Most people holding media jobs in internet advertising will be aware that the core roles for driving online advertising sales include business development managers, advertising sales managers and search engine marketing specialists. But as the industry faces disruption through the uptake of ad blocking technologies, could agencies now require a new type of professional: the journey strategist?
Adblocking + tracking = disruption
That’s the view of one leading advertising executive. In an interview with the New York Times, the CEO of marketing agency Marketo Phil Fernandez responded to changes in the advertising landscape. It’s not just the spread of ad blocking software – it’s the widespread deployment of on and offline tracking to discern user tastes and even friendships, so that the ads they receive are the ones that algorithms suggest they’ll be most likely to act upon.
If the tracking data suggests a potential consumer is interested in something expensive — like, say, an RV or a luxury fridge – he or she will be fed ads over the coming days or even months reflecting that interest. A single ad inevitably loses much of its importance and impact as a result and may start to play a less prominent role in broader marketing.
Fernandez has a solution:
“Agencies have to think about having a ‘journey strategist,’ neither a data head or a pure creative, who maps where you’re going with a product, and figures out the best possible way that journey goes.”
Sustaining durable relationships
The art of studying and understanding consumers and client needs will, he says, become “greater than just a pitch.” Advertising, marketing and sales, he argues “are all going to be much more continuous.”
Companies can now put out more ads than ever, he explained, largely because it’s become cheaper to do so than it was even a couple of years ago. But tracking and data manipulation could be a threat to traditional agencies because their customers may well start doing it for themselves, he says. Increasingly, corporations are employing infrastructure people and campaign people and are busily building databases of advocates for themselves. They want lasting relationships with their customers, Fernandez argues.
Business development managers will continue to play a key role in internet advertising agencies; but maybe they’ll be joined by journey strategists some time soon.