Whether you are on the buy, sell or third-party supplier side, we all recognize that we are operating in an elevated state of potential. The infrastructure, media and creative options, tools and available science all mean that we could and should get beyond the transactional state of yesteryear.
We now can predict, execute and optimize at a higher level than ever before. This extends to modeling new target audiences, venturing into new platforms, playing across media types and at every turn getting better at achieving and exceeding expectations and metrics.
But, if you listen closely, despite all this potential — you just might realize that, at least on the buy side, brands, marketers and agencies may have very different thresholds for what counts as success. And, therefore, how they engage the sell or supply side may fall short of the potential.
A brand marketer may be deeply interested in discovering new audiences, tracking and optimizing different “types” of conversations or testing new platforms. But somehow, under the pressure of delivering on legacy formulas, expectations may still get rolled into a very flat set of criteria in the hands of those executing.
And, in the day to day of how it all plays out, we may see a focus on efficient impressions and desirable click-through rates — period. Forget audience intelligence or more advanced conversion analysis, the laser-focused, pressured planner or buyer in all reality may be focused solely on achieving a specific volume and evidence of traction, on the basis of CTR. In this mode, one might focus entirely on what mix of properties and media options can get them there — not the greater and, in fact, immediate, potential.
So, if you are in the business of delivering data analytics, audience intelligence, advanced targeting and optimization tools, you might ask yourself if you are selling too hard. I don’t know the answer to this question — but as I talk to more people about this issue, people who are just as excited about what is possible today (right now, we are not talking aspirational stuff), I realize there is a prevalent disconnect between what is available to us in the marketplace and those things of which we take advantage.
If you service a client base that includes agencies and marketers or direct brands — have you taken a look back at what their stated objectives and metrics have been — and are the differences across agency and direct? Are there differences between what they told you they want to achieve and learn — and what you are reporting to them? And, if you are reporting on more than they have requested or expect, does this represent an opportunity or a conflict?
I would suggest that in this action-packed, high-potential environment, we would be wise to deal with each other in phases. That is, taking a moment and showing how together we can achieve on the basics — efficiency, impressions, CTR — and then scale to a more robust version of our own potential. I do think it’s essential to take a reality check on what we are holding up as possible and what is resonating or engaging the marketer or their agency.
Take a look at what you’ve been asked to do and what you are delivering each week, each month, in terms of results and also how you report on those results. Why spend time reporting on achievements that were not on the radar for a marketer?
Take the time to establish the scope of potential beyond the basics — and show where you want to go, over time, and why. Only then, can you map a path forward and position a marketer to benefit from the learning and more advanced analysis and metrics you are providing. And, when and if dealing through the agency, a phased approach to campaign roll-out will be a more sure route to, well, doing more together over time.
It may very well be the case right now that the potential outreaches the day-to-day expectation or reality, especially for the agency or marketer under pressure to deliver — but that can change. Through education and cadence of execution on the basics and then more advanced options, a higher level and realized potential will be achieved.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.