As consumers face an ever-rising tide of communication and messaging across multiple touchpoints, it is imperative for brands to apply a consumer-first approach to become more relevant, personalised and compelling. Today, cutting-edge platforms are enabling marketers to apply a consumer-first approach wherein the right message can be delivered at the right time to the right person on the right channel.

These are some of the key messages we heard from retail, banking, insurance and utility executives during MediaMath’s exclusive roundtable discussion in Melbourne. The roundtable participants, which included marketing experts from multiple industries, identified six challenges that must be addressed to achieve omnichannel and consumer-first marketing.

1.       Orchestration

Aligning your data, platforms and processes is simply the start of achieving seamless orchestration. 
One of the executives from the financial services sector shared the common concern of the industry, that the key challenge in connecting all these areas together lies in the orchestration of cost across all channels.

A banking executive with experience in both the corporate and regulatory community echoed these sentiments, describing a wide gap between new technology solutions and the legacy systems marketers have relied upon for decades.

2.       Regulation

Regulatory disruptions are also on the horizon, especially for those in the financial services industry. Open banking—the use of open APIs to enable third-party developers to build applications and services around the financial institution—will compel banks to release consumer data in a bid to promote competition and innovation, the forum was told.

While the initiative has been largely driven by regulators thus far, banks are bracing for a significant change in their industry. Although a cumbersome challenge in such a heavily regulated industry, open banking gives marketers an opportunity to appropriately use valuable customer relationship data for better targeting, furthering a consumer-first culture and thus enriching consumer experiences.

3.       Time is a scarce resource

While some industries benefit from opportunities to market their products throughout the year, for some, a short and time-specific buying cycle necessitates highly targeted marketing. Applying a customer-centric approach by unifying a view of consumers across channels, identifying each consumer and understanding their preferences and history of engagement can empower marketers to capitalise on such opportunities.

An executive from a large insurance firm revealed the time-sensitivity in the industry’s marketing and buying cycle, and shared the importance of the ability to deliver the right message at the right time and at the value that’s unique to consumers’ personal experiences.

The executive noted that collecting and acting upon customer data will always be challenging but even “knowing what you don’t know” is often a good place to start. Studying customer data, the executive discovered a significant difference in the insurance value when customers purchased online versus through a call centre representative. This showcased an opportunity for highly targeted and timely marketing to potential customers so that they can make an informed decision and have a more valuable experience.

4.        Avoid the silo trap

Digital platform-based businesses generally have access to large amounts of consumer data. One food-delivery service executive noted that the brand is focused on making sense of data across channels to be able to send the right message at the right time to the consumers.

For another executive in the utility sector, the sheer volume of customer data is not the greatest challenge, but rather the curation of said data into actionable datasets without fragmentation. Matching that data to where it is most useful—channels, touchpoints, etc.—is the hard part.

5.       Trust

One executive from the energy sector said that securing and retaining customer trust remains a challenge. For consumer-first marketing to truly prosper, data must be used proactively, with a degree of transparency.

The trust problem makes personalisation especially challenging, according to the executive, but data is likely the key to regaining consumer trust. If data can provide value and context to the customer, like information on power usage at home, the brand is quickly elevated, and an environment of trust is created, the executive said.

6.       Technology

One technology executive noted that the IT department needs to be more forthcoming to the business side. Naturally, IT is responsible for security and has a considerable degree of ownership over data and the technology stack, but the department could stand to cede some control to other business units, he explained.

This imperative will grow as more marketers look to get their “hands dirty” with technology solutions and become more data-driven. IT departments will need to collaborate and take greater input from marketers within the organisation to ensure proper implementation of and execution on data and the tech stack.


Today, consumers are changing the way brands interact with them. With ever-increasing avenues for consumers to gather information, their lifecycle and behaviour are no longer linear. Yet, marketers are still operating in a siloed “channel-oriented” approach. As made evident by the roundtable, marketers understand the importance and urgency to deliver better advertising experiences, but still struggle to implement a true consumer-first and omnichannel approach. 

MediaMath ANZ country manager, Yun Yip

Major and often compounding challenges include accurately identifying each consumer across multiple channels and then appropriately and sequentially engaging with these consumers throughout the purchase funnel to ultimately deliver relevant, non-intrusive messages.

Finding the right partner and technology vendor is crucial to enabling a consumer-first approach, providing transparency and delivering real business ROI versus mere metrics like clicks. There are several benefits for marketers from both agencies and brands who use integrated, open technology rather than walled garden platforms or disparate point solutions to run their campaigns.

An integrated approach allows marketers to achieve standards of transparency otherwise unattainable from a walled garden, giving detailed information not just into how data is used and the measurement approach, but also into the full scope of how media is bought and the corresponding fees. It also helps unify audiences, channels and campaign intelligence in one place as opposed to keeping them in separate systems.

How MediaMath works

MediaMath’s solution starts with an integrated DMP+DSP technology. From this single, omnichannel platform, marketers can optimise campaigns in one place, targeting, managing creative and understanding campaign effectiveness.

Marketers can recognise who their customers are with our open, privacy-by-design identity stack, which is powered by an industry-leading device recognition and resolution technology platform that is globally distributed, highly available and secure to offers advertisers a portable user ID, enabling resolution and activation of identities at scale.

Our DMP then enables marketers to create, manage, analyse and optimise audiences in real-time and seamlessly activate them across all channels via our omnichannel DSP, with as little data loss and latency as possible and the ability to obtain and act upon insights informed by this data-media feedback loop.

As an open platform, our clients retain ownership over all their own data and, thus, their audiences, and can port them over to other platforms they use. They can also use our Data Mining Console product within our DMP, which gives them log-level access to all their data about their audiences.

Marketers can then reach their most high-value audiences through access to high-quality supply across display, native, mobile, video, social, audio and digital-out-of-home.

Our range of media products guarantees access to premium inventory negotiated for privilege, promises credit back for fraud, optimises the supply path for the most direct access to inventory and ensures hygienic buying through tools such as ads.txt implementation.

Our clients optimise their campaigns to true business outcomes, not proxy metrics, via our advanced Brain machine-learning algorithm and leverage our robust professional services team to drive more campaign success and learnings. 

About this author

Yun Yip is the country manager at MediaMath, which is a corporate member of Which-50. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply.


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