Part 1/10 – The Realisation of the Full Digital Technology Stack Capability
The utopia for digital marketers is almost at hand, with a single suite of digital media ad-publication, optimisation and measurement tools being within grasping distance.
As regular readers (colleagues-who-get-an-email-from-me-every-time-I-post) know, I spend most of my time working within the media, digital media and technology space. Some of my time is spent identifying emerging technologies, testing them, and then driving media agency and client adoption of the appropriate tools. As with my other post on broader digital change, I have included a few examples that may be a little far reaching, but, I anticipate that these are not unreachable, for a focused or a digitally native organisation. So, what’s the go (in order of importance)
I thought I would break what had become one massive blog post, into 10 posts over the next month or so; Post (1) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
These posts include opinions on what I am anticipating being big change points, and adoption areas throughout 2014 for Australian digital marketing professionals. Some countries are ahead of us in terms of adoption, but not by much – Australia, and its leading brands are very much in the challenger space with many media and creative agencies working hard with clients to push creative executions and the underlying technology to the extreme, and I anticipate that by the end of this year, we will see a lot more Australian marketers realising the potential of these tools and adopting the principles that I am sharing below.
The AdTech Stacks
The reality is for marketers, the more different technology and solutions providers you use, in many cases (almost all) the less accurate your data is. Piggybacked tags, disparity of platform, different counting methodologies – there are many excuses, but they aren’t far from being dispelled.
The Utopian solution is; Either adopt a single ad:technology stack as the backbone to your media measurement OR mix and match reliable tools ensuring that measurement accuracy is the focus of your output.
My personal view is that Google is leading the charge with their Doubleclick Stack and Analytics Product. How I see things sitting right now;
- Google are not far from a conceptually perfect, and phenomenally powerful Digital Ad-Stack Platform
- SizMek (Formerly Mediamind) are not far behind them, but haven’t yet brought their consolidated stack together yet
- There are so many niche technology providers that you can mix and match to get your desired outcome, in many instances on whatever ad-stack (Google/Mediamind/Other) you want
- Social buy platforms and social community management integration isn’t there yet
- Agnosticism should drive technology selection – Most relevant and accurate tool for the job ongoing
- You need to be doing this now…
What are the important bits I need to know?
You will likely be able to manage and measure the whole spectrum of your digital advertising through one technology stack – Display, Social, Search, Mobile, DSP – the whole lot. If you wish to do this over multiple technology providers, the accuracy will decrease, but you may find specific search technology platforms, or DSP vendors are more appropriate to your business – essentially, you can and should be planning for consolidation.
What are the components of the new technology stack?
- Content Publication (Content Management System, including mobile and Social, likely responsive)
- Ad Server Platform (the technology that allows you to display advertising on third party sites and measure impressions and clicks)
- DSP (Demand Side Platform that deals with programmatic digital media buying)
- Video DSP (the same, but for video)
- Mobile Buy Technology
- DMP (Data Management Platform – allows you to store your reached audience, and re-market or tailor activity around their previous interactions with your brand or activity)
- Ad-Visibility (was my ad seen by human eyes)
- Rich Media (Tailored Digital Ad Executions)
- Paid Search Bid Technology
- Organic Search Reporting
- Conversion and Content Optimisation (including elements of Cx, Ux and CRO)
- Social Media Buy Technology
- Social Community Management platform
- Post Click Web, Mobile and App Analytics (extending to Universal Analytics)
- Path to Conversion (PTC) and Multi-Channel Attribution Reporting
There continue to be challenges with the existing technology stacks, as for each layer of capability you add, there is often an increased decline in accuracy and matching of data, and an incremental cost, however, with DMP’s and DSP’s being the focus for much of the broader paid media activity, there is less wastage on low relevance audiences. Viewability add a different dimension yet again to this in that CPM’s will increase for premium spots, to increase reach and frequency, but at the same time, one would expect “prospecting inventory” to start to be leveraged to understand the importance of placements and formats that increase goal attainment.
Current limitations include;
- Cost, the compounding costs, of the different tools and layers are considerable, however, those technologies commanding the majority of spend are the areas where the greatest savings and efficiencies can be gained validating the investment.
- Integration – numbers matching over different platforms
- Tag Load/Management – piggybacked tracking tags are not reliable to measure or to optimise against
- Cross technology integration – everyone is trying to sell their own flavour of tag management, attribution resulting in only Google offering full digital media stack measurement
- A click does not equal a visit in web analytics tools
- Click fraud is evolving so quickly that everyone is playing catch-up against the fraudsters
- Limited DMP 3rd party data sources in AU
What To Do Right Now?
- Establish the reporting requirements that will allow you to better invest your media
- Establish your measurement framework and plan a tagging and conversion matrix for both your media and website/click stream analytics over all platforms
- Identify what ad stack and technology delivers on; your current media allocation, your expected new media channels; your measurement framework requirements
- Ensure that your digital media is consolidated onto as few technology stacks as possible
- Establish your DMP
- Ensure tagging and conversion is implemented appropriately
- Create dashboards that accurately visualise the required output from your measurement framework and requirements
- Utilise Path to Conversion reports and attribution reporting to comprehensively understand the conversion path and touchpoints
- Use visibility reporting to inform (and drive top level strategy) to optimise your viewable ad impressions and pre-bid fraud detection
- Utilise your audience segments to build efficiency of all of your media investments.
More to come in the next few days.