CANNES – Advertisers have made big strides in understanding issues like digital ad viewability and consumer attention. Now they need to focus more on understanding business outcomes.

To Jay Sears, this means focusing not on proxies or clicks or even intention “but actual sales lift as the result of an exposed population seeing an ad.”

In this interview with Beet.TV, Sears, who is SVP of the Ad Intelligence unit of Mastercard, talks about assisting brands in the categories of restaurants, retail, travel and telcos and the emergence of more infrastructure around planning and measurement.

Although advertising starts with understanding consumer behavior, starting with purchase intent and ending with actual purchase, there are many steps in between, according to Sears.

Because of its trove of privacy compliant consumer data, Mastercard Ad Intelligence is “in a unique position to help the advertiser in the start of that journey and also to complete the journey and understand the return on ad spend and what the impact has been on sales,” he says.

While a lot of infrastructure that grew up around ad technology continues to consolidate, what’s probably more interesting for brands is the convergence of advertising technology and marketing technology.

In marketing tech, there’s an understanding of planning and insights and measurement. Meanwhile, ad-tech has concentrated more on activation.

“As these two things come together, the marketer is weighing in more heavily in the decision making, which is a sign of marketing maturity and it’s a good thing,” says Sears.

He foresees a whole lot more infrastructure built out around “measurement and around planning and understanding in an audience-driven way.”

Asked to reflect on the evolution of media agencies, Sears observes that many have taken capabilities around data-driven advertising that were originally developed in specialty groups within a holding company “and making them broadly available in their operating agencies and pushing them closer to clients. That should be a big benefit for clients.”

A major trend he sees is brands taking action on managing their ad investments as they relate to business outcomes, having already solved for things like viewabiity and attention.

“So just keep going and let’s understand the impact all the way down to purchase, to sales impact,” Sears says.

This video is from The Mastercard Automated Advertising Panel at Cannes Lions 2017. For more from the series, please visit this page.