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What's Missing From Your Audience-Based Advertising Strategy?

May 12, 2016 at 9:46 AM by Caroline Watts

Good marketing has always been personalized. While the modern concept of personalized interaction isn’t revolutionary, the technology powering it certainly is. Programmatic advertising has made it possible for marketers to get significantly closer to achieving a true 1:1 advertising strategy.

Today's marketers are prioritizing 1:1 advertising, and programmatic platform adoption is rising rapidly as a result. Marketers are selecting best-in-breed technology providers including data management platforms (DMP) and demand side platforms (DSP) in order to put together comprehensive technology stacks. But right now, most marketers are missing a key component: a creative side platform (CSP) to employ audience-based creatives. Let’s take a look at the future of audience-based advertising in this context. 

DMP and DSP Adoption Is Growing

In five short years, DMPs have exploded out of their nascent stage and into the ad tech spotlight. DMPs are quickly becoming the centerpiece of contemporary marketing stacks, with 92% of brands set to use a DMP by 2018, according to an April 2016 study. According to a September 2015 ExchangeWire/Oracle report, almost half of media buyers (43%) have a DMP in place. A quarter of those who do have a DMP said their main reason was to “improve ROI for marketing and advertising activities.”

Adoption of DSPs is also rising—a whopping 85% of media buyers have used a DSP to purchase media. Together, DMPs and DSPs help marketers make sense of huge amounts of customer data and use that information to serve more relevant and timely content to individuals based on their unique interests and behaviors.

Best-of-Breed Providers Take Center Stage

Though 1:1 advertising is more or less a universal goal, accomplishing it with a single technology platform is not. That’s because the martech landscape is constantly evolving with new software and technologies, none quite the same as the others. Each company has different needs as well, so each requires a unique stack tailored to help carry out unique tasks depending on the type of business, products, or services.

As a result, many marketers group different platforms together to create a custom marketing stack that best meets their needs. According to a recent Forrester research report, 74% of all surveyed marketers employ a “best-of-breed” approach, whereas only 23% use a “full-stack” provider that offers a marketing cloud or suite.

The report also notes that marketing stacks continue to be centered on DMPs. It’s not surprising considering the importance of data and the value of customer information in the digital age. Nearly 60% of advanced marketers are building their stack around a DMP, confirming the importance of individual-oriented data systems in today’s personalized marketing landscape.

With the right stack in place, marketers can reach the right person, in the right place, at the right time. But that’s not enough. Marketers need to reach the right person, in the right place, at the right time, with the right content. In order to truly achieve a holistic audience-based advertising strategy, marketers still need to optimize audience-based creative—an integral component that, for most marketers, is still missing from the equation.

Audience-Based Creative Is the Missing Ingredient

Creative is the biggest driver of advertising performance, but for most marketers it's the only component without a dedicated platform. Creative personalization and optimization can create huge opportunities for engaging with customers and improving performance—opportunities that most marketers are missing today. The problem is that creative personalization and optimization is a slow, expensive, and sometimes impossible process without a holistic platform to facilitate creative management. So what’s the solution? Enter the creative side platform (CSP).

The CSP works seamlessly with marketers’ DSPs and DMPs to make it effortless to optimize placements, audience segments, and creative, enabling marketers to tailor perfectly optimized creatives for each of their target audiences. With the CSP, personalization and optimization are fast, simple, and continuous, and easy-to-run creative experiments provide real-time feedback to drive systematic performance improvement.

Marketers have clearly shifted their buying patterns to get closer to the goal of perfect 1:1 advertising, a previously farfetched concept that is now at our fingertips. But there’s still a need for audience-based creative. Only once marketers adopt an audience-based creative strategy will they fully be able to personalize ads, continuously optimize performance, and ultimately drive business objectives. Don’t miss your window of opportunity—it’s closing fast these days.

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