Commentary

Cross-Screen Magic And The Future Of Media

We have all grown weary of the industry buzzwords, acronyms, and pretentious geek-speak of what the digital future will look like, and how it will deliver on the promise of a better, more connected future. The perennial period drama “Mad Men” pokes clever fun at our industry's obsessive drive to reinvent the wheel through ambiguous ambition and overblown ideas that generate buzz and affluence but rarely materialize as common-sense utility for people.

In the cross-screen, always-on world of today, there is a unique opportunity facing digital marketers and their media partners that we will explore in more depth at the upcoming IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace conference. We have ignored the lesson of supply and demand, undervalued our inventory to the extreme, and ignored the concept of scarcity. We have reached a point in our evolution where we can take a step back and connect the dots by taking the vast amount of data at our disposal and aggregating and analyzing the way media is bought, sold, and delivered to electronic devices.

Automation enables media publishers, brands, and agencies to apply data to inventory in order to make optimization and creative decisions more efficient and faster than ever. This is cross-screen magic in action: cost-effective campaigns that perform across all devices and platforms, and the analytical tools to quantify and qualify success on a per-channel basis. It's the closest, most personal way we can speak to people across all mediums. It's about delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

At BPN, and even more largely across IPG Mediabrands, we're utilizing automation to deliver relevant messaging to the media multitasker who is simultaneously watching a live sports event on TV, following a Twitter feed, and surfing online. Automation technology enables advertisers to sequence-out their multiple touchpoints to where creative and media meet -- banner ads, Twitter feeds, and 30-second TV spots synchronize so people are directly impacted while they are in a receptive environment.

Today's sophisticated consumers want their favorite brands to be in all places all at once. According to Forrester Research, 71 percent of consumers expect cross-channel, personalized messaging in their shopping experience as they interact with brands. In a recent report issued by IPG Media Lab/BPN, and Collective, multi-screen advertising offers opportunities for brands to drive key metrics, with almost three-quarters of the media-using population viewing daily content on more than just their TVs. In addition, 60 percent of people look at secondary devices during TV advertising breaks, and viewer attention can easily switch from one screen to another, enabling advertisers to laser-target consumers and create a fully realized experience.

We are in an automation revolution, and the technology innovations that are creating true groundswells are the technology companies that are filling in the cracks and creating true utility in the digital infrastructure that currently exists. The industry-wide adoption of programmatic and automation technology promises a level of efficiency and performance that is unprecedented for agencies and media companies and is a central focus for IPG Mediabrands over the next two years,

Think of Facebook’s genius mobile expansion by acquiring Whatsapp. This isn’t a divergent strategy; it’s an obvious play to fill in the cracks of Facebook’s already established messaging capabilities and expand even more deeply into the wildly popular smartphone messaging market. It’s about creating added utility and value for people. Simply said, it’s about connecting the dots.

We have such amazing consumer-facing products and services on the market. Instead of getting lost in the “Mad Men” world of “fashionable scarcity,” it’s time to focus on how to bring people what they want in a faster, more relevant way instead of creating new linear paths in every direction.

We no longer need to be an industry of disparate parts, but rather, a synchronized marketplace that can use automation to bring messaging to people to create truly meaningful experiences. The conversations that will happen at the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace will spotlight the tools at our disposal to deliver on the promise of cross-screen, multiplatform connectivity, and we can finally turn those annoyingly persistent buzzwords into reality.

We’re making the world a better place through our aggressive use of technology, and this time it’s for real.

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