Marketers around the world are moving towards a better, more formal understanding of their marketing architecture - in other words, how marketing processes and technologies such as Web analytics, customer relationship management, ad-serving, email, search and electronic commerce all fit together.
Right now, most of these systems do not talk to each other in most companies. That means that marketers often don't have a clear view of who their customers are and who they are talking to across different digital media and channels.
If they were able to leverage data across these systems, they would be able to understand who they are talking to with their online ads and tailor their messaging to different people. This would enable them to improve return on investment from marketing by spending their budgets to talking to the right people with the right messaging at the right time.
The ad-server of the future will be right at the heart of marketing programmes that use data from multiple sources to deliver messaging that is relevant to the person viewing the ad. It will enable marketers to draw on a range of data to make smart decisions about which ad - if any - to serve a Web site user.
Consider the example of a bank running an online ad campaign across multiple Web sites. It can tag each user that views its home loan campaign and track them in future interactions. If it knew a user had viewed an ad for a home loan and shown no interest, it could display an ad for a credit card instead and if the user had clicked through and began to fill in a Web form, it could remarket the home loan with a special offer.
Once marketers start tagging people who have viewed their ads, they can reach them across multiple channels and outlets with consistent messaging. Tailored content for different user profiles can be generated and served on the fly.
This approach means that marketers can avoid selling products to people who have already bought them and capture potential customers who seem to be on the verge of converting. It reduces waste and improves the performance of digital campaigns.
When marketers begin to integrate ad-serving with Web analytics, email marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), they can market in even more sophisticated and personalised ways. For example, if someone is a customer of the home loan division, the bank can serve the credit card ad instead with a special offer for existing clients with a home loan.
Another trend to watch for in the future of the ad-server is a shift towards highly configurable technology that supports multiple media and channels through one interface. Marketers will want to manage banner ads, audio, video and other rich media across network buys, affiliates and all publishers they work with through one interface.
This is all good news for marketers since they will be able harmonise digital marketing strategies and campaigns at a very deep level. The pressure is increasingly falling on publishers to provide advertisers with sophisticated platforms that support their ever-more complex requirements.
Richard Mullins opened Acceleration's Johannesburg office in 2000. Richard has played an instrumental role in the growth of Acceleration in South Africa, working with clients to identify their online marketing needs and establish effective online marketing strategies that deliver superior results. This is achieved through the implementation of consulting and technology services around Advertiser and Publisher Ad Operations, Email, Paid Search and Site Analytics.
Acceleration eMarketing Acceleration's true goal is to advance the state of the art of digital marketing - one client, one solution, one idea at a time. We bring advanced digital marketing knowledge to your business.
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