Forget all the digital marketing tech you know… Just as you forgot the phones of yesteryear

BPRISE Tech of the Future

For those of us who used a Nokia 3310 and a generation of Nokia phones thereafter, before we switched to iPhone and other brands, we know just how great those phones were. They got us through calls, SMS and even carried a couple of games. There seemed to be just one brand of phones, the indomitable Nokia.

Then came along Apple. Apple entered the arena with a game changer phone, with smart software, making ordinary phones smartphones. This redefined how people used their mobiles. It gave people a good browser to navigate the world wide web, a powerful hardware to support mobile gaming and an app store that contained tons of great and ever-increasing apps. Still, Nokia maintained a huge advantage over Apple for years - its distribution network and its relatively well priced products across the spectrum.

Late but great, Google arrived, and grabbed market share. Not as a gadget provider. Google brought software, an app store and then gave wings to manufacturers to craft a phone that could take on a Nokia or an iPhone at a price and product advantage that the manufacturers deemed fit. This essentially made the iPhone alternative, Android, affordable to a mass of people who wished for a smartphone but could not escape Nokia.

Circa 2020, as I write amid a turbulent COVID-19 phase, I cannot help but compare notes with this piece of history in a different industry - advertising technology.

Like Nokia, the staple display marketing software in the world was and has been Google AdWords (now rebranded as Google Ads) for two decades. Around a decade ago, a revolution happened when publishers and advertisers started demanding more transparency in the money being traded among themselves. This led to a framework being jointly built, called Programmatic Advertising. Naturally, companies jumped into implementing this framework.

Publishers implemented the framework on their websites and apps. Advertisers started buying media programmatically. Google too jumped in, by buying out a programmatic platform called Invite Media and merging it into their DoubleClick offering for Advertisers and Publishers. Programmatic media buying also ushered in a special feature (akin to the app store), the ability to make a deal with any data provider of your choice and importing those data segments into the programmatic platform for precision-based targeting.

This was revolutionary. But there was a catch.

It was and still is available only to brands and agencies that can afford to cough up a platform fee, commit to monthly big dollar spends with guaranteed annual spend commitments. Kind of the pricier iPhone of the digital advertising industry. So, anyone who could transact big dollars and pay a platform fee, gained access to this powerful platform. A software for the big businesses. The common man i.e. a vast majority of small, medium and large enterprises continue to use the trusted and efficient Google Ads platform. This population does not probably know what they are missing. Even Nokia of old had many games and a browser that rendered websites decently well. Of course, an iPhone was desirable, but that did not matter, Nokia worked just as well.

However, in the advertising business, it matters if you own a Nokia or an iPhone, i.e. are you on Google Ads or a Programmatic Platform. The big companies use data as the new age oil and get bigger. Simply because they can afford to. As a small, medium or large enterprise with limited resources or not wanting to get into annual commitments, your tools are the same. But the giants can always use the advantage of data to outbid you to reach the target audience at a lower cost of acquisition, even though they are spending a lot more for that audience and inventory.

So how do we build an Android like model in the digital advertising ecosystem? Simply put, how do we get programmatic (the software) and the audience (app store) to the manufacturers (ad agencies) at a price that is affordable and accessible to all?

Firstly, we take out the platform fee. This automatically makes the platform affordable. Add the fee when customers want to commit to higher spends and need guaranteed inventory.

Next, unhinge from the minimum spends requirement. Let everyone in.

Finally, add the app store to the mix. In this case, data providers. Make it easy for brands and agencies to find various data providers on a single marketplace, without the need to sign-up separately as being done today.

This approach essentially brings advanced targeting and a single place to buy inventory at affordable prices. At BPRISE, we have created this one-stop integrated platform to offer audience-based programmatic media buying, delivering ads across video and banner formats. You get to pick from over 75+ data providers, 30,000+ data segments (example aspiring home buyers, is a data cut for whom you can target home loan ads or new home ads) and a publisher inventory that spans the globe (by publisher, we mean websites and apps).

In current times when almost everyone is online due to the coronavirus crisis, and in the near future when online will become the preferred platform to connect, you will appreciate the advantage of filtering - right down to the website or app, Geo-location and audience to target your ad.

Now that you know why you should forget practices of the past, request access to our closed beta trial of the latest in marketing technology.

With Marketers Gunning For Performance, Are Consumer Expectations Compromised?

BPRISE has been working with a number of brands courtesy agencies this year. With a two-year product in the making, we had with us some time to watch the market. It was unnoticeable at first, then with some deliberate effort, the mismatch really stood out. Interestingly, various other industry veterans had the same opinion. Advertisements on traditional media like print, tv, and outdoor billboards had a flavour that us Indians fell in love with. Utterly, butterly? Delicious, right? Talk about dairy products, milk specifically and we’ll have Amul at the tips of our tongues. Countless publications have revered Amul’s work when it came to advertising. They’ve brilliantly maintained contextual relevance and wit in their ads, till date.

Advertising: Evolution & How

Initially we were coaxed to buy stuff and marketed to on tv, radio, billboards and other print mediums. Today we have no choice but to consider digital advertising. At the start of this year it was written in the papers that the share of digital spending is expected to be about 16% of the total ad spends estimated to be around Rs 59,000 crore this year. Clearly brands believe in the power of digital, for advertising. And we do too. Why else would we spend our days and nights working on a technology platform for digital marketers? It is because man has evolved, technology has followed suit. Technology has provided convenience and we’re optimistic that the agencies using our automation platform agree to that. But what’s the one issue in the whole of advertising that’s quite the misfit? What is that one evidence of neglect?

Advertising: What A Miss

Image stills of tv ads reincarnate as poster ads. Video ads that run on tv sometimes show up on websites. Why cut corners with creatives? Disinterested viewers often skip ads that look and feel generic. Tech providers have been investing time and inventing tools to help brands up their relevance in advertising. Then why resort to image stills for poster ads? What about relevance? What about context? Where’s the personalization for ad viewers? Consumer mindset when watching tv and other mediums is different. This is precisely why creative on different mediums need to be treated differently. So how can advertisers be mindful of viewer expectations and needs? We bet that insights can help. Having an idea of what your customer needs (if you’re a brand) and what your content consumers relish (if you’re a publisher) can make a big difference. Experiment with native ads, videos, image ads, social media and more to truly pinpoint what works for you.

Advertising: How To Fix 

The number 1 recommendation is to stick to the basics. Start with ad dimensions, ad relevance and speak with viewers by keeping the context in mind. Of course, nothing replaces customer intelligence. Knowing who the viewers are and what they’re likely to like will be beneficial. You know as good as we do, how consumers are. They want quality and they want brands to cater to their specific needs. In fact, if you’re reading about the top-5 holiday destinations in India, you’d appreciate a tour company’s video ad explaining why they’re the best. We’ve had the privilege of meeting numerous digital experts, genius agencies and lovable brands and what they’ve had in common, apart from BPRISE, is their genuine interest in having ads made exclusively for specific sets of people. So, what does everybody vouch for? Customer insights! And this becomes more important to you as niche your market becomes. So, with growing trends in technology like AI, IoT, digitally-powered-everything and with a pressure to make everything perform, we hope consumer needs are met and not compromised. May ads, email campaigns, sms campaigns speak directly with the customers when it matters to them.

THE CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER (CDO) SUMMIT 2018 | LEARNING (PART 2)

We attended the CDO Summit 2018 recently and it spoke about the key digital, social and business challenges, practices, and innovations that are shaping India today. The summit was full of panel discussions with experts from banking, real estate and hospitality industries.

In our previous article we covered how banks are looking into “digital” to improve their customer engagement activities.

Our learning and observations that were real-estate specific include:

How useful are bots, really?

There’s no doubt that bots help gather information about website visitors, but can it really address visitor concerns? A study by PwC states that, although technology is changing customer experience, customers still want a human interaction. eMarketer also highlights how a study found that 80% of the respondents preferred humans for resolving problems, after making purchases.

Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand colloquial languages help your chatbots better understand and address visitors’ queries. Investopedia defines NLP as a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to break down and process human language. Similarly, real estate companies could invest in sentiment analysis that help in bettering the bot’s conversational skills.

BPRISE recommends studying the behaviour of your website visitors first with the help of web analytics to start with.

Understand what website visitors really want

For example your website lists properties available across the country and let’s say you have an upcoming exhibition in Mumbai. Wouldn’t it be interesting to fish out your website visitors who are from Mumbai and advertise exclusively to them?

Segmenting visitors based on what they read about and click on when they’re on your website is step 1 in gaining relevant consumer insights. American Marketing Association talks about out the types of keyword phrases that visitors use in search engines –

Understanding the intent comes with a close observation of your visitors activities on your website. If they’re looking up properties in Marine Drive Kochi, Kerala, good. They’re also filling up forms to help you contact them? Great! Now how about having your brand’s ads follow them everywhere they go online? BPRISE can help you have your ads placed at intelligent locations across the web.

Can “digital” make prospects see what existing customers see?

The answer is yes! All you need to do is analyze your customer data and take surveys of what your clients love about your brand and feed that intelligence into your marketing platform such as the BPRISE Manager Platform. While you’ll have to take care of the surveys yourself, we can help you gain customer intelligence with our analytics engine.

BPRISE’s analytics engine helps you gain the kind of solid customer insights you need to inform your marketing efforts. Once we analyze your offline and online customer data, we plug this wisdom into our marketing engine.

Stay tuned for the next post because we’re talking display advertising, email marketing and more to help you nurture and educate your best leads! BPRISE Manager Platform can help you place your ads in the best of websites in the country to start with!

If 60% of the population are going to find their next house online, wouldn’t you also want to be on the websites that your potential customers are frequently visiting?

 

Purchase Digital Ads Using Software

Fundamentally what programmatic advertising means is, using software to purchase digital ad spots. Programmatic can be defined as the use of software-driven technology to automate the whole ad buying process or even automate parts of it. It is also sometimes called advertising done programmatically or programmatic buying or just programmatic.

#1 Promise Of Programmatic Advertising

Efficiency & simplicity: Because “programmatic” automates the ad buying and selling process with the help of software and technology they achieve better scale and speed than humans possibly can.

#2 Promise Of Programmatic Advertising

Precision & relevancy: Because “programmatic” makes it possible for advertisers to incorporate large amounts of data, they’re able to serve users with ads that are more likely relevant based on users’ behavioral, demographic, psychographic data and purchase intents.

Traditionally online ads, like print and TV, were directly bought by sales persons, who negotiated on terms such as target audience, placements, the number of impressions and price after which both parties signed an insertion order. Direct sales or deals like these are still prevalent but now technology can be used to simplify or automate the process.

Wait, Where Does The Data Come From?

Programmatic comes with the ability to couple data with automation and this makes it possible to target audiences based on their behaviours, demographics, interests and other individual characteristics. Not only do you get to focus on where to place your ad with programmatic, but also on who sees your ad.

Programmatic technology equips advertisers to target segments of audience who are most likely to be interested in what they’re selling. When your system spots a cookie or mobile identifier that matches the targeting criteria you’ve set as an advertiser, you can bid for ad impressions automatically in real time.

The Role Of Data In Digital Advertising

You already know that publishers and social networks learn about keywords searched, types of content consumed and profile information of users with the help of cookies and identifiers. It is commonly practiced across the digital (ad) spectrum.

Wonder where advertisers get data from? If you’re an advertiser, you probably have your own first-party data that may include sales transaction data, CRM data, customer names, emails, types of products purchased, recent purchasers, and average order value.

Data aggregators are companies that become a third-party data source. Such companies often have demographic data points of users that are of value to advertisers. They have information like credit score, household income and purchase behaviour of users.

Plug in a programmatic platform and advertisers can target audiences using a number of data sources at the time an impression becomes available. Let’s say the cookie or other identifier matches your targeting criteria, then the ad buying system (a trading desk or demand side platform) will automatically bid on the impression.

Breaking down Programmatic Buying

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

RTB is the use of technology in bidding for ad impressions in real time. Such auction-based buying happens on open ad exchanges or in private marketplaces. Any buying platform can bid in open ad exchanges for inventory that have been put up for auction, by numerous sites (publishers). 

Private marketplaces (PMP) are invitation-only RTB arenas in which one or a handful of publishers (“premium publishers”) make their inventory or audiences available to a certain number of buyers.

Programmatic Direct

When ad inventory is sold to buyers directly by the publisher’s sales-force without an auction it is called programmatic direct. Although human intervention may not be required in programmatic direct deals, it is more manual than RTB. Programmatic guaranteed deals can be made for reserved inventory at a set price. Unreserved inventory are sold at fixed rates i.e. buyers are given access to blocks of inventory at a set price. However, in both cases the ads are served and managed programmatically i.e. with the help of software.

Digital advertising will always be prone to change. But if you are willing to evolve with adtech, you’ll discover how efficiently technology can bring you results.