The media plan of 2020 will be drastically different from the media plan of 2017. This accelerated evolution is being driven by data –both its enhanced management and broader availability. In 2020, the media plans that truly harness the potential of data will have been built with one core principle in mind: diversification. The time to diversify your data portfolio is now.
Diversification is at the heart of Investing 101. Good financial investors know it’s not wise to put all of their eggs in one basket. And so they build robust, varied portfolios of assets in order to weather potential financial storms and maximize their opportunities to find the true asset gems that make all the difference in ultimate success.
Data is an investment, and marketers need to approach it as such. If a media plan relies on too few sources, it puts itself at risk. Likewise, if marketers are not experimenting with a broad array of diverse segments, they’re leaving money on the table.It’s time for advertisers to rethink their data portfolios and the way in which they approach audiences.
Today’s data management platforms are providing marketers with the ability to manage their data portfolios as an investor would a stock portfolio. Rather than building out one, two or three audiences and leaning heavily on those, marketers can build out 20, 30, even 100 different segments with which they can experiment to see who is engaging and who is not.
Data management is facilitating an explosion in the extrapolation of the media planning capability. Properly diversifying a data portfolio means evolving from media plans built on a single piece of creative split across five line items, and moving into an environment where hundreds of line items. Those segments cannot only be leveraged for testing and rapid refinement but can also be aligned with hundreds of pieces of creative to get to the true one-to-one communications that we’ve all been discussing for so long.
Diversification from a data perspective isn’t just about output. The successful media plan of 2020 starts with the diversification of inputs. This begins with leveraging a brand’s first-party data – audience information from websites, mobile apps and all other owned properties – to gain access to new variations on the data.
Then, of course, it’s time to go beyond owned data to evaluate the plethora of third-party data segmentation options at a brand’s disposal. But marketers shouldn’t stop there. They need to also consider working with publishers, retailers, influencers and others parties with bespoke data segments that can be drawn into their portfolios. In the case of smaller publishers with which brands might not see benefit from media buys, they might still see massive value in partnering with the publications to capture their specialized audience insights. This partnership mentality offers a huge opportunity for agencies that can step in to support these types of arrangements and relationships.
The relationship between brands and agencies is changing – faster than agencies would like, in some cases. The growing chasm between modern brands and the old-school agency approach is evident in each party’s current mindsets regarding data management. Many agencies, by virtue of the pressure that is put on them to turn around and execute media plans on a dime, have been forced into a short-term view of data: What do we have access to, how hard can we put it to use immediately, and how quickly can we move onto the next campaign?
Many agencies, by virtue of the pressure that is put on them to turn around and execute media plans on a dime, have been forced into a short-term view of data: What do we have access to, how hard can we put it to use immediately, and how quickly can we move onto the next campaign?
Meanwhile, brands are taking the long view on their data transformations. They recognize that the road to proper data management is a long one, spanning 18 months to two years in many cases. They’re willing to take the time to experiment and accept that failures are a necessary part of getting things right in the end. Once again, the agencies that can recognize this disconnect and adapt are the ones that will succeed in the long term with their brand clients. By embracing the diversification of data, both in terms of segments and sources, agencies will be able to capture the bigger opportunity presented by data management platforms and provide the consultations that their brand clients so sorely need.
By embracing the diversification of data, both in terms of segments and sources, agencies will be able to capture the bigger opportunity presented by data management platforms and provide the consultations that their brand clients so sorely need.