing Suite is that we can host all of your first-party data in our platform, easily validate that data, then enhance it with our powerful third-party data. You can get to the source of that data for a full picture of those users, all in a single platform.
This helps marketers execute some advanced techniques like creating models that find customers (or look-alikes) in other channels. For example, you may have a subset of email subscribers who don’t open emails, but they do go on Facebook. They are on other sites and in other channels. Now you can extend your reach to them in those display channels and continue the conversation with them even if they’re not opening your emails. For those who do respond to your emails, you can engage them with relevant information based on their behaviors.
Q: What can marketing leaders do to propel the ad tech/mar tech convergence in their organization?
BB: When information is siloed as I just described, teams are often rewarded based on key performance indicators (KPIs) within their individual programs. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are in the best position to set the stage for how the team operates and reward collaboration. CMOs need to work with their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to set up a customer-first overall strategy. That way, every touch-point with the customer follows that model, not just the touch-points managed by the marketing team in traditional marketing roles.
CMOs also have to team up with their Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to ensure data is working in one centralized platform where it can come in and out effortlessly — and in a secure and compliant manner — and be surfaced for stakeholders in an easy-to-use way.
A single platform can help marketing leaders drive organizational change and transform company culture. It enables teams for paid media, email and other channels to share data and insights to understand the full scope of how their customers are behaving. They can then work together to launch the kinds of programs that create connected experiences for the customer, whether it’s through email, mobile, direct mail or paid channels. When the CEO buys in, this extends to sales and customer service functions as well. Every engagement with a customer is a marketing opportunity that must be informed by a holistic strategy.
Q: What is the biggest benefit organizations can see from this convergence?
BB: The biggest benefit is meeting customers’ demands for relevant experiences and providing more value in each interaction. In conjunction, there’s less waste. If someone purchases a product, you’re not wasting dollars by continuing to advertise that product. Instead you can offer related products or user guides. If someone signs up for a program, you can advertise or market to them about an upgrade.
Marketers and advertisers who do that really have an edge over competitors. You can meet the consumer where she is and build on what you know about her to deliver the right message.