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E-commerce marketing – the practice of converting website traffic into sales – is simple in definition. But shoppers, digital platforms, and algorithms evolve constantly, and so must your strategy. Studies claim that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040, and online shopping already accounts for 10% of retail sales in the U.S. alone. The numbers leave it crystal clear: brands can no longer afford to avoid the digital marketplace.

For the most part, brands are embracing the opportunity – there are 12-24 million e-commerce sites online, and according to eMarketer, e-commerce sales are expected to hit $27 trillion in 2020 (Note:
COVID-19 impact on consumer behavior will substantiallz accelerate this trend). But to succeed, brands must be strategic and consistent about e-commerce marketing, and how they use the tools that the digital era affords them.

E-commerce marketing involves balance of paid, unpaid efforts

In contrast to shopping in person, e-commerce offers customers a far more personalized, convenient experience. It gives shoppers access to almost any type of product from anywhere in the world and, similarly, gives brands access to platforms with a global reach and a myriad of tools to empower their brand. A recent study found that the #1 reason people shop online is that they’re able to shop at all hours of the day.

Putting your products in front of the right audience requires a balance of marketing efforts that can generally be broken down into paid and unpaid efforts. Unpaid strategies involve drawing the right audiences to your brand “organically” through campaigns that generate audiences and sales through offering relevant, captivating content. SEO falls under the unpaid category as well, enabling better search rankings for those willing to navigate search engines’ ever-changing algorithms.

Paid media typically involves buying a space for advertising across different digital platforms. Common formats include display ads, banner ads, and sponsored ads, and they typically live on platforms like search engines (Google, Bing), social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook), and typical websites.

Brands must be thoughtful about how they employ a mix of paid and unpaid marketing strategies, responding to their target audiences’ online preferences and behavior.

E-commerce shoppers are global, young, and skew female  

While each brand is responsible for understanding the particularities of its target audience, statistics on global e-commerce shoppers reveals a number of notable trends. E-commerce is increasingly global:cross-border e-commerce now accounts for 20% of total global e-commerce.

E-commerce is also increasingly generational: A recent study found that Millennials and Gen-Xers spend 50% more time shopping online than their older counterparts: 6 hours versus 4 hours, respectfully. And 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen-Xers prefer to shop online versus in a brick-and-mortar store. Breaking e-commerce down by gender reveals another interesting trend: Men spend 28% more than women shopping online.

Social media continues to drive effective e-commerce marketing

It’s no surprise that today’s social media platforms offer brands a myriad of ways to connect with today’s shoppers. While they can be selective about which platforms they use based on their audience and goals, those that forego a social media presence altogether are missing out. A recent study found that brands with a social media presence experience sales that are 32% higher than those that do not. This when considering the results of a study that revealed that 74% of consumes rely on their social media networks to make purchasing decisions.

Luckily, brands can turn to data to inform their decisions surrounding which platforms to invest in. For example, Shopify reported that the average order value for customers referred from Instagram is $65.00, followed by Facebook ($55), Twitter ($46), and YouTube ($38). Brands are already spending big money to promote their products on social media: eMarketer reported that Worldwide ad spending on Facebook and Instagram combined will reach nearly $95 billion annually in 2021. But other platforms are growing, too: The number of marketers sharing video content on LinkedIn is set to rise to 65% in 2021, for example.

Email marketing allows brands to be proactive in reaching audiences

While consumers actively seek compelling content from brands on social media, email marketing allows brands to initiate a kind of proactive engagement that keeps them top of mind with their audiences.

E-Commerce Marketing Study
Wolfgang Digital, “Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks 2016”

A recent study found that email marketing contributes to 20% of traffic that drives eCommerce sales, and OptinMonster reported that email marketing yields $44 for each $1 spent for a 4400% ROI.

Smart brands use a number of tactics to take full advantage of email marketing. Segmentation – diving groups of consumers into groups based on common characteristics, traits, or behaviors – is key to ensuring that the content a brand delivers its audiences is relevant. Depending on who they are and what they are looking for, consumers will seek different kinds of information and products during their buying journeys. Campaign Monitor reported that segmented campaigns to email subscribers drive a 760% increase in revenue.

 Shoppers increasingly turn to mobile for online shopping

An essential element of any e-commerce marketing strategy involves recognizing the different devices that shoppers use. 85% of customers start a purchase on one device and finish it on another.

Today, a significant portion of e-commerce activity occurs on mobile devices. This is true for all stages of the journey: 93% of Millennials have compared online deals using a mobile device. Shoppers even turn to their phones while in physical stores: 65% of consumers look up price comparisons on mobile while in a physical store, and 32% of shoppers changed their minds about purchasing items after checking out product information on their mobile devices within a physical store.

E-Commerce Marketing Study
Source: Outerbox

They feel as comfortable making important purchases on mobile as they do on desktop devices: In fact, conversion rates from mobile apps are 3x higher than mobile websites, and 40% of all online purchases made during the holiday season are done on smartphones.

What does this mean for e-commerce marketing strategies? Most importantly, brands must design mobile-friendly websites. 73% of consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier, and people who have a negative experience in your mobile store are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future. Brands that want to take it a step further can engage shoppers on brand or company-specific apps. According to a study from Invesp, 53% of smartphone and tablet owners will shop on company-specific apps.

AI set to transform shopping experience

While AI is still a nascent technology, it is quickly becoming a useful tool in e-commerce marketing strategies. It is primarily useful for deriving insight from large volumes of data. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce marketers that want to find patterns in shopping behavior and form a 360-view of customers as they give us clues about their preferences through interactions and engagements with your brand.

AI is also immensely useful in delivering better customer experiences. Chatbots represent one of the most popular applications for AI today. While nothing can fully replace the human touch, shoppers are starting to recognize the value that AI-powered customer service tools offer. A recent study found that almost half of consumers are open to the idea of purchasing an item from a chatbot. 57% are interested in getting information sent to them by a bot when visiting a business’s website.

What not to do: additional fees, complicated checkouts 

Shoppers go online for convenience, and if they can’t find what they want easily, or if it won’t be delivered efficiently, they are likely to abandon their journey with a brand. According to a study by Metapack found that 45% of online shoppers abandon their carts when they are unhappy with delivery options, and 69% feel the same about shipping fees.

Similarly, complicated checkout processes, websites that load slowly, and sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will leave the site without making a purchase. The consequences for this can be drastic: 73% of consumers will leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly.

But there are ways to bring users who abandon back in. Email recovery strategies allow brands to send emails reminding users to return and complete a purchase. They are surprisingly effective, with a study claiming that almost half of recovery emails are opened, and that almost a third incentivize a sale.

Smart e-commerce marketing means automation, personalization, and convenience

Online shopping habits will continue to evolve as technology enables more and more ways to make e-commerce easier, faster, and more personalized. Smart brands can win in this space by staying attune to the devices and platforms that people are using, using technology to complement (and sometimes replace) the human touch, and building the tools to keep transactions as smooth and seamless as possible.

 

The field of marketing technology has revolutionized the way that campaigns are planned, executed, and evaluated. But mar-tech can be intimidating: Navigating the now 7k+ platforms that claim to help marketers understand, reach, engage, and measure their target audiences is no small task.

Here is a primer on marketing technology – what you need to know about today’s mar-tech platforms, how you can evaluate and select them for your specific needs, and how the industry will evolve in 2020.

The Basics

Marketing technology has traditionally come in the form of a software whose principle aim is to assist you in planning and carrying out marketing campaigns, gathering and analyzing the results, and applying insight to future campaigns.

At the most basic level, marketing technology can be broken down into six groups that marketing technology “godfather” Scott Brinker defined as:

• Advertising & Promotion
• Content & Experience
• Social & Relationships
• Commerce & Sales
• Data Management

The advent of marketing technology can be brought back to 1999, when Salesforce launched the Software-as-a-Service model with the goal of making it unnecessary for organizations to spend a fortune to create their own bespoke CRM systems that were often slow and tedious to use. Under SaaS models, brands pay a monthly or yearly fee to use the tools offered. These tools can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000 a year.

Fast forward and today, 29% of marketing budgets are dedicated to marketing technology, Ogilvy has a 900-person mar-tech team, and mar-tech software are being acquired for billions of dollars.

What Mar-Tech Does for Marketers

The best mar-tech tools will offer a combination of the following benefits:

  • Automation of workflows: Most mar-tech solutions automate tasks that are too time-consuming and/or complex to complete manually, like pulling, organizing, and analyzing data.
  • Support streamlined communication: Most mar-tech solutions will enable better communication within and between work teams through tools that help teams track the status of projects and increase collaboration.
  • Generate insight: Mar-tech solutions should do more than pull data – they should be able to draw actionable conclusions that support better decision-making, optimize campaigns, and reveal opportunities and gaps.

Breaking Down the Software Types

Perhaps the most basic way to break down marketing technology is to think about them as either point solutions, which provide tools that address one specific aspect of marketing, or suite solutions, that address more than one category of tools. When a vendor combines these tools under one platform, it is often called a mar-tech stack. Whether a brand selects a point or a suite solution depends on a variety of factors determined by a campaign’s objectives and budget, and there are very good reasons for picking both.

Marketing Technology
Marketing Technology Vendors

To choose your suite of tools, it is important to consider your business model, marketing goals, and how your targets move down the marketing funnel. Often, products are more effective at assisting with a particular stage of the funnel than others, Smart marketers will make sure to combine tools whose tools will help you address the entire sales funnel. Getting to know the tools yourself will be important for both selecting and using them effectively: many of them offer free trials, which you can take advantage of when comparing your options.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the types of tools a marketing technology solution might offer:

Content Marketing tools address the content production process, providing assistance with content management. This means tools for search engine optimization, landing page and A/B testing, content discovery, content distribution,, digital asset management and lead generation.

Rich media tools assist with design, video, and audio creation and promotion, and include video making tools, video marketing platforms, podcasting tools, graphic design tools, and interactive content tools.

Social media management tools assist in planning, scheduling, posting, and measuring social media activity. Monitoring tools help you track your engagement as well as that of competitors, and identify trends. Influencer marketing platforms help brands find and connect with relevant influencers in your industry.

Marketing automation platforms assist in automating and simplifying the basic tasks associated with marketing: marketing automation software automates analysis and social media tasks, and email marketing tools streamline email marketing. Mobile marketing platforms assist in the design and management of push notifications, promotions and offers for mobile apps.

Advertising platforms and tools assist in paid advertising tasks. Search engine marketing helps you identify keywords, conduct competitive analysis, and optimize search engine campaigns. Social media advertising focuses more specifically on ads across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Native advertising tools help you create more effective ads for websites you do not own. Programmatic advertising tools automate the complex process of buying and selling ad spaces so that you can better reach your target audiences.

Sales enablement tools manage the sales and customer management processes. Sales automation platforms manage contacts, leads, sales planning, email marketing, and tools like click-to-call. Customer support tools streamline communication with customers, and customer relationship management tools assist in contact management, task management, and sales reporting.

Data and analytics platforms offer web analytics, tagging, and predictive analytics tools. Data management tools gather third-party data to inform ad targeting and media buying. Customer data platforms collect first-party data for improved targeting. Web analytics tools assist in forming a better picture of those visiting your website in terms of demographics and behavior. They also include tag management tools simplify the process of tagging different types of data on your sight. Predictive analytics tools use machine learning and data mining to create predictive models for your websites.

The Rapid Growth of Marketing Technology

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, the value of effective mar-tech solutions and the money brands are willing to invest in them increase rapidly.

In 2015 alone, over 300 mar-tech companies received $17 billion in funding. Between 2017 and 2019 the value of the market increased from $34.3 billion to $65 billion in the US and UK alone. A 2018 survey found that UK and US firms are spending 26% of their budgets on mar-tech compared to 23% last year. This is a whopping 13% increase in mar-tech budgets since last year.

All-in-One Solutions, Big Acquisitions Shaping Marketing Technology Today

In terms of how the mar-tech landscape is evolving, there are several trends worth noting.

Brands are forming a better understanding of how they can use marketing technology to support their digital marketing efforts. In recent years, brands felt like they needed to invest in dozens of independent vendors to meet their needs. Now, while brands recognize that independent specialists are necessary for some functions, they are increasingly turning to one primary vendor. A study by Walker Sands found that more than a third (34%) rely on a best-of-breed stack (the same rate as in 2018) while 27% rely on a single-vendor suite. 45% of those surveyed asserted that the consolidation of mar-tech has made it more accessible. 

Large legacy brands’ acquisitions of smaller specialist providers have driven this consolidation and strengthened the core of their offerings.

In the recent years,  IPG media acquired Axciom for $2.3bn, Publicis acquired Epsilon for $4bn, Dentsu Aegis Network acquired Merkle for $1.5 billion, Adobe acquired Marketo for $4.75 billion, and Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion. In addition, the best mar-tech platforms are investing in integrating emerging technology into their solutions.

Marketing Technology Trends: The Rise of AI and the Ad-Tech Boom

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest trends in mar-tech. Today, it allows marketers to automate the

Walter Sands’ “State of Marketing Technology” report

process of gathering, analyzing, and drawing insight from data. It automates the process of sifting through the massive amounts of information brands gather through their campaigns to help brands understand their customers’ journeys.

Nonetheless, marketers are still figuring out how to use AI in their technology solutions. 40% of respondents to a Walker Sands study believe AI will continue to be a buzzword in 2019, though only 32% currently use AI or have plans to invest in it this year.

Finally, the growth of ad-tech capabilities is driving the use of mar-tech, with 54% of respondents to the Walker Sands study currently incorporating adtech into their strategies, making it one of the most-used categories of mar-tech. This can partially be explained by improvements in attribution measurement capabilities, as Big Data is making it easier and easier for marketers to drive ROI. In terms of where marketers want ad tech to help them,  52% prioritize ad spending in social media, while 17% prioritize it for Google Ads. This suggests that driving engagement and conversation, not just clicks and brand awareness, are the most important goals for today’s marketers.

The Bottom Line: Marketers Are Happy with Marketing Technology Investment Levels, Becoming Savvier

While the mar-tech landscape is certainly evolving, marketers appear to be satisfied with their use of the technology. 75% of respondents to the Walker Sands study believe their company is investing in the right amount of mar-tech. This is compared to 63% in 2018, a record high for the State of Martech report. This indicates that marketers are learning how to do more with smaller budgets, and run and measure integrated programs. In 2020, smart marketers will continue to take all of these trends and market shifts into account.

Yum Brands moves, Facebook expanding AR/VR team and more changing places. People change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it. Check out last week’s Changing Places here.

 

ViacomCBS has announced that George Cheeks will replace Joe Ianniello as CEO of CBS Entertainment Group, effective March 23. Cheeks joins ViacomCBS from NBCUniversal, where he most recently served as Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios.

 

 

 

Taco Bell Corp. has named Nikki Lawson as its new Global Chief Brand Officer. Lawson, who has spent the past 20 years in KFC, will report to CEO Mark King. Both KFC and Taco Bell are part of Kentucky-based Yum Brands.

 

 

 

Pizza Hut U.S., another Yum Brands company, has named Kevin Hochman, who is also president of KFC U.S., as President of Pizza Hut U.S., according to Ad Age. Hochman has hired George Felix, former Director of Marketing for KFC Global, as CMO for Pizza Hut U.S.

 

 

 

Dunkin’ Brands has promoted Jill McVicar Nelson to Vice-President of Marketing Strategy at the restaurant holding group, parent of both Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins.

 

 

 

 

Facebook has hired former Eventbrite CMO Brian Irving to serve as head of AR/VR Product Marketing. Irving will help promote a range of new initiatives in the sector and will report to AR/VR CMO Rebecca van Dyck.

 

 

 

 

Loyalty marketing includes tools that help marketers engage with consumers. Here are some pros and cons of digital mobile wallets, in-app rewards, blockchain-based loyalty programs, AI-based loyalty marketing and mobile devices with beacon technologies.

·

1. Digital Wallets, Great Organizers of Financial Lives

According to recent data, the average American carries 17 cards. This clearly shows how important it is for consumers to have an overview of their financial life (including their different loyalty programs).  Digital wallets are ideal to help customers organize their financial and loyalty products.

2. In-App Rewards: a Loyalty Marketing Tool

The digitalization of reward programs can be an important driver for customer engagement.  However, most In-App Rewards are based on a gamification context.

Pros:

  • Rewards for better prices, discounts, special offers. In other words, this type of technology can leverage the value proposition to customers.
  • Makes feel your regular customer as a high-value customer, that fact can generate effective recency/frequency and at least more interaction with the brand.
  • Churn strategies; getting back old customers / capture new generations and/or new markets.
  • Leverage Ancillary Revenue / Check-in ratio / Leverage negative performance markets or flights.
  • Incentives for B2C markets.
  • Differentiation from competitors.

Cons:

  • In-App can be very strong to generate engagement but also challenging to generate revenue.
  • Potentially low ROIs due to high operation costs (IT, back-end, front-end).

3. Blockchain-Based Loyalty Programs

Blockchain is a powerful strategy for loyalty marketing because of its inherent safety.  The most valuable asset of a loyalty or Frequent Flyer Program is the data. Blockchain is designed to store transactional data in a secure and decentralized way. Customers appreciate this model because it is a “Loyalty Hub”. This technology can simplify the process of applying and keep customers from having full wallets/apps or accounts/passwords with the brands they want to interact with.

Blockchain is designed to store transactional data in a secure and decentralized way.

Pros:

  • High redemption rates.
  • Analytical and statistical information / more accurate information / give the customer what they need, when they need it and at the right price.
  • Customer incentive oriented: “Buy what you need and I’ll reward you”.
  • Traditional loyalty programs reward you for the extra purchase when customers realize that is a problem. Here the information is secure.
  • Loyalty Hub: customers always appreciate simple and centralized platforms.
  • Points can be changed for cryptocurrency.

Cons:

  • Complex method.
  • High UX costs.
  • High consulting costs.
  • Blockchain technology may not yet be popular enough.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays is not enough to get customers and generate leads from e-commerce strategies. It is a must for companies to start being AI and Machine Learning oriented in some way. This is not a trend, but a real need. Brand marketers and loyalty marketing experts are looking for deep learning experiences that allow recording and auto-analyzing customer information. AI can enable an extremely high degree of personalization. To get the most out of AI it is important for managers to understand market behaviors, customer preferences, demographics, etc.

Brand marketers and loyalty marketing experts are looking for deep learning experiences that allow recording and auto-analyzing customer information.

5. Mobile Devices with Beacon Technologies

Frequent flyer travel programs or loyalty coalition programs are common currency in the travel and lifestyle sectors. These programs provide customers the opportunities to use/redeem the points (virtual coins) they win in the regular day-to-day shopping to acquire plane tickets, accommodation, car rental, ancillary airline products, etc. Beacons allow these programs to be farther reaching and help opening new markets, generally abroad.

Roberto Muñoz, Head of Loyalty Travel at Puntos Colombia, a member of the Portada Council System helped compile this information.

Social media plays an ever-changing role for marketers. The strategy’s strength is in the ability to humanize your brand by engaging with the consumer. And engagement leads to conversions. How to stay current as social media changes is a key discussion point at Portada Council System meetings. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers offer solutions to keep ahead of social media’s evolving role.

Kick-off Facts 

  • SMS or messaging apps are on the rise with 41% of travel marketers planning on implementing this in the near future. (Sojern)
  • Three out of five travel companies are using chat for customer service with 28% actively using or experimenting with AI technology. (Phocuswright)
  • The majority of marketers (77%) are using one or more social media platforms but only 48% have a positive ROI from these strategies. (Impact

Three Social Media Challenges for Portada Council System Members

1. Managing Brand Reputation and Trust

Related comment: “Your customers don’t necessarily trust Influencers (since most know they are being paid). It is better to win them over organically.”

Social media make it easier to discredit a brand. Companies should try to turn these experiences into something positive.

2. Training Staff to Provide Consistent Customer Service

Related comment: “Right now, the front line staff is composed by people who are not prepared enough for the job.” 

We have to make all messages coincide across roles in spite of the emphasis of each area.

3. Increased Complexity and Cost of Social Media Strategies

Related comment: “It is vital to understand the way each platform works.”

Even though the reach is there, it’s getting gradually more expensive.
Portada, Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Four Social Media Opportunities Identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing Channels

Globally, travel marketers see Facebook (30%) and Instagram (28%) as the most effective tools for targeting new audiences contrasted with only a 4% rate in connecting with loyalty members. (Sojern)

Related comment: “We are losing sight of traditional communication channels that are still alive and reaching a more traditional target.”

A recent eMarketer study shows a 122% median email marketing ROI, a number 4x higher than other digital marketing channels. (LYFE Marketing)

2. Humanize the Brand Voice and Keep it Consistent

Related comment:Every role matters, and each one can influence the whole in a different way.” 

Practical example: The CEO could humanize the message and community managers should have a “tone of voice” that coincides with the company’s values.

When the head of the company is an activist, this helps the brand’s reputation.

3. Give Staff the Skills to Handle All Types of Social Media Feedback 

Related comment: “Strive for accuracy and timely answers when addressing customers’ comments on social media.” 

Practical example: Provide appropriate training to the social media team so they know how to handle messages with different objectives: communicating, positioning, selling, etc. 

Make sure the whole organization has the same culture and train staff to deal with social media’s evolving role.

4. Use AI to Boost Your Customer Service 

Research from Salesforce shows an anticipated 143% increase in the use of AI for customer service teams over the next 18 months. (Salesforce)

Practical example: Using an algorithm that answers immediately on social media without the customer noticing it’s a chatbot. Instead of having hundreds of people answering, a company could hire less high-profile employees to do it right.

When the algorithm can’t solve an issue, there’s a seamless transition to a human specialist.

Portada, Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

 

We talked to Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam about the story behind the recently-announced strategic partnership with Precision, the programmatic division of Publicis Media.  We also discussed the key buzzwords and trends of the near future, and why Teads is ready to tackle them head-on with a revolutionary new tool. 

Last year, Teads closed a deal with Oracle Moat that allows buyers to select any custom billing point of viewability and transact on any viewability requirement. Portada also announced the new partnership with Precision, the programmatic area of Publicis Media, in Latam. Teads is the fast-growing platform that invented outsream video marketing. Now, they are changing the game again on their way lower into the funnel. To find out more, we caught up with Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam. Here’s all you need to know about the special nature of this partnership. Plus, learn how the company gets the ball rolling when it comes to data and AI.

 

The Importance of Having Allies: The Teads + Precision Partnership

Teads works with all the agencies. However, the partnership with Publicis’ programmatic area is unusual because it has a more significant qualitative component. “We’re going deeper, sharing more information. We have enormous amounts of first-party data and a very strong insights team,” said Eric Tourtel to introduce Portada to the story. As he explained, Teads started at the top of the funnel with good branding results after the launch of the innovative InRead video ad format. then moved to engagement and consideration, but the company has just recently started to focus more on performance.

Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading.

Now, Teads is able to fully audit the consumer journey. In Latam, the company has grown so much that it now reaches 90% of Mexican internet users, for example (source). “We find them within our network from 15 to 20 times per month. Imagine the gargantuan proportions of information we get,” shared Tourtel. “Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading. More than noting which URLs they’re visiting, we’re paying attention to the content they look for in those websites.” Consequently, sharing such information with Publicis will make for a very strategic partnership. According to Tourtel, most of the other partnerships are about price, volume, and discount.

 

Sharing the Teads Potential

“What makes this partnership special,” remarked Tourtel, “is the openness with which Teads will share its platform which most agencies aren’t aware of.” Thus, he had to organize intensive training in Miami with the directors of Precision offices all over Latin America. “We had to make sure they understood our platform’s potential,” told Eric. “We’ll have at least one training session per quarter in order to hear their feedback and adapt to their needs. This doesn’t happen at any other Demand-Side Platform.”

As Tourtel mentioned during our conversation, Teads might not be a very complex company but it is a very complete provider. It used to focus solely on video, but it has now evolved lower into the funnel to offer performance solutions. “Teads’ platform is different from DSPs in that it’s exclusively designed exclusively for Teads’ transactions,” informed Tourtel. “It’s all connected at a data level, as well as at a reach level. We are full-stack: an ad-server, SSP, exchange, buying interface…” In short, partnering up with Teads sounds like a very good idea.

We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players.

The other special aspect of the partnership was the story behind it. There’s a bond with Publicis that goes way back. “We have a lot of history together,” shared Eric. “I started Teads Latam six years ago and the first agency that took a leap of faith and talked big numbers with their clients for us was Starcom Miami. We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players,” added Tourtel.

 

Guaranteeing Viewability is no Longer Impossible

The main problem video marketers face is that nobody wants to watch video ads. They’re invasive, annoying, and get in the way between consumers and content. This is a real problem for Facebook and YouTube, but Teads got rid of the invasion factor. And so innovation played an important part in Teads’ process of coming up with a new format that was entirely different from a pre-roll.

The result was outstream video advertising, and it revolutionized video marketing. More consumers are now voluntarily watching ads. “We invented the InRead format,” said Tourtel. “It started with a video between two paragraphs. It’s not covering any content, so it’s not an intrusion, you can skip it if you don’t want to watch.”

Marc Pritchard, CEO of P&G has recently declared that his company’s ads have an average exposure time of 1.6 seconds on Facebook, compared to 13 seconds on Teads,” pointed out Tourtel. ”That’s because we display ads exclusively in profesional articles. We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.”

 

How Teads Does It

We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.

If you have the right format and you display it in the right place, it has to work. However, if you add to that an artificial intelligence that gathers precise data and continually learns how to classify it, that’s a winning combo. “Five years ago we built a team that created our AI,” told Tourtel. “We gave it one single question. ‘Knowing what we know about this user, what are the chances that this impression will turn into a full view?’.

In fact, technology at this point is a must. “When we started we did all of this manually, but as we grew into the third biggest digital company in Latin America this became impossible, so we created our AI.” Every time there’s a full view, Teads’ AI team looked at their whole file and then looked for similar profiles. Then, the AI gets better after each completion and is able to predict conversions more accurately. 

 

Brand Safety Can Also Be Guaranteed

Teads is proud to say that, apart from offering very high viewability rates, the company has never faced any brand safety-related issues. Teads uses Grapeshot, a well-known software that scans pages to avoid placing ads next to unwanted content that could harm the brand. “But we know Grapeshot isn’t perfect, so we added our own technology on top of that,” told Tourtel. “Our AI helps us read and classify articles. We also avoid breaking news pages because that’s where they show the horrible stuff.” Furthermore, Teads’ ads only appear on reputable publishing media, where journalists submit articles to an editorial manager for approval before they’re released. “It’s not like we’re a social network with 400 hundred people posting every minute,” he added.

Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.

Nonetheless, explained Tourtel, the tricky part is knowing where to stop, as the definition of brand safety is a very subjective matter. “Brand safety means something different to each brand,” he mentioned. “Sometimes a brand will choose not to appear near the word death, let’s say. So you block any instances where the Word death appears, even if it’s something positive that doesn’t harm the brand at all. Imagine a story about an airplane accident with zero deaths, that’s very good news, but you have blocked the word death and thus you have reduced your reach and increased the cost.”

 

What’s Next for Teads?

Where is the company going and how will it use this potential? “Last year, we decided to regroup a bit,” answered Tourtel. “We were diversifying too much, so we went back to our core: media and newspapers. “Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.”

While Teads has relied on acquisitions in the past, it’s now focusing more on building a strong platform that places them closer to the bottom line. “We own all our inventory and all our data,” explained Tourtel. “This gives us enormous freedom and a great ability to adapt because we’re not depending on any other companies with other priorities that could slow us down.”

AI and Reach on Target

The buzzwords going around are AI and data. Analysts and researchers are preparing for how the future of the industry is resting on those two vast words. Therefore, Teads has a new deal in the works with Nielsen that will allow them to take their innovative offering a step further. “Right now, when you sell the segment of 18-42 year-old women, you’re charging for 30-50% of reach on target,” he explained. “Everybody strives for 100%, but that’s like the holy grail. But soon we’ll be able to charge only for those 18 to 42 year-old women Nielsen confirms we’ve impacted on.”

This product will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.

Just like the InRead format solved viewability issues, Teads’ will boost performance via look-alike modeling, machine learning and massive amounts of first-party data. “We noticed that CTRs of O.01% are normal in the market while our CTRs range from 1% to 3%. We said, ‘We should sell clicks!’ and we came up with this product that will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.”

 

See a Trend? Own It

The trends are clear: according to Eric Tourtel, clients want transparency, brand safety, and social responsibility. “Brands are pressuring social media to take responsibility for the content they show, to avoid fake news and hate speech,” he pointed out. “We already have these priorities under control. Now, data will help us offer a more precise product. You’ll no longer buy what you don’t need and you won’t lose anything.” This way, the company will offer a full-funnel view of users’ purchase journeys.