The IAB has said 70 percent viewability is what advertisers should accept as the best possible ad viewability. Robert Rose wants to know why “we’re willing to accept a 30 percent tax on our media buy just because that’s as good as it’s gonna get.”
Rose was keynoting the FUSE Enterprise summit in Philadelphia, speaking to marketing executives who were there to learn about branded content technologies. And it quickly became clear that viewability and blocking are major digital blockades that just don’t apply to content marketing.
Content Outside the Marketing Box
It used to be, half of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half, explained Rose. Now, he said, it’s “half of my advertising is blocked, I just don’t know which half.”
And the answer to that, according to Rose, is content. Because a well-developed content marketing program is truly opt-in — they’re choosing to invest that time with you — and not reliant on advertising units that could be shut down by everything from GDPR to the Web browsers themselves.
However, the kid of content that it takes to get that kind of buy-in, is not the kind of content most marketers are creating.
“We’re still thinking of content as an extension of our other activities,” said Rose. “We should be thinking about it as a product in itself, as a thing that provides value in order to attract customers.”
In the world of controlled-circulation B2B publishing that “free” publications like Target Marketing operate in, I often think of what we do as trading our content for our audience’s time and attention. Even though the content (like this blog) does not directly generate revenue, it generates the audience (yes, that’s you) our sponsors want to reach, and hopefully a few readers who want to pay for things like our Content Marketing Master Classes.
The content is a product, even though it’s available for free.
Rose is saying that’s he attitude all content marketers need to adopt as well.
But it’s hard to do, because unlike publishers who’ve been operating like this for decades, content marketers still think of content marketing the same way they think of paid advertising.
Why Marketing Tech Becomes a Spam Gun
Conway’s law: “Organizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures.”
That’s an axiom from the world of software development, but Rose sees it applying to marketers, too. “We design strategy not by where we want to go, but rather where the capabilities of technology tell us we can go.”
The gag is, if you can break out of that box, the technology is available today to enable just about anything you dream up.
“If you can dream it, I promise you the technology is there to help you develop it,” said Rose. “The technology today is that good; our capabilities have been expanded.”
But like the new leads from Glengarry Glennross, we just don’t always know what to do with it.
“Most people who buy marketing automation systems simply use it as a spam gun,” said Rose, noting that Only 26 percent of marketers with marketing automation systems fully use them.
How to Build a Tech Stack That Works
One of the main obstacles here is that implementing good systems, and good tech, and good systems for setting up the good tech, is all time consuming and requires cross-departmental communication. Cooperation, even!