a4 is the new kid on the block disrupting the traditional advertising model
a4 — an advanced media and data company — is brand new and ready to turn adverting on its head.
Altice’s new division seeks to address the complexity of advertising with a mission of making it easy for an advertiser to reach their desired audience more effectively, no matter where they are or what device they’re using. a4 does this by simplifying the process of executing audience-based, multiscreen campaigns, while leveraging the company’s unique data and technology advantages.
Making a complex model simple? That sounds like it could be difficult… so a4 President Paul Haddad explains how this works.
“We are making advertising a two-way street instead of a runway by serving relevant ads based on data – and the right message to the right target means you are more likely to intelligently and accurately engage customers,” he says.
a4 also brings automation and simplicity to a business that has been bogged down in complexities. “We accept and welcome automation and technology into other facets of our life but the media planning process remains a very traditional, analogue one,” Haddad continues.
a4 provides an end-to-end platform that allows clients to define an audience once and deliver ads across all screens. Clients can optimize a multiscreen media plan informed by the target audience’s media consumption data. a4’s “secret sauce” is authenticated audiences + intelligent multiscreen, meaning the audiences are who they appear to be, and they can be targeted precisely.
But what was the thought process behind a4? Why was it needed in the industry?
“Our goal at a4 was to bring data, automation and simplicity to the market to make the media business a more pleasant and effective one,” says Haddad.
The 4 a’s are the core of a4. They include:
- Accuracy: Identify the target segments ONCE; and use the SAME target segments for TV and digital multiscreen campaigns
- Addressability: Enable audience-based multiscreen campaigns executed at local, regional and national level
- Activation: Plan & activate multiscreen campaigns informed by the target audience’s ACTUAL media consumption data
- Accountability: Report multiscreen reach/frequency by target household and sales attribution to provide ROI
“’A’ stands for audience and ‘4’ stands for the four dimensions of that audience – the who, the what, the where and the when,” Haddad says.
“You need to find the who of the audience, you need to understand what is their mix of media consumption, where do they consume it and when do they consume it,” Haddad explains. “If you have all this info, you can effectively target the right ads to the right audience. You eliminate the risk of annoying your target — for example, you don’t want to serve an ad for dentures to a millennial.”
Ads Will Always Be Here, so Why Not Make Them Better?
Advertising is not a necessary evil, according to Haddad.
“In fact it should be a pleasant and simple experience for everyone involved,” he says. “When you treat this business as an experience rather than a complex product or chore, it can be amazing. If it follows the path of what we are envisioning, it will be a true two way communication where the recipient of an ad or message can tell advertisers what they are open to receiving and what they want to hear from brands.”
a4 makes advertising quick and easy, which is better for everyone involved. Brands should know what users are in the market for and message them appropriately. The smart advertisers who know how to leverage data go after their prospects at the right time and take an active role in reaching out they don’t wait for passive inquiries.
“Consumers shouldn’t have to be searching for deals. If we know they are in the market for a car, for a pair of jeans, for a trip, why aren’t we reaching them when they are most ready to transact?” Haddad says.
Looking to the Future
Haddad speaks to what the future of advertising look like what’s on the horizon of consumer expectations.
“When I define consumers, I define them as advertisers,” he says. “Advertising has grown way outside the traditional boundaries of TV, radio and print. There are now so many flavors, from linear to addressable to optimized and digital, even mobile – so many varieties. Both advertisers and consumers are expecting simplicity and intelligence.
When advertisers spend a dollar, they want to know what it’s doing. They need to see results and they want to know the ROI of their campaigns. They want speed and they can’t afford to wait a week to get results or to get to market.
“Advertisers need what travelers needed when they moved on from travel agents; now, anyone can go online and buy an airline ticket or book a hotel,” Haddad says. “Advertising should not be more complicated than booking a trip when we have so much technology available to us.”
“Why can’t advertising be just as simple and effective?” Haddad ask. “The same people who are buying homes, cars and stocks online are still building ad plans in the same old way. You have to leverage all the available technology to thrive.”
a4 indeed leverages tech to reach its audience effectively. Its future goals are straightforward and certainly attainable.
“We want to keep building excellent products so we can put the power back in the hands of the advertisers,” Haddad says.
And with a product so precise, yet so simple, the power that advertisers have will only continue to grow.