“Unteach yourself everything you know about adtech” is the first piece of advice given by Jon Hook, founder of Mallory Ventures. “Advertising technology is no longer just about advertising – it’s about the consumer experience.”
Indeed, this is evidenced by L’Oreal’s recent acquisition of Modiface, a tech firm specialising in virtual beauty, to enhance its in-store and app experience. L’Oreal sees tech as a way to solve consumer problems.
The speakers of The Telegraph Power Breakfast Series are keen to assure advertisers and agencies that alongside the growth of tech and data in the last few years, the role of the individual is just as -if not more- important. Great strategies and ideas are formed when we look at the human problem first, rather than the tech problem. Ultimately, the human problem can only be solved by a human brain. If tech comes first, we end up solving a problem that doesn’t exist and the consumer is forgotten. “Tech for tech’s” sake is losing value – it has to have a reason to exist.
Specificity is therefore key. Part of the problem is that a lot of people don’t truly understand what tech buzzwords mean and this creates unjustified excitement. Terms like “machine learning” and the “internet of things” are often used for advertisers to engage in tech tourism, rather than meaningfully testing and investing their money in something useful. It’s not enough for tech companies to create hype around these buzzwords to lure in advertisers. In the end, when they don’t deliver, this just ends up leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. Advertisers need to have a shortlist of questions to benchmark these companies against.
In other words, don’t just get sucked in because the word sounds cool.