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Balancing Omnichannel Advertising with Individual Channel Considerations

December 15, 2017

Ivo Totev
CMO, S4/HANA Cloud

Good digital advertisers are open to exploring the benefits of every channel available to them, but it can be difficult to balance omnichannel practices with individual channel optimization and measurement. Ivo Totev, CMO of SAP’s ERP solution, S/4HANA, spoke with eMarketer’s Jillian Ryan about how the company is addressing this challenge and what channels work best for its needs.

eMarketer: How has your digital advertising strategy changed across channels to meet your audience?

Ivo Totev: In recent years, we’ve moved away from running advertising “campaigns.” A campaign has a start and an end. You have a couple of banners, a white paper and a message on specific channels, and you buy ads that only run for three months. Then you stop and think of what to do next—that’s an old way of thinking.

We’ve changed that notion. Now we run continuous programs that never end. Our efforts are always-on and continue to nurture in an effort to reach our target segment across channels, but we frequenly optimize.

eMarketer: You take an omnichannel approach, but how often do you measure the impact of individual channels?

Totev: We have a weekly discussion with the team to assess the performance of our programs. We want to know which channels are working best. We usually test a couple of channels to see what is working well, and then we continue to run with those.

But we also look at the channels that are not running well and try to uncover why. Is our targeting off? Are we using the wrong messaging?

eMarketer: How challenging is it to figure that out?

Totev: It’s an ongoing challenge. We’re not completely there yet, but in one to two years I believe we’ll be able to dig deeper into the data and better optimize. It’s a bit like oil drilling: Once you find an oil field, the first hole is very easy. But once you pump up so many barrels, you have to think harder to sustain the level of return—otherwise the well runs dry.

eMarketer: Which channels are your best performers?

Totev: We see return on Google search—it works beautifully for our needs. LinkedIn is also great for targeting by titles and account. The platform offers some background on who the target is and how long they’ve been in their role, which is useful for us and is something that can’t be done on any other platforms. Facebook is also great.

eMarketer: What makes these your most effective channels?

Totev: All three of these channels offer ad capabilities that enrich the context with company data. They help you understand much more about these anonymous contacts you have. For example, we can see geography, company vertical and more.


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