Essay by CS Digital Media-CEO Radjen van Wilsem

I was recently asked by a marketeer, “When will the investments in digital outdoor advertising actually get off the ground?” I took note of this remark, but at the same time it crossed my mind that not everyone travels by public transport and/or refuels at Shell because then you would inevitably come across one of our 5,000 digital screens. This was apparently a marketeer we missed on the modern customer journey. Or is it due to the perception that a screen is only considered to be outdoor advertising when visible in a traffic jam? I believe this marketeer works in fast-moving consumer goods, lives in Amsterdam South and cycles to work at the Zuidas. Whatever the case may be, this example shows that all too often it has to be explained that twelve years (!) of digital transformation has led to new digital options.

This first edition of CSDM magazine shows how pioneering has developed into a digital pond – a veritable eco-system – of four companies within CS Digital Media (CSDM): outdoor advertising, technology, creation and programmatic buying. The digital outdoor advertising business provides services to the efficient advertisers, like adaptive planning and data. Our media technology department develops smart retail solutions with Shell, with a view to modernising the fuelling experience. The CSDM studio creates experiences in customer journeys using videos and digital advertising concepts. Finally, MyAdbooker – programmatic & automated buying solutions for outdoor and online media buying – guarantees integration, optimisation and targeting in campaigns.

I would like to meet someone under the age of 50 who avoids going online on Google or eBay with a relevant question. If so, at least he or she will ask someone else to do it. The point is that online search – labelled micro-moments by Google – has caused a major change in our media consumption. This change simultaneously has better defined our linear TV viewers namely elderly people above 50+, and not the youngsters, as a target group. Will advertisers be able to work with these new definitions? Surprisingly enough they are – in the online world, but to a lesser extent in the offline world. Indeed, in the online world, the aim is to understand the requirements and needs of the connected customer who manages many things with their smartphone and whose profile can be recognised via this device.

What does the connected customer do when their car breaks down? They surf to Google. Do they look for new tyres? Google again!

‘I would like to meet someone under the age of 50 who avoids going online on Google or eBay with a relevant question’

As a result, it remains a challenge for advertisers to tell a consistent story about their message in the mixture of online and offline because campaigns are still either analogue or digital. Online indicates video and banners while analogue denotes TV, shelter displays and billboards. For this reason, CSDM has evolved into a company that can also translate analogue campaigns to digital campaigns, both in terms of advertising and its deployment. MyAdbooker supplies the additional supporting strategy to integrate offline and online campaigns with programmatic marketing and media buying.
Programmatic marketing is to be considered as an umbrella for the various ways to support multichannel marketing. It is ‘only’ 36 years ago that Philip Kotler published his famous ‘Principles of Marketing’. At the time, Kotler supplied the first real marketing ABC, ranging from influencing human behaviour to buying behaviour. For the marketeer I mentioned earlier, who stresses that only now marketing is transforming digitally, it should be a comfort that we at CSDM have been focusing for twelve years 100 per cent on digital media and digital concept development.

‘The core of programmatic marketing is that many transactions we currently still have to perform on a daily basis will be organised for us on a personalised basis’

Today, digital marketing technology is changing the global market worldwide, a market in which consumers and devices provide data about their own information and needs. Consumers have developed into individuals led by peers rather than target groups with a general profile. For this reason, CSDM has become an officially registered data collector. In this role, we are able to identify anonymous traffic flows and safeguard the privacy of consumers. At least as important is CSDM’s membership of the Open Society Foundation (OSF) of the EU; this gives us access to urban safe data platforms in Europe that are being built under the supervision of a range of major businesses.

What will we face in 2025? “Business as usual” will have a different meaning. Digital is not a medium, it has become a way of life and thinking, and requires knowledge of the foundations of the digital transformation in our society. It is about the habits of connected customers, about new methods for a smart and programmatic marketing strategy. In short, it is about reinventing ourselves.

My quess is that by 2025 we will have learned how to use and not to use our data. Meaning? As consumers, we will control society on the basis of our needs using our own data. To give an example: my washing machine. It is ready in order to do the laundry ‘thinking’: hey, I have to have a bid submitted for the energy I need. Who will give me the best price? The same happens with a car, when it is about petrol and insurance. We will live in a transaction-governed society by then with assisted economic decisions. It may sound complicated, but it means that my device indicates, for instance, that I am on my way to Belgium and that everything has been arranged; insurance and everything that goes with it. That is the core of programmatic; many transactions that we currently still have to perform on a daily basis will be organised for us on a personalised basis. Programmatic will therefore only serve to make our lives easier. Online search like we did in 2015 will be outdated. The networked society will be a reality by 2025. You connect with a network and your identity will be in the collective; who you are and what you will do will be arranged ‘neurologically’.

‘As a member of the Open Society Foundation, CSDM has access to urban safe data platforms in Europe that are being built under the supervision of a range of major businesses’

So what will happen in about ten years? The consumer will have more power by then and we should be wondering how to facilitate this as a media business. The answer? A transaction-oriented mind-set, in short: programmatic. I will give another car example. Let’s say you are driving on the road and you only have ten litres of fuel left. In that case, a company – Shell for instance – will ‘bid’ on you for you to refuel. The car will subsequently negotiate and automatically drive the route to the place with the best price. Exciting times are ahead of us.