Every now and then, the technology industry comes up with something I call a ‘technology no brainer’. That’s how I feel about Advertising Studio and the impact it is having on the advertising industry.
Bear with me, I’m not normally one to bang a drum. The point is, as a marketing and advertising industry lifer I care most about the things that make marketers successful. And for me, this is one of those things that is having an incredible impact on the marketing industry and the results marketers are seeing from their advertising spend. Here’s why.
1. CRM data is Underused by Marketers
Every single marketer I know is sitting on a goldmine – customer data. The power in all of that first party data we collect every minute of every day is waiting to be unleashed onto the world’s largest online advertising platforms. Advertising Studio makes that possible. I know for a fact that Salesforce customers have oceans of data available to them - whether it’s sitting in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud or other systems such as loyalty platforms, e-commerce or point of sale. Digital marketers have been taking advantage of all of this data for years but they’ve been limited in their ability to use it to drive better advertising outcomes. The data is there – but the effort of putting it to work for advertising purposes too often falls into the ‘too hard' basket. Until now.
Marketers now have the opportunity to re-imagine the concept of re-targeting to include advertising as an intrinsic part of the customer journey. Advertising Studio allows marketers to use data they already have on customers to do automatic and specific audience selection on Facebook, Google and Twitter to include those same customers in ad campaigns.
The results we are already seeing are astonishing - as soon as you include advertising in those customer journeys there’s an average 22% lift in conversion.
With Advertising Studio marketers can create incredibly granular audiences – think about the possibilities:
I could provide dozens of examples that our first customers using Advertising Studio are utilising in an automated, programmatic way, every single day – advertising just got sexy again! Especially if you’re a data nerd like me.
And, that just covers advertising to existing customers. Advertising Studio also allows marketers to extend reach with a level of accuracy that was unachievable until recently. Using that same first party data that marketers have at their fingertips they can now buy "look-alike" audiences from leading platforms such as Facebook. Imagine being able to take something as simple as the email address of the Top 5% of your customers and use it to buy a Facebook audience with the same demographic, psychographic, and behavioural profile! Our customers are seeing up to 5X improvement in ad performance when they leverage their first party data to buy specific audiences in this way.
Which brings me to the next big change in the way marketers of the future will operate.
2. Time to Say Goodbye to Spray & Pray Advertising
There’s that classic saying from the 1950s – “One half of my marketing works. I’m just not sure which half.” Even today, marketers can identify with this. Advertising Studio is enabled by a new strategic partnership with Google, Facebook and others. By linking first party data with these dominant media platforms, marketers now have enormous scale AND incredible targeting precision across these third-party properties. Previously you could have one or the other.
Facebook and Google have an incredible amount of data on everybody who’s active on the web. With Advertising Studio "look-a-likes", you can reach more people –the exact right people – without experimentation, without spending more money. Wish granted!
You can imagine the cost savings for marketers. The concept of Precision Marketing has been around for a while but with Advertising Studio we are seeing a massive leap forward in the era of Precision Advertising.
3. Marketers are Obsessed with Cost per Click
And, quite rightly so. We’ve discussed how Advertising Studio’s ability lets you find "look-alike" audiences gives you access to people not listed in your CRM, but whom look like the ones that are. The critical point is that when we talk about "look-alike" customers, we’re referring to people who have the same demographic as existing customers and, therefore, a higher propensity to respond to their marketing messages. CRM integration means you also get to cross-check with your customer data to tune out existing customers from your advertising campaigns.
That means you’re not paying for that person who just bought your product and clicked simply to get more details from your website.
It’s not only a world first that will change the game for marketers but it is reducing wastage for all our customers.
I met several large customers earlier this year who all thought this was a bit “oh hum” – claiming they already did that by managing “exclusion lists”. The simple reality however, is that these exclusions are done by way of cookies, and cookies are all but useless in this day and age. One customer, whom I would classify as extremely diligent in managing exclusion data (how many of us fall in to that category?) was surprised when Advertising Studio reduced wastage by an additional 13% over existing tactics. Imagine what any one of us could achieve with 13% more to spend on ads that work?
When you look at where our customers spend advertising dollars online, Facebook and Google, are by far the most dominant. So, by providing an ability to optimise that spend, we’re really addressing the largest part of where their online marketing dollars are spent and allowing them to get more for their investment. Advertising Studio will pay for itself within weeks simply by recycling wastage into optimised ad spend.
4. Customers Engage with your Brand in Journeys
Evidence of the power marketers can derive simply by thinking about customer journeys is accumulating by the day. According to research by McKinsey & Co, when marketers have structured marketing journeys it results in:
Pretty compelling. We’re already seeing customers adopting our Journey Builder capability and enjoying these remarkable results. Now with Advertising Studio marketers have the ability to automatically include advertising within these Journeys to further amplify business results and customer experience.
5. Marketing and Advertising are No Longer Separate
A recent New York Times article claimed that in the first quarter of 2016, 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising will go to Google or Facebook, according to Brian Nowak, a Morgan Stanley analyst.
It’s all too easy for a growing Marketing department to fall into the habit of silo marketing. Advertising Studio has achieved something quite remarkable here. It’s managed to mesh Mar-tech and Ad-tech to create a place where they co-exist in one environment within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
What I’m excited about is that a lot of marketing teams are usually very divided. Advertising is done by one group of people, digital marketing by another group and CRM-type marketing by another. Advertising Studio lets marketing teams collaborate more closely as they become more aligned. The flow-on effect of that means that customer experience improves dramatically and marketing optimisation goes through the roof.
It’s all about leveraging your first party data, and tying it to third party advertising networks, and then building meaningful multi-touch journeys to get the biggest bang possible from the same marketing dollar.
What marketers and advertisers can look forward to is better customer outcomes, better spend of budget and improved marketing performance across the board. Our early customers are seeing mind-boggling success within days of turning Advertising Studio on. When our customers succeed like this it really is a complete “no brainer”.