The 5 As of successful digital transformation

November 2018

Recent research from Boston Consulting Group reports that 98% of advertisers are not realising the full potential of data driven marketing.1 According to Google research, only one in three brand experiences are perceived by consumers as being really useful.2

Clearly, there is huge room for improvement, and this is where technology can make a big difference. With data-driven marketing, you can know your audience better and create engagement at every step of the customer journey - especially if you use automation to improve performance.

According to the study by BCG, advanced advertisers who have already adopted data-driven marketing strategies are reaping considerable rewards: up to 30% savings on costs and 20% growth in income. However, according to the same study, only 2% of advertisers are taking full advantage of the opportunity.3

To address this shortfall and help businesses get to grips with the fundamentals of digital transformation, we’ve put together a guide consisting of five fundamental principles – we call them the 5 As.

Audience: Identifying and engaging the right people

A brand that understands its audience is more likely to capture their attention. The challenge for marketers though is to organise their data sources so that they’re able to identify, understand and engage their potential customers. To give yourself the best chance of doing this, follow these three simple steps:

  • Compile your online and offline customer data to get a unified view of your audience across all channels.
  • Centralise and evaluate. Unify your available data in a single tool to segment customers and understand their intentions, path to purchase, and long-term value
  • Define a targeting strategy. For each of your brands, set your targeting strategy to reach your audience segments at all points of the shopping journey (top, middle or bottom of the funnel), and across all relevant media (video, display, search, offline).

Assets: Offering the best possible customer experience

Identifying your audience is one thing, but once you’ve found them, you still have to deliver a compelling customer experience. The challenge for brands is therefore to create equally engaging, effective experiences across all digital touchpoints (websites, apps, social networks, digital advertising) and in real life (at point of sale, during events).

  • Produce relevant, context-sensitive ads. Using audience insights and channel knowledge, ensure you pick the right medium and format for your advertising. For example, the kind of message you convey during a 6-second video ad should be different to a longer-form video ad or banner.
  • Emphasise simplicity, speed and intuitiveness on all your channels and messages. In other words, remove the friction points in the customer journey, especially on mobile.
  • Enrich the user experience with relevant data. Combine your first-party data with audience signals (Search, Display and YouTube for the Google network) so you can understand the intent and behaviour of your audience, and customise your ads accordingly.

Access: Maximising the reach of your messages

Think reach and inventory! You want to be able to reach your potential customers wherever they are on the path to purchase. And as long as costs are controlled, you should be accessing as much of the available inventory as possible.

New tools are available to give you a comprehensive view of your media investments, allowing you to better manage contact frequency, ensure maximum transparency between all media buys across channels, and meet brand safety standards.

Attribution: Measuring the value of each point of contact

Multi-screen and multi-channel shopping is increasingly sophisticated and fragmented. Customers are likely to have engaged with your marketing on several devices and channels before they commit to a purchase, rendering last-click models of attribution unfit for purpose.

Attribution models that account for the dynamics between channels and devices make it possible to analyse the full path to purchase and assign the right credit to each lever – making budgeting decisions far more accurate and meaningful.

Automation: Simplifying operations and improving performance

Digital marketing campaigns create huge amounts of data, which can quickly become overwhelming. But with machine learning technology you can now automate keywords, bids, creative assets, targeting and large-scale attribution. Automation is no longer just a way to reduce costs – it provides consistent, useful and personalised customer experiences at scale, potentially adding significant upside to revenue.

Audience, Assets, Access, Attribution and Automatisation: make the 5 As your new mantra. By developing an approach around each pillar you can become a digital transformation champion, delivering enriched customer experiences and improved business performance.

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