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Internet advertising’s robust growth hides an inconvenient truth

Digital advertising is booming in terms of growth, but an inability to personalise ads effectively is beginning to undermine the industry, says Cablato’s Adrian Pearmund.

If you take a look at the recent Advertising Expenditure Forecast from Zenith Global it looks as if everything in the digital ad garden is rosy. The respected report reveals that digital ad spend will grow by 13% to top US$205 billion in 2017. Zenith Global also tells us that this will be the first year in which more money will be spent on digital ads than on traditional television advertising, which is predicted to total US$192 billion.

Cablato’s platform changes the game by enabling brands to aggregate and use any available data, including behavioural, third party, first party and CRM to deliver one to one personalised ads across any device, at scale.

So what seems to be the problem?

Well, despite the increasing investment that brands are making in digital marketing as well as data management technologies, advertising effectiveness has stagnat-ed, according to Google-Doubleclick. The average click-through rates have re-mained consistently low at around 0.15% over the past five years or more as brands and agencies still struggle to collate, model and use data effectively to drive adver-tising relevancy.

So what’s the answer to boosting ad performance?

One solution lies in giving consumers a more personal and engaging advertising ex-perience to help brands sell their products and services more effectively by giving people the right content at the right time through the right device. This process starts with harnessing all the information at a brand’s disposal – behavioural, third party, first party and CRM data – to not only build detailed audience profiles in terms of age, gender, location, interests and preferences, but also identify key behaviours and appropriate channels. The game needs to be changed from the current audi-ence segmenting approach and moved to the one-to-one or ‘hyper personalised’ level.

But it’s not enough simply to send out generic ads to individual consumers – in fact this approach rather defeats the object. The creative content of an ad plays a piv-otal role in its effectiveness, contributing up to as much as 70% of campaign per-formance, according to Google. This means that to engage on a far deeper level, each consumer must receive a personalised creative execution to match their pro-file. What’s more, this hyper personalisation needs to be delivered at scale.

Imagine a single campaign serving 14 billion creative combinations, specifically tai-lored to their chosen recipient, each one quick and easy to create and delivered on the right channel at the right time.

If that sounds crazy that’s not at all surprising, because to date it has been very complex and expensive to combine multiple sources of data to drive digital ad per-sonalisation and performance. However, breakthrough technology now exists to achieve this and use the intelligence to tailor advertising creative to individual con-sumers, then deliver it in real time at scale to the appropriate channel.

What’s more, the process is far from complex. In fact, a handful of brands have al-ready been reaping the benefits and finding that it not only significantly improves re-sponse and conversion rates, but also transforms the way marketers develop ad creative and engage with consumers. And it won’t be long before a lot more un-cover the secret to mass precision digital marketing and a new era for the industry.

It’s time to change the game; to turn benign digital advertising into intelligent cross channel hyper-personalised communication so that brands can use it as a highly ef-fective sales machine. After all, isn’t this what advertising’s all about?

Adrian Pearmund is Founder and CEO at Cablato

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