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?

 

Our Product: The Smart-Marketing Platform

The Arrival

Our platform named “BPRISE Manager Platform” will be used by marketers and media buyers. 

The Solution For Media Buyers

BPRISE Manager Platform is an integral part of the BPRISE marketing solution. The platform makes it possible for you (as a marketer) to serve ads on mobile, web, social media, email and SMS using one simple platform. Rather than being campaign centric like regular DSPs, BPRISE Manager Platform campaigns are target or audience centric. This marketing automation tool is equipped with different supply sources across mobile and web applications, social media and exchanges. Ad-formats supported include banner, interstitial, native, video to name a few. Not just that, through BPRISE Manager Platform, you can also SMS and email your target groups at optimal hours, for example when they’re at your stores or branches. This intelligent marketing tool lets you connect with direct suppliers if you wish to do so. Complementing this, the ability to block and handle fraud, bots ensures that your advertising spend is put to good use.

The Real-Time Everything

At BPRISE, we’re of the opinion that monitoring and optimizing campaigns need to happen in real-time. We root for real-time campaign optimization for the target audience to enable the media buyers or advertisers make course corrections as and when needed rather than realize at the end of the campaign that expected results were not achieved. BPRISE Manager Platform insights provide visualizations of both campaign analysis as well as data analysis in real-time. An easy to use interface and workflow makes a perfect example of how this self-serve platform will create a paradigm shift in the way advertising works. We are now available for agencies, brands and all types of advertisers across verticals be it the Auto, Hospitality, Retail Banking, FMCGs and others. For more information, do not hesitate to connect with us

Life Of A Marketer

Who cares about “ad effectiveness” at 08:30 AM? Ah, my bad. What marketer hits the office at 08:30 AM, anyway? Of course, considering the innumerable tasks that a marketer oversees (sometimes, overlooks), performs (or preempts), the 24-hours-in-a-day-thing does not really work for them.

As someone who works in the Marketing Department primarily, I can tell that no marketer ever has “enough time” on them. All the pre-planned schedule goes for a giant toss and what’s more is that the coin lands on its edge more often than all of us care to admit. You may wonder what’s a marketer onto, that consumes all of their sane time. And if you’re a marketer, then this can be your “constructive read” (sic).

A day in the life of a marketer (let’s call her Jane!) concerns the working on the following…

Scene 1: Digital Marketing 

Jane-the-marketer, works her way through multiple creatives, multiple platforms, multiple log-ins, multiple campaign goals, multiple reports, multiple vendors on a regular basis. Although she’s a dedicated marketer, she finds it humanly impossible to smoothly transition between all the aforementioned “multiples“. Now, if her employer (i.e. the advertiser or brand or retailer) is kind enough to split her work by adding new members to marketing, it will mean that the size of the marketing team goes up, in turn increasing the firm’s ad spends. Does having a bulky team deal with multiple platforms and countless vendors ensure that the advertised products meet the respective real-time needs of its target audience?

You and I both know that one-ad-does-not-fit-all. We also know that quantity does not guarantee quality. It is the quality and appropriate fitting of an ad to a situation in the real-life of its target audience that counts. And it most definitely is not the mammoth-sized-ness of the marketing team that counts.

What if we could resolve these issues, for Jane (and marketers like her!) in one shot? How much of an ease would it be on brands (i.e. advertisers/retailers) if they could keep their marketing budgets from skyrocketing and still reach the right customers precisely when they’re in need of a solution/product? How does a relevant, ad-for-a-human sound like? 

Scene 2: Analysis

So, marketer Jane, successfully runs ad campaigns across the web and mobile apps and has received reams of data capturing the performance and reach of her ads. She consults a number of third-party vendors to analyze the data and tell her what all the numbers and graphs of data, means simply. A thorough analysis is possible only when marketers have all the information about their target audience’s preferences as consumers. Although Jane divides her time between consulting with various vendors and gathering insights from distinct sources, she’s still deficient of her target audiences’ offline preferences as consumers. What this means is that customers often walk into stores near them and grab what they really need, for a price. There are times, they hop into branded shops or retail stores more than once just to get product-related information. Is Jane even aware of this practice? Let’s say Mary visited A Shoe Shop a couple of times. She spent a considerable amount of time at the heels section but walked out of the shop each time without buying anything. This offline consumer behavior of Mary is invaluable to Jane. Because if Jane was aware of Mary’s offline behavior as a consumer, she could target Mary with an ad of a footwear right when she’d walked out of the Shoe Shop without having made a purchase? Hence relying solely on users’ online data sounds like one is building a lopsided launchpad for the advertising campaigns to take off from.

Wouldn’t it also benefit if you could understand what happens across web, app and stores? What a winner of a deal if the marketer’s ad platform could serve as a one-stop-solution to all of the ad campaign needs? What if the marketer could enjoy the luxury of not having to consult a multitude of vendors for campaign results and customer insights? What if the analysis helped marketers with target lookalike customers? And what if the marketing platform was automated so well that it understood brands’ customers as well a human marketer could?

Scene 3: Targeting & Retargeting

Targeting Prospects

Jane markets products/solutions to prospects as ads over the web, mobile phones and even apps. But given Jane’s limited knowledge of her prospects’ offline consumer behaviour, her ads do not completely resolve their real-life, real-time problems. This results in the ads becoming somewhat irrelevant to her target audience and thus gives way to unimpressive CTRs. Targeting without insights is like driving without the headlights on.

Wouldn’t marketers be able to provide genuinely useful solutions/product recommendations to potential customers in the form of ads had they been aware of the customers’ real-time needs? Imagine all the gains (for the marketer, for the advertiser/retailer and for the customer) when an ad is truly apt for a customer and solves one of their immediate problems?

Retargeting Potentials

Marketer Jane finds that numerous visitors have looked up her brand’s products online but have left without buying anything. Abandoned carts are one of her main concerns as a brand marketer. And she offers discounted product recommendations to her customers in order to win them back. However, customers could have skipped buying the product online given a number of reasons. The product could have been too pricey for them, they could have been browsing just like that, they couldn’t have found what they’re looking for or maybe they wanted to check the same products at a brick and mortar store. Insights that are derived exclusively from an individual’s online activities will never constitute genuine “customer insights“. A customer’s activities are not limited to their online conduct alone and the sooner marketers tap into customers’ offline preferences and consumer needs as well, the better!  It is quite the combination of online and offline customer data that constitute true customer insights. 

What would make it absolutely easy for marketers to join the dots with customers’ online and offline behaviour and figure out their precise needs? What if all the abandoned carts would suddenly overflow with products of happy patrons?

Scene 4: Conversion

Marketer Jane hits the bull’s eye with her marketing campaign for she sees immediate hike in sales. Let’s say Jane’s ad convinced Mark to buy her brand’s shoes. But does this mean that Jane’s done for the day? Forget the tens of documents she’s got to edit and release! A successful sale or a conversion calls for brands to build on the patron’s interests as a consumer. Brands partially achieve this with the help of loyalty and membership cards; but this practice does not capture all of the user’s online and offline consumer traits. Building a profile with the help of web analytics and proximity-based analytics for every patron will not only help marketers retarget them with relevant content but also help them establish a database of lookalike customers. A lookalike customer is anyone who resembles one or a group of the marketer’s paying patrons. They’re basically prospects that marketers can target on. Also, lookalike customers are external to the database of customers that the advertiser/retailer already has.

Once analytics helps marketers with valuable insights about existing customers, targeting lookalike customers becomes easier. Marketers can target lookalike customers with fitting ads based on the success of their previous ad campaigns.

Insights from Mark’s conversion will help marketers up-sell and cross-sell effectively. Targeting a lookalike customer therefore (say Joe) will not constitute a shot in the dark because Jane has historic data to substantiate the possibility of Joe (who is a lot like Mark as a consumer) converting!

What if marketers could target lookalike customers as soon as their inventory gets restocked? Nothing like the ability to up-sell and cross-sell relevant products to patrons; how do marketers achieve all this?

Having a simple but powerful ad platform that not only optimizes marketers’ reach with ads that are truly relevant to the brand’s customers, right when they’re in need is quite the evolution in marketing. This evolution will not only bring down the firm’s marketing expenses but also allow the brand to have an efficient, slim marketing team. Which is why, marketers, rather advertisers/retailers that are quick to adopt the same could save considerably. Predictive analytics ad platforms like the one BPRISE offers, gathers information and learns user behavior.

If marketer Jane, were to use BPRISE’S programmatic platform, she’d be able to accomplish everything right from marketing, to targeting, to analytics, to sales, to retargeting, to conversion, to up-selling/cross-selling and looking for lookalike customers, all using a single dashboard. This unified ad platform cuts the need for marketers like her to jump between platforms and wait on countless vendors saving the marketers’ time   and money immensely!  If you’re a brand that’s looking for answers to the above questions, get in touch with BPRISE asap. Oh, also if you’re the marketer who’s concerned about ad effectiveness at 08:30 AM, we’ll definitely be worth your time!