Ad industry calls for single source of truth

The world of advertising is changing rapidly. Over the last few years we’ve seen digital advertising overtake traditional channels, such as TV and print. This shift has led to an explosion in content across all platforms as advertisers fight to gain the attention of consumers wherever they are. As a result, the role of the creative, media-planning and buying processes have evolved too.

“There are now many more touchpoints for consumers globally, you need many more messages, many more ads and to manage all your assets in the process. The complexity is daunting,” says Christian Massmann, chief sales and marketing officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Adstream, a global digital asset management and ad distribution company.

At the same time, the engine of the global advertising industry is increasingly powered by a new oil: data. Brands want to not only track advertising from start to finish, but analyse an ad’s effectiveness from peaks in sales, levels of awareness and conversion rates. Data on all business functions is now providing greater transparency and greater expectations. But when data is not linked to the assets, brands lose visibility.

“Advertising investment can lead to wasted spend, but knowing what is waste and what isn’t is still the million-dollar question. That’s why there’s more pressure in the industry to account for every amount spent and generate a return on that investment. Clients now want to understand what happens at every step of a campaign’s life cycle. Visibility is the new imperative and the future of advertising involves seeing the whole story,” says Mr Massmann, whose company works with more than 9,000 brands, agencies and production companies in over 120 markets worldwide.

“Return on investment (RoI) is vital to the industry, and there is a need to be able to react in real time and adapt campaigns based on their performance. Speed to market matters; brands and agencies all demand this. They need to be able to adjust campaigns on the fly and respond rapidly. They also want to co-create their brand messaging with consumers, who now define expectations.”

For brands, the challenge comes when you launch a campaign in multiple countries, in multiple languages and formats. Managing, distributing and controlling content across markets in real time, served to consumers who now demand an omnichannel experience, can be an issue if not managed correctly.

“The need to manage content is only going to increase. Brands and agencies are looking for companies like ours to help with this challenge. Automation and streamlined workflows are crucial, so an asset can be managed at every point in its life cycle,” says Mr Massmann.

“We are there when campaigns are started, supporting the creative and production process. We help teams to centralise production workflows with one place to plan, annotate, store and approve content.

“At the push of a button, we connect an asset and a brand with any destination and audience in the world. We can then feedback and run data analytics such as activity tracking and content usage stats across the life cycle of any asset, and link third-party data with campaigns and assets stored in our platform.”

With up to 40 per cent of ads used only once and in only one market, there are greater efficiencies to be had. There is also a need for more consistency across countries and to connect all the dots between brands, consumers, advertisements, how and when they are delivered, and on which platform.

“Since we work with two thirds of the world’s biggest brands, we see the pain points that they and their agencies face, and how innovative technology can help. Our product suite provides total visibility and control of campaigns and related data, reduces cost and wastage, and therefore increases RoI.

“Furthermore, we are soon launching ONE Delivery, the world’s most powerful TV and online ad delivery platform. This will give brands greater speed to market and create an even more powerful, single source of truth for the advertising industry,” Mr Massmann concludes.

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