Deliver an Exceptional Advertising Experience Through Partners and Simplicity

When interacting with brands and advertising, today’s consumers don’t have the same linear experience that occurred before the rise of digital. Technology, including mobile, the web, video streaming and connected televisions has challenged marketers to adopt more holistic strategies when planning, buying, measuring and optimising media.

Over the past few years, many brands felt the way to keep up with their empowered consumers was to add more complexity to their technology stacks to tackle these new channels. While this may have delivered some short-term success, it also resulted in brands having an unwieldy assortment of solutions that decreased efficiency and reduced the effectiveness of the omnichannel messaging to interact with that consumer.

Recognising this challenge and seeking greater control and transparency into the ROI their advertising spend is driving for their business, many leading brands in the Australian market are embarking on a path towards consolidation. This also allows them to more effectively answer the call of consumers, 78% of whom want their advertising to contain greater personalisation.

At Adobe Symposium, held in Sydney, attendees experienced first-hand how adopting an omnichannel approach to advertising, and forging strong partnerships with external agencies, can win over consumers and tell a strong and consistent brand story.

Finding the problem

What’s become apparent to many brands is that their current, technologically complex advertising stacks are not working as well as they should be. At Adobe, we find one of the most common mistakes brands make is that they activate their advertising through disparate platforms.

If this sounds familiar, know there are two ways to address this, and they work together. The first is to reform the technology you use to activate media and the second is to rethink the way you use talent.

Our Adobe Symposium session titled, Deliver an Exceptional Advertising Experience with an Omnichannel Platform, profiled two brands, banking giant Citibank and energy company Origin, that have done exactly that — working with our partners, including Atomic 212 and Accordant.

The Citibank experience

“As marketers, our biggest barrier for success is complexity,” says Alastair Dillon, Head of Marketing Technology and Digital Media at Citibank.

Dillon isn’t talking about disregarding the intricacies of your technology infrastructure, but rather moving towards simplicity; both in the technology used by brands, and the teams they assemble to push advertising and marketing forward.

Dillon explained that a year ago, Citibank measured itself in terms of how it was tracking against set KPIs, which included driving customer acquisition, and engaging and retaining existing customers.

What Citibank found was startling. Its advertising and marketing efforts were not bringing in as many customers as the company was losing. This led to a period of analysis, where Citibank’s marketing team reviewed both the technology being used, along with its approach to using that technology.

“We were using 14 technology vendors across 11 key digital marketing functions,” Dillon says. “This led to huge amounts of time just maintaining this beast and implementing and trouble-shooting all these technologies.

“We also missed out on huge amounts of functionality by not having a vertically integrated stack,” he continues.

The lack of integration meant there was no single source of truth to go back to the business and report the organisation’s marketing performance.

The solution for Citibank was to integrate its website analytics with its ad-buying platform using Adobe technologies. This increased the volume of the optimisations the company was making in paid search by 3,000%, along with an increase in the quality of the activity the company buys.

The consolidation of advertising channels onto Adobe Advertising Cloud resulted in a 46% improvement in Demand Side Platform (DSP) performance, along with a 63% reduction in page load times by using fewer tags on the site. Citibank also reduced its data security risks by minimising the number of third-party vendors it was using, as well as increased the ownership of customer data.

“Don’t be afraid to do simplicity,” Dillon says. “If we’re truly going to deliver on our marketing ROIs, simplicity is the key.”

Origin’s team-player approach

Dillon also recommends working with a trusted partner or partners, which is what Origin has done to optimise its advertising and marketing stack.

According to William Murphy, Digital Marketing and Social Manager at Origin, the key to executing a clear, concise marketing approach is in choosing the right partners. Two companies, Flashtalking and Atomic 212, have been integral to Origin’s success.

“We partnered because we don’t want to be a silo of digital marketing within the wider organisation,” Murphy says. “You really need to ask what you’re trying to achieve and why you’re trying to achieve that goal.”

Claire Fenner, General Manager at Atomic 212, further clarified the relationship between her company and Origin. “We basically work as an extension of the [Origin] team,” she says. “We support them in identifying opportunities to find efficiencies, whether it’s through new technology, audience strategies or new media opportunities.

“The team at Origin rely on us as that third party to provide those recommendations,” she said.

By reforming its key business relationships, Origin was able to realise 2.4 times improvement in return on investment across the Adobe Advertising Cloud proof of concept (POC) period, as well as a 34% reduction in generic CPA for search engine marketing (SEM).

Murphy’s insight is that a company needs a team to consult on technology – a technology partner can’t simply provide the tech and then leave it at that. The partner also needs to give recommendations and awareness into the why and how of the advertising and marketing technology being used.

“We knew that ultimately we had to be brave, take a leap of faith and try doing things differently, which meant using partners to help us on our journey,” he says. “It’s truly looking for trusted partners that we treat as part of our business. Those partners help us not only meet our business strategy, but also help to define and understand it too.”

The Origin and Citibank experiences demonstrate the importance of simplicity in the technology stack being used, as we as the critical need for strong partners who not only understand the business, but actively want to become part of the business too.