The January Jury’s out: five resolutions you need to keep in 2018

News Year’s resolutions – everyone has them. Hit the gym and get that beach body, book those Spanish classes like you always said you would, and of course, find that new job and see the big bucks roll in. January is the time for reflection on last year’s shortcomings, and looking forward to improving our performance in the year ahead. The question is, how are your marketing resolutions holding up, now that January is behind us?

Last year was no walk in the park for marketers and advertisers. In particular, the issue of viewability cropped up again and again, posing a constant battle between advertisers and publishers over how stringent a definition of viewability the industry should adhere to. Meanwhile, the phantom of ad fraud was at large, stalking the web and threatening to undermine confidence in digital advertising, Marc Pritchard stole the headlines and was practically immortalised by his criticisms of the industry.

“New year, new you” This cliché is ubiquitous across the twittersphere and beyond. But if we’re to learn anything from 2017, we need to make good on the issues that held us back.

Here are five resolutions really worth sticking at all the way through 2018.

Resolution #1: Make your money go further this year

With continued pressure on advertising budgets, marketers need to make sure their ad spend is working hard for them. Attribution tools are the name of the game, and you’ll need to embrace innovative technologies to measure campaign effectiveness across different digital platforms and devices. Every aspect of campaign engagement should be evaluated, so you can identify campaign uplift and measure real brand outcomes.

Doritos, PepsiCo’s crisp brand, recently succeeded in doing just that. They identified and targeted a specific audience they called “hyperlifers” (16 to 34-year-old males and females with a penchant for thrills) through their online and offline behaviour at thrill-seeking locations – such as sports events, cinemas and music gigs – and related websites and apps. By geofencing all participating stores and employing measurement tools, they were able to accurately measure 43% uplift in footfall, 13.% increase in sales and ROI of £1.13.

Resolution #2: Get smart and become a data expert

If it isn’t already, make data your new best friend in 2018. Your targeting methods and campaign insights are only as good the data used to drive them as part of your marketing strategy. Make sure you’re defining and comparing audiences, context, segments and their distinct behaviours, through the data you collect. And don’t forget, with consumers becoming increasingly mobile-reliant, smartphones are a data goldmine. Location data can help you target users at specific locations accurately and at scale, as well as drive and monitor in-store footfall.

Resolution #3: Have high viewability standards

Tackle viewability head on by ensuring you keep high standards. Push yourself to meet the new challenges of mobile viewability – and making use of third party verification is just the ticket. Why set a target when you could exceed it? There’s nothing to say that the benchmark of 70% – or more– can’t be achieved for mobile. Remember, you won’t be alone in this resolution, since the industry is seeing a rise in collaboration and partnerships to improve measurement standards across the board.

Resolution #4: Be open, honest and transparent

This one’s definitely for everyone: we all need to be clear on what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and why we’re doing it. That goes for brands, agencies, demand- and supply-side platforms, ad exchanges, publishers, third party verifiers, data providers… This is where a stamp of approval – such as the IAB’s Gold Standard – can really make the difference, distinguishing those who follow the pack from those who are really trailblazing a move to transparency. Don’t lose sight of how transparency drives ROI, making it easier to trace the journey of how each dollar is spent, as it works its way through the ecosystem.

Resolution #5: Get informed on data privacy

There are only a few months left to make sure your business is GDPR-compliant. By 25th May this year, anyone handling European citizens’ data will have to meet new rulings on the collection, processing and storage. Consent and data portability are among the most significant rule changes that may affect the way you handle your customers’ data. Make sure you know all of the requirements and how to meet them, and see that ‘privacy by design’ is built into all your processes and procedures.

Stick to your guns

Last year brought its share of mistakes – but with a brand new year, let’s draw a line under the mistakes, put our best foot forward, and use what we’ve learned to build up future successes, making 2018 a year marketers can look back and proudly announce that – for once – we kept our resolutions.

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