Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Advertising in 2020 and Beyond

Picture this: You are a CMO for a large trusted financial services company, about 90 days into the job. You are leading the charge of delivering on the company’s mission, which is to provide exceptional customer experiences. Your company offers the typical menu of services such as checking and savings accounts, loans, and so on. The first order of business is to set up a system for acquiring new customers quarter over quarter at a sustainable CPA.

The headwinds are plentiful. You face stiff competition from incumbents and fintechs alike, your digitally diasporic audiences traverse countless channels, and your data-to-actionable-insights ratio leaves a lot to be desired.

Your challenges only mushroom when you start looking at your paid media and how you are managing customer interactions across channels for each of your products. Some users may spend a lot of time on your websites but then convert in person at branches. Others may want to learn directly from your branch reps but prefer to open new accounts on your capable mobile app.

As you fine-tune your strategy, the last thing you want to do is spend ad money to target someone who was going to sign up for a product anyway. And if you do, how do you make it up by maximizing their customer lifetime value (CLV) for the business?

To top it all off, how do you then future-proof your experiences so that you keep privacy and security sacrosanct while complying with ever-changing regulations covering consumer data?

Juggling the above realities while holding your media teams accountable to strict objectives that consistently drive long-term business value amounts to what seems to be a very challenging order of business.

One way we advise people walking in the shoes of such a CMO is to organize the challenge into four pain points or realities that you can then divide and conquer with the right technology, processes, and talent:

  1. Consumers consume tons of media from all kinds of devices and contexts.
  2. The actual impact of paid media to the bottom line is likely unknown or unclear.
  3. It is hard to control media investments since they are often delegated to partners.
  4. It is even harder to align consumer privacy and choice with media objectives.

From a technology standpoint, the foundation to address the realities above is a mix of integrated applications traditionally referred to as “adtech” and “martech” that together continually collect and process streaming data. The combination also puts the right experiences in the right places for your target audiences at every brand touchpoint, and does it at mass scale.

For example, your web analytics solution can capture valuable on-site data from across all your properties and feed it into your data management platform (DMP), customer data platform (CDP), or other data platform. Your DMP can bring in known identifiers like CRM, hashed emails, and phone numbers alongside anonymous identifiers like cookies and mobile IDs.

You can then address identity resolution by compiling these identity fragments into a customer profile that you’d use to build segments of customers to target. And then you’d push those segments to your DSP or ad platform, personalization tool, or other customer systems like CRM, ESP, or open API destinations. You can use the segments to find new customers or to target or suppress existing ones.

In the case of Adobe Advertising Cloud, you could take the profiles from your DMP, like Adobe Audience Manager, or from Adobe Analytics or Adobe Experience Platform, and use them to deliver relevant and dynamic ads across search, display, and all forms of video and TV advertising. You can ensure that the ad message, creative, and offer are consistent and aligned with any on-site personalization. Moreover, People-Based Destination in Audience Manager delivers audiences to your known channels like social, ensuring we find your audiences wherever they happen to be.

Reporting and exposure data then track back into Audience Manager and Analytics to help you understand the lift that your paid media is driving across marketing channels and to surface audience insights and build robust pools of prospects who “look” like your existing customers. In effect, it’s a closed-loop continuous optimization engine.

Lastly, you’d use detailed reports from Advertising Cloud to help optimize your paid media, improve your campaign planning, and get the most for your ad spend with more precision and control than you ever thought possible.

In a series of upcoming articles, we’ll explore the optimizations powered by our product integrations, how we can help you de-risk how you store and manage your data and identity to drive on-site and off-site experiences, and create a feedback loop to build, refine, and measure your customer acquisition strategy.