It’s time to take sides in the fight against wasted digital spend.

lacking in confidence

It’s hard to be confident when you are not sure what you are doing

A recent survey by Adobe highlighted the fact that only 48% of the professionals working in marketing had any confidence in their ability to:

A. Reach the right audience – too many options?

B. Reach the audience efficiently – too much budget?

C. Reach the audience effectively – too little thought?

Blowing the budget

Let’s face it has never been easier to blow a marketing budget while getting sufficient return on investment to make it look as though we knew that we were doing. All the while the extraordinary wastage plays on our minds and undermines our confidence levels.

I used to enjoy my job

Moreover, working so far out of your comfort and confidence zone leaves you with that a couple of very unhealthy feelings:

1. What just happened? – Am I a genius or did I just get lucky?

2. What do I do next? – Here we go again but this time my targets have doubled and the market is collapsing… where’s the number of the nearest headhunter?

Planning to go beyond the last-click

Leaving aside the use of a robust planning process as the root of building long-term professional confidence, I want to look at the role of attribution and optimisation as the here-and-now confidence facilitators.

A recent Air New Zealand (ANZ) case history from TagMan will serve to illustrate a confidence-building fix. TagMan enables brands to house
 all of their marketing tracking tags in a single, independent system. This enables you to look beyond last-click attribution to see what is really going on in your campaigns.

Drag and drop tagging

TagMan allows you to deploy customisable tags from their extensive drag and drop library. The objective is to provide you with a unified view of all contributing campaign channels. That omniscient view is presented in an easily digestible dashboard courtesy of their Visual Insights Suite (VIS)

Seeing is believing

VIS makes it possible for you to see a unified event and associated metric view of even the most dynamic, cross-channel customer journey. Your full-funnel marketing performance VIS dashboard includes metrics on every element of your paid search, affiliate, display, email, mobile, social media, landing page, onsite goal and transactional conversion activity.

As fast as your screen can render, you get to see the precise value each of your paid and non-paid marketing channels (including natural search and direct to site) contribute to your bottom-line.

Being able to view a real time attribution report allows you to react in real-time to changing market conditions. Imaging the effect of knowing exactly how and when to shift media spend to undervalued revenue channels and improve sales while reducing costs?

Air New Zealand takes flight

ANZ’s European wing (sorry) use TagMan’s Tag Management System to see how their ecosystem of marketing channels work together throughout every stage of their customers’ online journeys.

As a result of using TagMan, ANZ were able to rapidly adjust their campaign strategy based on what was or wasn’t working. They were also able to see how all their marketing channels worked together throughout the customer’s full path to purchase.

The dynamic data provided by TagMan allowed ANZ to understand patterns in their customers’ behaviour online. The insights allowed them to grow bookings to undersold destinations by having full visibility into what was working from an acquisition, retention and branding point of view.

Agility is only one waste-reducing factor

Understanding the contributory factor of every element also enables marketers to reduce wastage by eliminating the cost of reporting across a range of sources. Turning data from multiple sources into actionable content takes time and soaks up resources and budget. With TagMan running overwatch, you need fewer people getting in on the act.

Taking control back

The other confidence-boosting factor is that TagMan makes take creation and management of tags so easy that even if you have a range of agencies and content developers working across a whole range of sites and channels, you take control of the whole tagging process back.

Can we be forgiven?

It is fair to say that digital marketing has evolved at such a rate that perhaps we, as an industry, can be forgiven for the profligate way in which client budgets have been wasted as part of the epic epidemiological experiments of the past 5 years. In particular, I refer to the recent frenzied transition of budget from TV to online display. In the space of a few years we saw billions shifted from a tried and tested broadcast medium only to see it vanish into the clutches of a display ad Ponzi scheme that talked about sector expansion and buzz but never about ROI. The budgets shifted back but sans a lot of value and confidence in agency opinion.

Not if we keep making random statements of intent

The latest shift in the battle for TV v Digital channels is the much-touted shift from TV to online video. In a recent poll of 5,000 advertising executives attending the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Digital Content NewFronts, the IAB found that 75% of U.S. senior executives plan to shift their budgeting from television to digital video ads. The same group also reported that they expected to put 75% of that budget into pre-roll video. At no point were they asked, “Why?”

Why is not something Lemmings ask 

The one thing that attribution tells us is that following a fad or trend or other lemming-like movement is not the way to go – unless of course your main preoccupation is blowing the budget and moving to another job before the results come in. Far be it from me to suggest that we should test our ideas before we pre-roll them out and then, thanks to tagging, continue to test and optimising everything in sight until we stop making predictions and start taking actions that reduce wastage while optimally increasing ROI.