Within the Digital Operations team, we often hear the dreaded phrase "technology review".
For the most part, this dread is due to dissatisfaction from the results achieved when using various technology providers – especially adservers.
However, changing adserver is not a magic solution.
As the complexity of the technology ecosystem increases exponentially, so does the individual capability of each technology provider. The key to the creation of rich, insightful data is exploiting these tech platforms to their maximum capability.
Here are six questions to ask when considering a change in technology:
1. Is my activity consistently named across all channels and markets?
More and more companies are adopting global and regional marketing structures. How do you know if you are truly comparing ROI on programmatic display for March between Italy and France without a clearly defined taxonomy and process across all markets?
2. Is everything tracked in the same place?
Attribution has been a hot-topic in 2016 but how is it possible to ascertain the true relative value of each channel, when a client's latest Facebook campaign hasn't been adserver-tracked due to miniscule lead times, or, for example if France is using a different adserver from Norway?
3. Does my technology speak to other technology?
We often hear about a desire for a "single source of truth". With so many components it's important to recognise that adservers, bid management tools, Data Management Platforms (DMPs), tag management systems, analytics platforms etc. all create and use data in very different ways, and there will never be a 100% matchup. However, through the use of Application Program Interface (APIs), Google Stack integration, log level data feeds and other methods, it's increasingly possible for platform data to share a common source. It’s important to ensure this is plugged in!
4. Is my data as rich as it could be?
Gone are the days when adserving technology is used to simply count impressions, clicks and conversions. The increasing use of tag management systems and data layers in the agency world, means that we now have the capability to report back on the name, style, size and colour of purchased items and the logged-in status of the purchaser. This enables us to see which items sold better as the result of a specific promotion. It also reminds people of the product they nearly bought. The power to switch this on is in our hands – not at the mercy of a client team’s development cycle.
5. How hard is my creative working?
Marketing is effective when it delivers the right message to the right person at the right time. Most adservers’ creative platforms help achieve this through their dynamic offerings, utilising a combination of flexible dynamic feeds, as well as internal and external targeting capabilities. It’s just a question of taking the time to work out exactly what the clients’ needs are and configuring accordingly.
Despite the switch to HTML5 creative that took place last year, most creative agencies have only scratched the surface of HTML5’s capabilities. As understanding and development in this area grows, display creative will likely shift towards a greater DR focus, with client KPIs becoming achievable offsite as well as onsite.
6. Is there a team of experts in place to configure this technology to its full capacity?
Digital Operations is more than just trafficking. Anyone who has gone into this field has likely done so because they have an inherent curiosity for how things work, a comprehensive understanding of the internet, and probably a little OCD. The first step to improving your client’s use of tech may well be a simple chat with someone on your Digital Ops team who will help you find a solution.
Would you sell your car because of wheel misalignment or a blown exhaust? Probably not. But you might not get it fixed straight away because you need to get to work tomorrow. Effective technology platforms maintenance is about balancing short term demands with long term strategic planning. At iProspect, we recognise the importance of matching clients' KPIs to the ever increasing capabilities of technology in order to deliver the best results and value.
Your current ad-tech can probably do what you want it to. It just might need a tune-up.
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