Marketers on the Move – Summer at Digilant

It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost over. Looking back, at Digilant, we’ve been quite busy. For the marketing team it’s been a summer for making moves. Both our lead generation specialist, Mitchell Carey, and content marketing specialist, Sierra Ducey,  found themselves hopping coasts and continents. A nimble and global team, Sierra the San Diegan transitioned from going to school and interning at Digilant to permanently relocating to Boston and working as a full time employee, while lifelong Bostonian Mitchell, packed his bags to work on a project in Barcelona. We caught up with these programmatic marketers to see how their summers have panned out.

Barcelona – Mitchell Carey

This summer has definitely been full of unexpected but very welcome surprises – one in particular that I’ll never forget. After working here at Digilant in Boston for a little over a year, my supervisor, Digilant’s VP of Marketing, Karen Moked, brought up a project in the Iberoamerican market that one of our colleagues in Barcelona might appreciate some assistance with. Initially, I was under the impression that getting involved in the project would require working on some brand positioning from the comfort of our new office. However, shortly after the project was mentioned, Karen asked if I’d be willing to temporarily relocate to Barcelona.
For a bit of background, Digilant forms part of ispDigital, a holding group founded by the Rodés family through their family office, Inversiones y Servicios Publicitarios (ISP). Barcelona is home to ISP’s headquarters. After what were two very interesting months, I’m back and ready to go full speed ahead with our team here in the U.S.

World Cup viewing party at the Barcelona office

While in Barcelona I observed a number of unique differences in the market that influenced digital advertising throughout the summer. From a more engaged World Cup public, greater emphasis on multicultural marketing as advertisers targeted various regional, national, and international audiences all found in one city, and the very high precedence that GDPR compliance took for brands within the EU, I learned that just like any campaign, the Spanish market applies its own custom solutions to run programmatic. All of these characteristics of the Spanish market have a direct impact on how Digilant analyzes, manipulates, and activates data to create effective digital marketing strategies for our clients in Europe.

Another very interesting experience during my time abroad was getting to know Acceso, a media and consumer intelligence consultancy and fellow ispDigital company. I happened to arrive just before the AMEC (Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) Global Summit, one of the largest digital communications industry events of the year that Acceso participated in as the headline sponsor. The three day conference was chock-full of workshops, networking sessions, panels, and lively discussion on all things measurement, including PR KPIs, AI & blockchain’s role in communication, data analytics, and more.
Back in Beantown, I’m happy to be reunited with all of my friends, family, and the Digilant U.S. team, but am excited to stay in touch with the colleagues I’ve met abroad and continue to learn more about programmatic and digital advertising from across the pond.

Boston – Sierra Ducey

View from the new Boston office

At the Boston office, we began our summer with a big office move – well really, just down the hall. But, with a more open layout and great views of the Financial District, we have quickly fallen in love with our new space (and we’re still able to hit all of our favorite lunch spots!).
In the midst of the move, we hosted a great Dinner Panel that covered all things Blockchain. With attendees from a variety of companies all over New England, our speakers, Dave Balter, Partner at Flipside Crypto, Isaac Lidsky, President at Underscore CLT and Erich Wasserman, CoFounder of MediaMath shared their thoughts and predictions on how blockchain will affect advertisers, publishers and everyday people. After an insightful conversation and delicious dinner, we were surprised with a great fireworks show over the Boston Harbor. It was quite the way to kick off the summer!

World Cup viewing party at the Boston office

Personally, I’ve had a blast working on some of my own projects. These projects have really advanced my understanding of marketing and programmatic – learning tactics and practices that aren’t touched on very thoroughly in school. In May, Digilant launched a programmatic campaign for our company. Going through the process of creating content, finding the right segments and watching the campaign through gave me great insight into Digilant’s business practices. We have also been revamping out direct mail campaigns, a strategy that was not focused on in my classes, but that I believe is a very effective use of time and resources. In school, there is so much focus on digital trends and taking advantage of technology, so this was my first real exposure to mail campaigns, a great way of getting back to the roots of marketing. There’s no denying, everyone loves receiving packages so coming up with fun ideas to get potential client’s attention has been a fun challenge for me.

To finish out the summer, we welcomed Mitchell back from his summer travels at our Office Summer Luau Party. In the coming weeks, as I officially transition from college student to full-time employee continues, I’m excited to learn more and challenge myself in the world of programmatic marketing.

Summer may be winding down, but as fall approaches, marketers and advertisers need to be prepared for their media buying to ramp up. Looking to get in touch with a team of dedicated programmatic experts to plan your next digital media buying campaign? Check out our customized media buying solutions.

Back to Basics: The Advantages of Direct Mail As Part Of Your Programmatic Media Buy

Gift giving stretches beyond the holiday season.

After researching the top marketing trends of 2018, no matter the source, the majority of topics include social media, influencer marketing, video marketing, artificial intelligence, and marketing software. Granted, all of these tactics are extremely important to create a thorough marketing mix, it is essential that as marketers and media planners, foundational marketing strategies are not lost. These practices, such as direct mail, have been used for years, and are still highly relevant and effective today.
The first reported use of direct mail dates back to 1888, when Sears sent out printed mailers to potential customers. These printed mailers, promoting their latest product offerings gained popularity very quickly. However, over 100 years later, as more companies started using this tactic, our mailboxes – which has now transitioned to our emails – are inundated with countless messages and offers.  This influx of “junk mail” – either via snail mail or email, is not enjoyable. So, the key to direct mail, just as with any marketing tactic, is to make it relevant, personal and unique.


Direct mail is so successful because it takes advantage of deep and intuitive part of the human experience that is giving, receiving and handling tangible objects, as determined in a study by UK Royal Mail, The Private Life of Mail. The emotional connection of receiving a tangible object results in a higher recollection rate and also makes the customer feel more valued. This tactic creates a more authentic relationship between marketer and consumer.
Simply put, finding a voice in an extremely chaotic and cluttered world is essential for marketers. CBS News has reported that people view almost 5,000 ads per day, up from 500 ads a day back in the 1970s. This is due to the mass amount of media. Direct mail is a great way to break away from the madness and utilize a much less cluttered channel. The small number of voices that use this channel results in a higher response rate. Email sees about a 0.12% response rate, whereas direct mail is more than 36 times that, at 4.4%, as analyzed by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Marketing will continue to move forward and utilize technology, but we need to ensure that we aren’t losing site of some great, long-standing tactics, especially as new generations gain more spending power. 

Anagram who is Agency of Record for brands, uses a variety of channels and tactics including OOH, Radio and Direct Mail.  When you think digital marketing, direct mail is probably not first on your list but today it is possible for a prospect or customer online behavior to lead to real-time, action-triggered direct mail. Those visiting a website, clicking on relevant emails, or replying to a comment on a social media site can receive targeted direct mail within days of their visit. By taking these actions, prospects indicate interest, and by following up with them via direct mail to leverage that interest, immediately increases the chances of customer response.

Marketers and media planners are very focused on reaching Millennials, and now Generation Z. There is an overwhelming amount of information stating that this group of people is married to all things digital. And, granted they have grown accustomed to phones, tablets and computers, Gallup has reported that 95% of 18-29 year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters. This same report stated that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes everyday. There is a great opportunity to target this group of people, projected to hold $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, in a unique way, that sets itself apart from the mass media craze.

Staying up to date on the latest marketing and advertising trends is crucial. Technology is an amazing way to reach and target customers. However, every now and again, we must remember the “old-school” techniques that brought marketing to where it is today. Don’t be afraid to send a customer a letter or package. What’s most ideal about the world today, you can even send them a follow up email – combining the best of both worlds.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic Part 3: Content

Knowing that the United States was not competing in the 2018 Fifa World Cup, people were skeptical about how many Americans would tune in to watch the other countries compete. Now, as the semi-final games approach, it is clear that not having a home team to root for, the United States is simply not as interested in this year’s competition as they were in 2014. Bloomberg has reported that the number of American viewers watching the games has fallen by 44%. In 2014, the games averaged about 3.55 million viewers, and this year its around 1.98 million.   
       

Fox and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, who together paid more than $1 billion, for the rights to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, were somewhat expecting this decline. After the announcement in October that the US would not be competing, Fox lowered the audience it guaranteed advertisers as much as 20%. In order to still prompt excitement for the games, these networks focused their attention on Mexico’s appearance in the competition, hoping to gain viewership from bilingual fans. This found success as Telemundo’s most watched game, with 6.6 million viewers, was Mexico vs. Germany on June 29.

Despite the lack of World Cup interest in the United States, other countries all over the world are bringing in record-setting viewer numbers. 19.9 million people tuned into BBC to watch England beat Sweden to advance to the semi-final game. Those numbers only reflect people watching in their living room, not taking into account the hundreds of people that gathered at pubs to watch the game. When these fans are taken into account, the total number of people that watched that game, jumps closer to 30 million people.


Whether the number of viewers watching in respective countries is higher or lower than the competition four years ago, media analysts are focusing on the number of fans tuning in on their mobile device or streaming. BBC has reported that their online platform has had more than 31.2 million people watch the group match round. This is shocking when compared to the 32 million viewers who used an online platform throughout all of the 2014 tournament in Brazil. It is clear that the shift in favor of cable cutting is affecting all areas of television, even one of the most-watched global events.

More and more people are shifting away from cable, but still finding ways to tune into the games. Streaming, online or mobile, or choosing to watch the games at a pub or bar is making it trickier to track the specific number of viewers so far in the tournament. However, it gives advertisers more ways to reach consumers. In MediaMath’s World Cup Infographic, they outlined trends to watch during the tournament. Some of the best ways to reach fans were on streaming sites such as espn.com and sites where people can easily check scores, such as skyscore.com. We will have to wait until a final winner is decided and the games conclude, to see how the numbers from this year’s tournament compare to 2014 – who’s final match alone had 1.013 billion viewers. But for now, as media consumption trends change, advertisers need to stay up to date on the plethora of ways to reach fans, beyond cable television.


 


Digilant’s FIFA 2018 Digital Advertising Infographic covers who the consumers are, social media trends, how the content is consumed and by who, and more!

Download the full infographic here and don’t forget to share #DigilantData.

Interested in learning more about the impact on retail during the World Cup? Check out Part 4 of our FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic series here.

 

 

Media Innovation Day 2017: What is the Future of the Consumer Experience?

By Lainie Smith, Media Strategist at Digilant

This Wednesday, the Ad Club held its annual Media Innovation Day & Maven Awards, a “daylong content event covering new and emerging media, and focusing on the rapid media and marketing shifts that are impacting brands.” As soon as I stepped foot inside the building to the roaring echo of the crowd welcoming the next speaker to stage,  I knew I was in for a treat. Topics ranged from artificial intelligence, to robotics, to OTT, to partnerships and podcasts, but some overwhelming themes united the presentations, namely choice, personalization and relevancy. While technology continues to change how we communicate, media professionals can always rely on the unchanging nature of the consumer characterized by an innate desire for experiences.

Choice

In a world where people value their time above all else, new media channels and platforms must offer the user personal choice and flexibility if they want to survive. Nowhere is this more reflected than in OTT (Over-The-Top) content, comprising of all the media that we can’t get enough of from streaming platforms and services. Digital leaders from HP, Hulu, Nielsen, and Roku  spearheaded a panel discussion on the booming OTT industry, opened by Seth Walters from Roku who pointed out how ubiquitous OTT has become with Rokus now in 15 million households that collectively view a  billion hours of content a month.

Enid Maran from Nielsen jumped in to discuss how to best harness the buying power of these viewers, noting, “We have a new landscape to get messages out – what is the best way to market this space to advertisers?” The key to the success of this type of content lies in the flexibility it provides the user.  Media consumption is no longer dictated by a broadcast calendar, allowing users to schedule their entertainment around their lives and not the other way around. Even what the advertiser puts out needs to be on the user’s terms.  Peter Naylor added to the discussion by saying that, “nobody hates ads, but everybody hates irrelevance.”

Personalization

Often times, the most meaningful media triggers the consumer’s imagination and allows them to take an active role in shaping the ads they receive. Chris Giliberti, Head of Multiplatform at Gimlet, perfectly illustrated this concept when he played a Hiscox podcast advertisement for us. Simply listening to the narration of a single speaker, the user must apply his or her imagination to picture the speaker – what he looks like, where he came from, his current environment. It’s been proven that imagination is deeply linked to memory, so the key to memorable media may lie in leaving space for the consumer to personalize it, rather than crafting the entire narrative for him or her.

Experiences Over Things

It’s tough to pick one speaker that I most enjoyed hearing from when the lineup consisted of top execs from companies like Pinterest, Waze, Havas, and IBM, but one particularly memorable presentation was delivered by Anthony Reeves, Global Creative Director at Amazon. Reeves began his presentation by clearly identifying  Amazon as an “experience” company, rather than a tech or eCommerce giant. “People need experiences to drive us forward, either physically or through technology,” he said, before  showing a clip of Amazon partnering with Hyundai to physically bring cars to potential car purchasers for a test drive, rather than the customer going to dealership . This novel approach to the test-driving experience yielded great results for Hyundai, increasing sales and brand affinity amongst its audience.

On the topic of change, Mr. Reeves quoted Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos by saying, “When trends emerge, businesses have a choice – embrace them and you get a tailwind; fight them and you’re fighting the future.” But he left the audience with his understanding of the one constant in the rapidly changing media landscape – experience. Withstanding all change, the need for human experience will never go away.

Although media is constantly innovating, media consumers haven’t changed. The constant that media companies can drive towards is experience; the problem lies in how to adapt experiences across increasingly automated media channels, while still allowing the user the flexibility of making their own choices.

3 Takeaways from FutureM For a Digital Marketer

Last week I attended FutureMMITX’s annual marketing conference in Boston that brings together advertising, technology, and design leaders to exchange ideas and share their latest innovations in the marketing space. Not only was this my first time at FutureM, but it was also the first large industry event that I’ve attended as a still rather green marketer. Although an initially overwhelming experience, with hundreds of innovators from around the globe participating in countless workshops, presentations, and networking sessions, there were many lessons I took with me to the office.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve decided to highlight three key takeaways from FutureM based on presentations that were highly impactful to me.

1.) Curate your content

During the presentation “The Art of Non-Obvious Thinking,” best-selling author and professor of Digital Marketing & Persuasive Storytelling at Georgetown University, Rohit Bhargava, stated, “Curation is what turns noise into meaning. Out of everything I heard throughout FutureM, these words stuck with me more than anything else. In fact, they’re the words that helped me filter down pages of notes into this blog.



Bhargava spoke about how today’s saturated digital ecosystem has lead the consumer to run towards simplicity, a trend he calls“the desperate detox” in his most recent book. We struggle to keep our heads above water while being inundated with new technology, media, and products. When it comes to your content, do your audience a favor and curate it like a museum. Declutter anything that stands in the path of the consumer’s journey by putting out clear and direct content that will make their decision to adopt your brand a no-brainer.

2.) Make the user feel 

In the age of information and constant innovation, many people have started to think that logic and reason is king. However, Dipanjan Chatterjee, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, reminded his audience that in order to convert users into loyal customers, brands need to make those users feel.  

From the very start of his speech, Chatterjee cites examples of Charles Darwin, the Star Trek starfleet, and the digital consumer, as all valuing emotion over rationality. We can measure the performance of the most nuanced segments and track their behavior with advanced KPI’s, but one thing that many often neglect to gauge is the emotional impact a campaign will have on the audience.
Today’s metric-focused marketers no longer have an excuse not to, because Forrester Research has designed a system of measurement that Chatterjee and his colleagues refer to as “Brand Energy.” In the below charts, emotion comes in as the most critical aspect to a brand’s identity and it’s no surprise given how the consumer-brand relationship has evolved.

It’s no longer solely a transactional relationship, but also conversational as we have the ability to strike up a dialogue with our favorite brands right at our fingertips. Marketers must engage with the consumer and use emotional intelligence to personalize and improve upon the customer experience. These interactions generate an immense amount of data, but only 0.5% of this data is put into action, a statistic that brings me to the final takeaway from the event.

3.) Be Purposeful with your data

Many marketers today find themselves at a crossroads with information overload. On the one hand we’re told that it’s imperative to use data and predictive-models because implementing them is thought to be a surefire way to boost awareness and generate leads. However, there are others that warn us to not rely too heavily on algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence that are thought to take from the human aspect of the consumer journey. What’s a digital marketer supposed to do with these conflicting pieces of advice?

The panel “With AI Comes Great Responsibility” believes that the approach to solving this dilemma is much simpler than the technology that their companies develop. Cofounder of Born AI, Max Fresen, challenges brands to counter this question with another important question: “What data are you feeding into AI in order to get meaningful insights?”

If you don’t have a clearly defined answer to this question, then you’re probably not properly optimizing the data sets you have to reach your customer. Artificial Intelligence is best used when machine-learning is combined with a talented team that knows how to effectively implement the technology. Programmatic partners like Digilant can do just that. By tapping into actionable data science to facilitate unique one-on-one relationships with users on a massive scale, new insights and audiences are uncovered for advertisers.

Similar to Bhargava’s point that marketers must curate content to effectively reach the user’s cluttered mind, data must also be properly curated and decluttered to be of any use to today’s marketer. To tie everything together – 1.) Curate your message, 2.) Craft it with a real, emotionally-driven user in mind, and 3.) Maximize the precision and reach of this message with the data-driven technology available to you.

Overall, my time at FutureM ‘17 was very enjoyable and memorable. I left with great insights and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

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