With great power, comes great responsibility | M&M Global

With great power, comes great responsibility

Rob Blake, general manager EMEA at PocketMath, predicts the rise of the responsible marketer.

Rob Blake

The internet is a powerful thing – just ask Zoella. For the professional marketer, the rise of smartphones, the proliferation of cookies and the arrival of real-time programmatic advertising has opened avenues that would have been hard to imagine, let alone exploit, even a decade ago.

The opportunities for putting a carefully crafted message in front of a clearly defined target audience are – in the traditional sense of the word – awesome. There is now almost nothing standing between a tech-savvy marketing professional and their next customer.

Nothing that is, except for a recent sea change in how consumers and advertisers interact with each other.

Consumers have taken a stand, and ad blocking is now challenging the modern advertising model. Its rise has been blamed on publisher apathy, short termism amongst mobile operators, creative fatigue among advertisers and the attention spans of digital natives. But whatever the reason for its ascendance, it’s here, and it’s not showing any signs of disappearing. The conversation now needs to move to the lessons learned.

Better may not be good enough

One positive that may yet come from the ad-blocking phenomenon is that it will necessitate the emergence of what you might call the responsible marketer.

We are likely to see marketers harness the most advanced tools and best practice insights available to make digital advertising campaigns not just more relevant, but measurably targeted at only the right people, with a message that is proven to resonate.

“In too many cases, decisions can be made based on data from a week or two weeks ago, while precious ad budgets are exhausted on the wrong creative, in the wrong place, at the wrong time”

For all the advantages that prolific smartphone usage has brought, it has also been one of the main catalysts behind ad blocking and the need for responsible marketing. To advertise on a smartphone is to send an advert into someone’s digital space – the modern equivalent of personal space.

Messages that are irrelevant, or don’t resonate are now an invasion into consumers’ personal lives, where before they may simply have been a nuisance.

Making real-time a reality

The industry has been talking about the ability for marketers to place the right ad in the right place at the right time for years. However, a lack of joined up thinking has left marketers themselves and consumers wanting. Now, there are several drivers coming together that enable digital advertising to live up to the hype.

The potential that real-time technology offers to instantly quantify the success or failure of a marketing approach, and act upon it before consumers are disengaged, means that it will be at the heart of this movement.

It is incredible to think that even today, most brands – or indeed their agencies – do not analyse their campaign performance each day. In too many cases, decisions can be made based on data from a week or two weeks ago, while precious ad budgets are exhausted on the wrong creative, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Together with better working practices between brand teams, campaign managers and digital and creative teams, the ability to analyse campaign performance in real-time and then change tack instantaneously is going to herald a new era of more responsible marketing and, as a result, more creative, more entertaining and more valuable adverts.

Rob Blake

General manager EMEA, PocketMath

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