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Digital Customer Experience: With digital channels here to stay, marketers must provide personalization and convenience across channels.

This article is part of a thought leadership article series on Marketing Innovation presented and written by Moxtra, a company that helps businesses deliver client experiences for the digital age.

Marketers work to build the best customer experiences possible by utilizing the most effective channels for their unique brand and audience. In today’s digital world, customer expectations for interactions have gone digital, using web and mobile, and marketing teams translate the traditional in-person experiences to digital in order to stay competitive.

Simply implementing digital tools is not enough, marketers must mirror the levels of personalization provided in physical locations across digital devices — seamlessly and efficiently— in one consolidated space. Marketers must embrace a holistic digital mindset, both externally and internally, by deploying virtual branches of business for a fully integrated digital transformation.

In industries from banking to retail, today’s customers expect both a convenient and highly engaging service experience.

Expectations have shifted so much that marketers must now re-examine and update the entire customer journey.

Expectations have shifted so much that marketers must now re-examine and update the entire customer journey and explore every touchpoint in the customer experience, adapting each one to mimic the high-touch engagement of in-person interactions.

With a branded app, customers are able to engage with your brand identity conveniently and are more likely to associate positive experiences with your brand. With a private digital channel that is available wherever, and whenever, the wider your reach and the greater your brand consciousness.

Increasing brand consciousness encourages consumers to be more active participants in the shopping experience, but also requires you to deliver a compelling digital channel that keeps their attention and responds to their needs.

While the consumer-facing component of your business’s digital arm is critical, it must be part of a broader ecosystem of tools that enable cross-team collaboration, management and productivity. By equipping your whole team with powerful, all-in-one platforms, you improve the employee experience and help them perform better, translating to more sales.

Effective digital transformation requires holistic, integrated change across your entire organization.

Digital Transformation

In industries from banking to retail, today’s customers expect both a convenient and highly engaging service experience.

  1. Digital Customer Experience: Engage with customers with comprehensive digital channels. When customers need to toggle between multiple apps to engage with your business, they’re often engaging in a frustrating and disjointed experience. By housing all capabilities in one secure location, you distinguish the customer experience as a branded one, building recognition for your logos, voice and offerings. Users should be able to access the full organization from anywhere, across all digital channels.
  2. Leverage personalization in the digital experience. Whether online or in-person, customers expect to be treated as individuals with names, preferences and a purchase history. Use the digital landscape to translate in-store brand experiences to a virtual platform. For example, give product recommendations via email based on customers’ unique buying behavior and the changing seasons. Rely on data and insights to display dynamic calls-to-action with language tailored to each customer’s preferences and motivations. In short, look for opportunities to spark an emotional connection with buyers that makes them more likely to click — and convert.
  3. Establish clear communications with your team. Owned and branded digital messaging channels allow teams to communicate on-demand effectively and securely, both internally and with customers. Centralized platforms allow swift communication company-wide. In addition, they enable businesses to tailor permissions for internal discussions.
  4. Enable effective management. Your digital capabilities should include a management portal for insight into internal activity and visibility on external communications. With all digital customer experience and employee interactions organized within a single secure platform, businesses can gather and store data, creating important audit and e-paper trails. This data can also be used to track and analyze performance related to key business goals, then optimize areas that are lacking.

As digital expectations continue to soar and consumers look to seamless brand experiences for their services, marketers play a critical role in merging digital resiliency with the brand experience.

Moxtra’s just-in-time platform powers branded OneStop Apps for customer engagement and collaboration for today’s digital age. Get in touch today to get started with an app for your business.

Written by Moxtra

By Caroline Hugonenc, Global VP Insights and Research, Teads

 

In the past few years, data privacy has suddenly become a hot topic, reaching into national press and is no longer just the concern of industry specialists. With everyone becoming more aware of the impact of data use, both personally and at a corporate level. Whether it’s the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, or Apple’s latest updates, privacy is now an international talking point. In an attempt to address data privacy issues, by mid 2022, third party cookies will cease to exist on Google Chrome. This step taken by the world’s most popular browser follows similar moves by Safari and Firefox and hopes to give people more control over their data, but it doesn’t come without its challenges for advertisers and media buyers.

The end of cookies is only the beginning of a new era

When thinking about this topic, it’s important to remember that while cookies have been a consistent part of online advertising for a long time, the ecosystem is not dependent on them. Cookieless does not mean advertising-less, personalization-less or relevancy-less. Cookieless simply means two things:

  1. The need for a transition towards responsible and sustainable advertising for our industry
  2. That it’s time for non-intrusive personalization to be the new norm, starting with the end-user’s experience and trust.

If we assume point one as a given, then we need to consider how to approach non-intrusive personalization. One of the available solutions is contextual.

Why should contextual alignment matter?

It’s worth pointing out that targeting ads via the content they’re seen in shouldn’t just benefit brands, but also the end user experience as well. Ads that are contextually aligned make sense to readers. Once someone decides to read an article (whether it’s about honeymoon plans, the latest tech release or piece of local news), they’re in a certain mindset. By aligning ads with that mindset means that the message should be amplified and therefore create real uplift and impact for a brand’s campaign.

It feels more in tune with the consumer’s values and interests, without concerning them that their personal data has been shared with too many additional parties.

What are the main challenges to overcome when it comes to Contextual?

With the death of the cookie, many will be turning to contextual as a solution for agencies and advertisers. But using context to maximise the impact of advertising is not easy to do, with a few key challenges in particular to be aware of:

  1. Accuracy. Many contextual solutions today rely heavily on keywords, which makes sense at a glance. But over reliance on single triggers can lead to false-positives and questionable accuracy that wouldn’t match the results seen in this study.
  2. Granularity. Broad contextual targeting can prevent amplification of the marketing message or proper engagement with the right audience
  3. Placement. Most contextual today exists across UGC content, which inherently has issues around accuracy and standardisation. This is in stark contrast to professional content which has long had agreed standards and 3rd party solutions.
  4. Actionability. It’s one thing to have a partner who can outline the benefits and implement an overall use case, but using contextual beyond the obvious will be an important distinction when evaluating contextual partners. Not all platforms will be able to go beyond intuitive planning and move towards actionable insights.

Testing media partners across all four of the above is critical for advertisers looking to leverage contextual as part of their planning strategies in future. Partners who have a proven track record will of course fare better, but scale is also important when it comes to context. Those partners who are processing large volumes of content, over a long period of time, will be best placed to understand content consumption and therefore the audiences that are reading them.

Contextual

But is contextual targeting really effective?

Consumers have evolved to anticipate disruptions over recent years which has led to greater battles for attention among advertisers, viewing attention as a valuable commodity in driving KPIs. As Bournemouth University’s ‘Attention Please’ white paper notes, quality attention is not best measured by time spent viewing as ‘we routinely spend lots of time doing things without paying much attention’.

This is why, at Teads, we have been conducting AB tests using our proprietary Brand Pulse solution to evaluate the impact of contextual targeting on advertiser’s KPIs. Our Brand Pulse methodology compares answers (up to) 3 questions served within our inventory on a control versus exposed basis.

For the contextual AB tests, we essentially run two Brand Pulse tests, one with contextual targeting and one without, then compare the difference in brand uplift. For example, if the brand uplift for ad awareness in the non-contextual study was 7%, and the ad awareness uplift using contextual targeting was calculated as 13%, the brand uplift of contextual targeting would be calculated as 86%. While our testing is in the early stages, the results of our contextual testing prove exciting:

The above results are based on data from 8 different campaigns across verticals and regions, and an average has been taken.

Contextual targeting should no longer be considered as a plan B, but as a true solution to deliver media effectiveness

Conclusion

As discussed, media buyers are facing the next evolution in digital, as the cookie is removed as a targeting tool. So with this study we’ve looked at one of the key solutions in the marketplace that delivers a level of continuity.

Contextual targeting can feel like it’s a deprecated and old approach, but we’ve shown the technology has evolved to make it highly viable and worth consideration. Over time, improvements have been made that allow us to solve for the main challenges of accuracy, granularity, alignment, placement and actionability.

This study has confirmed that, leveraging contextual alignment with a partner who has the right depth and breadth of technology, can deliver outstanding media effectiveness.

Case Study with Nestle and UM

The above theory was recently proved in a campaign with Nestlé and UM in Spain, successfully quantifying the effectiveness of contextual targeting.

Nestlé launched its new Nesquik Intenso range for young adults in November. A new offering without additives or artificial sweeteners and sold in a 100% recyclable container. For this campaign, two pieces of video content were optimized by the Teads Studio team for mobile environments; highlighting the packaging, the product and its key features.

The campaign ran in November and December 2020, and various segmentation strategies were used: socio-demographic data, interest data and contextual targeting were used to identify which environments, and content, the ad should run in.

contextualWe will continue to bet on finding innovative forms of segmentation that help us achieve our goals, especially now that the end of third-party cookies is near and we all need to adapt to remain effective. It is a time of transition and it is important for us to test alternatives and be ready for a world without cookies from 2022 . – Ramón Ruiz, Media and Consumer Relationship Manager Nestlé.

During the campaign, a Brand Pulse study was launched, which aimed to quantify the branding effectiveness of the different targeting segments used. More than 250 respondents exposed to the campaign were questioned, in each of the different targeting segments: socio-demographic data, contextual targeting and interest data.

Advertising recall increased 86% in the group that had the socio-demographic data segmentation and 87% in the contextual targeting segment, after exposure to the campaign. Therefore showing that contextual targeting can be at least as effective as classic socio-demographic targeting.

The campaign has been hugely successful and has served to verify the effectiveness of contextual targeting, showcasing an improvement of  Brand Awareness by 87% with just 25% of the campaign budget.

We just published the Portada Insight Report on E-Commerce in Latin America in partnership with ComScore. The report (“El Marketing de Comercio Electrónico en Latinoamérica: Datos y Enseñanzas para Ejecutivos de Marca”) analyzes website traffic in three categories: Department Stores/Malls,  Food/Supermarket/Grocery and Fragrances/Cosmetics in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.  In addition, website visits and social media marketing of the main Mexican retailers in the Food/Supermarket/Grocery categories are analyzed. Plus insights and best practices from 12 major brand marketers, including Marriott’s Diana Plazas, L’Oreal’s Pablo Sanchez Liste and PepsiCo’s Hernan Tantardini. 

E-Commerce in Latin America

E-Commerce in Latin America is one of the hottest sectors worldwide and, with it brand marketers need for MarTech, is growing in leaps and bounds.  While penetration over retail sales in Latin America lies at approximately 5% vs. 20% in China and 15% in the U.S, COVID-19 has brought a huge increase in e-commerce and e-commerce marketing in Latin America. We just published the Portada Insight Report on E-Commerce Marketing in Latin America in partnership with ComScore. The report in Spanish, (“El Marketing de Comercio Electrónico en Latinoamérica: Datos y Enseñanzas para Ejecutivos de Marca”) analyzes website traffic of three key categories (Food/Supermarket/Grocery, Department Stores/Malls and Fragrances/Cosmetics) in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

In addition, website visits and social media marketing of the main Mexican retailers in the Food/Supermarketing/Grocery categories are analyzed. Brand Marketers in the Portada Network provide intelligence about the correlation between social media marketing and website visits as well as best practices. They include senior brand marketing executives from PepsiCo, Colgate Palmolive, Best Buy, New York Life, Seguros Monterrey, Walmart Mexico, Nestle, Grupo Exito, L’Oreal, Marriott and Walmart Mexico.

E-Commerce in Latin America

Did you know that unique visitors to websites in the Food/Supermarket/Grocery Category in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico grew by 65% to 63.3 million unique users between March 2019 and September 2020? Find out how social media marketing by major retailers grew and how it impacted website visits. DOWNLOAD the report here.

 

 

 

 

MMA Global introduced an analysis showing that outcome-based marketing plans can outperform traditional reach-based marketing plans by more than 50% on return on ad spend (ROAS).

 

The growth strategy, Outcome-Based Marketing 2.0 (OBM2), represents a major step forward in validating how marketing organizations can achieve profitable growth by targeting more responsive audiences.

The OBM2 strategy enables brands to align budgets, channel allocation, and audience targeting directly with ROAS tied to those consumers who are more likely to respond to and be impacted by a brand’s advertising.

MMA found that a marketing campaign organized around the most responsive target audience for a brand — dubbed the “movable middles” — will yield far better outcomes than traditional media plans optimized for reach. Movable middles are defined by having a mid-range probability of buying an advertised brand; they are proven mathematically to have five times the responsiveness to that brand’s advertising and are unique to each brand. While they overlap somewhat with heavy buyers, they also include medium, light, and non-buyers. This helps marketers not only achieve good returns, but also expose their brand to a larger group of receptive consumers for long-term growth.

Outcome-Based Marketing
Joel Rubinson, the former Chief Research Officer for the Advertising Research Foundation

Joel Rubinson, the former Chief Research Officer for the Advertising Research Foundation, conceptualized the methodology behind OBM2 strategy (in part based on work conducted two years ago) on MMA’s behalf. Rubinson worked in conjunction with global information services and technology company Neustar to leverage their agent-based simulation models that incorporate media consumption and purchase behavior data from their targeting platform. These models uncover the individual consumer-level activities and market-level factors that are predictive of purchase intent with a high degree of accuracy. This approach helped find non-buyers with similar purchase probabilities and predicts where and how to target these important audiences.

“We are incredibly grateful to Neustar for working with us by providing their team’s amazing support and advanced innovative modeling techniques to predict media consumption and purchase behavior across 100% of U.S. households. This capability was invaluable to proving Outcome-Based Marketing 2.0’s value,” said Greg Stuart, MMA CEO. “MMA has been on a decade-long pursuit of a more disciplined understanding and implementation of ‘modern marketing’ for CMOs responsible for higher levels of business growth and profitability for their businesses. This new strategy is one more leap forward to achieve this as well as to raise the stature and gravitas of marketing as a whole.”

In a proof-of-concept study, MMA and Neustar deployed agent-based simulation methodology to target the movable middles on behalf of a brand of frozen pizza in the U.S. market. The analysis proved:

  • An Outcome-Based Marketing 2.0 plan optimized to target the movable middles outperforms a traditional reach plan by more than 50% on ROAS
  • Targeting the movable middles helps marketers increase marketing outcomes across the board versus traditional reach-based approaches, including attracting more non-buyers, increasing total consumer reach, and increasing buyer-penetration across light, medium, and heavy buying groups
  • Movable middles can be predicted with 99% accuracy for each brand, regardless of industry vertical.
Outcome-Based Marketing
Norman de Greve, CMO, CVS Health, and Chair of MMA’s North American Board

“The MMA always tackles the toughest marketing challenges, particularly when it comes to data and marketing optimization. Empirical evidence and analytics validate OBM2 as the most effective approach to improving return on advertising spend.” said Norman de Greve, CMO, CVS Health, and Chair of MMA’s North American Board.

The MMA always tackles the toughest marketing challenges, particularly when it comes to data and marketing optimization. Empirical evidence and analytics validate OBM2 as the most effective approach to improving ROAS.

“We want to ensure the brands we sell in our stores have the best chance of being considered for purchase — and MMA’s work is a welcome addition to any brand’s planning toolkit to help deliver results in an efficient and effective way,” noted Kay Vizon, Director of Media Services for Kroger. “I support this advancement in planning and applaud the MMA for their ongoing push to uncover ground-breaking and data-driven approaches to further brand growth.”

“We cracked the code on ad responsiveness when we realized that using a beta distribution to model consumer probabilities of purchase was the connection between ad responsiveness and targeting,” added Rubinson. “We are, in essence, arbitraging the opportunity to push harder on the groups of consumers that will predictably buy more of a product when exposed to advertising.”

Outcome-Based Marketing
Marc Vermut, Vice President, Marketing Solutions at Neustar

“This research uncovers why audience targeting recommendations based on ROAS and purchase probability work,” said Marc Vermut, Vice President, Marketing Solutions at Neustar. “It found that a marketing campaign organized around those ‘movable middles’ — the most responsive target audience for a brand — will yield far better outcomes than standard media plans optimized for reach.”

Marketing campaign organized around those ‘movable middles’ will yield far better outcomes than standard media plans optimized for reach.

Additional categories, including detergents, nutrition bars, and margarine, will be run through the same analysis in the coming months. The MMA has raised funds and expects to validate this planning approach in real-world, in-market experiments that will last a full year called “Brand as Performance.”

Noted marketing academics, including University of Oxford’s Dr. Felipe Thomaz and Dr. Andrew Stephen, as well as UCLA Graduate School of Management’s Dr. Dominique “Mike” Hanssens, have conducted a review of the methodology used in creating this new growth strategy and support MMA and Neustar’s model. Both universities are developing other complementary assessments and research that validate the findings. Meanwhile, a white paper on OBM2 can be found here.

 

 

The pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was mostly incited by social media driven fake news. It again became blatantly evident that a repluralization of media and a commitment to facts as a public good are crucial to the stability of the U.S. democratic system. Enter Corporate Social Responsibility: Brands and media buyers at agencies should be under pressure to direct advertising to media properties practicing professional journalism. Media dollars should also be directed to  underserved communities. Learn how UM , Cadillac and Realogy  balance the reach vs. responsibility/purpose driven marketing trade off in media buys.




It is not surprising that the  D.C. chaos has actually made many brands to take the decision of pausing social advertising. According to a 2019 study published in Science by MIT Sloan professor Sinan Aral and Deb Roy and Soroush Vosoughi of the MIT Media Lab. They found falsehoods are 70% more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than the truth, and reach their first 1,500 people six times faster. This effect is more pronounced with political news than other categories.  Independent, truth-seeking professional journalists apply reporting methodologies and a code of ethics that makes them accountable and transparent. Corporate social responsibility should make sure that brands advertise in trusted media properties.

However, brand marketers and the media agencies that cater to them not only need brand safety but also reach at a low cost for media buys to be efficient and ultimately obtain leads and sales.

News Sites: How it Works in Practice…

Corporate Social Responsibility
David Queamante, SVP, Client Business Partner, UM Worldwide

David Queamante,  SVP, Client Business Partner, UM Worldwide tells Portada that when he worked at “an Automotive brand, recently, we saw that News Programming has a high index among people who earn the income we wanted to see, and who buy the vehicle segments we were promoting. However, on the Finance brand that I focus on currently, we see that News Programming indexes below 100 for people who will be in-the-market for our type of loan in the next 12 months. I still try to keep News programming as part of the buy, but I’m limited in how much support I can put behind that content when other programming indexes much higher for that target.”

I still try to keep News programming as part of the buy, but I’m limited in how much support I can put behind that content when other programming indexes much higher for that target. 

Queamante add thats “when we run ads for this company on Social Media, we see that our Cost-Per KPIs is much lower than what we see when we run display ads anywhere else. At the end of the day, I can’t  avoid Social Media without lowering my leads and visits. Now, we work very hard with our paid social buyers to avoid controversial/divisive posts and content as much as possible.”

At the end of the day, I can’t  avoid Social Media without lowering my leads and visits. Now, we work very hard with our paid social buyers to avoid controversial/divisive posts and content as much as possible.

Journalist Powered Content Ratings…

Separately, IPG Mediabrands, the owner of UM,  has agreed to begin using NewsGuard’s journalist-powered content ratings system for its digital news media buys in the United States, and other key markets. NewsGuard — which was founded by news media pioneer Steven Brill as a solution to the deluge of disinformation being promulgated by questionable publishers and sources — relies on human intelligence as opposed to machine-learning algorithms to detect, organize and rate the veracity of news and information publishers.  Many brands and media agencies recognize that corporate social responsibility includes advertising in trusted media properties.  IPG/ Mediabrands plans plans to use the ratings as part of its programmatic media buys made on news and information websites. “Our partnership with NewsGuard has already helped expand the scope of quality inventory available while ensuring ads remain in brand-safe and brand-suitable environments,” says Mediabrands Global Brand Safety Officer Joshua Lowcock said in a statement announcing the expansion of its agreement.

Corporate Social Responsibility: How Diversity Media Buys Work  in Practice…

Jason Riveiro, Realogy
Jason Riveiro, Senior Director, Global Growth Markets & Inclusion, Realogy

Another demand consumers have for 2021 is that brands should support media properties that target diverse and underserved audiences. Some members of the brand marketing community agree: “Inclusivity in messaging should be substantial and authentic, but also should include investment in media targeting underserved communities”,  says Jason Riveiro, Senior Director, Global Growth Markets & Inclusion tells Portada.

 

Advertising in 2021
Alexis Kerr,  Cadillac

How does this work in practice? Alexis Kerr, Cadillac’s Head of Multicultural Marketing | Multicultural Strategy, Content and Execution, notes that she has found creative ways to nurture her multicultural media partners to ensure they serve her in various different ways vs just ROI.  “Media partnerships like Hispanicize and Revolt are great examples of how partners have been able to work with us to meet those goals. We have increased our spend to support diverse communities and partnerships,” she asserts.

MediaBrands has made it an internal mandate to increase or improve our investment on Diversity-Owned media partners. However, we don’t want to just pick an arbitrary % of the media budget.

Custom Solutions that Balance Reach vs. Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility should include that brands advertise in trusted media properties. 
UM’s David  Queamante  notes that his agency
has worked hard to build custom solutions that balance reach with responsibility by making it easier to identify and work with Diversity-owned and Diversity-serving media partners, while still delivering on campaign goals and KPIs. “MediaBrands has made it an internal mandate to increase or improve our investment on Diversity-Owned media partners. However, we don’t want to just pick an arbitrary % of the media budget.  It may not be possible to spend a certain amount of money with diversity-owned partners – many of them lack the scale that non-Diversity-owned partners have. Due to this lower scale, investing an arbitrary amount with these partners may also have negative impact on the campaign reach and exposure to our target audiences.

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Catalogue of Diversity Owned Partners

Queamante adds that the first thing he does is to “start with a database that one of our internal agencies (MAVEN) maintains and updates several times a year. This catalogues Diversity Owned partners across more than just ethnicity. It includes Veteran-owned, Women-owned, Disability-owned and more.
The second step involves to “match the media partners on this list with our custom targets; we call them High Value Audiences (HVA). We identify these audiences using our Acxiom data stack, and we’re able to match these audiences back to media behavior. Based on the HVA media consumption of these Diversity-owned partners we’re able to create investment benchmarks that are specific to each brand and their unique audience.”  “Since these benchmarks factor in HVA media consumption, they have a positive impact on reach and exposure levels for our target.”, Queamante concludes.

 

 

 

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 13% of retail sales in the U.S. alone in 2021 with lower ratios and even higher growth potential in other parts of the world. 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. In addition there are a relatively new breed-of e-commerce companies that use apps and multi-vertical approaches to online sales.
COVID-19 impact on consumer behavior has substantially accelerated this trend with brands in the U.S. and other parts of the world rushing towards D2C marketing and e-commerce related technologies. 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 consumers 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, Report: Automated Email Open Rates and Conversion Skyrocket during Pandemic 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.

 

Marketing technology (MarTech) has revolutionized the way that most areas of marketing are planned, executed, and evaluated. Due to the pandemic induced e-commerce boom, in 2021 and beyond, brand marketers MarTech needs worldwide have evolved towards all e-commerce related martech areas, including  e-commerce marketing, advertising and multi-channel data collection, attribution, curation, enrichment and decisioning. 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 MarTech platforms, how you can evaluate and select them for your specific needs, and how the industry will evolve in 2021.

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

Portada annually surveys hundreds of brand marketers in the Americas which of the above 5 categories of MarTech they will be mostly investing in the next 12 months. They are also asked what their priorities are within the top category. Here is our recently published survey on brand MarTech investments in 2021 and beyond.
and here our 2020 Portada Insight Report: What Brand Marketers Need from MarTech in 2020.

 

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 MarTech team, and MarTech software are being acquired for billions of dollars.

What MarTech Does for Marketers

The best MarTech tools will offer a combination of the following benefits:

  • Automation of workflows: Most marketing technology solutions automate tasks that are too time-consuming and/or complex to complete manually, like pulling, organizing, and analyzing data.
  • Support streamlined communication: Most MartTech services will enable better communication within and between work teams through tools that help teams track the status of projects and increase collaboration.
  • Generate insights: MarTech 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 MarTech 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: digital customer experience, 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 (see also Ad-Tech below) 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. Performance marketing exclusively focuses on the best advertiser return on an intended action by the consumer.

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 (including retargeting) 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 MarTech solutions and the money brands are willing to invest in them increase rapidly. The accelerated pace of corporate digital transformation (including e-commerce/retail marketing) induced by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide (e.g. in Latin America) has been a major driver for MarTech investments in 2020 and 2021.

In 2015 alone, over 300 MarTech 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 will be spending 26% of their budgets on MarTech in 2019 compared to 23% in 2018 .. For 2021 experts see MarTech Investments having a particularly strong return potential in E-Commerce, Customer Data and CTV. In some ways, as some industry players tell Portada, we can’t even imagine where Marketing Technology is taking us.

 

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

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

Brands are forming a better understanding of how they can use digital marketing technologies 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 MarTech 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 MarTech 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 MarTech. 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, there is Advertising Technology (AdTech), this includes the world of programmatic (including ad buying, direct, and real-time bidding), supply-publisher oriented tools like SSPs and demand (brand, media agency) oriented ones like DSP’s, Platforms that manage the Data that makes the advertising efficient as well as new Ad-Channels Advertisers are increasingly tapping into including new forms of video advertising like CTV, voice search and others.
The  growth of ad-tech capabilities is driving the use of MarTech, with 54% of respondents to the Walker Sands study currently incorporating adtech into their strategies, making it one of the most-used categories of MarTech.
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 marketing technologies  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 MarTech. 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.

 

Multicultural marketing may be officially dead (or more important than ever), but one thing is certain: smart marketers focus on culture. Three things they know and you should too…

Smart Marketers Keep Culture on the Front Burner
J. Walker Smith, Chief Knowledge Officer, Brand & Marketing, Kantar

Sometimes people have the view that with enough data you can target anyone effectively, thereby removing the need to appeal to the audience’s culture. How can we continue to recognize the importance of culture in this technology-driven age?  “Culture influences commerce.  There is a recurring tendency among business leaders to take culture for granted.  But culture is embedded in everything, and thus when culture changes everything is affected,” J. Walker Smith, Chief Knowledge Officer, Brand & Marketing at Kantar Consulting tells Portada.
“Culture is how people live.  Technology is simply a tool people use to engage with culture.  Technology is not unimportant.  It’s just not the context of life that is the root source of aspirations, expectations, and values.  That’s culture.”

 Periods of change are when culture gets noticed most, but it never goes away.  The smartest marketers keep culture on the front burner.  Lagging marketers ignore culture, so they are always behind change and new opportunities.

3 Things Brand Marketers Who Focus on Culture Know About

“Periods of change are when culture gets noticed most, but it never goes away.  The smartest marketers keep culture on the front burner.  Lagging marketers ignore culture, so they are always behind change and new opportunities, ” Kantar’s  J.Walker Smith adds.
Savvy marketers who focus on culture make sure to take into account the below three key considerations.

1. It’s Decision Science (Not Data Science)

Smart marketers who keep culture as a key priority know that ultimately data insights are there to base decisions on. That is why it is crucial that data scientists work in close coordination with brand marketing decision makers (who ultimately have the budgeting power.)

2. Marketers who Keep Culture on the Front Burner Run a Business Unit (NOT a Center of Excellence)

Data teams and cultural intelligence teams need to be embedded into the overall marketing organization. They should not act as consultants who have no real decision-making power (e.g. the Hispanic Centers of Excellence that some companies have set up are commendable initiatives but often don’t impact real marketing decision-making). The best is to integrate cultural insights into overall data analysis and marketing decision-making. For example, Curacao, a department chain store with locations in California, Nevada and Arizona which ranks among the top 100 electronics and appliance retailers in the U.S., makes sure to take  into consideration cultural insights as part of the whole marketing mix. Curacao has a team of data scientists that look at purchasing behavior and take into account culture by looking at consumers in the following way:
– Spanish-dominant
– Bilingual – Hispanic
– English-General Market

Another alternative to make sure that data insights and marketing budgets are aligned is by creating a business unit. Pepsi created a Hispanic Business unit in 2018 (a move somewhat contrary to overall U.S. marketing trends).  Esperanza Teasdale, VP & General Manager at PepsiCo’s Hispanic Business Unit, tells Portada, that her Hispanic business unit independently determines strategy , commercial tactics and, most importantly has a dedicated advertising and marketing budget. Teasdale is responsible for the overall Hispanic strategy, engagement and sales for the Hispanic business within Pepsi North America Beverages.

Smart Marketers Keep Culture on the Front Burner
Esperanza Teasdale, VP & General Manager, PepsiCo’s Hispanic Business Unit

We also have our own data team, which is responsible for analyzing the Hispanic business today. That is how we measure performance. Another part of the team analyzes consumer insights. E.g. segmentation. Their worked helped to provide a perspective of Hispanics that goes beyond years in the country and language and is more in the mindset of  the target, ” Teasdale adds.  This helped Pepsi to come up with “Es lo que quiero“, the Hispanic adaptation of the recently released tag “That’s what I like”.

Marketers in the Portada Council System voted for the topic “Why data scientists need to be culturally sensitive; A brand marketer’s perspective”  as the keynote topic for the upcoming Portada Los Angeles, April 2 conference. The topic selection highlights how important it is for brand decision makers understand the cultural implications of the data insights process.

 

3. Marketers who Focus on Culture Check Data Quality (DMP’s and DSPs)

The smartest marketers who keep culture on the front burner also know that data quality is key, particularly when it comes to cultural insights. Data management platforms (e.g. Blue Kai, LiveRamp and others) and demand side providers do not always provide solutions that capture cultural nuances. “For DSP’s and DMPs to have data on particular consumer targets, they need to identify and code them separately. Only this way you can get information/insights back,” an industry insider tells Portada. The issue is that DMP’s and DSP’s often don’t do that extra mile, because they are not paid to do it.

DMP’s and DSP’s often don’t to that extra mile, because they are not paid to do it.

In the era of technology, the winner is the one who adapts faster. Thus, clients are moving their programmatic ad buying in house, as well as looking for media services in big consultancy firms such as Accenture. This results in a need for tech knowledge in ad media agencies who are  facing challenges to remain relevant. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers and agency executives offer solutions to better adapt to an increasingly demanding technological landscape. 

 

Kick-Off Facts

need for tech knowledge

  • About 30% of marketers were unsatisfied with their agency model in 2018. (Movidiam)
  • Nearly 80% of the brands that are members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have some form of in-house agency, almost double since 2008. (ANA)
  • In 2019, the purchase of creative ad agency Droga5 by Accenture meant adding a creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms. Additionally, WPP announced that it would not participate in pitches audited by Accenture.

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Social Media’s Evolving Role, 4 Opportunities for Travel and Lifestyle Marketers 

Three Tech-Knowledge Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Focusing on Digital Lower-Funnel Can Hurt Traditional Brand Buiding

Related comment: “Consultancies and MarTech companies are mostly involved with lower-funnel conversion, but what happens if nothing comes in the lower funnel? Focus on digital to the exclusion of traditional media which may have a more brand building, higher-funnel role in messaging.”

This is just another fad in the industry. Media agencies have a much more unified approach to marketing and media than consultancies.

2. Finding the Right Talent Isn’t Easy

Related comment: “One way to boost talent and knowledge is by encouraging companies to move from vertical structures to demand cells (sales, marketing, supply, development, etc) so that they can evolve to multifunctional teams instead of verticalities.”

There’s too much technology, too many tools that no one knows how to handle.

3. Leadership is Too Far Above

Related comment: “Managers often give instructions from corporate without much real knowledge of the market.”

Many times, senior executives at agencies have a lot of theoretical knowledge they haven’t really put in practice.

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.

Two Tech Knowledge Opportunities identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Agencies Have Often More Cultural Knowledge than MarTech Companies

Related comment: “Firms with no cultural knowledge can affect messaging to multicultural segments. There is a need for cultural identifiers.”

Brands that market ‘in culture’ are more successful. Consultancies are often not able to take this into account.

2. Advertisers Have the Opportunity to Influence Talent Selection

Related comment: “Some clients are more prepared than the agency ‘experts'”

Practical example: A famous multinational company changed to a new agency and made sure to be able to influence payrolls, positions, objectives, etc.

It’s not about tecnology, but about knowledge.

 

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.

In the era of technology, the winner is the one who adapts faster. Thus, clients are moving their programmatic ad buying in house, as well as looking for media services in big consultancy firms such as Accenture. This results in a need for tech knowledge in ad media agencies who are  facing challenges to remain relevant. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers and agency executives offer solutions to better adapt to an increasingly demanding technological landscape. 

 

Kick-Off Facts

need for tech knowledge

  • About 30% of marketers were unsatisfied with their agency model in 2018. (Movidiam)
  • Nearly 80% of the brands that are members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have some form of in-house agency, almost double since 2008. (ANA)
  • In 2019, the purchase of creative ad agency Droga5 by Accenture meant adding a creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms. Additionally, WPP announced that it would not participate in pitches audited by Accenture.

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Social Media’s Evolving Role, 4 Opportunities for Travel and Lifestyle Marketers 

Three Tech-Knowledge Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Focusing on Digital Lower-Funnel Can Hurt Traditional Brand Buiding

Related comment: “Consultancies and MarTech companies are mostly involved with lower-funnel conversion, but what happens if nothing comes in the lower funnel? Focus on digital to the exclusion of traditional media which may have a more brand building, higher-funnel role in messaging.”

This is just another fad in the industry. Media agencies have a much more unified approach to marketing and media than consultancies.

2. Finding the Right Talent Isn’t Easy

Related comment: “One way to boost talent and knowledge is by encouraging companies to move from vertical structures to demand cells (sales, marketing, supply, development, etc) so that they can evolve to multifunctional teams instead of verticalities.”

There’s too much technology, too many tools that no one knows how to handle.

3. Leadership is Too Far Above

Related comment: “Managers often give instructions from corporate without much real knowledge of the market.”

Many times, senior executives at agencies have a lot of theoretical knowledge they haven’t really put in practice.

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.

Two Tech Knowledge Opportunities identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Agencies Have Often More Cultural Knowledge than MarTech Companies

Related comment: “Firms with no cultural knowledge can affect messaging to multicultural segments. There is a need for cultural identifiers.”

Brands that market ‘in culture’ are more successful. Consultancies are often not able to take this into account.

2. Advertisers Have the Opportunity to Influence Talent Selection

Related comment: “Some clients are more prepared than the agency ‘experts'”

Practical example: A famous multinational company changed to a new agency and made sure to be able to influence payrolls, positions, objectives, etc.

It’s not about tecnology, but about knowledge.

 

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.

According to our just-released survey “What Brand Marketers Need from MarTech in 2020″, advertising technologies for audiovisual media (Addressable TV, Video, Digital Audio and Display, and Programmatic) are the main investments items for the brand marketing community in 2020.

On average, marketing technology now accounts for almost one-third of marketing budgets. Marketers will increase their investment in marketing technology by 27% over the next four years, spending more than US $122 billion on marketing tech by 2022 according to Gartner Research.

The Portada Survey What Brand Marketers Need from MarTech in 2020″ sheds light on the structure of the growth of MarTech expenditures. Based on a poll of 100 brand marketers who are members of the Portada Council System, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2019, Addressable TV, Video, Display and Programmatic, and Digital Audio are pre-eminent investment areas in 2020. They are included in the overall category of Advertising & Promotion, which was chosen as the main overall MarTech expenditure priority by more than 56% of the surveyed brand marketers (see table below).

[table id=1 /]

Contents of “What Brand Marketers Need from MarTech in 2020” 

1. Background: MarTech’s Relentless Rise

2. Main MarTech Expenditure Types per Category in the Survey

3. Survey Results: Brands are Planning to Invest in the Following MarTech Categories in 2020

  • Within Advertising & Promotion, Ad-Tech for Audiovisual Media Plays a Crucial Role
  • Customer Experience: Optimization & Personalization & Testing Leads
  • Social & Relationships. Brands are planning to invest in the following sub-categories of marketing technologies during 2020:
    • Commerce & Sales: Social Media Related Expenditures Lead
    • Data: investment Focus lies on Audience Marketing & Attribution

4.1. Brand/Media Buying Agencies

4.2. Advertising & Promotions: Marketing Budget Weighted Outcome

4.3. Advertising & Promotions: Marketing Budget Weighted Outcome 

Get the Survey

If you are a brand marketer, please click here.

If you are a Marketing Services Supplier, please click here.

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.

 

AI in marketing is on the way to transforming the marketing world as we speak. It is one of the drivers of the growth of Marketing Technology 101: Everything You Need To Know (MarTech) and  offers marketers a wealth of tools for leveraging data about customers to understand their preferences and journey with your products.

More importantly, it allows brands to keep up with customers’ increasingly high standards and expectations. Customers want their interactions with brands to feel personal and relevant, and AI enables a level of targeting and tracking that any marketer should get excited about.

But distinguishing between what can be implemented now and what will be possible in the near future is important, as the field of AI is in constant evolution. Here, we break down the different ways marketers can use AI to streamline operations, deliver better customer experiences and channel data into insight.

Defining AI

 AI can be defined as a subset of computer science through which machines display “intelligence” by making predictions and decisions. AI acquires intelligence based on the analysis of data sets, a process enabled by algorithms that tell the machine how to complete tasks and interpret information.

The most basic form of this is machine learning, which uses historical data to predict future outcomes. As the machine acquires more data, it becomes better at making predictions.

AI already driving marketing budgets, data-driven insights

Recent studies reveal the important role that AI plays in driving marketing budgets and business growth strategies. Marketers clearly believe that AI is a valuable tool: 72% of marketers surveyed in a PWC study view AI as a “business advantage.” By 2021, organizations are projected to spend $57 billion on AI platforms for marketing.

AI marketing
AI in Marketing

And organizations are already seeing the results of implementing AI: 3 of 4 companies using AI have reported a boost in sales of at least 10%. 75% of organizations in another study say AI has driven customer satisfaction by at least 10%.

In terms of how CMOs are currently implementing AI, another recent survey found that many are using it for content personalization (56.5%), predictive analytics (56.5%), and targeting decisions (49.6%).  But those are just a few of the ways AI can support marketing efforts today.

AI has 8 broad applications in marketing today

Marketers are accumulating data at an astonishing pace with the intention of harnessing it into better targeting. But sometimes the mere volume of data that organizations acquire makes it difficult for them to know how to make use of it. AI is incredibly helpful in this respect, as it enables real-time analysis of large volumes of data, automate tasks, and generate insight.

1. Market intelligence and insight: With the help of algorithms, machine learning enables in-depth analysis of complex data sets from data management platforms (DPMs), data warehouses, or other repositories, connecting the dots to support marketing intelligence and forecasting in a way that humans cannot.

2. Customer profiles and personas: Through the analysis of on-site interactions, purchasing history, referral sources and geo-specific behavior, AI can help brands form a 360-view of their customers and match them with personalized content and promotions.

3.Lead generation and sales:Machine learning and predictive analytics can help marketers automate the process of generating and scoring leads. They also help brands keep customers engaged through predicting turn: through analyzing users’ engagements with brands, they can tell when someone is about to drop off. Brands can then attempt to re-engage these users with notifications and emails.

AI Marketing
AI in Marketing

4. Media buying: AI automates the laborious process of media buying and ensuring that ads are seen by relevant audiences through programmatic advertising and optimization and measurement platforms. With almost no human input, AI helps marketers analyze, manage, and measure the performance of ad campaigns.

5. Customer experience: According to Gartner, 85% of customer service inquiries will be handled via AI by the end of 2020. AI is increasingly being implemented in the customer experience space to support improved call centers and automated customer service via chat bots and digital assistants.

6. User experience: AI helps marketers optimize user experience on websites through analyzing data about single users’ behavior to personalize content, promotions, and notifications. A study from Evergage found that 33% of marketers are using AI for more personalized website experiences, and that 63% of them noted increased conversion rates, while 61% assert that customer experiences have improved.

AI Marketing
AI Marketing

7. Natural language generation and content creation: There are a variety of applications for AI in the realm of content. Using simple rules and formats, AI-enabled tools and platforms can author content such as business reports, product descriptions, stock market reports, and sports recaps without human input. Through setting the rules and formats, marketers can dictate the tone and style that the content takes.

AI-enabled content platforms can also make suggestions about what kinds of content formats and topics a brand’s target audience is likely to engage with through tracking users’ online activity.

8. Chatbots: While chatbots technically fall under customer experience, they have changed the marketing world in such a way that they deserve their own dedicated text. AI-enabled bots are successfully delivering customer service for thousands of global brands through natural language processing and machine learning.

Natural language processing allows machines to interpret the meaning of written and spoken speech and respond accordingly, all without human intervention. The machine can track the effectiveness of its responses and adapt accordingly, improving as it has more conversations.

Marketers must self-educate before selecting vendors

Marketers considering ways to implement AI in their organization have to be careful when evaluating different products and platforms. Many use the term “AI” loosely, mislabeling tools that implement data processing and analytics as “AI.”  Smart organizations can bring in experts to educate and advise them as they consider the alternatives.

Ask questions about the data sets they use and pay attention to whether they have data scientists on staff. Request a demo and confirm what deliverables and KPIs will be included in their activities.

Make sure your data is clean and high-quality

 While AI might seem like magic, it still depends on effective human inputs: namely high-quality data that it can learn from. If marketers don’t format data in a way it can be processed, or you do not have the infrastructure to process it correctly, it will not produce an “intelligent” machine.

To this end, marketers must innovate and collect more annotated data that can be tagged to train AI systems. Measuring only clicks is not going to create a rich enough data set to use for impactful AI.

Remember the human touch

AI will be able to replace humans in many, but not all, of the brand interactions customers expect. Consumers are excited about AI – an Acquia study found that 53% of consumers say they are “looking forward to artificial intelligence making interacting with brands a better experience.” At the same time, the study found that 85% percent claim that “a human touch is needed, in addition to technology, for a positive customer experience.”

Marketers should only use AI where it will enhance customer experiences, and it turns out there are plenty of situations in which people prefer to speak to a human than a machine. 75% of the respondents to the Acquia survey agreed that “the problem with automated experiences – interacting with technology instead of a real human – with brands is they are too impersonal.”

The future of AI in marketing depends on smart investments  

Implemented correctly, AI will offer us tools that make our work better, easier, and more enjoyable. Marketers will be able to focus on the strategic, creative elements of their work and leave the tedious and time-consuming tasks to a well-trained machine.

All of this, though, depends on marketers educating themselves so that they can help their organizations invest in smart solutions. As AI evolves at a rapid pace, marketers will face increasing pressure to keep up.a

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.”

. 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.

 

Portada picked Andy Berman’s brain to find out the history, tips, and insights behind Global Mind’s meteoric rise to advertising fame.

From Analog to Digital: A Mindframe for Radical Changes

Andy Berman, CEO, Global MindAndy Berman considers himself lucky to have been born in his time. Like many of us, he got to live through one of the most powerful social phenomena in humanity: the world’s transition from analog to digital. “Technology came early into my life. I experienced the first signs of change when I was a teenager. I remember my parents buying me my first console, the Atari. Then the Commodore 64, the Amiga, the 128, then the PC XT… Thing is, I learned through change.”. With each bold innovation, Berman was learning to adapt, evolve, and understand technology like a true native.

But how did these experiences help him lead his company through great change and disruption? “Along with progress, I saw lots of people and lots of companies crash and burn”, says Berman. “But you learn from everything, and then you put it to use for your benefit.” And so, and old-school computer geek and his hunger for innovation helped create a full-service, cross channel advertising agency for the future.

The Digital Way or the Highway

Berman had a clear vision from the very beginning. Almost twenty years ago, the internet was barely moving from the dial-up modem to broadband connections. Owning a home PC still felt sci-fi. TV was the undisputed king of media. But pushing into the future, Global Mind’s DNA has been digital since Andy Berman conceived it in 2001. “We were doing digital when digital didn’t matter to anyone. For us, it was everything. For the other big agencies, it was nothing but a tiny slice of the advertising cake. So, we became a white-level agency for others for a long time. We gained so much knowledge of the digital world until the same agencies that shunned digital saw the cake was getting bigger”, explains Berman.

We were doing digital when digital didn’t matter to anyone. For us, it was everything.

However, as soon as companies realized the massive hit they were missing, they started putting together their own in-house advertising teams, fast. Former clients were now “making their own cake”, so to speak, and Berman’s business took a hit.

In order to stay relevant, Global Mind faced its first major change of direction. The company took a leap of faith and started looking for direct clients instead of performing from behind the curtain. “For ten years, we always had direct customers, but it was never our main business. However, we had a strong regional footprint and we went for it. Our track record of having been white-level for so many agencies made customers trust our services”, explains Berman.

The brave and timely switch of business models worked, big time. “We expanded from Argentina to Toronto, then to Mexico, Colombia, and the US”, recalls Berman. And the success went on for years, until they became the biggest independent players in Latin America. But then, at the top of their game, came yet another wave of change. Sometimes the only way of growing is becoming a link on a stronger chain.

An Offer You Cannot Refuse

The Dentsu Aegis Network derives around 60% of its revenue from digital activity across 143 markets. The international giant purchased Global Minds in July 2018. Andy Berman didn’t hesitate when offered the opportunity. He knew that great power would also bring great technology. This made the decision a no-brainer. “Dentsu had the technology we didn’t have; whatever we had was sourced by Google. We sold our company knowing we’d be getting all those benefits, and access to all that data. So we brought together the best of two worlds: an agency with know-how that works well and a global giant with all the technology. We used to be the biggest independent agency in our region, except for Brazil. Now, we’re part of the big six”.

We brought together the best of two worlds. […] We used to be the biggest independent agency except for Brazil. Now we’re part of the big six. 

And if they’d never been purchased by Dentsu? Would that have made a difference? “We would’ve had to make a tremendous investment to get the same technology now available to us”, replies Berman. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to offer the high-quality service expected from a global agency”. Simply put, either you keep up or you die. But you always move forward.

Andy Berman’s Five Golden Rules for a Media Agency

According to Andy Berman, these are the tenets of a successful media agency. Missing just one of these would mean putting your agency at a dire risk of obsolescence. Follow purposefully:

  1. Take good care of your staff. Choose them well and listen to their needs. “We still have employees from the first day the company started. Loyalty is the result of taking good care of your employees”, says Berman. So keep them happy and motivated and they’ll be there through thick and thin.
  2. Constantly invest in your business. “Challenges are everywhere. Global Minds was founded twenty years ago, and the digital landscape has now changed entirely. We had to invest, change, do a bunch of things to keep up”. There’s no progress without investment, so be generous with your own company.
  3. Fail fast, mend immediately. “You need to try, experiment and do it faster than anyone else. But when you’ve made a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Pick up and learn as much from it as you can”. Err constantly, but wisely.
  4. Don’t follow trends, set them. “We were one of the first agencies to do regional searches, the first to try to get mobile when everyone else thought we were foolishly wasting money”. Trends might be volatile, but so is the market.
  5. Create specialized divisions. Always assign the right task to the right person. “We were one of the first agencies to have a Mobile Media Director. Over the course of 20 years we’ve had a bunch of directors for different things. When something very disruptive comes along, you have to hire someone who knows who to drive that disruption from within the agency”. Without someone fully developing new technologies, the staff would just be grasping at a straw they don’t fully comprehend.

 

Accenture Interactive’s 2019 Consumer Pulse Survey, See People, Not Patterns, gained insight from 8,000 consumers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. about the responsible usage of consumer data and the right strategies to avoid forcing invasive data collection methods onto reluctant users. 

Inventive vs. Invasive

It’s no secret that invasive brand promotion can be a double edge sword. On the one side, it undoubtedly increases visibility. On the other, it often makes users feel uncomfortable, annoyed or interrupted. This can greatly damage the coveted bond of trust brands strive to forge with their consumers. In fact, Accenture’s survey found that almost 69% of consumers would cut ties with a brand if data usage became too invasive. 

Glen Hartman, head of Accenture Interactive North America and global digital marketing lead, explains the need to draw a clear line between inventive and invasive. The whole point is to collect data in a responsible manner, with respect for the consumer’s preferences. In other words, by making a conversation and asking  for consent rather than, well, spying on them.

“The good news is there is a big opportunity for brands to take a thoughtful approach to data and create an impactful customer experience while doing so, building trust and an emotional connection customers crave,” says Hartman. 

There’s been a conversation going on for many years about transparency and accountability in the industry. Brands have to be open and straightforward about what they ask from customers, if only to serve them better. Accenture’s research shows a staggering 73% of consumers would gladly share information with their favorite brands as long as they’re honest about how they’ll put it to use. It’s a reassuring way of recognizing consumers’ concerns. 

Don’t be a [total] stranger

Perhaps the best way to understand their misgivings is to compare data collection to human interactions with strangers. “People expect someone they’ve never met not to recognize them and the same logic applies digitally”, explains the report. “Forward-thinking brands are finding ways to approximate how humans behave, in a humane and ethical way.”

No one would expect anyone to simply hand out information about their personal behavior to a total stranger. It’s no different for brands. “Many consumers report that brands don’t know them well enough to serve them in a way that makes them feel special”, reads the report. “When brands seem to know too much —and act on that knowledge— they can inadvertently lose consumers’ trust.” 

More than 75% of consumers say they are uncomfortable with data collection via microphone or voice assistants while 51% said invasive ads are on the rise. Nearly 30% of consumers said a brand had gotten “too personal”, and 69% of these consumers would stop doing business with a brand or reconsider their relationship because of this. Colloquially put, flatly avoid creepy tactics. 

What to do?

So, how can brands collect data in a respectful, consensual manner? Accenture Interactive recommends: 

  • Using fresh opt-in alternatives to track users, such as encouraging consumers to authenticate on websites and mobile applications;
  • Bringing ad tech contracts in-house to access more effective, transparent data collection methods; and
  • Building the data architecture of enterprise systems in a way that reflects current regulations.

This last point is crucial to observe, as regulators are increasing oversight and enforcement: Between May 2018 and January 2019, more than 140,000 complaints and queries were filed with authorities. Stay aware of privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to ensure an optimal bilateral experience. 

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)

 

 

 

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