“Programmatic is going to be the talk of the town and that's where the budgets will move,” said Arvind Mathur, Product Head, mFilterIt, at the Pitch CMO Summit held on Wednesday. Mathur delivered a keynote session on ‘using technology & data for building brands: challenges and opportunities’.
Mathur started his session talking about the media scene 10 years ago.
“Ten years ago, digital was one of the upcoming media channels while television used to always dominate. But with recent trends, we see the behaviour changing. We even see TV viewing going to OTT and that's where a lot of relevance now comes to what you show and how you engage with your customer,” he said.
“The beauty about digital is that whichever stage you may be at in your customer journey, you will be on the digital platform. Somebody might be buying a car today and they may go to the brand's website, or somebody might be considering buying a car and they will be going to different brands’ websites. Each of these users make a visit to the brand's website.”
He further added that it's important to understand how brands read the data. “If you look at the overall landscape, digital has now become almost a $602 billion industry.In India itself, Rs 30,000 crores is the estimate for this year. And that industry is growing at about 40%. In fact, globally, by 2026, digital will actually become 73% of total brands' online spend, which means it actually will dominate any other kind of online spend without a brand mix in the marketing space.”
Mathur explained that it's important to understand a lot of traffic that we see online today, whether it's users coming in or whether you go to any website, a lot of these visits are made by bots and softwares. Certain parts of these bots are actually good bots- they help you rank higher in SEO- but a lot of these are bad bots as well. Now the difference here is that a good bot would actually come in and declare itself and will actually carry those parameters as part of its own user agent information. But a bad bot will actually hide identities.
“This is a problem that brands need to realize. I think this year brands will lose about $68 billion globally to ad fraud. What this also means is that ad fraud itself has become an industry. It's not a problem, but it's an industry. And every year, we see more and more mature ad frauds coming through, engaging with brands and draining brand budgets.”
Mathur also spoke about programmatic. “Programmatic is going to be the talk of the town and that's where the budgets will move. Programmatic will keep the walled gardens around for the money, because brands will have more options. But what we are really moving towards is also an area that brands still completely don't understand. And there's a lot of legwork required to build in the right level of transparency. The quality of our inventory is purely measured today on viewability metrics. Now when we look at the data closely, what we also realize is that a lot of those impressions or views are actually now coming from a concentrated set of devices. For example, one recent large FMCG campaign saw about 20% impressions being served on two blank websites which had no content.”
According to Mathur, on CTV, if you're actually targeting users on Roku and other devices, even if they switch off the TV, the ads keep displaying on those devices. Now those are issues that need to be addressed with time.
“As the industry matures, as the fraud matures, as advertisers mature, these are areas that need to be looked into.”
“A brand needs to understand that in the entire customer journey, they're spending money on a customer at every stage to actually have that customer stay with the brand. About 60% of that budget is spent on the acquisition journey itself.”
There are multiple issues and the brand needs to understand that these are the risks involved when a brand tries the digital journey. But what's the path ahead? How does the band prepare itself? What kind of opportunities come in?
“So a brand needs to constantly understand at a granular level as to what data they're looking at. Are these data sets spoofed on the basis of business decisions? Are these data sets actually coming from actual customers? Or are these data sets stimulated? So improving the ROI basis on what humans do on your page or on your brand assets is something that's of paramount importance. Further, you can actually integrate the same information into your CRM and into your leads. These are areas or pitfalls which one needs to look out for. They need to protect their businesses around these different domains.”