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What: CommerceNext has published the results of a survey of 100 e-commerce decision-makers, meant to explore similarities and differences in the priorities of traditional and digital-first DTC brands.
Why it matters: The report is meant to be a benchmark that helps marketers evaluate their priorities in terms of how to distribute budget among different technologies and objectives.

 

E-commerce is unpredictable; it forces marketers to be on the lookout for what’s coming next and reacting if only a little bit late can turn out to be fatal. In order to be more ready, decision-makers have to decide what matters more in every step of their strategy, which means having to prioritize investments and objectives. With these challenges in mind, CommerceNext conducted a survey of 100 top marketing executives in traditional and digital-first direct-to-consumer brands.

The objective was to provide a useful benchmark for online retailers to measure their priorities and decide how to distribute budget in the most convenient way. According to the results, even though both traditional and digital-first online retailers point to an increase in marketing budget, digital-first brands are spending way more while also diversifying their strategies. Below are the key insights from the study, titled How Leading Retailers and DTC Brands Are Investing in Digital.

 

Which Investments Did Work in 2018?

In order to compete, marketers need to be quick to decide which investments can help them reach their objectives. According to the study, 65% of respondents said their 2019 e-commerce marketing budget increased over the previous year, while only 10% of marketers are reducing their budget. In 2018, the top marketing investment priorities were acquisition marketing (81%), retention and loyalty marketing (43%) and promotions (32%).

When asked about the results of those investments, acquisition marketing had the highest level of satisfaction rating: 53% of respondents said acquisition marketing met expectations in 2018, and 24% said it exceeded expectations. On the contrary, 52% of respondents said unified customer data (e.g. a single view of the customer) performed below their expectations. Almost the same number had similar levels of dissatisfaction in personalization investments (51%).

Source: CommerceNext

 

What Are the Priorities of Digital-First and Traditional Retailers?

According to the report, consumers have more than doubled the amount of time they spend on DTC brands’ websites over the last two years. Even though all the companies in the study have increased their e-commerce marketing budgets, digital-first DTC brands are spending more: 78% indicated that their 2019 budget is higher than the one they had in 2018, while 60% of traditional retailers said the same.

Because DTC brands are based on data-driven decisions and customer-centric operations, they are growing and evolving at an accelerated pace. As stated in the report: “fueled by venture capital investment, these brands have focused on growth vs profitability.” Therefore, the most significant challenge for this group of brands is “achieving profitability at scale”, with “Managing tech integrations” coming in second, with 33% of DTC brands identifying it as a barrier. This is a side-by-side comparison of what each group considers to be the most significant barriers, extracted from the study:

Source: CommerceNext

How to Make the Best of the 2019 Holiday Season

According to the NRF, the 2018 holiday retail season exceeded expectations. Over 165 million Americans reportedly shopped either in stores or online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday 2018, and online purchasing, in particular, experienced a 19% increase compared to the previous year. The NRF has forecasted that 2019 retail sales will increase by 3.8% compared to 2018, and the online sales growth rate will increase between 10% to 12%.

DTC brands are increasing their budgets at a higher rate than traditional retailers and spreading that budget more evenly. For example, digital-first DTC brands are increasing their budgets equally (70%) between acquisition marketing and retention/loyalty marketing. On the other hand, traditional retailers are emphasizing acquisition marketing, with 77% of respondents increasing their acquisition budget compared to 64% of traditional retailers increasing their retention budget.

 

 

All images by CommerceNext.

Latin American market leaders will discuss the future of marketing technology on October 17 at the beautiful Casa Lamm in Mexico City. The agenda includes:  5G, DOOH, e-commerce, and much more. Three units of Portada’s council system will hold their private meetings at the event. Get tickets now and meet executives of your choice at Portada Meet Up.

 

Don’t Miss Latin American Market Leaders at Portada Mexico

This year, for the 2019 edition of Portada Mexico, the leaders of marketing innovation in Latin America will delve deep into the state of the art of MarTech and will discuss new insights to target consumers in key Latin American markets. 

On October 17 at the Casa Lamm, top brands and agencies will show how they’re evolving their video and digital marketing toolkit to engage consumers via out of home advertising and e-business. In addition, brilliant speakers will discuss 5G and its relevance in the Mexican market.

Portada Mexico attendees will be able to network with members of Portada’s Council System. The Americas Board, Brand Star Committee Latam, and Travel Marketing Board will hold their second 2019 in-person meetings at the same venue.

Portada Mexico offers senior executives from tech, media and marketing firms the opportunity to interact with brand marketers through Portada’s one-on-one meetup offering. Get tickets and choose whom to meet from a list of brand and agency decision-makers pre-screened by Portada (first-come, first-served). 

Latin American Market Leaders to Take the Portada Mexico Stage:

Is 5G a Reality in Mexico?

Henry Zamarripa, Head of Sales & Partnerships, Verizon Media

5G promises endless opportunities for brands to redefine their relationship with consumers: Smart Cities, IoT, instant brand-consumer communications, etc…

 

 

Out of Home Advertising in the Digital Era

Valentin Bueno, CEO, Latcom

Mobile and geo-location technologies are expanding the horizons of out of home advertising.

 

 

Using Digital Strategies to Reach Small Business Owners in Mexico

Juliana Sarria, Manager of Consumer & Client Engagement, Grupo Gepp

Traditional business owners handle around 80% of Mexican CPGs. The head of consumer & client engagement at Gepp will explain how digital marketing can help navigate the complex world of Mexican retail.

 

 

The Revolution of Video Marketing in Mexico

Marine Garmrouguian, Head of Programmatic, Affiperf MX, Havas Media Group

 

 

 

 

E-Business as a Cornerstone of Marketing

Luis Macin, VP of E-Commerce, Nestlé MX

Macin will explore how E-Business dynamics impact marketing from brand building to digital communications.

 

 

 

What: Marketing decision-makers and brand innovation experts shared insights on the advance of marketing technology and multicultural marketing at Portada New York on September 12. Here are some of the takeaways that you missed.
Why it matters: In its thirteenth annual edition, Portada New York gathered marketers and agency executives engaged with major brands, and provided a space for top-quality knowledge-sharing and networking.

Brand Innovation Expert Nick Kelly
ABinBev’s Head of US Sports Marketing Nick Kelly in conversation with Portada’s Editorial Coordinator

This fragmented, hyper-connected world forces us to adapt to the new trends as soon as they appear. And even though data, the blueprint of this ship we’re all on, is there to guide us through the process, the fact is there’s too much of it available to even comprehend.

As demonstrated throughout the Portada New York series of talks on September 12, both brands and service providers are getting ahead, and it is precisely spaces like these that allow collective knowledge to grow.

Brand Innovation Experts at Work

During the private activities of the Portada Council System on September 11, three of the council units, the Agency Star Committeethe Brand Star Committeeand the Sports Marketing Board discussed relevant topics like improving communication between media planning and

Brand Innovation Experts at work
Sprint’s Francisco Morillo and Nestle’s Kristin Sanchez at the Brand Star Committee meeting

investment teams, increased need for tech knowledge, the fluidity of multicultural identities, the impact of the current political environment in marketing campaigns, the momentum of women’s sports, and more.

Attendees could network with members of the Portada Council System the day after, and listen to the brilliant speakers on the Portada New York agenda. At the Portada Meet-Up session, ticket holders held one-on-one meetings with brand and agency executives of their choice. Here are some of the key takeaways of the #PortadaNY panels.

 

 

Key Takeaways

“Member journey analysis provides us with the information to assign different parts of our organization to a customer.”

(Kim Lauersdorf, Vice President, Marketing, EmblemHealth)

 

“5G is going to remove encumbrance for consumers to get to objects of fandom more often .and re-engage with them.”  

(Peter Sorckoff, Founder & CEO, Seer World)

 

“Identifying consumer insights has become more important than ever. Creating intimate experiences is essential to engage like-minded consumers.”

(Manny Gonzalez, Senior Director, Trade Marketing-Cultural Diversity, Moët Hennessy USA)

 

“Our successful campaign is making the company reconsider how to think about multicultural.”

(Eugene Santos, Senior Manager, Advertising & Marketing, Multicultural, KIA Motors America)

 

“You can’t just look at ratings. Millennials use many screens and multitask, but  they are more engaged than ever although the viewership numbers may decline.”

(Nick Kelly, Head of US Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch InBev)

 

“Out of home didn’t use to be as important, now it’s a must. Together with digital, it makes a perfect match: DOOH has grown more than any other traditional media, and it creates the most awareness.”

(Jill Brooks, Business Development Director, LATCOM)

 

“African-American, Hispanic and Asian over-index as e-sports players vs. the general population.”

(Josh Cella, Head of Global Partnerships, Activision Blizzard Esports)

 

 

“Podcasts like Serial drive Superbowl size audiences. Podcasting also tends to skew younger.”  

(Lisa Baird, CMO, New York Public Radio)

 

 

 

What: For audience data analysis, CNN blends and analyzes multiple data streams that reveal its audience’s preferences. Thus, the world-renowned news organization produces content that keeps viewers coming back.
Why it matters:  CNN’s VP of digital research and analytics Seth Holladay outlines the challenge of finding the right data and analytical tools to ensure that content engages loyal viewers and attracts new ones.

 

Audience data analysis tools

Cookies are not enough when it comes to a complete understanding of your audience, according to CNN’s VP of digital research and analytics Seth Holladay. In other words, the bits of data stored on users’ web browsers provide only a partial picture of CNN fans’ interests and viewing habits.

To really know its audience, CNN turns to multiple data streams gathered from its own online properties and third-party data sources. For example, this includes Google and Alexa voice-activated speakers. Moreover, it analyzes users’ behavior on CNN’s websites, Holladay told Portada during a sit-down interview at Portada Miami.

CNN uses multiple sources of data and data analysis tools to inform its editorial, advertising, and content strategies. “We watch how people are interacting with our content,” Holladay said.

For instance, one tool CNN uses for audience data analysis is Adobe Analytics, to track users’ interaction with CNN’s websites. But cookies aren’t enough. Thus, CNN also uses third-party data sources, like Comscore, to better understand its audience demographics.

 

Third-party data and other data sources

“Across the CNN portfolio, we cover a lot of topics. Comscore for the U.S. market allows us to understand the demographics of our viewers,” Holladay told Portada. “We take a lot of our really granular Adobe-level data, users’ actions on our website, and within that we are blending in different types of data using a lot of third-party sources to enrich that data.”

Seth Holladay, CNN

Audience information drawn from third parties includes data from Alexa and Google Home smart speakers that, while not directly connected to CNN, still provides valuable insights, Holladay said.

We have increasing interest from Hispanic audiences across the world in what is happening in the U.S.

 

 

Connecting the dots with mobile

To further close gaps in audience data analysis, CNN looks at data drawn from consumers’ mobile advertising IDs.There is an ability to connect the dots with mobile advertising IDs, what people are doing and the online behavior data from Adobe, and then match those with the advertising side to create a richer picture of the audience,” Holladay explained.

CNN has a “number of initiatives underway” to deploy AI and machine learning to analyze the data it collects. But human decision making is still a key component of how CNN uses data to guide its content decisions.

“From a business perspective, at our core we are a news service. We have a lot of editorial oversight so that will remain the main driver in our decision making.”

 

Multi-cultural advantage

CNN en español allows CNN to isolate the Hispanic audience in a unique and discreet way, Holladay noted.

And the current political climate in the U.S. has turned into a plus for driving new Hispanic viewers to CNN’s properties.

We are blending lots of different data.

 

“What we have now is a platform for people that want to consume news in both languages. We have an increasing interest from Hispanic audiences across the world in what is happening in the US,” Holladay told Portada.CNN discusses audience data analysis

Moreover, CNN en español also allows the news network to draw a deep understanding of content preferences in the different countries in Latin America where it is available. This is also very useful for audience data analysis.

“One of the most basic things we collect is the geography of the user,” Holladay said.

 

Informing editorial decisions

First, CNN collects and analyzes “tons of signals” to understand its visitors. The company examines what digital properties they’re clicking on, what causes them to leave a site, and their digital touchpoints.

Then, it deploys a real-time dashboard to give its editorial professionals a true picture of the impact of content. In this way, they see “what types of topics and subjects resonate with different types of audiences,” Holladay said.

 

A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research in the U.S. and U.S. Hispanic markets. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop shop.

 

  • According to a new survey of 983 U.S. consumers from custom signage provider Signs.com, the four most frequently shopped online retailers for Baby Boomers, Gen X, and millennials are Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Target. Discrepancies start at the fifth spot: Kohl’s for Baby Boomers, Costco for Gen X, and Best Buy for millennials. However, there are clear discrepancies by generation in online grocery shopping. Thirty-four percent of millennial respondents have used online grocery delivery, compared to 25% of Gen X and 22% of Baby Boomers.

 

  • Research from Counterpoint’s U.S. Smartphone Sales by City Tracker shows 5G smartphone sales in over 10 cities in May despite Verizon only launching 5G services in Chicago and Minneapolis. While Chicago did show the highest concentration of sales, it represented just over 5% of total 5G smartphone sales according to data collected across millions of sales data points during May. 

 

  • Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney has published a study which looks into consumer knowledge and experience of various emerging in-store technologies. The 2019 Consumer Retail Technology Survey found that while 75% of consumers are aware of at least one retail technology, only 33% have experienced any. The survey focused on five critical technologies emerging in physical stores: augmented reality, mobile point of sale, cashierless checkout, interactive screens, and 3D printing.

 

  • According to “The Amazon Prime Day Effect: Consumer Anticipation and Excitement Grows in 2019,” a survey of about 2,600 consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany from Periscope By McKinsey, 66% of respondents are either excited or eager for Prime Day and 70% or more across all four countries expect to participate.

 

  • According to a consumer survey of 1765 people by Hub Entertainment Research, 23% of respondents indicated they would drop Netflix if the service began running commercials. With 60 million subscribers in the United States, that would mean a loss of approximately 14 million users.

 

  • A new Morning Consult report digs into the values, habits, aspirations, politics, and concerns shaping Gen Z, and the ways they differ from the generations that came before them. The report uses data from nearly 1,000 interviews with 18-21 year-olds. Making money and having a successful career are the two most universally important life goals for Gen Z adults – more than pursuing friends, family, or hobbies. About a quarter of Gen Z adults (23%) say being famous is important to them – eight points higher than millennials and 15 points higher than Gen X.

 

. SoImage by Freepik

What: The use of AI on marketing and advertising is turning heads and generating headlines. The latest? Computers select images and colors, improve text, sift through big data to sharpen targeting and lift customer response rates.
Why it matters: Agencies, however, say they deploy AI for more mundane but critical tasks. Those include automating repetitive work. They also encompass sorting and labeling images and videos. It saves thousands of hours of labor. As a result, it frees up in-house talent for higher-level creative output.

The brave new world of AI on marketing is here. Recent headlines boast of AI’s ability to boost customer response rates with better text, content and just the right selection of colors and images in advertising.

AI on marketing saves on labor

Marketers tell Portada, however, that they’re using AI on marketing for far more mundane but still essential agency tasks. Namely, saving thousands of hours of labor and freeing up their best talent to do what creatives do best: create.

“Our initial goal is to automate several of the manual processes that go into the content creative process,” Carmen Garcés, head of digital at Hogarth México told Portada.

Hogarth Mexico, she said, is using AI or “machine learning” to mask, rotoscope, review, organize and tag hundreds of hours of video as well as images, saving the agency thousands of hours of labor.

Artificial intelligence is also being used to sort through Hogarth’s talent database of thousands of worldwide employees to help producers select just the right resources for each project.

The time saved frees up Hogarth Mexico staff to improve and apply their skills and technical knowledge to creative output, Garcés explained in an email.

“There are a lot of talented people around the world with unique creative and technical skills. We see AI as a great support to help us leverage this talent even further and to provide novel solutions and superior output for our clients.”

Apply AI on Marketing

Applying AI tools to recognize, catalog and modify visual content provides exciting opportunities for improving work efficiency and increasing advertising’s effectiveness.

Our initial goal is to automate several of the manual processes that go into the content creative process.

“One element of targeting that is still left relatively untapped is object recognition,” wrote Tim Bosch, associate director at Resolution Media in a recent column published by Digital Commerce 360.

“AI will be the driving force that exposes this massive targeting opportunity.”

According to Bosch, Snapchat has developed the technology to recognize objects posted by users, differentiating between food, pets, and more.

“Imagine this—after analyzing a user’s image inventory, object recognition technology could calculate their individual fashion style. This style feeds into their overall profile which brands can tap into to provide personalized ad messaging.”

Researching AI on Marketing

According to Garcés, Hogarth Mexico is “talking to multiple vendors and research institutes,” about how AI could help further improve the agency’s productivity. That includes using AI to modify videos and images.

“That would allow us to remove entire elements and objects from a scene something that if done in the traditional way could take days.”

Hogarth Mexico is considering AI tools that would allow it to change out the dialogue of actors in a video. It could then substiture “a completely different phrase or even deliver the speech in a completely different language.”

It’s undeniable that the unstoppable progress of AI has made it a tool that is impossible to ignore.

“The most important opportunity for us is to leverage AI to augment our talent. And amplify the creative output of our organization and provide superior customer experience while delivering content to our clients,” Garcés told Portada.

AI frees up creative talent

At Grey Mexico, Chief Creative Officer Humberto Polar is focused on how to use AI to automate the generation of creative materials for advertising. He mentions combining of images and prices, and adapting formats in retail campaigns.

“This type of work today occupies many hours and is subject to a high level of human error. That’s precisely because it is operation-related and not creative work,” Polar told Portada.

“We should put our efforts towards automating tasks. Then people to do more much more gratifying and useful work, thus providing truly creative support to our clients.”

Grey Mexico is also using AI. Namely to analyze data, generating new understanding of the behaviors of consumers. With AI, the agency can apply its same creative thinking, but to much larger data sets.

“It’s undeniable that the unstoppable progress of AI has made it a tool that is impossible to ignore,” Polar says.

 

What: Marketing technology struggles to keep up with increasing use of voice search. Adoption of smart speakers is highest among educated millennials with higher disposable incomes.
Why it matters: Voice search expands by 35-fold between 2008 and 2016. But brands don’t have to re-invent the wheel to make sure they’re on top of consumers’ search results.

Burger King had its own way last year. It ran a television ad with a young male employee speaking these words directly into the camera: “OK, Google, what is a whopper burger?”

The question triggered innumerable cell phones and smart speakers within hearing distance of televisions. They woke up and searched the internet for the answer. Their owners likely then heard a description of the burger chain’s iconic Whopper.  Their device’s virtual assistant read the description from a page on Wikipedia.

Google, which was not consulted before the ad ran, quickly modified its virtual assistant so it would not to respond to the ad, according to The New York Times.

Voice-search increases need for marketing technology

Burger King’s foray into voice search can be seen as a harbinger of the brave new world brands face. More and more internet searches are done by voice activated assistants on smart speakers and cell phones.

More customers ask AI-powered services like Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa detailed questions about restaurant brands.

Restaurants are responding to the pressure to get with the voice search game.

“In this new environment, more customers than ever are asking AI-powered services like Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa detailed questions about restaurant brands, locations and menu items,” said Lee Zucker of the New York City technology company Yext.

A study by Yext found that nearly half of all respondents (49 percent) said they would use voice search to get restaurant-specific information. “AI changes the game for restaurants everywhere,” Zucker said in a press release announcing the study results.

Brands ramp up marketing technology

Brand managers, however, don’t need to panic as they steer into the uncharted waters of smart speakers and voice-activated searches.

Adapting to voice search is not a case of re-inventing the wheel, SEO expert Chris Rodgers, founder of Colorado SEO Pros tells Portada.

“If you have already been performing SEO properly, then you have already done some of the work to make sure that you rank for voice search.”

What are the key things brand managers should watch out for?

Rodgers says:

  • Focus web page content on the questions people are asking.
  • Use natural conversational language on web sites.
  • Understand the problems and solutions customers are looking for when building site content.
  • Be the best resource on the web to answer customers’ questions.

“You need to pay attention to how your content solves problems via voice search,” and that often means ensuring that your site has an excellent FAQ section, Rodgers says.

If you have already been performing SEO properly, then you have already done some of the work to make sure that you rank for voice search.

“The truth is, this represents the next step and it’s just an evolution of what we’ve already been doing.”

More smart speakers, more voice search

The smart speaker market spend is ballooning. It will grow from $4.3 billion last year to $23.3 billion in 2025, according to Allied Market Research.

Amazon’s Alexa led in revenues in 2017 but Apple’s Siri is expected to grow the fastest. More will be spent in North America on smart speakers than anywhere else in the world.

The biggest adopters of smart speaker technology are affluent educated millenials as well as young gen X and children, according to Global Market Insights.

Along with smart speaker sales, voice search is growing, too.

More than 40-percent of adults “used voice search on a daily basis in 2016,” Forbes Magazine reports, noting that comScore predicts that “50 percent of searches will be voice-based by 2020.”

Forbes reports that most voice searches are also local. That puts an emphasis on the ability of the search engine used to deliver up local results.

The search engine voice searches uses depends in part on the device itself.

Rodgers tells Portada the search engine used in a voice search depends in part on the device used.

Amazon deploys its own database for shopping inquires made using its Alexa, and as a result Apple’s Siri has its own knowledge base. But Apple also uses Google. While Google serves as a main database, “it’s not a case of all smart speakers relying on Google.”

Microsoft and Amazon have teamed up against Google and Apple. Portada recently reported they are making their virtual assistants Alexa and Cordana compatible.

Brands jump in

Burger King’s joins a brave new world brands diving into smart speakers and voice search.

Marriott is trying out the Amazon Echo in rooms at select properties. Guest can access information on hotel services as well as their favorite music.

Saint Louis University decides to install Amazon Alexa smart speakers in student living areas and preload them with the answers to the most common 100 questions about getting around the university.

Andrew Ko, director of education at Amazon Web Services said “Amazon Web Services is proud to work with Saint Louis University to provide students with quick access to important information,” in a press release announcing the university’s smart speaker installation. “We applaud SLU’s commitment to using technology like Amazon Alexa to enhance campus life for its students.”

What: We talked to Nestlé’s Margie Bravo and NFL’s Marissa Fernandez. We talked about marketing innovation and how to prepare for what the future brings.
Why it matters: In what some are calling the fourth industrial revolution, new technologies like AI and VR are expected to dominate the marketing space. Marketers like Bravo and Fernandez agree that companies need to evolve to survive.

Technology has moved fast than ever. Especially since the first industrial revolution. No we are now living in times in which technological advancements are changing everything. And at an almost inconceivable pace. Scientists and economists like Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, have begun to call this moment in time the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is fundamentally different from the previous three. Because in Schwab’s words, “new technologies are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds. They impact all disciplines, economies and industries. And they challenge ideas about what it means to be human.”

 

Digital disruption and marketing innovation

All this talk about digital disruption and marketing innovation has marketers wondering exactly what this revolution will mean for the marketing industry. “Technology has changed consumer behavior as much as it has changed everything else. Shopping has become a social activity,” writes Craig Thornton, VP, Business Mobility at Telus. “They hardly buy anything without first checking to see what previous purchasers have to say about it.  This level of research used to be reserved only for big-ticket items such as major appliances and cars. However now we google which toothbrush is best.” As Thornton says, marketers need to change to face these dramatic changes. We asked two members of Portada’s Brand Star Committee, Nestlé’s Multicultural Marketing Champion Margie Bravo and NFL’s Senior Director of Marketing and Fan Development Marissa Fernandez, to share their thoughts. What is next in marketing… and how to get ready.

Marketing Innovation, the Consumer Knows Best

It’s no secret that for some people, and particularly for the world of marketing, technology has brought data as a sort of all-encompassing math God that could reportedly solve all of our consumer-related needs. “Technology is evolving quickly, the media landscape is becoming more complex, and we need to use data to learn about that and invest wisely,” says NFL’s Marissa Fernandez. “But ultimately I think that no different from brands that existed 20 or 50 years ago, brands that actually understand their consumer and are delivering an unmet need are gonna continue to win in the marketplace.”

Everything lathers up to asking ‘How can I create those opportunities for my consumers?’

Data and what to do with it

As Nestlé’s Margie Bravo points out, “It’s been outstanding how much talk there is about data, how data is changing, and what you need to do with it.” All over the world, but particularly in the U.S., “Now you have more diverse, more multicultural consumers. So […] the idea of analytics, the idea of really having a good gage of what is happening. Where is your growth coming from? What are the consumer behaviors that you need to take into consideration… Everything lathers up to asking ‘How can I create those opportunities for my consumers?'”

Connecting the Digital and Multicultural Landscapes is Crucial

According to Margie Bravo, in the past, we didn’t ask so much from data as we’re doing now. Today, we try for that data to be informative and helpful in “finding those opportunities to maximize,” comments Margie Bravo, but “maximizing” does not necessarily mean more sophisticated; as she says, “The more you simplify life, the more consumers also ask for more simple lives.” And this simplicity takes us back to basics. Marissa Fernandez explains, even though the landscape is getting more and more complex, “Not losing sight of who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and what needs you’re delivering on… I think that will be a thread of truth.”
Not losing sight of who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and what needs you’re delivering on… I think that will be a thread of truth.
Moving into the marketing innovation future, Margie Bravo has some advice. Keep an eye on the following: 1) the multicultural landscape, 2) the digital landscape, and 3) how to “connect those two. Aimed at building structures and accelerated growth opportunities for your brands. Taking into consideration where your consumer is going.” In the end, even though things move faster every day, the truly important remains the same. “If brands get too caught up in the complex landscape and how to reach their consumers and lose sight of […] what we really are trying to do for them, they will probably lose out to those brands. And they have that core focus that’s remained unchanged in marketing,” predicts Marissa Fernandez.

 

 

What: Marketing and technology is the focus of our talk with Circus marketing CEO Bruno Lambertini.  He explained his priorities for marketing innovation and as a result how to survive through the digital revolution.
Why it matters: The world of marketing and technology is changing at an accelerated pace. As a result, agencies like Circus Marketing are willing to take risks and invest in a smart way. They will survive in the new economy.

In the world of business, innovation means quite simply the process of translating a new idea into a service that consumers will buy. Thus creating value. Innovating is vital to every business. Without it, companies need not even try to survive. Circus Marketing is a multicultural digital agency with 8 offices in the U.S., and Spain. It has a presence in 5 Latin American countries, and was founded in 2005. Circus strives to create high-impact advertising campaigns that engage consumers to an emotional degree. Portada talked to CEO Bruno Lambertini to find out more about Circus utilizes different tools, but mainly data analysis, to drive innovation.

Portada: What are the key tools for marketing and technology according to Circus?

Bruno Lambertini: Data combined with AI and Robotics, with a boost from 5G connectivity, is an explosive combo that opens a thousand opportunities in the world of marketing and communications. These are elements we’re exploring and experimenting with at Circus.”

Need for innovation

Portada: How does Circus Marketing understand the need for innovation?

B.L.: “Marketing innovation is not only about creative ideas. More than ever, clients today want to see ROI and demand effective campaigns. Every strategy of ours is based on deep knowledge of audiences through smart use of data. Not two days are the same at Circus, we never face a task the same way as the previous one, and that’s an essential part of the innovation process.

The only thing that really affects human behavior is a great idea that answers to data-driven consumer analysis. Ideas are the core of our business, as well as a neuralgic element of communication, but data provides context and new technologies boost distribution and impact on consumers. This combination is what makes innovation at Circus.”

Portada: How have marketing and technology changed in the last decade? What are Circus’ tools to address them?

A decade of change

B.L.: “The need for innovation has always been a part of communication and marketing’s DNA. In recent years, the industry has changed in an accelerated way, mostly because audiences have modified clients’ needs and expectations through new consuming habits. When we thought of ATL as ATL and we thought of digital as digital, many digital agencies were born, but they are also considered traditional today. Now, traditional ATL and traditional digital agencies need to innovate to survive.

Circus is an agency based on this new economy, it’s a hybrid model that takes the best of both worlds and adds data, tech-driven ideas, and content-generation tools in order to tackle new challenges. At Circus, the data and planning areas work closely together to generate actionable insights that favor creativity in order to generate an emotional connection with audiences, which translate to unique, powerful results.”

 

Portada: Competition is tough. What would you say are today’s most important values and skills in order to succeed as marketing and technology change?

As part of Circus’ campaign to promote Netflix’s House of Cards, a mural showing the female lead was placed 600 meters away from the original Eva Perón mural in Buenos Aires.

A new economy

B.L.: “The companies that belong in the so-called ‘New Economy’ are the ones that are completely rethinking whole industries, and they have three things in common: 1) they base their business on the intelligent use of data and technology, 2) they use a collaborative work scheme, and 3) they have teams composed of diverse profiles, but always sharing the same mindset and allowing for disruptivity. Circus is a new economy agency because it has these three components, which are very attractive to brands and talent. The companies we work with, Netflix, Uber, Spotify, and WeWork, among others, show a communion of our culture and theirs.”

Portada: How does Circus make sure to reach its clients’ goals?

B. L.: “We combine our own in-house generated data with reports from various consulting agencies and information sources. Also, working with new economy organizations like Netflix, Uber, Spotify, and WeWork among others allows us to constantly update and Exchange disruptive ideas. Our goal in terms of client relationships is to build partnerships that include information mobility. They provide knowledge of the industry and we provide knowledge of this hybrid marketing/communication world, and about how the new economy Works. When we achieve this collaboration, that’s when we have executions that impact positively on campaigns’ ROI.”

Innovation obstacles

Brands need to be willing to take risks.

Portada: What are the main obstacles to innovation?

For mole Doña María, Circus designed an edgy spot featuring a mole hamburger and a millennial girl with a tattoo of her mom’s face.

B.L.: “There are many challenges, but let’s highlight two. One from the agencies side. And consequently one from the advertisers’ side, which can be found to a lesser or greater extent depending on the market. But at the end of the day they’re there. For agencies, the main challenge is investing in data. With all the transformations in the digital world, as well as in media consumption habits, investing in in-house data generation is a must to survive. Communication strategies need to be based on data analysis to generate impact effectively. On the other hand, brands need to be willing to take risks.”

What’s next

Portada: In a nutshell, where do you see marketing and technology going in the next years?

B.L.: “The world is changing really fast. As a result, there is a revolution in the way we think about marketing. And this is caused by the smart interpretation of data together with artificial intelligence and robotics. This combination will allow us to be more precise and creative. As a result it will take us to places we can’t even imagine right now.”

Check out the stars of Portada’s Council of the Americas, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19. Save your spot here!