Fragmentation is a word we don’t hear as often as you might expect given the number of choices presented to marketers and their agencies. We hear an awful lot in the trade press and at conferences about the individual channels that focus specifically on one facet of the business (be it mobile, video, display, or social). But only at the tactical events (like AdMonsters or IAB Ad Ops) and in one-on-one meetings do we discuss fragmentation. A significant challenge created by this fragmentation is the complexity of cross-channel optimization. Typically the buyer and the seller offer standalone plans for each individual media channel. This creates confusion and a good deal of additional work during and post-campaign to aggregate, analyze, and optimize spend to meet the goals and objectives of the client.
The lack of integrated buying, reporting, and analysis introduces inefficiency into the media plan. This inefficiency is caused in large part by an inability to deploy and report within a single ad delivery system across channels, platforms, and device types. This can be avoided if the buyer or seller chooses a platform that is capable of monitoring the campaign holistically, tracking delivery and downstream actions (such as engagement or conversions), and optimizing media allocation and creative by channel in real time.
Due in part to fragmentation and the resources required, publishers are being asked (or are doing it out of desperation) to act more like agencies in order to gain differentiation and attention and to grow ad spend. In thinking more like agencies, publishers are developing media plans and big ideas that span all channels and, in many cases, include creative development and production. They are not, however, in a position to efficiently manage these more integrated buys across channels. Most publishers I speak with have built systems that are cobbled together across various vendors and are therefore not well integrated. Such a system does not enable a publisher to see the entire program comprehensively within a single dashboard, or to manage audiences, frequency, and optimization from a single interface. This lack of control and visibility makes these integrated programs very expensive and time-consuming to manage, which creates unneeded risk in renewal and in the client relationship as a whole.
Marketers want innovative and breakthrough programs that can be sourced from as few partners as possible. However, they also want to be assured that they are working with a seller capable of delivering the program seamlessly – providing comprehensive insights into the performance of the program and making recommendations on proactive optimizations to ensure campaign success. This guarantee is very difficult to achieve when the seller is dependent on an antiquated system that is not capable of operating across all of the channels necessary to support the buyer’s needs. Sellers gain a huge advantage in the marketplace if they are truly able to operate their entire digital business from a single platform – to deploy new, innovative programs and creative formats and, most importantly, to optimize and report on all the line items within a multi-channel campaign.
Do you think consolidated management of your digital programs would drive efficiency, renewals, and happier clients?