Efficiency is always important in marketing, never more so than now. Where does Adnami find those efficiencies at the production end of the process?
The whole idea of Adnami was born out of a pain related to efficiencies, and the process of buying digital inventory for high impact formats. That was a painful job, and still is to many people in the industry. High impact formats are still fragmented across media titles and the marketplace. What we are able to allow advertisers and publishers to do is trade high impact advertising at scale, just as they would standard display.
With Adnami, you can repurpose the same creative across the entire media plan. That is driving cost savings and it means people are saving a lot of time from emailing back and forth with the creative agency. It also creates efficiencies from a buying perspective, because you don’t need to generate multiple different versions of the same creative and upload those to the buying platform.
Why has it taken so long for high impact ads to get a standardisation solution?
It’s almost like a paradox, because part of the point of high impact is that it is unstandardised. But it is to do with the fact that it requires a tailored solution for each domain that you want it to work on. It’s not a switch-on button for the entire universe of publishers. There is an onboarding process involved to make it work. You need to align the formats to each specific environment. Different images, widths of content placements – you need to take a lot of things into account.
I also don’t think tech companies have done a very good job of being easy to work with over the years – everything becomes almost like an IT project. Anyone who can offer tools or technology that can untangle the complexity of digital media at the moment is in a good place, because the industry has developed to become very complex. You need to be an educated specialist in order to buy a simple campaign. That’s why Google and the social media platforms are winning and attracting budgets from so many small- to medium-sized businesses – because it’s so convenient, it’s so easy to do.
What does digital represent to advertisers now, after some highly disruptive times?
Digital is shifting, and I think the shift is being fuelled by some bigger trends. Audiences are disappearing very quickly from traditional branding channels such as TV, out of home, radio, print, and the pandemic has accelerated that change. Then there’s the whole transformation we are all forced to go through around data, privacy, cookies and GDPR and all these things.
One consequence is that advertisers need to find digital alternatives to make an impact on their upper-funnel KPIs. They are looking for awareness and attention, ad recall and consideration from digital formats, where historically digital has been used as more of a tactical instrument for driving towards conversions. That’s flipping a little bit, so digital is increasingly being seen as an instrument for driving upper-funnel KPIs.
How do advertisers make that bigger brand impact in digital?
We obviously see a shift towards more impactful digital advertising. By far the biggest contributor to driving sales for advertisers has always been and will always be the creative, the content itself. We have a tagline that great creative deserves a great canvas. The better the canvas you have, the richer the capabilities, the more space you have to express yourself, to communicate your brand message.
Research tells us that creative execution contributes 56% of sales generated from digital advertising. So this is the other efficiency we provide: we create a canvas for ads that work better and generate stronger results.
Where digital is characterised by the relatively small, square, flat formats, one-dimensional, high impact is more three-dimensional. It’s full of rich media capabilities and it takes up more space. You can communicate more eye-catching, attention-grabbing creatives, and also more complex messages, rather than just being a background, a logo, a call to action.
How do you see online advertising evolving over the coming years?
I expect to see the continued growth of mobile and video from a creative point of view. Within our very rich media-driven category, rather than just putting video into display, video in a high impact unit is just a much richer experience to the end user. It’s almost like a TVC – much more powerful than a typical online video unit, a pre-roll.
In general, I hope we will see better and fewer ads. I think many publishers are taking a stance against that volume game that we have seen in the past decade, where it’s been a matter of driving impressions, and the data and programmatic would do the rest.
From a sell-side point of view, it makes very good sense to serve fewer ads that deliver better results. But I also think it makes sense from a buying perspective. Buying ads in a less cluttered environment, you don’t need a PhD to guess that’s probably going to give you a better outcome as an advertiser.
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