The Art of Channel Surfing: Storytelling Across Mediums

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Heather Carver, SVP, Seller Accounts, Rubicon Project

Here’s something advertisers can agree on: Digital ad buying has been completely transformed and the automation age is here. More than two-thirds of digital display advertising will be bought programmatically, according to a new report from eMarketer, which also forecasts programmatic spending to surpass $22 billion this year. But, here’s something that is still up for debate: How do we completely transform our approach to storytelling within that automated medium?

As it turns out, automation is only one side of the story. Advertisers have come to embrace both the agility and unique benefits that automation affords, but have little beyond that. Now, we must learn how to leverage programmatic brand storytelling at scale, and understand why it is an advantage for brand building today.

With more data and technology at our fingertips than ever before, questions about how to use it properly and effectively are everywhere. Today, advertisers must go beyond simply utilizing programmatic tools for performance campaigns, and work to broaden their scope in order to effectively build and drive branding campaigns. As our mediums grow more sophisticated and begin to unlock new advertising territories, so too, must our approach to them evolve.

More sophisticated capabilities now enable marketers to solve many of the issues that arise when building a brand campaign. Rather than plug-and-play, advertisers must remember that those tools should play a crucial role in unlocking and achieving overall ad spend goals.

Today, we have a better understanding than ever of how people use different devices and channels, but, we have yet to embrace the necessary bespoke approaches that each of these different mediums require, or how they can work in concert with each other to bring about the most impactful and consistent consumer experience.

We must realize that these advancements will ultimately enhance the brand storytelling experience, both for the information that they give and for the innovation that they facilitate. With the 24 hour, 60 second, 140 character news cycle that we live in today, we must rely on programmatic platforms to offer us insight into what the right time, the right channel, and the right message to engage with consumers truly are. The ability to capture external insight, news, and information is crucial to any real-time and long term branding strategy, so advertisers need to open the doors to allow automation the opportunity to optimize it.

Moreover, automation across channels offers advertisers invaluable post-campaign metrics that help shape the industry’s ideal of what success ultimately looks like. As every tentpole becomes data-centered and every touchpoint in the advertising campaign is quantified, we are growing closer to getting a complete understanding of our target consumer and how to build the best campaign around them.

The more this technology is used to guide and shape brand building efforts, the closer we will get to creating a truly authentic advertising experience. If the ultimate goal is engagement with our audience, it’s time for advertisers to meaningfully engage with the tools that will allow us to do so.

Be sure to check out "The Art of Channel Surfing: Storytelling Across Mediums," Tuesday, September 27 at 9:45am at the ADARA Stage at Times Center Hall.

About the Author

As Senior Vice President of Seller Accounts, Heather oversees seller revenue and partnerships for North America. Heather was formerly a VP and Director, handling strategic oversight for accounts such as News Corp, BBC and Triad. Prior to joining Rubicon Project, Heather worked on the publisher side of the business at Snagajob.com and Match Media (IAC) managing yield, ad ops and business relationships with third party monetization and ad technology partners.