Kicking off our Focus on Digital Advertising over the next two weeks, The Drum is bringing together a panel of marketing leaders from L’Oréal, Accenture, Croud and GumGum at The Drum Labs to discuss how the industry can find a more humane path to digital advertising. .
As human beings, our online consumption habits can be broken down into micro-moments. In just five minutes we can find an exercise class, find a restaurant for dinner, and buy a pair of shoes. No two days or times are the same. Yet today’s advertising follows us around the internet taking advantage of these past behaviors rather than finding us in our current mindset.
New research from GumGum shows that consumers are more than ready for advertisers to abandon tracking of their behavior and place greater emphasis on ads that align with the digital environment and content they are viewing. However, it is not easy to undo deep-seated habits among advertisers and digital marketers. That’s why The Drum is hosting a two-week deep dive into the world of digital advertising.
Under the banner of The Drum’s Digital Advertising Focus, to kick things off, we hosted a panel session in partnership with GumGum, a technology company that specializes in pushing the boundaries of contextual advertising innovation. Joining The Drum’s assistant editor and moderator, Jenni Baker, were:
Peter Wallace, SVP of Sales, EMEA, GumGum (Sponsors of The Drum Awards for Online Media and The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising 2022)
Lex Bradshaw-Zanger, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, L’Oréal UK & Ireland (Co-Chair of The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022)
Sophie Wooller, Director of Digital Transformation at performance marketing agency, Croud (The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising judge)
Matthew Corbin, Global Growth Leader, Accenture Interactive
The panel, titled ‘Digital Advertising: In the Eye of the Beholder’, saw our marketers step into the shoes of the viewer (the consumer) to explore the benefits of taking a more human-centric approach to digital advertising. In a discussion of sound, forward thinking, they discussed why it’s up to all of us as marketers to embrace the combination of context, creativity, and mindfulness, and not personal data targeting, to find a better, more human path.
“The world of privacy has changed a lot in the last few years, and a lot of technologies have been trying to identify ways they can work around that privacy legislation, rather than work with it,” GumGum’s Wallace said, laying out a challenge. for advertisers to embrace legislation and innovation within their framework instead of finding ways around it.
“There should be a lot more pressure on advertisers, brands and technologies to make sure that we respect consumer privacy and respect the data points that we can get in a way that isn’t creepy. For the last 12 months or so, many companies have been trying to circumvent the legislation instead of working with it, which to me is something that needs to change significantly within the industry.”
It was an opinion that resonated with every one of the other panelists. Accenture’s Corbin noted that the changing digital environment should have a beneficial impact on data usage by advertisers and publishers: “This is a real challenge for marketers. As we look at this new world without the cookie, relevance becomes incredibly important. Brand safety is moving in the right direction in the industry, but the onus is on the algorithms of media and technology companies to ensure we deliver relevant advertising backed by quality proprietary data. This is the future where we are headed.”
Smarter use of data was also advocated by Croud’s Wooller, who proposed that marketers look to better integrate data and creativity to maximize return on investment (ROI) from delivering more contextually relevant ads: “[Brands] You can have the best possible targeting in the world, but if you show an ad that isn’t clear or engaging, no one will look at it and they won’t remember it. Essentially, what we’re trying to do with advertising is send the right message to the right person at a time that resonates with them. Going forward, we will use data to identify trends creatively and understand what people are reacting to.”
With the role and management of data critical to the success of tomorrow’s advertising campaigns, L’Oréal’s Bradshaw-Zanger closed the panel talk with a crucial reminder for advertisers not to ignore soft consumer metrics if they want to have a real impact.
“We have to think about what advertising does for the consumer: it has to be useful; it has to be seen as non-invasive and it has to be integrated into the experience where we’re trying to deliver value,” he says. “We need to look beyond metrics that are easy to measure and think about the relationship of creativity, messaging, and fostering an emotional connection. Going forward, [advertisers should focus] in the human element and the emotional element. That is what creates relevance and connection with consumers.”
It’s clear that the way forward for digital advertisers requires a radical shift in thinking to become more audience-centric in their approach. Doing so requires better use of audience metrics, a reimagining of the relationship between creative and data, and the ability to deliver more relevant ads to consumers. All of this and more will be explored over the next two weeks during The Drum’s Digital Advertising Focus, sponsored by GumGum.
To learn more, see the full discussion above or visit the Focus on Digital Advertising hub.