Last week, Rick and I were lucky enough to be invited to a conference focusing on data-driven marketing, hosted by NMP at the swanky Ham Yard Hotel. Among the veritable data gurus speaking at the event, were Cameran Harmen – Head of Demand at Facebook, and Phuong Nguyen – Director of Advertising eBay. After catching-up with a few familiar faces and cruising the biscuit trays, we settled into the auditorium, ready to explore the ways in which advertisers can align their marketing through the use of data, and the importance of consumer intent.
First up, we delved into the world of video, with the aforementioned, Cameran Harmen. We discovered that not all video is created equal, differences in placement (in-stream, banner etc.), content (Long/short, UGC), metrics (CPM, CPC etc.) and ad type all play a pivotal role in engagement, which should be considered for any advertiser campaigns. Historically video has not been a great direct response tool. Despite challenges such as viewability, targeting, publisher incentives and efficacy, the video market is one of the fastest growing in the UK and it’s held that accolade for some time, showing no signs of slowing down.
Next, we took a look at using data for Travel sector campaigns, with Mike Ossendrijver (Head of Direct at Transavia) and Nick Brandts (Product & Business Development & Co-Owner at DQ&A). They advised using insights from 1st party, 2nd party (publishers) and 3rd party (external) sources, to create a broad data warehouse, unique to a particular brand. So for example a fashion retailer could target customers who have just bought flights through a cashback site, with a holiday clothing offer, using a weather website’s data to enforce the relevance. In order to be this tactical, the campaigns must be of a manageable/moveable size and planned on a reactive basis, which may not suit every advertiser, but it’s certainly worth thinking about.
James Sleaford, Head of Performance Marketing at NMP and Karsten Mosterd, Global Digital Strategy & Innovations at Exact Online took to the stage next for a fireside chat. Whilst it was interesting to hear how Exact Online used data to build their brand, it was difficult to relate this to other advertisers, or to the performance sector.
Lastly, Phuong Nguyen – Director of Advertising eBay, rounded things up with a view on The Science of Making Better Predictions. It was a great presentation, which managed to be both entertaining and full of salient advice. To start with, data isn’t limited to purchases. If you can use pre-purchase behaviour, such as search you build a much more robust image of the consumer. Secondly, validate the efficacy of your data, inferred vs. observed, i.e. don’t rely on self-reported customer data. Just because a customer might be interested in hearing about Ferraris doesn’t mean they have the propensity to buy one! Phuong was also keen to warn of data decay, which differs between product type and seasonality, among other things, refreshing your data obviously improves the accuracy of any data-driven campaigns.
Following the closing remarks, we sampled a few of the delicious canapes, said our thank-yous, and made our way out just over two hours after we came in. It was a short and sweet event, with some great speakers from a range of backgrounds; meaning there was something for advertisers, publishers, networks and agencies. Looking forward to the next event!