Programmatic is expected to be 66% of total display spends by 2020: ZOG

ZenithOptimedia Group and Google has just concluded the first ever Zoogle Day in India. The digital marketing event focussed was on the micro-moments that are arising everyday in the lives of consumers, given their shift to mobile.

Craig Greenfield, COO, Performics Worldwide, part of ZenithOptimedia Group, and Tanmay Mohanty, Managing Director, Performics and Resultrix, share their insights on the growth of performance marketing, rise of big data, creating a lasting connect with consumers and more. Excerpts:

Adgully (AG): Please tell us about the scale of Performics globally and plans/ projections.

Craig Greenfield (CG):  Performics is the performance marketing arm of ZenithOptimedia and operates within the Publicis Groupe. We’re also an independent global performance marketing AOR. We are now in 41 countries, the most recent being South Africa, Greece, Indonesia, Argentina and Czech Republic. We continue to be focused on corporate development through acquisitions, new offices and strategic alliances. Latin American is a region seeing incredible digital growth and one that we are watching closely. We continue to be focused on corporate development through acquisitions, new offices and strategic alliances. We’ll continue to focus around our competitive advantages. We have a top global footprint amongst performance marketing agencies. We support projects in 50 global offices with various models depending on business need (central, local, and hybrid). 20 per cent of clients run multinational campaigns. Our practice is built upon capturing and converting consumer intent. Our strength is understanding intent at each decision point to deliver relevant experiences that drive performance.

We will continue to grow as a network in APAC to meet client needs, so the focus is to make sure all our markets have a consistent skill set around biddable and actionable media, as well as the capabilities in data insights. There can be no weak link in our network when driving sales for our clients. All markets in APAC have had a tremendous growth, and this will continue. In mature markets such as Australia, we have made strategic acquisition in FirstClick Consulting, to maintain and build on our strong product in that market. We will continue to grow as a network in APAC to meet client needs, so the focus is to make sure all our markets have a consistent skill set around biddable and actionable media, as well as the capabilities in data insights. There can be no weak link in our network when driving sales for our clients. 

All markets in APAC have had a tremendous growth, and this will continue. In mature markets such as Australia, we have made strategic acquisition in FirstClick Consulting, to maintain and build on our strong product in that market. ASEAN as Region has done a great job of unifying in the past five years, as they realised that together they were stronger and were able to compete better with the larger markets such as India and China. Performics has taken the same approach, by working as close network with offices in Singapore, Manila, HCMC, Bangkok and of course the recently opened Jakarta office. Growth has been significant working on key clients Nestle, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Sanofi as well as winning new business Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Acer.

AG: Where is India’s place among other international markets?

Both India and China are now among the top ten markets in the Performics global network, which was not the case two years ago.  So their growth is clear to see and due to size and opportunity, this growth will become even stronger.  We believe the opportunity around ecommerce especially on mobile in these markets will play a key role in Performics global growth. India is a vibrant democracy with a healthy economic outlook and with huge ambitions in the digital space. What we have been doing so far has just been the tip of the iceberg. India has just crossed the 1 billion mobile subscribers mark and given that mobile becoming the first point of access for the Internet, the future looks extremely exciting. India is taking huge strides in digital. Programmatic and data will be the necessary to catch up. At Performics, we’re elevating Performance Display Marketing through the sophisticated use of consumer data. Our Performance Display practice is built on measurement, enabling us to collect and analyze all campaign and consumer intent data to activate audiences, buys and ad creative. Through data, we find the right moments.  We then cater to those moments—by device, channel, geo, creative format, context and behavior.      We have always believed in data driven planning. The richness of the data points only adds to the success of the campaign. With this very thing in mind, we have been making investments, especially in India.

AG: How has Performics’ growth been in India?

Tanmay Mohanty (TM): We have always had a distinctive position in the market as being a pure-play performance player. This position was further strengthened by our acquisition of Resultrix in 2012 which was one of the largest standalone performance marketing agency. We have been able to leverage both brands and draw out the similarities to build a very strong performance product be it with our One-search approach or technology and data driven planning and media innovations.  We launched Performics Mobile in 2015 as we saw this is a mobile first market and we have seen tremendous growth and response here. We also set up the first ever media-tech and analytics division in Bangalore that helps clients make informed decision on the choice of technology and works on implementing them to drive maximum ROI on their investments.  In India, client acquisitions are our main focus. Existing clients are moving from single digit spend in digital to double, due to growth in mobile internet.  We are examining further investment opportunities in technology driven solutions to drive the Indian growth story.

When we first began, we felt that in order to have a sustainable growth plan, we needed to find a way to differentiate ourselves from the pack. The way to do that is with data, media technology and the intelligence we bring to the planning process. We opened our tech and analytics division in Bangalore exactly with this vision.  The assumption here was that in order for digital to really reach its potential, data needs to be unified so that the clients can have a single view of the customers and make informed marketing decisions. While there are a lot of technologies out there which help bridge the gap almost no one in the market knows how to set it up right.  As a result clients invest in a lot of expensive products that are never really used to derive their potential and we as their partners need to help them leverage these new age solutions. So we partnered with Adobe to fuel our Media tech division which will help clients make the right choice of technologies that meet their needs, help them set it up and run it so as to derive intelligence that can be fueled into all their media activities and bring the customer experience to the forefront.

AG: How high is the reliance on big data?

TM: Advertising started out as 100% art.  But with the rise of big data, it’s now shifting to a blend between art and science.  Performics’s main focus in to extract meaning from big data to understand consumer intent and deliver dynamic and personalized experiences.  We then measure performance and rigorously optimize (investment level, creative/copy and audience) based on each touch point’s influence on revenue. Nothing is sacred, as we relentlessly test and learn and make decisions based on data.  However, it’s important to not let big data carry you away.  Successful performance marketing campaigns must blend art and science, man and machine.  Advertisers cannot treat consumers like data points; they must uncovering the distinct motivation behind each click to match experiences to intent.

AG: But with increasing fragmentation in platforms, how do you create a lasting connection with the consumer?

TM: As the digital ecosystem continues to fragment, and consumer attention spans continue to shorten, clients are seeking agency expertise and capabilities to move from mass marketing to moment marketing.  This means creating hyper-relevant experiences for consumers with specific needs, in-the-moment, by leveraging data to understand and cater to intent.  As it’s more challenging than ever to get consumers’ attention, these are the only experiences/ads that will convert these days. We  have set up a special ‘Communication Planning team’ in India that helps bring in the intelligence of data to the build a communication approach that helps map the consumer journey from awareness to buying. This team helps glean insights into what sort of communication works at which touchpoints and at which stage of the buying journey. This team is actively involved in all brand and product launch campaigns and helps drive branding solutions with communication driven approach as opposed to a pure play media approach.

AG: What is the potential and growth of performance marketing?

CG: The size and scope of performance marketing will continue to grow.  To illustrate, programmatic display spend has just recently outpaced non-programmatic; and programmatic is expected to be 66% percent of total display spend by 2020 (U.S).  RTB (real time bidding) formats in mobile and video are also quickly closing in on traditional.  And the potential of performance marketing is no longer limited to the traditional digital channels.  For instance, Google recently started testing DoubleClick ad serving technology for out-of-home (OOH) billboards.  And ZenithOptimedia’s Performics is making early investments in integrated bid sciences for direct-response TV (DRTV).  This is performance marketing for TV: ads bought on a biddable basis and customized to specific audiences.  Performance marketing’s ability to target relevant audiences in the right moment at the right bid—in addition to leveraging advanced analytics and measurement to power optimization—makes it very appealing to advertisers, even in channels where it’s not yet widespread, like OOH and TV.

AG: Please tell us about Zoogle Day held in India for the first time ever. What were the key points that were covered?

CG: Zoogle Day is a digital marketing event jointly hosted by ZenithOptimedia Group and Google in various parts of the world and has just concluded in India. ZenithOptimedia and Google first created this property in the UK, twelve years back, with the clear objective of leading the change that digital technology is bringing in the consumers' lives. Back then the digital transformation was just starting to take shape. Zoogle Day was so successful in the UK that the format was retained and expanded across years and across markets. This time around –we brought it to India and it has seen extraordinary success. The focus was on micro-moments that are arising everyday in the lives of consumers, given their shift to mobile. Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device, increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something or discover something and in the process, make a purchase or consume interesting information around a product. There were some interesting ideas discussed and case studies that were presented. In my own presentation at the session, we brought key trends for the mobile medium. For instance, voice search is growing at a rapid pace, not just in India but across the world.  23% of people have used voice search/voice commands. There has been a 50% increase in usage over the past year. Another key trend is that ad blocking is likely to kill the banner and increase share of native advertising. IPhone Users are 18% more likely to block ads. 32% of iPhone users have used an Ad Blocker.

About Craig Greenfield & Tanmay Mohanty

Craig Greenfield, COO, Performics Worldwide works in tandem with Performics’s worldwide leadership, client teams and external partners to help clients identify and capture new business opportunities, negotiate strategic partnerships and enhance operational efficiency. To deliver more comprehensive solutions, the team cultivates the organization’s innovation capacity by building processes or systems. This allows them to share learning, knowledge, and the tools needed to execute effective strategy.  Craig earned a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa. Prior to Performics, Craig worked at Jacobs & Clevenger and J. Walter Thompson serving clients in Automotive, Financial Services, Retail/e-commerce and Deregulated Industries.Craig has traveled extensively to countries such as: Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, German, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and throughout the United States.

Tanmay Mohanty is the Managing Director of Performics and Resultrix, digital companies under the ZenithOptimedia Group. He has rich and diverse experience of over 15 years, in areas as diverse as aeronautics, stockbroking and digital media. Mohanty has played a pivotal role in scaling up the digital capabilities for ZenithOpimedia . His core specialty is digital insights, especially with BFSI  (banking, financial services and insurance) clients.  Mohanty has handled management portfolios at companies such as Jasubhai, Merchant Media, Dalal Street and Urja Communications. Prior to joining Resultrix, he was the chief operating officer at Interactive Media & Communication Solutions (id8 Labs)

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