Despite the immense growth in digital advertising in India, brands, advertisers, and agencies spend 60% of their time on manual tasks when creating and delivering new campaigns, notes Peach (erstwhile Ebus, an ad content management and delivery platform) in its latest video asset management research. The report, in collaboration with Kantar, points out five major challenges faced by the stakeholders while delivering ad campaigns. Putting forth solutions to deal with these challenges, the report urges the industry to openly discuss how to introduce more efficiency and effectiveness in the advertising workflow.
Andy Gilroy, VP, APAC, Peach, says that since multiple stakeholders are involved in the ad workflow process, there is a huge opportunity to drive campaign deliverables without wasting time on manual tasks. “Let’s use the technology that is available on our fingertips,” he says.
According to its findings, the first challenge is ‘complex workflow’, where stakeholders are consumed in manual work. To tackle the same, it suggests a technology solution that enables stakeholders to clearly define a detailed workflow. Also, to ensure that video adverts are delivered on time to their destinations and to avoid financial investment in the campaign going waste, it suggests providing specific workflow timelines and setting clear lead time expectations for all stakeholders.
For the second challenge of ‘stakeholder collaboration’, it says one solution would be to reveal all the workflow activities, identify stakeholder responsibilities and show progress (including active and inactive assets) at each stage of the campaign. Features for viewing and delivering feedback on assets would improve collaboration with stakeholders.
To tackle the third ‘asset management’ challenge wherein quality control (QC) activities are done just before the release or to ensure error-free formats, it advises that QC activities should be clearly defined with video assets. Elements of the QC process should be spread out evenly across the workflow stages to ensure efficiency. Additionally, QC should be signposted throughout the activation process to ensure compliance.
The absence of real-time or near real-time measurability of video ad performance stands in the way of achieving marketing objectives. Noting this as a ‘performance measurement’ challenge, the report suggests an integrated solution that stresses on prioritisation based on estimated or forecasted success metrics.
Finally, as new platforms come into use, the survey says reporting needs to evolve to consolidate campaign results and data. To overcome this challenge of ‘consolidated reporting’, it urges brands to connect multiple data sources and gain a unified view of ad delivery and performance. This would increase the visibility and transparency of campaigns ensuring brands know their campaigns are working towards objectives, which then feeds into future campaign planning.
Some industry experts, however, believe manual handling of certain tasks is not such a bad thing. For one, Vinod Kunj, founder and CCO, Thought Blurb Communications, says that in advertising, efficiency doesn’t mean being able to bombard large amounts of ads in every direction and it takes human intelligence and oversight to make sure there isn’t artful wastage in the name of science. “I am horrified with the report finding that almost 60% of the work is done manually; I wonder why 90% or more isn’t done manually. The assumption that software or AI can actually replace human intelligence is too far into the future, AI is just not there yet. I understand that software can be quite helpful with workflow management, and that is as far as it should go,” he sums up.