Centro Attends the Modern Marketing Summit: Takeaways from 2017

Brand and agency marketers descended on Chicago last week for the Midwest outpost of the Modern Marketing Summit. Attendees connected over what’s new and exciting and challenging in today’s digital industry, with a particular focus on how evolving technology is affecting retail, CPG, and QSR marketing.

As with any conference, there were larger, common themes and hot topics discussed – and we’re highlighting some below:

Mobile data partners should carefully evaluate the collection of app data.
It’s a joint effort: Mobile data partners that offer mobile advertising audiences and the brands and marketers that leverage them need to be cognizant of how data is being collected on mobile users. This must be done with regard for user permissions, and they must work to understand the collection process – whether it be data that comes directly from publishers or from app SDKs they have access to.

Brands have been adopting advertising-based forms of artificial intelligence for years.
AI is defined as the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Technically, adoption of AI dates back to when brands and marketers started executing search engine marketing and, after, the rise of programmatic and optimizations of programmatic tech learning over time.

Despite the expectations for AI, humans will continue to lead the digital advertising selling process.
Some hypothesize that the advancement of AI will result in the loss of digital media jobs that are currently occupied by people. However, panelists discussing the topic contended that tactful sell-in of media concepts and strategic evaluations of media will continue to require human oversight. Qualitative optimizations will also require human thinking, so it’s more likely jobs will evolve in the space rather than be lost to AI.

Ads aren’t made for the sake of serving impressions, but for reaching people.
Clients put so much focus on using technology and algorithms to hit KPIs, while forgetting that no matter how digitally-focused today’s world may be, the goal of digital ads remains the same: reach human beings. This means that ads must speak to us – not just by reaching the right individuals, but by identifying and speaking to us at meaningful moments in our day.

Saying you need big data doesn’t mean you know what to do with it.
One panelist cited an IBM study where approximately 70% of surveyed CMOs said they wanted to invest in programmatic media — except roughly the same percentage of those surveyed CMOs identified themselves as not truly knowing what programmatic was. A similar (though perplexing) comparison can be drawn for marketers and brands wanting big data, but not knowing what they want it for. Organizations may want to try putting less emphasis on amassing large sums of data, and instead focus on building infrastructure or resources that digest data into insights. Even if it’s on a smaller level, the insights and intelligence they gather will help to solve client problems.

Brands should focus on the collection of CRM data.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but there’s no denying the value of collecting high-quality CRM data for audience targeting. A panelist from Kellogg’s noted the brand’s constant effort to collect CRM data and constantly refresh their large and growing data set. In order to make their robust first-party data work harder and more powerfully, the brand consistently interacts with their existing customer base by offering them new reasons to stay in touch. This ensures high-value customers remain actively engaged and primed for new ad campaign messaging.