PI Live: Using Channel Optimisation to Enhance Marketing Strategy

Read Time: 4 Minutes 30 Seconds

At this year’s virtual PI Live Global our Head of Product Development Fred Maude was joined by Lily’s Kitchen eCommerce Director Michelle Corp, and Channel 4’s Digital Programmatic Lead Alex Wright, to discuss cross-channel data and how to enhance your marketing strategy.

Within the session, Fred, Michelle and Alex highlighted the importance of a cross-channel mix, focusing on evaluation, analytics and partnerships. As we move into a somewhat uncharted holiday season, this presentation provides the perfect overview of why channel optimisation should be at the heart of your business strategy going forward.

Evaluation

Primarily speaking, advertisers should start by evaluating the current and existing channels that they operate – identifying opportunities and gaps, whilst asking themselves questions such as ‘What is our brand deploying’ and ‘How are we reaching our audience’. As Fred pointed out, one of the biggest issues surrounding channel marketing is the overall lack of evaluation. Advertisers don’t necessarily realise what areas or channels that they are missing, and end up sticking with what they already know, thereby missing out on a substantial volume of potential. Fred then discussed how the issues we often see are surrounding the methods brands use to measure channel performance. Frequently we see advertisers operating on the last click model which  naturally doesn’t work with every channel. A solution to this issue would be to drive advertisers towards data-driven attribution which fairly credits each area relevant to their performance.

The conversation then moved to channel optimisation, led by Michelle, who discussed how channels should be thought of both independently and holistically. Advertisers need to be evaluating what channels they can use and how they can be used together, whilst aligning with brand objectives and remaining within budget. Brands should also be including a full funnel mix within their strategy, creating good content to attract specific audiences in specific sections of the funnel. All channels resonate well with different sections of the funnel, so providing advertisers are well informed on what’s happening across the board with their channels, they should be able to guarantee full funnel coverage within their strategy.

Whilst Michelle emphasised the importance of evaluation and identifying opportunities, as a brand, she also stressed the importance of brand privacy and protection policies. Going into 2021, advertisers need to be completely transparent with their methods, aligning with, and being open to their users and customers. Everybody has a very different view on data protection and it’s completely dependent on specific company needs. However, when brands look at their funnel and the people they want to work with, they need to be challenging what their audience is telling them, making sure that cookies are inline with data retention and ensuring compliance accuracy.

Analytics

The topic of ‘trusting in analytics’ and the importance of data collection was brought up. Whilst recent events in the world have led to drastic changes in both consumer behaviour and demand – with unforeseen spikes in retail, shopping habits and platforms – the data analytics game has remained fairly consistent. Although change itself will always happen (and rapidly in a digital space), Fred discussed how by ensuring one’s data strategy is set up correctly, advertisers can guarantee that their analytics will work seamlessly, independent of how quick the changes around them are. The first way advertisers can do this, is through identifying their position on the data maturity framework, and subsequently earning the right to break out their data. 

Fred then went on to explore the four stages, or points, in which advertisers should view their data: initially through the analysis of data accuracy and consistency (across all channels), followed by first-party data (margin data, LVA analysis etc), third-party data (competitor comparison, business data etc.) and finally ensuring that you’re overlaying this with your customer data. Things are changing, and will continue to change at a rapid pace, advertisers need to respond to this by fully integrating themselves across all parts of their business, ultimately trusting their analytics to build the best possible picture of their business. If advertisers collect, build and automate, then they’re guaranteed an edge over their competitors.

The conversation then swung to that of GDPR compliance, and the concerns surrounding the legislation and data collection. Fred discussed how, although back in the day we could be much more granular with our targeting, Google are now launching their own solutions (such as Ads DataHub)  to target this, and advertisers can still access fairly granular data.

The panel was closed with a focus on what advertisers can expect to see in the holiday season and the start of 2021. Fred took the lead on this topic, raising a secondary question discussing the implications that the lockdown sales spike might have on the volume of sales anticipated later on in the year – in particular on Black Friday and the lead up to Christmas. Have consumers already spent their disposable income for the year, or will we still see a huge amount of revenue generated from festive shopping? Whilst Fred’s closing statement declared that he doesn’t expect to see as much growth this year as we’ve seen in the last couple of years, only time will tell.