$68 billion will be invested in digital media this year. That’s more than three times what’s being spent on the marketing technology used to processes the data generated by such media investment.
As we’re all aware, much of this media spend goes to waste. In fact, a recent survey from Wakefield Research highlighted how 96% of B2B marketers believe that B2B advertising reaches a large volume of people outside target audiences. And 71% believe that B2B media frequently fails to meet expectations. Moreover, Integrate’s own research as identified that on average 40% of media-generated leads falls short of B2B database requirements.
Marketers obviously need to find ways to better coordinate media buys and optimize how the resulting data. In fact, this is a core focus of demand orchestration. And it’s one that will be addressed largely through the adoption of new marketing technologies.
However, the marketers buying the media are just one side of the equation. A majority of marketing organizations still rely greatly on the expertise and trusted audiences of media companies and data providers, which become a pivotal conduit to the all-important prospects needed to fill sales pipeline. If this conduit isn’t up to speed with the rest of the funnel – automated by marketing automation, CRM, predictive analytics, etc. – it suppresses the total return on that $68 billion dollars.
Helping media and data companies run their businesses and serve their marketer clients more effectively benefits the industry as a whole. Unfortunately, most MarTech vendors cater almost entirely to brands.
It’s true, the needs of media companies differ from those of marketers. But this doesn’t mean that current MarTech doesn’t present any value to them. As the pace of marketing tech’s evolution increases, media companies and data providers will need to find ways to keep up with accelerating marketer demands. And the in-house, legacy systems used by many media and data providers will unlikely be able to keep pace due to integration issues and a lack of the same agility that cloud solutions provide.
Common media and data provider obstacles
Examining top-funnel data acquisition challenges and evaluating marketing tech’s ability to solve them is the first step to optimizing media spend. Here are a few media and data provider issues easily solved by current marketing tech capabilities:
- Media companies and data providers often gain little-to-no feedback from their clients regarding how their programs performed. The only indication is a media-buy renewal or additional data services.
- Disputes over lead gen tracking derail campaigns and can destroy relationships with clients.
- Data acquired during successful media programs can’t be easily mined to replicate success, build use cases, and acquire more clients.
- Data quality (accuracy, completeness, validity) is left to manual review and often allows substandard leads to pass through.
- Acquiring, aggregating, scrubbing and delivering data to clients takes too much time and slows clients’ lead velocity.
- Campaigns across all clients remain fragmented, hindering holistic lead gen management and thus adequate lead pacing and campaign deliverability.
- Managing relationships with all marketing clients (as well as other third-party data providers) is cumbersome, time-consuming and prone to miscommunication.
What can media and data providers gain from emerging MarTech?
Media companies work diligently to provide B2B demand generation marketers the leads and data required to engage prospects and grow sales pipeline. But they must also align clients’ program execution with their own, internal efficiency and profitability. Unfortunately, the typical marketer’s tech stack doesn’t highly benefit media company concerns, because most tech stacks are used almost entirely for post-lead-acquisition processes.
Media and data providers require tech solutions that facilitate top-funnel, prospect-acquisition processes: holistic campaign management and analysis, communication tools, centralized creative/asset repositories, billing, lead scrubbing and normalization, automated data injection into marketer databases (marketing automation and CRM systems), feedback reporting, etc. All of these tasks consume time and a substantial amount of resources, which could be better spent executing campaigns and engaging new clients.
Unfortunately, there’s a gap between media and marketing that’s typically bridged by time-consuming, manual efforts. This rift allows for human error and costs media and data providers money in the form of failed execution.
All media and data vendors have been in the position of syndicating the wrong white paper, targeting the wrong accounts or job titles, formatting lead files incorrectly, using an outdated banner, zip-code preset, etc., simply because as campaign information and creative and content assets were shipped across the great ocean dividing media from marketing, a human mistake was made.
Top-funnel MarTech for media and data providers: what to look for?
Marketers are better served when their media and data vendors can focus on providing them highly refined data, quickly. This requires the seamless transfer of information between marketer and media/data company systems and continuous campaign optimization. Finding a solution that better incorporates media and data provider operations within the marketer’s internal systems while reducing dependence on manual processes is a win across the board.
So what should they look for? A top-funnel system for media and data providers should:
- Provide centralized management of all client campaigns and allow for accurate pacing and deliverability.
- Validate, scrub and deduplicate data/leads before ever being sent over to marketer databases to ensure data integrity and further eliminate manual tasks (for media companies and marketers).
- Have established APIs with multiple systems (especially marketing automation and CRM systems) to enable automated, real-time data upload to client databases for immediate nurturing and/or sales follow-up.
- Connect media efforts deep into the sales funnel (ideally it would go from expressed interest to close) to provide media and data partners with significant insight regarding targeting needs as well as program performance results.
- Provide contract management — for automated and standardized insertion orders – as well as communication tools that speed up the transmission of information.
- House all content and assets in a central library that organizes creative for quick access and to reduce the possibility of error.
Finding the right tech solution that ties media and data provider efforts to marketing processes isn’t just about minimizing mistakes and easing media/data company pain, it’s also about generating opportunity: the opportunity to optimize efforts and data value by accessing the same information that marketers are cultivating with their marketing technologies. Most importantly, though, it’s about the opportunity to prove the results and value of the media and data investment itself.