A lesson from ad tech

Media mix optimization has become increasingly complex as advertisers plug into a growing selection of ad exchanges and harness the technologies created to take advantage of the new inventory. DMPs (data management platforms) in particular have been a blessing for advertisers aiming to drive as much qualified traffic as possible at the lowest possible price. The algorithmic spend optimization inherent in DMPs ensures that marketers need only plug into yet another ad network or managed service and let their DMP guide their DSP (Demand Side Platform) to optimal spend allocation based on predefined CPA goals and audience targets. 

Interestingly, the enthusiasm around ad optimization has highlighted a gap in on-site app optimization. With the rise of ad technologies there has been a similarly impressive rise of web apps that seek to optimize the experience after a user lands on a web page. Utilizing data from a variety of sources from social channels to in-store customer data these tools play an important role in the marketer’s toolset. 

The sheer lack of tools and innovation dedicated to measuring the impact of onsite apps compared to the resources dedicated to measuring the impact of placing a bid on site A rather than site B is puzzling. Many marketers have no strategy in place to judge the impact of one app versus another - they simply run several apps at once and hope for the best. That’s like serving ads on 10 different networks without measuring how much each channel contributed to conversions.

A (More) Complete Picture

Digital ad spend is on pace to hit $137.53 billion in 2014 – that’s a 15% increase from 2013. With the amount of money being poured into digital advertising it’s worth ensuring that those extra dollars aren’t being spent in vain.  In order to maximize total marketing spend a holistic view of all efforts including both advertising and onsite applications is needed to properly allocate marketing budget—and effectively argue when an increase in one channel’s spend is required.  Just as digital ad spend rocketed with attribution it will be a lot easier to hire a dedicated content or social media strategist when marketers can demonstrate the monetary value of doing so. 

For a complete view of attribution marketers must compare elements as disparate as the ‘revenue generated by a DMP driven ad strategy’ and ‘how many new customers a social recommendation app drove.’ Without a proper way to marry these two elements marketers are working in the dark, blindly setting budgets without anything beyond a hunch. Sounds to me like display advertising circa 1995.


For more information see how Qubit uses qualitative and quantitative data analysis to identify the optimal marketing mix for businesses including Burton and Topshop.