For years, there were two types of marketing campaigns: branding/awareness and direct response/sales. Branding campaigns were focused primarily on spreading general awareness and building up an identity amongst a broad base of potential buyers. Direct response campaigns were, by necessity, focused on specific media channels and audiences most likely to complete a purchase or a particular action.
As you might imagine, these approaches required very different tactics when it came to media planning and results measuring.
Before the market had measurement tools for users’ real actions, this two-pronged, media channel-focused approach made sense. Without the tracking and user engagement measurement capabilities to which we are now accustomed, buying media with the hope of connecting with a target audience was the advertiser's best and only way to reach their customer.
But these days the ability to track and measure real users’ value is changing the face of advertising. Advertising solutions now enable B2B marketers to focus on reaching individuals directly. Rather than targeting a specific mix of media, advertisers can make their ads available to all media so that their messages can be served in real-time at the moments that matter to the people that resemble their ideal customer.
By putting individuals at the center of their plans, marketers are directly reaching individual targets with contextually relevant advertising and offers. Brand awareness and direct response are now part of the same goal: Expose your brand to the right user up until the moment they are ready to take action.
Targeting Platforms Get More Sophisticated
This shift has been gradually occurring over the past several years as tracking post-install user behavior is becoming the marketing standard. In addition, targeting platforms are growing more sophisticated so as to be able to reach unique audiences at scale.
The gaming industry was the first to begin focusing exclusively on reaching key users with cross-channel campaigns that included both branding and sales elements. We are now seeing an increasing amount of TV ads featuring mobile games mainly because game marketers have broken the code. They came to realize that they can boost the effectiveness of their campaigns significantly by communicating the same message at the same time, both on TV and mobile.
Leading game developers understand that TV is an extremely effective tool for making people aware of the great features of their game. They also know that sooner or later the same user that watched the TV ad will use their phone. Showing the same ad for the same game soon after the TV ad exposure might find the user in just the right moment to take an action by downloading the game and playing it.
Case studies show that a direct response campaign that was running on mobile at the same time the message was broadcast on TV generated up to four times higher ROI compared to the following week when the TV ad was off the air.
One might say that this user-centric approach can only be implemented when user action can be tracked across all channels using one unified user identity. Marketers might claim that it makes no sense to change the way the value chain is structured to support the user-centric approach when mobile is actually the main channel that can be accurately measured. But in all cases, marketers should be guided by the most basic question: Am I maximizing revenue potential, or am I missing opportunities? Is this the most efficient way to move forward, or am I wasting time and money on unqualified audiences?
B2B marketers should note that technology innovation continues to offer new ways to develop and nurture buyers, as long as they are open to adapting new tools as they become available.
Sigal Bareket co-founded Taptica, a data-driven solution for mobile and video advertising, in 2012 and currently serves as its General Manager for the U.S. branch. She previously served as the CEO of Logia Mobile, a global provider of content services to leading wireless carriers. Bareket also led Logia’s Media Division, which specializes in providing monetization services for app developers and media brands.