Say Hello to Row Groups
Row Groups give you the ability to keep your related content together in one visual space. Have multiple TV ads running in different languages? Need to keep your competitors’ Instagram Live Rows out of the way of your planning content? Group them together!
Just click “Group Row” in an active Row menu. From there, create a new group or choose an existing group to add your active Row to. You can even assign your groups a color for quick visual reference.
Creating a Channel Management Division Is a Good Start for Agencies
The number of channels brands can use to reach consumers has exploded in the past decade, and agencies have raced to catch up, fighting to stay proficient as a slew of leaner specialty shops fight for a piece of the pie.
This fragmentation of content consumption is a tipping point for agencies. They can either keep chugging along, trying to keep up with multichannel marketing, or they can wrap their arms around the explosion of channels and creative assets and own all of their clients’ content across the growing media landscape. To do that, they’re going to need to invest in entirely new divisions focused solely on managing multi-channel marketing.
Marketing will only get more fragmented in the coming years as consumers continue migrating away from the desktop and toward smartphones, tablets and wearables. Brands have to develop creative assets for these new devices, as well as expanding forms of online and offline content, including social, video, addressable TV and digital out-of-home, not to mention traditional TV and print.
Brands need a caretaker for all of this creative content. Today, there is no clear owner; sometimes it’s the brand’s internal marketing department, sometimes it’s an agency, and sometimes the assets are spread out across multiple agencies, creating conflicts and confusion.
This creates a huge opportunity for agencies to own this capability and to build value for their clients. A new division focused on channel management and strategy would not focus on the individual pieces, but rather on how the ads work together as a complete campaign. Staff would be tasked with managing the creative, monitoring the data and compiling the analytics and metrics to take back to the client.
This division would work alongside existing creative, technology, account management, media, strategy and planning departments. In an age where some see agencies as a dying model, this kind of service layer would breathe life back into the industry, helping advertisers manage a pain point that will only become more pronounced over the next half decade.
Adopting this strategy will require some new thinking from agencies, of course. Even though omni-channel messaging is growing, we’re not likely to return to the days where one agency controls all of the advertising functions of a client. Now, agencies typically control only one small part of the client’s business.
Adding a channel management layer would help agency staff work smarter. Agencies are full of extremely talented people who often waste their time figuring out who owns what and when it needs to be done. If one team managing all of the omni-channel assets could mitigate the time wasted, the other teams could do what they do best — be creative and tell the brand’s story.
This type of oversight would also allow the client to make a global change to creative very quickly. Rather than fighting through organizational red tape across multiple agencies, a client could make an update, with a directive that quickly reaches all of the relevant agencies involved in the plan.
There’s also a huge opportunity here for new boutique agencies to launch and handle only this one task. Consider that — an agency that does no creative or planning, but provides creative management, feedback, analytics and metrics. There’s room to evolve beyond that, but a small shop focused on that competency could be massively successful right now.
Marketing will only grow more complicated and more fragmented, making channel management even more important with each new development. Brands need someone to look out for their creative and their multichannel assets — the larger the brand, the greater the need. Yet agencies often remain stuck in the past, trying to tackle a growing number of formats without growing their teams. Brands need a controller, an arbiter of content, and they need it now. It’s up to agencies to decide if they want to fill that void.
This article originally ran in Ad Age
It feels like the only consistent trend in marketing today is the never-ending race to catch up. An explosion of new media platforms has created more opportunity than ever to reach consumers with a brand message. But with that acceleration has come a surge of data that adds even more complexity into the accompanying creative process.
Marketers need to develop a creative strategy that takes into account what makes each platform unique. The strategy must also leverage the data generated by each platform, while simultaneously tying all creative together to maintain consistent themes and goals.
It’s not as simple as slicing through the data, normalizing it and picking one message and set of creative for each channel either. Look at social media, where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all require different strategies, brand voices and creative executions. Each platform also generates a wealth of data about users. This data teaches brands about potential creative executions and helps to optimize them, but the more you can do, the more you have to manage.
Examine The Benefits
The only way to navigate the proliferation of platforms is to understand each platform’s benefits and parse the insights of their respective data. Consider the type of audience each platform attracts and whether that’s the right audience for the brand. Instagram and Pinterest are rolling out APIs that make it easier for advertisers to access their audiences, but that doesn’t mean that those are the right places for every advertiser.
The goal is to match the benefit of the platform to the purpose of the brand. Purpose is the beginning of the entire process – once identified, that purpose helps develop a marketing belief, which dictates what content is published. Brands need answers for why they exist and were created in the first place. Once marketers identify the mission and figure out what they want to accomplish, they can determine which elements of that mission are actionable across each platform.
Look at Nike as an example: Its purpose as a brand is to enable the inner athlete in everyone. In the overall marketing mix, that translates into the brand belief, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” On Facebook, Nike executes when it publishes messages of athletic empowerment based on known interests from various Facebook audiences. The brand ultimately wants the audience to “gear up to get ready.” Once that purpose is identified, the brand shouldn’t stray from its core identity on the platform.
With a purpose in place, the brand can move on to further defining its personality on the platform, which is a combination of imagery, tone of voice, who it wants to target and how it can make slight adjustments to the creative based on that targeting strategy, much of which is informed by platform data. Programmatic technology now makes it easy to deliver ads efficiently, and the data in turn informs the way the creative is deployed. YouTube and Facebook are both video-heavy channels, but brands should leverage different creative and messages, even when running 30-second videos on both platforms.
With most forms of media, the data tells us that the best way for a brand to stand out is by blending in. People interact with many platforms by scrolling through feeds of content that are extremely important to them. If they see something that is overtly an ad, they’ll scroll right past it. But if the creative looks like it could have come from a friend, the marketer has a chance to reach the consumer in perhaps the most personal way possible.
Mobile accounts for more than three-quarters of Facebook’s ad revenue, and those ads are delivered to the consumer front and center, one ad on a smartphone at a time. They are full-page ads on the phone, positioned between some of the most important things in a consumer’s life. There is a huge responsibility to put forth a strong creative message.
Part of that responsibility comes down to knowing what to omit as well. Brands can’t treat any channel as if it’s inconsequential and simply toss any old creative on there. Up until recently, many brands treated social media as an afterthought, leaving it to an intern or junior-level employee. I’ve seen executives take pictures on their phones and send them to the social team in an email that says, “Post this!”
This is completely backward and, more than likely, doesn’t further the brand’s stated purpose. A single photo on Instagram can be guaranteed to reach millions of people in a highly targeted audience within a few short days. That’s probably larger than the audience for most print ads these days. If the CMO doesn’t know – or care – about what’s running on Instagram tomorrow and how it relates to the brand’s overall purpose, identity and strategy, that’s a huge problem. If the content doesn’t fit into the brand’s beliefs, it doesn’t belong on a brand channel.
The future of marketing will come down to developing ads that are not only relevant for the audience that receives the message, but also relevant to the channel itself. The more data we have, the better we will become at doing that.
As the list of formats continues to grow, brands will require one game plan that guides them everywhere they want to go. This is not a case of publish or perish. Brands need to do the work of identifying their purpose and identity across each platform, analyzing the data from the respective platform and delivering their message.
This article originally ran on AdExchanger