ANZ, Dentsu: Data and automation can help but also hinder marketing strategy

Digital marketers from the financial giant and agency are joined by IAB and Exponential to share how the skills shift thanks to digital and data, and where the personalisation creepy line is

From left: ANZ's Barry John, Exponential's Ben Maudsley, Dentsu Aegis' Sylvia Pickering, IAB's Jonas Jaanimagi with Exponential's Tyler Greer
From left: ANZ's Barry John, Exponential's Ben Maudsley, Dentsu Aegis' Sylvia Pickering, IAB's Jonas Jaanimagi with Exponential's Tyler Greer


The biggest challenge to data-enabled marketing success is fostering collaboration across internal and agency teams, ANZ’s head of performance marketing says.

Speaking on a panel at the Exponential Brand Summit, the banking giant’s digital performance marketing manager, Barry John,  said he’s increasingly gaining access to vast amounts of data insight from the internal ANZ team. But actioning data cohesively across the wider marketing and agency groups facilitating ANZ’s marketing and media strategy is another matter entirely.

“It’s one thing to get all the insights from an internal team, then it gets passed to the digital agency who has to do the media buying. But then we’ve got to bring in the collaboration from the creative agency so we can tie in all the audiences we’re looking to target. If you can get that model working properly, that’s nirvana,” he said.

“At the moment, everyone is in their own pockets trying to deliver and get stuff out of the door, rather than looking at how to deliver best value through collaboration.”  

One of the biggest changes to the ANZ marketing team in recent years has been the inclusion of data scientists.

“We have a lot more people mining data, trying to get our data into a good place and then to understand what our customers are,” John said. “It’s one thing to market to people, but if you aren’t cutting the data in the right specs and putting it out to teams, you aren’t able to take advantage of it.”

Linked to that is investment into automation. “How do we automate and push out creative messaging that’s right as fast as possible and without vasts amounts of manual labour, is a key focus,” John said.

Dentsu Aegis client services director, Sylvia Pickering, said automation is also helping her agency to remove some of the most manually intensive labour work, saving more junior staff members up to 60 per cent of their time on reporting.

“The less creative juniors will ask what their job is; the more ambitious look at this as an opportunity to spend time on optimisations and being more creative in their thinking,” she commented.   

Exponential managing director for Asia-Pacific and South Africa, Ben Maudsley, saw some brands jumping headfirst into martech, setting themselves up to be highly bespoke to their CRM databases and as people come into their ecosystems.

“Others are nowhere near that,” he said. “For us, it means setting yourself up to have multiple conversations that allow you to educate and get clients to the point of understanding what changes need to come internally.

“It’s difficult right now as it’s not one size fits all, it’s about who are you talking to and how you build your team around them.”  

As all marketing roles evolve to include technology and analytical skillsets, IAB consulting member, Jonas Jaanimagi, cited the importance of change management and adaptability as vital attributes.

“It’s an awareness, curiosity and being able to change yourselves as individuals that needs to be embraced,” he said. “From a managerial perspective, that means managing people through that change. Make them aware there are aspects of their roles they shouldn’t be doing anymore, that can be automated... you’ll have to learn new things, but that’s the whole point. Embrace the learning.”  

The panel also debated whether it’s still wise to retain ‘digital marketing’ as a specialist skill or team versus embedding it into all marketing roles.

“What’s digital? Radio is digital, out-of-home is digital,” Sylvia pointed out. “But as an agency with specialisations, we still need digital specialists.

Jaanimagi agreed specific tactical execution skills around digital were vital. “But at strategic level, digital has to be communicable across all mediums,” he warned.

Right and wrongs around data

When it comes to how data is being used, privacy and how to personalise without being creepy were key considerations for both ANZ and the IAB.

 “One criticism I have is around the aspect of privacy, which is often treated as an afterthought,” Jaanimagi said. “It’s a loaded gun for some organisations. Just don’t forget this is your children or parent’s data. The more we handle and manage it [data], and the more users increasingly demand to be in control of it, will be an interesting evolution. We’re already seeing different countries treating it different.”

ANZ is looking for the personal “without being creepy”, John said. Where that line is drawn is a moving feast and regulation is playing a part.

“There are all these things that can be done with data. One is how we now tie together marketing IDs with customer IDs and mobile devices,” he said. “As a personal device, mobile is the most targeted media you have to get in front of someone. And your device ID doesn’t change. If I can start linking this through all the media you’re surfacing  and what you’re trying to do, I can personalise messaging to you with or without your knowledge. How much of this will be clamped down it’s unclear – the UK is tight and Europe will follow.”

Another area ANZ is exploring with Google is intent, and plugging its audience insights to digital advertising activity to track what people are doing online in order to optimise accordingly.

 “Data can signal if someone is in the market to switch home loans or change credit card providers. We can then target them with creative, or potentially reverse engineer that into sending a direct mail activity or calling a customer so we can re-engage them,” John said.

But ultimately, success will come down to getting the right amount of people to get into the insights and action, John added. “Otherwise it just sits there.” 

Pickering also warned against people hiding uninspired planning behind the numbers.

“It’s that the creativity versus data argument: Rather than taking a bold risk or working out outside the usual parameters, you just roll out the data that shows it worked before,” she said. “It can make people lazy planners. That’s not a problem specific to digital, but it’s a lot easier to do that with digital.”  

  • Nadia Cameron travelled to the Exponential Brand Summit as a guest of Exponential

 Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

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