2015: Year of the Customer – Part 4

This Year's Programmatic Trends Around the Globe

In our previous articles, we kicked off a series of posts that explore the key trends in programmatic and e-commerce for 2015, as explained by our leadership team. Read
Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 first if you need to catch up. This article is the final part of the series.

Advanced Attribution & Analytics

The multitude of advertising channels available today creates incredible opportunities for advertisers. However, it also complicates a precise measurement of returns – an obstacle that can be overcome by means of employing refined attribution and analytics logics. While markets differ with regard to sophistication of the methods used to attribute credit for marketing success, everyone seems to agree that it’s high time that the last-click attribution model hit the road. 2015 is the year when our leadership expects to see the market-leading advertisers move beyond the last-click to more subtle and accurate attribution models. Instead of attributing all credit to the final click before the transaction, advertisers are increasingly employing customer journey models that assign different weights to clicks that happened across the purchase cycle.

Gavin Wilson, MD Northern & Southern Europe, points out that “the last click approach doesn’t consider attributing across bricks and clicks. Through smarter attribution models, partners can work together in the interest of brand and customer, as opposed to ‘channel competition’.”

Karsten Müller, MD DACH, goes even further by stressing that “with more and more advertisers analyzing their customer journey, 2014 marks the downfall of the last click.” He adds that 2015 will be all about dynamic attribution, more sophisticated models and long-term CLV optimization.

Miguel Ochoa, MD Spain, further explains this trend: “The combination of new possibilities of segmentation, many more technological partners and an increasing number of complex traffic sources creates a lot of challenges. At the same time, advertisers this complexity offers equally great opportunities for smart marketers to delight customers and grow their businesses. Technology is a marketer’s best friend in order to gain visibility and assign correspondent values to each channel – gone is the time when the only resource to make an attribution decision was the last click.”

Rohit Kumar, MD APAC, summarizes this quite well by concluding that “advanced e-commerce players across the globe will switch to more sophisticated tools for attribution, moving away from the archaic and flawed last click model.”

The industry’s move away from the last-click model seems omnipresent across the globe. It will be interesting to see how the customer journey continues in 2015.

A Growing Emphasis on Loyalty

One of the classic business growth debates principles relates to the cost-efficiencies associated with keeping existing customers as compared to acquiring new ones. Through continuously improving targeting options, advertisers have more and more possibilities to tailor messaging to their existing customer base. Similar to evolving attribution logics, this trend certainly spans across the globe.

Ochoa points out that “long and more valuable relationships with the customer make marketing budgets more efficient.” He claims that relevant communication with the user is the key to success and recommends a shift in focus towards customer lifetime value by optimizing strategies, solutions and targeting methods for existing customers.

The situation in Russia is currently a bit more complicated in light of the country’s economic crisis. According to Michael Balakin, MD Russia, the current state will only elevate the need for customer loyalty campaigns as people are prone to buy less, be more price sensitive and picky. He stresses that successful e-commerce players will have to “understand their customers better, keep them loyal and grow retention levels and customer lifetime value.”

Latin America, in contrast, is still impacted by the aftermath of the World Cup. While the event had a significant positive impact on e-commerce, after the factthe social, political and economic situation remains challenging according to Francisco Morales, MD LATAM. He believes that, given the stagnation in growth in countries like Brazil, advertisers should be more concerned about profits rather than expansion. He emphasizes that “stressing the need for profitability while the e-commerce business is growing by around 20 percent might lead to a focus on retention of the most valuable customers. Combining the use of smart data with retargeting will be a chance for advertisers to get the tailored and relevant message to the right client and make sure their most valuable customers stay.”

Finally, in the US, North American president JB Brokaw is convinced that due to the amount of choices consumers have, loyalty is fleeting. He adds that “brands have to work harder than ever to avoid losing customers to the next ‘shiny object.’ Brands will need to fight harder than ever to achieve customer loyalty in 2015 as consumers have significantly raised their expectations when it comes to brand relationships. If brands aren’t committed to creating meaningful, personalized experiences for their customers, they run the risk of losing those customers to the competition.”

In light of these clear statements from around the world, it seems safe to say that 2015 will be a time when advertisers invest more in delighting their existing customers amidst ever-increasing competition for digital eyes, clicks and buys.

In Conclusion

Online? Offline? In 2015, marketers will stop thinking so much about the division between channels and devices, and focus instead on the customer. Customers don’t think about discrepancy between devices and channels — they just browse, shop, read and react. Which is why marketers need to use technology, data and insights to help them reach those customers at the right time and place, with the right message. Programmatic technologies will help marketers to put the data to work to achieve just that.