Last week Rakuten Marketing held their TECHFast series in both Sydney and Melbourne. TECHFast, the most important briefing of the day, examined the challenges facing the Display Advertising industry, and highlighted the importance of attribution in overcoming obstacles.

Anthony Capano, MD for Rakuten Marketing and Sarah Percival, Head of Sales, opened the event highlighting exciting acquisitions and partnerships that have been made by Rakuten Marketing over the past 12 months. Anthony was particularly excited to share the news of Rakuten’s partnership with FC Barcelona, and of course to share a soccer, sorry I mean football, analogy or two.

However, it was Director of Display, David Kim that everyone came to hear from. David spoke to attendees about the importance of Using Data to Drive Better Ad Experiences.

With 30% of Australians now using adblockers, and the role of the marketer becoming more complex thanks to cross-device attribution and targeting; the shifting consumer journey; and the availability of data and measurement, David showcased how marketers can embrace and overcome these complexities.

All Those Measurements:

To kick things off, David spoke about the importance of aligning KPIs and measuring marketing activity.

Advertisers love how measurable digital is, and have a shared ambition of trying to take advantage of the many amazing programmatic capabilities. There’s reach and scale, audience response and return on investment measurements to considers. And whilst they’re all important in understanding and measuring campaign performance, there are ways to find the right balance:

  1. Define your objective and goals
  2. Align activities and prioritise KPIs
  3. Execute carefully and iterate

Display & Attribution:

Consumers are smart and complex. They’re connecting with brands numerous times a day, via numerous channels and devices. Yet advertising activity continues to look at each person with distinctly different approaches.

This means there is an ever growing need to look beyond last click. Whilst with attribution there is no one size fits all approach, there are serious implications for not looking at results through an attribution model but rather that of a last-click model.

By not looking at the consumer journey through a holistic lens, advertisers may end up cutting important activity that is driving the first touchpoints. Similarly without a holistic view the importance of middle-touchpoints that help build value to the consumer journey are downplayed.

Attribution provides answers to vital questions such as:

  • Which channels are driving more attributable revenue than last-click revenue?
  • Which channels are driving lots of first and middle touchpoints, and which specific ad sets are successful at this?
  • What activity is driving the majority of new customer conversions, or non-converting journeys?
  • Are you giving credit for cross-channel activity?
  • How are specific channels influencing others?

Get the Message Right:

While it’s all fun and games to talk about data measurement and attribution, it’s important not  to forget about creative execution.

As David said “like the infinite variations of coffee and other morning beverages enjoyed by all, modern audiences are varied and increasingly expecting the tailored customer-service approach in their interactions with ads.”

What does this mean for advertisers? It means that a single ad will not be effective on a diverse group, advertisers need to consider:

  • Different consumer lifecycles
  • Different devices and web habits
  • Different motivations to drive conversion

All valid reasons why it’s vital to test for the right message. Relevance, Brand Story, Value Proposition, and Call-to-action all play a part in the testing phase.

This lead us to discuss the valuable contribution the Dynamic Creative Intelligence & Optimsation (DCO) plays in getting the message right. The machine learnings that DCO provides allows for continued optimisation of campaigns based on the best combinations of ads and featured products. It helps to identify and segment different customer throughout their purchase cycle, allowing advertisers to test various ad components across a plethora of ad sizes and sets.

To recap, advertisers can drive better ad experiences by:

  • Paying attention to metrics and thinking bigger with attribution
  • Prioritising creative execution and testing, leveraging tools like DCO if applicable to campaign objectives
  • Delight customers with ad experiences fuelled by data insights.

David took us through how data, measurement and creative can be used to combat adblocking, however, there are more challenges facing the Display industry. To finish, our expert panel comprised of Integral AdScience, MediaMath, Rate City (Sydney) and UNIQLO (Melbourne) joined us on stage to tackle the issues of transparency, viewability and brand safety.

The morning concluded with all speakers agreeing that the industry needs to work together to overcome the challenges currently being faced, to quote MediaMath’s Country Manager, Yun Yip – “We all have a responsibility to drive better ad experiences.”

Missed Rakuten Marketing’s TECHFast and want to find out how you can tackle the display industry? Contact one of our experts today: or visit