Almost everywhere we go at the moment, brands are talking about wanting to ‘omnichannel’. Ok, maybe we are not hearing the specific phrase, “YO, I want to Omnichannel”, but what we are hearing a lot of, is that brands are wanting to advertise in a smarter way to users across multiple devices.

We think this is great!

However, what we are often seeing is fragmented media planning across multiple devices, without a cohesive plan to move consumers through the marketing funnel, with appropriate messaging based on variables such as: Have we shown this consumer this ad before; Has the consumer interacted with us already; Is this consumer already a customer, and; Has this consumer ignored us enough times already, and so on.

Often, media plans are developed for brands utilising multiple publishers, ad networks, performance media partners and the agency group’s very own programmatic media trading desk. Each media partner is given a set of variables and rules under which their campaigns are run, such as audience type targeting, frequency capping and device type. But the real problem here is, typically, that there is not a whole lot of real-time data analysis going on that influence decisions as they happen. Why is this?

It all boils down to one critical factor.

Brands are not controlling their own technology stack.

We have seen some pretty amazing ad technology products developed over the past ten years and, frankly, some not-so-amazing ad technology products.

We are reaching a point in ad technology where companies are choosing to go down one of two main paths. The first path – let’s call this one the ‘blue pill’ – being that, as an ad technology company grows, they continue to ad multiple products into their offering and do everything they can to ‘encourage’ an advertiser to use all of their products together. What this does is start to create a siloed and closed environment for performing the advertising function.

The second path – the ‘red pill’ – sees ad technology companies sticking to their core product and, through open API’s, allowing their product to interact and connect with many other ad technology products.

So, the blue pill, or the red pill?

In our opinion, and in most cases, brands need to be placing greater value on the red pill. In utilising multiple technologies that readily and easily connect with other ad technologies to create the best ad technology stack for your purposes; one built specifically for your brand’s marketing goals. Call it future-proofing. As your knowledge and expertise grows, your expectations will increase. However, there is an important additional factor to consider in taking this pill. The more technologies that you start to ad into the stack, the more expensive your stack becomes. Thus, for some brands, the blue pill can offer some cost advantages, which may be a prime consideration for some.

All these factors need to be taken into consideration through effective strategic planning, and being very clear about your specific goals and needs as a brand. Whatever pill you’re thinking about taking, let us help to ensure you don’t suffer from any unforeseen nasty side effects!

Next week we will take a closer look at what might go into a brand technology stack.