October, 8 2015

Creative Driven by Data at Scale – Because it’s Possible and Relevant

It's generally accepted...
The digital ad industry has come into its own in the past ten years with evolution being most dramatic in the past five. Digital ad delivery has transitioned from a one-to-one relationship with a highly-manual fulfillment process to an interconnected and streamlined environment. Access to a targeted global audience through multiple media properties is now possible. Those with a more advanced understanding of the landscape and resources to respond and expand accordingly can thrive. The platforms and tools that make this new delivery possible were developed at the behest of advertisers who required efficient access to a larger audience, both in volume and geography. Programmatic ad delivery, as it has come to be known, means that servicing the needs of large national and international advertisers is now as easy as servicing needs at the local level. Even though it feels like it has happened overnight I would argue that it hasn’t.

But now in fact we do have the world at our fingertips, and growing smartly is critical. What we find is that we occasionally succumb to the temptation to develop technologies that solve the problem a few steps ahead rather than for the step right in front of us. At some point we determine that these few steps ahead are a few too many. Existence at the bleeding edge or even the cutting edge can be tenuous. The key is to develop solutions at “Digestible Levels”. No matter how badly we want to solve the problem, we must think of it in terms of how it will be sold. Not just to the client in front of you but for those whom have yet to reveal themselves. How will they come to you and will this solve their problem?

So to the point about creative driven by data at scale…
The nice thing about what’s going on in today’s digital ad sales environment is that we’re already warmed to the idea of data, not only the data that helps us reach our advertising clients intended audience but also what it means to bring that data into the creative. With data we can more precisely reach our target but also with data we can adapt the message during that delivery to increase the relevance and improve engagement.

For an example I’d like to use the TriggerEX solution...
Timing is critical. TiWi Digital has developed a technology that allows for triggered-ad data-driven delivery. With the inception of the demand-side platform (DSP), scalable solutions like that of TriggerEX can thrive. Initially founded in 2007 as a weather content provider to media companies, TiWi now uses weather, for example, in the decisioning process for ad delivery, with the goal of increasing audience engagement. For what used to be a highly manual process, automation along with the onset of delivery platform capabilities, means that triggering ad delivery at scale is now possible. Recognizing that connecting an advertiser’s message with changing weather conditions increased the relevance of delivery, TiWi set out to create a solution for setting up of weather-triggered advertising efficient and simple. A scalable automated solution that could deliver triggered advertisements seamlessly across direct and network delivery became essential. The solution is called TriggerEX. TriggerEX can now take any data point to deliver triggered ads to digital, mobile, direct and network inventories. What made this work is that it wasn’t a huge step forward in the thought process or in the sales approach. Triggers work; it’s just that the traditional process for setting triggers was far too manual to be marketable. But now in the crowded ad tech space TriggerEX provides the advertiser the potential for a compelling and unique position in the marketplace with the built-in efficiencies that make the scalability of customization possible.

In an environment where DSP’s are constantly balancing the playing field for the advertiser, by providing advertisers access to nearly limitless inventory, defining a unique position is critical and sales is a component that must not be ignored. Striking a balance between usefulness in innovation and development for the sake of development is where you can thrive. A successful strategy today means maintaining the flexibility to innovate where appropriate, while building-in the efficiencies that allow for scale. In this competitive marketplace, proprietary technologies developed and offered at digestible levels is essential, and if you can provide a distinction that can be sold in the marketplace, even better.

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