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The digital salesmen are coming. Are you ready?

by Mark Gretton

Before he was an advertising legend, David Ogilvy famously worked as a door-to-door salesman for Aga. During that time he wrote a pamphlet titled “The theory and practice of selling an Aga cooker”. It’s a surprisingly good read.

Articulated with his typical bravado, one of the key watch-outs for fellow salesmen was to ‘avoid standardisation in your sales talk. If you find yourself one fine day saying the same things to a bishop and a trapezist, you are done for’.

I’m sure any good salesperson would tell you the key to making a sale is to vary your pitch to reflect the audience’s interests, needs and behaviours. This is common sense, which is hardly worth mentioning. Yet as advertisers, we’ve spent the last 50 to 60 years doing exactly the opposite.

The age of the door-to-door salesman

For a long time, paying humans to sell door-to-door was the most effective solution available. If it wasn’t for the regulation of the door knocking, some industries would still regard this as the most effective form of advertising available to them.

The age of mass media

Then mass media arrived. What mass media lacked in the delivery of the tailored sales pitch it made up for in its cost per impression. Even at incredibly low conversion rates, it delivered more effective results. 

‘Macro-insights’ became the norm, and research centres like Ehrenberg-Bass instilled proof that talking to the many through a singular truth was your best bet at making money from your marketing exploits.

The age of the digital salesman

We’ve now hit a tipping point where the best practices of the door-to-door salesman are reincarnated in to the most modern of guises: Facebook carousel units, dynamic MREC ad banners and YouTube Pre-rolls. 

The key drivers of this change have been:

  1. The ability to track your audiences

    Data management platforms (DMPs) provide the means for advertisers to aggregate data from a range of sources to help track their audiences across the digital landscape. All the big martech and adtech have DMP offerings and are predicting significant growth over the next few years. While DMPs have been around for almost a decade, adoption rates have been slow.

    Thanks to the widespread increase in programmatic inventory, we’re now reaching a point of scale where DMPs are no longer a niche tool, but a must-have source of IP for all businesses.  

  2. New uses of owned data

    The extent to which marketers can now leverage owned data sources (through CRM databases and transactional data), to aggregate customer traits at a device level, is reaching new heights. As DMP use becomes more commonplace, so too will the practice of trading second party audience data among complementary businesses.  

    Take a grocery retailer, for example. They can now share their anonymised audience insights with a banking partner to help better understand where their shoppers are spending their money outside of the supermarket doors. This enables them to unlock new cross-sell marketing approaches.

  3. Personalised messaging

    The combination of dynamic creativity, with a dash of algorithmic logic and artificial intelligence has enabled marketers to bring to life a whole new raft of solutions. These solutions contextualise and personalise customer messaging to make more effective recommendations. These algorithms include: geography, purchase history, time of day, trending products, inventory, perishable goods, personal interest and/or emotion. 

  4. The death of the mass audience

    While it’s still true people watch lots of video content, top rating TV shows now regularly hit fewer than one million viewers. This indicates a shift from the publisher-centric to the comsumer-centric.  This means brands need to take far greater ownership of knowing their own audiences at a data level than ever before.  Every business must learn the art of CRM.

Addressable media which uses data to drive audience-centric narratives is the future. Once DMP technology starts to be more readily utilised by creative minds, data scientists and adtech expertise, we’ll start to see what digital salesmanship at scale can actually do for business.

So how is CHE Proximity armouring up for what’s next?

  1. We have industry first access to a leading dynamic creative platform

    CHE Proximity recently inked an industry-first deal with the USA’s leading dynamic creative platform Spongecell. This gives us the means to quickly and effectively ingest feed-driving data logic, and spin up creative solutions that personalise and contextualise creative content.

  2. We're investing heavily in our data science capability

    Our team of data-scientists is the largest in any agency in Australasia. They enable to gather the insights needed in-house to inform data-driven marketing strategy, write algorithmic logic and monitor and optimise campaign activity. Our in-house DMP and DSP capability is industry leading.

  3. Our in-house DMP and DSP capability is industry leading

    We’ve invested heavily in training to supply our teams with the tools they need to manage new DMPs and programattic media buying. We’re now fully set up to buy and program media targeted to specific contexts and behavioral settings. This in turn is driving more effective optimisation strategies for our clients. 

The digital salesmen are coming.

We’re ready. Are you?

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