Local Advertisers And The Need For Cross-Channel Activation And Measurement

Tom Cheli is CEO of Frequence, a leading advertising sales automation and workflow software. getty The…

Tom Cheli is CEO of Frequence, a leading advertising sales automation and workflow software.

The digital ad industry has made huge strides in cross-channel activation and measurement during the past 10 years. Technology has significantly improved digital performance during that time, but the investments (and the gains) have been mostly enjoyed by the largest brands and advertisers.

The strongest demand for cross-channel activation and measurement has come from these large players for a simple reason: They spend the most money and, therefore, have the most at stake in each incremental efficiency. Large brands and ad agencies operate at a scale at which the cost of obtaining this intelligence can be justified by the more efficient use of media resources.

Local advertisers in the meantime have grown accustomed to much less, lacking the leverage and the incentive to do much more than accept whatever options are presented to them. This sets up a negative feedback loop, and it keeps local brands from spending across the full breadth of channels that could connect them to the right audiences. 

Big brands and agencies have the resources and expertise to see, mathematically, just how emerging channels can drive performance for their campaigns. For local advertisers, there’s often not enough transparency to demonstrate the incremental returns, namely the performance that justifies the investment and risk of trying out new channels. As a result, local brands are relatively unaware of what possibilities lie before them on new and emerging ad channels and platforms. They don’t have the transparency and visibility into the potential itself and, therefore, don’t know how to investigate it. 

Just because local brands aren’t demanding these capabilities doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from more diversified media spending. Quite the contrary, transparent measurement can benefit brands of any size. When it comes to this type of transparency, local brands might be the largest silent majority in the advertising industry. For a number of years, Facebook and Google were the only platforms that could show these kinds of granular benefits for advertisers at a scale and price point that was appropriate for their budgets. Now, with Facebook and Google revamping their operations to strengthen consumer privacy, the time has never been more appropriate for local-market advertisers to diversify.

One factor behind this dynamic is that nobody knows how to ask for what’s available. Once they’ve been introduced to the benefits of multichannel reach, however, smaller-scale advertisers realize they need it and that it works for both buyer and seller. 

A key step to improving media mix for local-scale advertisers requires better, more accessible reporting. Once advertisers are able to easily integrate CTV, DOOH or other channels into their mix, they can see firsthand how these channels don’t represent huge, incremental effort over Google and Facebook. When they understand the available benefits, they can continue to diversify their media mix, but they also raise their standards for what kind of omnichannel reporting they expect from the market.  

Most local advertisers aren’t getting aggregate reporting across different channels at any level, and they need it now more than ever in order to drive awareness in the wake of pandemic-related disruptions across industries. Local-market advertising is a more than $130 billion industry, and in order for it to realize its full potential, I believe that local advertisers need more help understanding and leveraging the technological tools at their disposal. The companies at each stage of the process owe it to these valuable, hard-working advertisers.


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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/11/08/local-advertisers-and-the-need-for-cross-channel-activation-and-measurement/