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Media

When Companies Combine More Quickly Than Their Ad Tech

January 2, 2018 — by Lewis Rothkopf0

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What happens when the consolidation of media businesses—either through mergers and acquisitions or commercial partnerships—takes place far more quickly than that of those companies’ underlying ad technologies? You end up with multiple paths into what is now known as a single commercial entity, each with its own advantages, challenges and performance characteristics. The result is that our buying pathways into that media property can represent a spaghetti bowl of legacy brand supply access, a jarring difference from the single voice with which the new entity now speaks, at least publicly.

Because these kinds of consolidations and partnerships have become commonplace, this phenomenon underscores the need for “always-on” supply path optimization (SPO). While we know that different supply paths can often have differing performance attributes, and thus there is justification to maintain more than one authorized pathway to the user, each path should always be rational: each of our roads to that user should be prepared to defend its existence at any time. Unique access to supply is ideal, complementary access is sometimes useful and duplicative access is a problem.

To solve for this, we simply go back to our principles around supply path optimization:

  • Wherever practical, we want direct access to the underlying impression—that is to say, no intermediaries between the DSP and the user. Although there are some legitimate exceptions to that rule, being strict about this approach helps reduce fraud, improve performance and minimize the inefficiencies that come with unnecessary bid requests
  • Determining which is the best point of access when there are multiple legitimate paths can sometimes be tricky: often there won’t be a single best path but rather a small handful of acceptable routes. Potential factors here include differences in user match rates and in user session depth between otherwise like buying paths. In MediaMath’s case, our intelligence layer will determine which of those is appropriate for different marketer objectives and help make a valuation decision to meet those goals
  • Communication with the supplier is key. SPO is not something that can be solved with only a spreadsheet or only with automation. The supply source’s team should be able to provide insights about the planned future state of how they will merchandise their inventory, including which legacy paths will be deprecated. Working closely with that team can help promote stable and performant access to supply, and avoid unnecessary swings in volume or outcomes as the supplier rationalizes their buying onramps

Consolidation and partnerships among media and ad tech companies have been going on for a long time, and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue. By exercising good supply pathing principles, digging in and really understanding ideal routes to the user and working closely with the supplier, we can help our clients stay ahead of the curve and ensure that they are continuing to make the right valuation and buying decisions.

DataIntelligenceMedia

Incrementality is the Best Way to Prove Your Advertising is Working. Here’s How to Measure It

December 27, 2017 — by Natraj Ramachandran0

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The number one question advertisers are asking now is, “How can I measure incrementality?” In other words, “Did my ad campaign cause the consumer to convert?”

There have been many methods for measuring incrementality, including looking at conversions pre-and post your digital marketing efforts or using a complicated model. But in recent years, marketers have understood that the only true way to measure causality is to use a scientific approach.

In public health, the gold standard in measuring the efficacy of any intervention is a randomized control trial (RCT). For example, if we take two equal populations who have similar behavior and give one population a pill and another a placebo we can then measure the effectiveness of the pill we administered.

The same can be done in marketing. In Incrementality Testing, users are separated into two equal populations. One group (test) receives an ad and another group (control) doesn’t. Once we observe the conversion rates of both these populations we can measure their incremental conversions. More importantly, we can accurately measure the cause and effect of our marketing efforts.

In order to create solid lift measurement tests, you need to follow an experimental design approach:

Setting up your test

Measuring incrementality is simple if you follow these steps:

1) Randomization
Randomization ensures that the populations in test and control are statistically equivalent. This allows us to compare behaviors of the groups.

2) Hypothesis
The key to a strong Lift Measurement test is creating a hypothesis. This can be created by looking at previous observational data. Without a strong hypothesis, the results of your test will be pointless.

3) Primary outcome
Decide the behavior you are trying to observe. For example, if we show an ad for pants, we hope that the desired behavior would be the customer would then buy pants. In your test that would be the conversion event.

4) Length
Select a start and end date of a reporting cycle to ensure that reporting results align to the hypothesis of the test (minimizing distortions due to influences of time).

5) Expected use of outcome
The results of your study should contribute to the advancement of knowledge of your marketing campaign. You will use results to make strategy, budgetary and/or optimizing results.

Understanding your results

1) Lift, incrementality, incremental conversion, confidence, confidence intervals what do they all mean?
A common confusion with any test are the metrics you receive. It is essential that you have defined your results before you receive them.

a) Lift
This will give you the likelihood to convert. For example, let’s say your lift is 30%, this would mean that if we show your ad to a consumer they are 30% more likely to convert.

b) Incrementality

The percentage of conversions you received because of your ad. Let’s say we run our test and get a 20% incrementality, this means we received 20% more conversions because we showed an ad. Or alternatively we would have lost 20% had we not shown this ad.

 

c) Incremental Conversions/Revenue

Generally, a portion of sales would have occurred despite the campaign. Your incremental conversions/revenue are conversions that occurred as a result of your campaign. These conversions wouldn’t have occurred if your ad was not shown.

1) Confidence %

Your confidence is the % of distribution that sits above zero. For example, if we get a 90% confidence We are 90% sure that the lift is > 0.  This is a good, positive signal we look for to validate expected results.

2) Confidence Intervals

This provides more detail into the health of a measurement. A confidence interval is a range of values that you can be certain contains the true mean of the population. If for example you use a 95% confidence interval, we are saying that we are 95% certain that interval we calculated has the true lift of the population, the narrow the confidence interval the better. The confidence interval is a measure of how precise your lift/incrementality are in your test.

Guardrails/Mitigating factors

1) Why do my lift/incrementality numbers vary so much?

a) Sensitivity — Lift/Incrementality are calculated based on small conversion rates. In a recent campaign the measured conversion rate for the test group was .03% and .02% for the control group. This would equate to a 33% incrementality.

If the test group conversion rate increased to .04% this equates to a incrementality of 50%.

a) Seasonality – The control group response rate can vary drastically depending on different buying seasons. For example, if we ran a test during Black Friday, the control group response rate may be higher than other times of the year as users are more likely to purchase during this time. This would in turn dampen the influence of your ad campaigns.

b) Brand Awareness – Some products are more familiar to consumers than others. If we ran a test for Snapple and another test for Honest Tea, we should expect larger lift/incrementality for Honest Tea vs Snapple. Snapple is more recognized by consumers than Honest Tea. This means that Snapple consumers are more likely to convert even without the influence of an ad campaign. This means the ad campaign run for an Honest Tea would have a larger impact on consumer behavior.

1) Can you tell me results at the strategy or tactical level?

This is an almost impossible question to answer unless your test is set up appropriately and you have a well-defined hypothesis. Take for example a prospecting and remarketing campaign that are run in tandem. In this scenario, there will be a natural flow of users from the prospecting campaign to the remarketing campaign, causing overlapping populations. As a result, there may be some users who receive two ads then convert (see below).

It becomes almost impossible to understand and attribute the conversion to the appropriate ad. Additionally, this type of behavior isn’t seen on the control side as they are held out to all ads.

 

In order to understand tactic/strategy level results it is best to test each strategy one at a time to avoid overlapping audiences and audience flow.

Conclusion

Incrementality testing can be an incredibly powerful tool if implemented correctly. Many public health organizations continue to use it to measure causality for clinical interventions. Testing in marketing is still nascent and still needs more exploration.

In order to have an effective test you need to:
1. Ensure you determine what you would like to learn from the test before campaign and incremental lift test(s) are set up.
2. Determine the primary goal you are testing (Visits, Checkouts, Signups).
3. Ensure the results of your study contribute to the advancement of knowledge of your marketing campaign.
4. Make sure the results will be used to make strategy, budgetary and/or optimization decisions.

Understand that your results will continue to change because the behaviors of your clients are also constantly changing. In order to make your tests useful have a test plan at the beginning of ever year and continue to iterate on your hypothesis. Running one or two tests won’t provide you with the answers you need. Measurement for measurement’s sake is doesn’t advance learning.  Don’t just measure to say you did it, and then let the results linger in a PPT print out on your desk, measurement should be actioned on.  If you can’t make a decision or take an action based on what you have learned, then that measurement isn’t useful.

DataMedia

Six Steps to Achieving Customer-Centric Marketing

December 20, 2017 — by Laura Carrier0

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This article originally appeared on MarTech Series. 

Broadly speaking, being customer-centric in your marketing represents a shift from a sole focus on company objectives to a focus on customer objectives first. The thought is that happy customers will lead to the meeting of your company objectives — sales.

Significantly, it also swaps “go with your gut” marketing to data-driven marketing. That’s because such marketing relies on learning from and activating against signals (data) that your customer is giving you. Ultimately, this is about building up individual-level data that you translate into actionable insights, which leads to actionable growth.

This shift to customer-centric marketing is significant in that it requires an evolutionary transformation of your people, processes, and technologies. Connecting the dots to improve your customers’ brand experiences is a complex endeavor. Multiple touchpoints, siloed data, existing marketing processes and the coordination of marketing messaging in an omnichannel environment make customer-centric marketing trickier to pull off than many initially understand when they add it to their marketing strategy verbiage.

Don’t let that complexity scare you off. Achieving customer-centric marketing doesn’t have to be all or nothing: You can and should apply a crawl-walk-run approach to your people, process and technology changes. Pick off the easiest marketing channels and processes to change and then build up your complexity.

We recommend starting with programmatic marketing channels, then expanding to your entire digital marketing and sales world. Finally, you should migrate to your whole marketing organization, including omnichannel sales. Here’s how to get started:

1. Start with the data: Data is the foundation on which any good future marketing strategy should be built. In practice, customer-centric marketing means marketing to an individual, not to a device or cookie. The first step is to aggregate and activate against all of your customer inputs across first- second- and third-party data. Said another way, work on bolstering your single view of the customer. That view should be used not only to measure marketing efficacy but also for optimization, activation and predictive analytics. This data isn’t all marketing-related data. Instead, it refers to all your customer touchpoints, including customer service interactions, purchases to signing up for loyalty programs and registries.

2. Focus on the customer: Marketing is traditionally driven by business needs. For instance, a product might be on promotion, so you need to advertise it. Maybe you’re having a Fourth of July sale or if the product isn’t selling, you need to advertise it more. While marketing communications may be based in aggregate-level customer understanding (if customers generally think free shipping is important, we push that in our messaging), shifting to focus first on the individual customer-level needs, desires and preferences are different. This means selecting creatives, marketing channel, content, frequency, etc, based on individual customer data and context. It means activating, optimizing and measuring at the customer-level, not the overall campaign. Examples of this include programmatic optimization, fluid and adaptive audience segments, sequential marketing. The end goal is to positively influence a customer’s behaviors. Campaigns might typically do this with aggregate assumptive data (like demographics). But a customer-centric approach is executed at an individual level. It’s based on trying to figure out and influence the consumer’s needs in that moment.

3. Think of omnichannel as a single channel: The customer doesn’t think of your brand as email, search, social, programmatic, etc. Yet as marketers, we continue to operate independently within our marketing organizations, sending emails, display ads, social ads, direct mail pieces that all have differing objectives, creatives and performance goals. Being omnichannel means recognizing both that online and offline sales are just sales to a customer and that marketing touchpoints are all one conversation with your brand. It’s still common, for instance, for the email marketing team to operate separately from the direct mail teams and from other digital marketing teams. Digital teams are often still siloed into search, display, social etc and/or based on their position on the funnel. Fixing this means reorganizing your marketing structure and incentives (for internal employees and agencies) and marketing effectiveness judgments. “Effectiveness” in this case refers to an individual customer and all of their sales, not to a campaign or marketing channel.

4. Integrate customer engagements: Having one connected conversation with the customer that is relevant to their current status only happens when there’s integration of your marketing silos – data, processes and teams. Maximizing this value means getting every aspect of customer engagement right to deliver long-run incremental value from marketing. That means being where the customer is when he or she wants you to be there and personalizing those engagements based on customer signals. For instance, when a customer has just made a purchase of a pair of jeans on their desktop, why continue to serve ads for jeans on their mobile device?

5. Optimize your messaging: Leverage signals and feedback across all aspects of your relationship with your customer. Adapt your audience models based on the customer behavior you observe in real time. Doing so maximizes both customer experience and ROI. Make use of dynamic creative optimization and ensure that messaging is personally relevant. Get rid of duplicative marketing created by siloed marketing teams, disconnected customer data and lack of understanding of what customer behaviors will lead to incremental revenues.

6. Build comprehensive understanding: The final step is to not only develop a comprehensive understanding of your customer relationships, but develop it in timely fashion that lets you take action against those insights. Measurement for measurement’s sake alone is most often useless. Measurement’s real value is in your ability to create actions off of or decision off of those results. This means both developing a deeper understanding of your customer and closing the loop to action off of that understanding. Measurement can and should be used to influence the quality and efficacy of the media spend not just in the strategy and planning stages, but while your marketing is running. Doing so means employing tactics such as multi-touch attribution and incremental lift to deepen your understanding of the impact of your marketing on your customers’ behaviors, and then using those results in your optimization.

The end result of implementing these strategies and achieving CCM is fourfold: (1) the customer will feel a greater connection with your brand, (2) your costs will decrease, (3) your revenues will increase and (4) your brand perception in the market will grow. If you are overwhelmed as to where to start, I recommend first assessing your data and getting that in order. Most of the above strategies and tactics are not implementable without having your data connected at the customer-level.

Media

How Much Time are You Spending Managing PMPs that Don’t Perform?

November 6, 2017 — by Julia Welch0

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Private deals are an important tool to access premium inventory. Many advertisers resort to them to exercise control of exactly where their brand appears. Others do it to ensure placement on top tier publishers instead of long tail inventory.

Managing the range of deals that are required in order to reach your customers can take enormous time and energy, and advertisers are often competing directly with other larger advertisers and agencies for privilege. In the era of header bidding, advertisers are increasingly locked in a zero-sum competition for priority in the waterfall, and advertisers can end up paying more for less if they are not paying adequate attention to their deal dynamics. This approach to inventory management is not scalable for programmatic, data-driven advertisers.

There is a better way. Save yourself some precious time this holiday season and beyond!

The MediaMath Curated Market is a compilation of publisher deals negotiated and procured by using an audience focused approach, which allows advertisers to find their best audiences at scale in a sophisticated invalid traffic-free environment. The Curated Market is essentially one big PMP, but we’ve already done all of the work for you. No need to troubleshoot, maintain publisher relationships, worry about scale or transparency issues—it’s all been hand-selected and negotiated by a team of experts. If you only remember three things about the Curated Market, remember these:

• Guaranteed SIVT Free: MediaMath has guaranteed that advertisers that purchase media through the Curated Market will be reimbursed for any traffic they run on suspicious invalid traffic.
• Premium Supply with Privileged Access: MediaMath has negotiated a privileged position in the waterfall of premium publishers based on the entirety of the advertiser demand that we represent, ensuring that when our buyers bid above the floor, we win.
• Audience Addressable: The Curated Market team has modeled and identified MediaMath’s clients best known and unknown customers and procured media against them to drive marketer outcomes.

Get started today — replace the PMPs that are not scaling in your campaigns with test strategies targeting the Curated Market. Or augment your existing PMP strategy with Curated Market strategies. Make sure to increase your bids to ensure that you win as much of the inventory in the Curated Market as it is at a higher price point than open auction.

Read more about the Curated Market here and learn about how to activate (for T1 users only) here.

IntelligenceMedia

Bolstering Brand Safety with Contextual Pre-Bid Segments

October 25, 2017 — by John Van Antwerp0

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Seventy-eight percent of marketers report their brand reputation has been harmed in the past by “unintended” ad placement adjacent to inappropriate content, according to a CMO Council survey. In the contextual pre-bid landscape, our partner Grapeshot has focused on brand safety and their unique take on keyword segments — Predicts, which dynamically adapt to the relevant conversation happening on web pages, social and elsewhere. At a time when one of the largest perils of digital advertising is having your ad appear next to offensive or controversial content, Grapeshot’s brand safety segments are sought after by some of the largest advertisers in the industry. Their Predicts segments are a creative adaptation of keyword segments, along with an interesting application of technology, to create a differentiated and useful product in the market.

Today, we’re proud to announce our newest integration with Grapeshot, unlocking the entire Grapeshot portfolio of contextual pre-bid products in our platform to provide more choice and flexibility to our clients. The launch is the culmination of one of the largest integrations the Grapeshot team has performed in two years. Contextual pre-bid segments are available for both web and in-app including:

  • Brand Safety — make sure your ads only run alongside content that is appropriate for your brand
  • Standard Segments — target content based on a static set of keywords defined by the experts at Grapeshot
  • Standard Predicts — target content based on a dynamic set of keywords determined algorithmically and by following the social conversation across the web, defined by the experts at Grapeshot
  • Language — target based on page languages
  • Custom Segments and Custom Predicts — target content based on a static or dynamic set of keywords (respectively) created by you, tailored to your unique marketing needs

We’re excited to have Grapeshot available within our platform and look forward to hearing how it’s improved your targeting experience.

EducationMedia

Marketing Wiki: Omnichannel’s Importance to Consumer-Centric Marketing

September 20, 2017 — by Cassandra Vitelli0

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Consumer-Centric marketing is an approach to media that allows marketers to create seamless experiences for customers across screens. Marketing is most effective when it is centered on the customer — understanding their behavior, relationship with the brand, and location in the buy cycle. This is extremely difficult to do well, particularly as customers begin interacting with brands on mobile devices, connected TVs, social media, and emerging touchpoints. In order to create customer-centric experiences, marketers need to purchase their media on all of these channels, as if they were a single channel, with a unified view of the customer and a coherent strategy about how to interact with them across devices.

Why is Consumer-Centric Marketing important?

Years ago when people just watched TV, read print and listened to radio, it made sense to execute one omnibus buy across channels and blast out a single message. In 2017, the average person uses  7.2 Internet-connected devices and that figure is likely to rise as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes mainstream. In this environment, it’s important not to hit consumers with one message at too high a frequency or present them with inappropriate messages. The benefits of this approach include: 1) unified audience and media management 2) holistic machine-based learning and attribution across all channels and 3) a consolidated source of measurement aligned with marketers’ goals. By contrast, operating with point solutions or channel silos leads to a lack of cost transparency and a fragmented message, among other issues.

What is the difference between Multichannel and Omnichannel?

Just because you put the same creative on multiple channels does NOT mean you are omnichannel. Multichannel means that a marketer is using other channels through disconnected platforms that cannot fully share data. In order to get to omnichannel, marketers should be using a cross-device identity solution and a single DSP to sync their strategies, budgets, messaging, frequency, and measurement across those channels.

What are the problems with realizing Omnichannel?

For the most part today, omnichannel is more an ideal than a reality. Only 14% of marketers say they can track consumers across channels and act on the data they uncover from those interactions, according to L2. In practice, it can be difficult to establish a consumer’s single identity across various devices, synchronize marketing messages across platforms and attribute a sale to the right media and messages. Today, marketers should be laying the foundation of their omnichannel strategy by establishing cross-device solutions, implementing a data strategy to maximize your first party data, and organizing your marketing teams around shared goals and views of the customer

MediaTrends

Back-to-School Starts Early for Marketers

September 6, 2017 — by Laura Carrier0

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This article originally appears on MarTech Advisor. 

Back-to-school is just around the corner, and spending is projected to go up by 9.4 percent from last year. To help ensure advertisers are targeting and reaching back-to-school shoppers this summer, MediaMath put together tips and trends to help them optimize for their campaigns before school’s back in session. Laura Carrier, VP, Vertical Strategy, Measurement at MediaMath explores these tips and provides the best ways to fully optimize a campaign through an audience based, omnichannel, brand safe approach. 

Back-to-school shopping is the second largest online retail season in the US, after the winter holidays. It serves as an essential revenue generating period that can help retailers get ahead of their revenue targets before Q4. The National Retail Federation projects that back-to-school spend will go up by 9.4 percent from last year and 54.8 percent more than a decade ago.

We looked for patterns in the way that our best brands made the most of this fruitful season, including the way they think about timing, budget, media, targeting, data and more. Here are a few of the best practices that our advertisers use to get the most out of the back-to-school season:

Know your Audiences

It has always been the case that marketers need to understand who they are targeting to inform creative and targeting decisions. And the digitization of retailing has allowed unprecedented understanding of who your marketing audience is, where they are and what their interests are. There are two cohorts of back-to-school shoppers, each of whom exhibit very different shopping behavior. Parents of K-12 students are the biggest spenders of the season, responsible for a projected $75.8 billion total spend in 2017. They are volume shoppers that focus on clothing and shoes. The other cohort of back-to-school shoppers are the parents of college students, who are responsible for less overall spend at $45.8B, but have larger budgets for electronics. The average college student parent spends approximately $899.19/person, more than $200/person –  higher than the average K-12 student parent budget.

Marketers should understand which audience, or percentage of each audience, to target based on their product category and industry. It will inform your media and data strategy to find the right way to reach them, and should be essential in the creative that you use to reach the audience. Remember that you are advertising to very different sets of parents, even for the same products!

It’s Still Not Too Late to Start

The main back-to-school shopping season kicks off after the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but conversions do not begin peaking until around July 22nd, and they remain at their highest volume through the end of August. Marketers should plan to have their campaigns launched and at full force from the last week of July through the end of August.

How marketers time these strategies will also depend on which cohort they target – college parents complete their shopping by the Labor Day holiday, while K-12 parents continue making last minute school purchases all the way through October.

Summer is For On-The-Go Shoppers

The last place that anyone wants to be in the hot summer months is in front of their desktop, at home or in the office. During most of the year, desktop site traffic is significantly higher than mobile traffic. But during the summer period between July 10 – August 28, site traffic is just as likely to come from cellular devices as it is desktop site visitors, a major shift that’s sustained for almost the entire summer holidays.

If marketers are not taking an omnichannel approach to their back-to-school strategy, they are leaving even more money on the table than usual. Optimize across channels so that you reach people who are even more on the move than usual.

Understand the Importance of Digital Influence

Back-to-school shoppers overwhelmingly purchase in stores, however the influence of online marketing and research on offline purchases is continuing to increase. This is important for marketers to understand with respect to the ensuring continuity of conversation: if you are not speaking to your customers online, then you are missing more than half of the conversation they are looking to have with you, and you are missing the start of the customer journey. Not only do most customer journeys start in a digital channel, but digitally influenced offline store sales are much greater than all of e-commerce sales. Brands must understand this in laying out their digital strategies, such that they are building up their online and offline presences to act in concert together, not as wholly separate strategies. Creating relevance for back-to-school shoppers is about understanding that a retailer’s physical presence drives online conversions, and additionally their online presence drives offline conversions – customer journeys flow across the entire “phygital” world.

Quality Counts

Brand safety concerns should be especially important when running a campaign targeting parents who are shopping for their children, and marketers are becoming more aware than ever of where their brand appears. In looking at back-to-school campaigns, however, we also saw that ads served on premium, curated media had a 2X response rate compared to all media during back-to-school campaigns in 2016. Marketers should test some strategies on whitelists or premium media marketplaces to see if overall engagement and performance works for their audiences – those higher CPMs are certainly worthwhile if they are justified with higher quality brand experiences that drive conversions!

The second largest shopping season is nothing to sneer at – summertime is a perfect period for retailers to get ahead of their revenue targets ahead of Q4. Also, since the holiday season is just around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to implement new technologies and sharpen best practices.

MediaPeople

CMO Q&A: Joanna O’Connell

August 31, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0

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This article originally appears on DMN News

What led you to a career in marketing?  Was it an early decision or a more recent event?

I’ve been in the space for over 15 years and started my career in the digital agency world as an integrated media planner/buyer ,so I’ve been able to see first-hand how marketing has evolved over the years. I love math, and I loved being exposed to — in those early days of digital advertising — math playing a foundational role in marketers’ decision making. And that was more than a decade and a half ago! The critical importance of math has only grown since then.

Have you always been a marketer, or did you train for a different role prior to that (and if so, what)?

Technically, I’ve come full circle in my marketing career. I started my career as a media planner/buyer, which was an invaluable experience. I really cut my marketing teeth there. After working my way up, then launching ATOM Systems, Razorfish’s programmatic trading desk in 2008, I became a research analyst at Forrester and AdExchanger and am now CMO at MediaMath. I reached a moment in my career when it became clear it was time for me to move from connecting with the industry from the outside to shaping it from within. That’s what propelled me to take my current role in the fall of 2015 — to move from thought back to action.

If you could pick out one thing you find most challenging about marketing, what would it be?

Treating customers as people. We get so caught up in personas, buyer types, in data and targeting that we often forget to treat them like we would ourselves want to be treated as consumers. What compels you to click an ad or open an email? What needs do you have that a product or service could solve? What resonates with you emotionally? What do you love in ad experiences? What’s just downright annoying or creepy? This is how our customers are thinking. And so should we marketers.

How important is it for anyone joining your team today to be comfortable with data-driven marketing?

It’s very critical. Marketing done right is powered by data, but it’s also about finding the right place and time to show a marketing message that’s relevant. Smart marketers realize that it goes beyond just having a lot of data — it’s about having the right data, extracting signal from noise. it’s about granular segmentation, yes, but it must be smart, meaningful segmentation. Targeting is great, yes, but are you finding those targets in the right moment? On the right device? With the right element of your marketing story in their buyer journey?

What’s the single most important component of your marketing stack (by description and/or vendor name)?

We believe in eating our own dog food and so are big users of our own technology! Our own omnichannel platform, our data management platform, our proprietary audience data asset, our own curated, premium media environments — we use all of these in concert to deliver great marketing and support our sales team’s efforts. In short, these tools let us communicate with our own prospects and customers across channels, formats and devices throughout their buyer lifecycle.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?

I’m an animal person, through and through. I’d be a dog trainer or volunteer full-time at an animal rescue. Spending all day with animals sounds pretty darn good to me.