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Marketers Embrace Brand Autonomy at Millennium Alliance

Today’s media landscape is more complex than ever due to massive tectonic shifts in audience consumption habits, platform influence and rapidly evolving technologies.

“Everyone wants progress, but nobody wants change,” said Damian Garbaccio, EVP, Advertiser Direct and Marketing Cloud, to an intimate group attending a recent event hosted by the Millennium Alliance, a forum for marketers coalescing around digital transformation. According to Damian, the key thing organizations need to do today is evolve and adapt. He added, “We want to make sure brands and advertisers don’t get left behind, that they feel empowered, that they know they have a lot of autonomy in this space and the tools to give them a leg up in order to succeed.”

Damian kicked off his presentation by giving an overview of the current state of brand marketing. Damian ​zeroed in on current consumer media consumption habits and the growth of mobile and connected TV. At the moment, Damian noted that certain tech platforms know more about customers than the brands that serve them, which alienates those brands from having more direct relationships with their customers. As a result, access to customer data and knowing how to wield it will be a primary factor that empower marketers to further engage their audiences.

To give attendees deeper insight into potential opportunities, Damian presented three things marketers must prioritize to exercise greater control of the customer experience and improve marketing impact, hence achieving greater autonomy: Precision, waste reduction and measurement. Precision is centered around knowing your customer. One of the first steps is managing your data (via access to a data management platform {DMP}), optimizing it with artificial intelligence, leveraging a cross-device graph that translates who you’re trying to reach by connecting you to the right people across all media, and finally, making it all accessible across all media (connectivity).

Damian noted that the second tactic, waste reduction, isn’t exclusive to saving money or wasted impressions (although that is certainly a part of it). It’s about optimizing the customer journey. With data and technology, you can now see customer interactions from beginning to end, optimize your creative and even get proactive before the campaign runs.

“As a brand marketer, you should be super selfish. You have a lot of power and a significant voice,” Damian said. “Publishers and walled gardens need your advertising spend. So when we talk about waste reduction, we’re talking about using data beyond digital targeting to empower and inform your business.”

Finally, Damian said brands should not be investing in precision and reducing waste without measurement. Methods like multi-touch attribution help measure return on investment at a much more granular level and create impactful end-to-end solutions for businesses.

After talking about each tactic, Damian shared a case study detailing how a global consumer product manufacturer started to lean in and leverage technology to its advantage. The company’s CMO and her team used Nielsen’s buyer-based data, DMP technology, and measurement solutions to accomplish three important goals: activate personalized experiences, construct connected ecosystems and shift to performance marketing. Damian closed his presentation by reiterating to the audience that in order to win in today’s complex world, brands must master precision via activation, quantify marketing impact and most importantly, embrace innovation and change.