At its 2016 Summit in Las Vegas, Adobe announced several new services meant to address one of the most significant enigmas facing marketers these days: How do you measure marketing reach and impact with on-demand content consumers?
The announcements are noteworthy -- even if your business is not a partner of Adobe -- because these challenges affect businesses of all sizes.
I am partly responsible for contributing to this marketing enigma, as our family "cut the cable cord" (no longer subscribes to a cable service) almost four years ago. Since then, we have streamed exclusively through Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. When we need live coverage, such as for March Madness or breaking news, we turn to Sling TV -- but even then, we rarely use the service due to our contempt with commercials.
And with the retirement of Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World, commercials just became more unbearable.
Although cord-cutters are no longer consuming advertising on television, we are still being reached through digital marketing strategies online and via mobile. The challenge has and continues to be how marketers measure the impact of these campaigns. Complicating the matter is the fact that we are consuming content and advertising on multiple devices, across multiple platforms -- sometimes simultaneously on multiple screens.
Nielsen ratings were always a little suspect -- now they seem to be entirely limited and outdated.
Adobe’s new services seem to be addressing this challenge and assisting marketers' needs while better addressing the behaviors of consumers. Again, even if your business does not utilize any of the services, the underlying message and industry direction the company is setting are strategies all brands need to consider.
In today’s quickly evolving digital landscape, brands and marketers need to consider the following.
1. People-based marketing
Adobe suggests that marketers first stop prioritizing strategies around the complicated web of marketing channels, or "device-based" marketing, and instead keep focus on the customer, or "people-based" marketing.
Marketers still need to consider cross-device channels, but by focusing on and creating consistent, personalized experiences to customers across these devices, brands can have a deeper and more meaningful impact.
2. Impact measurement
Because business audiences are consuming content across multiple devices and multiple platforms, measuring reach is difficult. Brands need to stay on top of current technologies and trends that will allow their teams to effectively evolve with their respective industries.
Through a partnership with comScore, Adobe now provides one of these technologies, which is meant to assist brands in achieving consistent, cross-device audience measurement of video and ad content while providing advanced insights into consumer-viewing behaviors. All of this assists and improves media planning and buying.
3. Direct-to-consumer experiences
Today, consumers expect (rightly or wrongly) to find the information they need in an instant -- and for the most part, there is very little reason why they cannot. This expectation is also changing how we view advertising, as we are slowly starting to expect that our advertising fall in line with our content, in that they are consistent with and better address our interests and needs.
While there are plenty of services that can assist marketers to customize their advertising campaigns -- Facebook, for example, allows you to narrow an advertisement's target audience down to a specific age, location and color preference (I made that last one up) -- Adobe's new streaming platform, built using Adobe Primetime, now provides brands the ability to provide direct-to-consumer television and ad experiences.
4. Data science capabilities
Most marketers understand that data and analysis provide the keys to making the best, highest impact marketing decisions. This means businesses need to take control of their data and be able to analyze it.
While there are many data services available to businesses, Adobe continues to innovate and combine the creative aspects of human intelligence with the analytical power of data science and the company’s existing features to give brands the ability to take control of their own data, analyze it more effectively and ultimately make better marketing decisions.
Overcoming -- or at least corralling -- the challenge of managing advertising campaigns for people like me, who consume content and advertising almost exclusively on-demand will take time. And as technologies change and evolve, so too will consumers' preferences and, hence, the challenge for brands and technology companies to keep up.
Personally, I plan staying ahead of the technology and continuing to avoid commercials -- at least, that is, until balance is returned to the universe with the new Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World.