We can target not just more precisely, but more meaningfully. We know more about their path to purchase than we ever have (throw away those funnels) and can reach them with the right message, at the right time, in the right place and when they are most receptive. We can optimize delivery to maximize return on investment like never before.
A brand needs a big creative platform, a foundation upon which every execution can be another brick in an ever stronger brand wall, not simply more rubble to add to the pile of discarded content.
Then we need to work hand in hand with our media partners, off the same data that they are using, to aggregate individuals into addressable segments. Segments that are defined not just by their consumption (or not) of a particular brand or category, but by their motivations and interests as human beings. We need to size these segments to ensure that they are big enough to matter, and that, in aggregate, we still have the reach to grow a brand.
It will require more and more embracing the authenticity and the DNA of each and every platform and getting comfortable with new ways of telling stories. But if we really want to maximize the return, we need to add another magic ingredient, creativity—the magical ability (and it is magical)—to capture and hold the attention of an individual while we give her some information, a demonstration, or an experience that changes the way she feels, the way she thinks, and most important of all, the way she behaves.
If we want to hit the top of that return curve, it’s not enough to capture; we have to captivate. And there’s no algorithm for that.