QUIGLEY-SIMPSON Now + Next: The best of Mediaweek

From the end of cookies to the beginning of the post-COVID world, industry leaders talk about today’s big issues […]

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Adweek’s Mediaweek recently brought together an impressive list of leaders in brand marketing, media buying and martech for a three-day virtual event. As part of our ongoing initiative to share the latest industry thinking with clients and partners, our team attended and captured these insights:

1. Privacy and addressability
As we get closer to a cookieless world, and privacy continues to be a major concern, now is the time to start putting pen to paper on strategies to effectively reach consumers.
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2. Connected TV and streaming
With more choices of platforms and programming, fragmentation is likely to accelerate. Marketers will need to push for better metrics and richer content experiences.
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3. Leveraging social and digital platforms
It may be time to move beyond the platforms you’ve been using. Take a look at where and how your customers are engaging and what content really connects with them.
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4. Industry predictions
The pandemic has upended many of the ways we do business. As we look forward to a return to normal, it’s important to stop and take a look at new opportunities and risks.
Read more

Privacy and addressability

Replacing the Third-Party Cookie: PRAM’s Dedication to Safeguarding Privacy and Improving the Customer Experience
With Bill Tucker, Group Executive Vice President, ANA
Dennis Buchheim, Chief Executive Officer, IAB Tech Lab
Stu Ingis, Chairman, Venable LLP

The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM), which is made up of leading trade associations and companies representing every sector of global advertising, discussed the development of a replacement for third-party cookies. Key takeaways:

There will not be one solution that enables all forms of addressability going forward. A portfolio

approach will be needed across different environments and use cases.

Consumer privacy has become central to enabling advertising addressability use cases going forward—on a global basis and across platforms and devices. Everything must start with the consumer. Everyone in the industry—from brands and agencies to ad tech providers and publishers—needs to understand what this means and adapt and evolve their principles, policies, solutions, practices, technologies, partnerships, operations and business expectations accordingly.

Collaboration, interoperability and accountability will all be essential to moving the industry forward successfully and sustainably. Avoid solutions that seem easy and safe, don’t create siloes and moats, and ensure you have understood how to “trust but verify” the practices of the parties you depend upon throughout the supply chain.

Context is King: Reaching the Right Consumer in a More Private World
With Nadav Perry, Vice President of Global Brand and Agency Development, Taboola
Scott Spaulding, Vice President, Global Agency Partnerships, MediaMath
Joshua Palau, Chief Media and Activation Officer, PHD
Stephanie Paterik, Editor in Chief, Adweek

Led by Adweek Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Paterik, this roundtable looked at the new reality of addressability on the open web, focusing on the power of new approaches, such as contextual targeting. Key takeaways:

Ultimately, the cookieless world is going to become more of an opportunity than a threat in three ways:

1. The internet is going to become more privacy-centric.
2. Advertisers will become much more capable of using third-party data in new ways.
3. New technologies will be developed, and existing technologies are going to be revisited, with innovations like machine learning and AI.

Now is the time to start testing solutions that don’t rely on third-party cookies to determine what will work best for your business. Choose partners who can test today. You have time to find out which channels are performing best. Start with the fundamentals that have worked for years in marketing and optimize.

Smart contextual technologies will empower real-time targeting in a cookieless future. Instead of relying solely on assumptions, we’ll be able to understand what the audience actually consumes.

It’s Time to Make First-Party Data Usable…Really
With Andy Davidson, Senior Vice President, Data Strategy & Analytics, ENGINE
Kyle Krueger, Senior Vice President, Media, ENGINE

Leaders from ENGINE, a data-driven marketing solutions company, share the best practices for leveraging first-party data effectively and efficiently to drive the bottom line. Key takeaways:

Most businesses struggle to harness the full value of their data due to incomplete data, cookie prohibition, incomplete user graphs, wasted impressions and fragmented experience. There are six steps brands can take to improve how they use data.

1. Develop a plan by evaluating what you have and what you don’t. This includes reviewing the data available and the use cases that can be executed with those particular data assets. Think about whether you can effectively build look-alikes from this data to find consumers, and if you have the proper permissions in place to use this data. It is important to clearly define what can and can’t be accomplished as well. What additional resources do you need to implement this strategy? Educate business owners on the value of this approach. Determine the return on investment.

2. Connect data sources, such as CRM, transactions and website interactions. It’s important to consolidate and remove confusion. Streamline and process your data so it is available for use and activation.

3. Enrich sources, including demographics, psychographics, category behaviors, locations and weather. Choose data sources that will lead you to the best possible outcomes instead of focusing solely on the data you already have.

4. Optimize customer profiling and data collection. Evolve the onboarding process, refine information management protocols and develop meaningful ways to gather missing data. Don’t build on solutions you are already reliant on. Instead, look at the bigger picture.

5. Scrutinize third-party destinations. Where did the data come from? Is it valid? Can it be resolved across devices? Is it cookie-relevant? Pay close attention to these factors when leveraging third-party data to determine first-party solutions.

6. Measure. Evaluate who was reached, optimize your plan, then re-evaluate.

While much effort is devoted to tech optimization, it’s the data that is often the difference with highly personalized marketing at scale.

Connected TV and streaming

Keeping Consumer Attention  
With Paolo Provinciali, Vice President, Media and Data, U.S., Anheuser-Busch InBev
Cara Lewis, Executive Vice President, Head of U.S. Media Investment, dentsu

More than ever, consumers are ignoring, skipping or paying to avoid ads. Panelists discussed how they’re working to change the currency of reference from impressions and GRPs to consumer attention. Key takeaways:

Consumer attention is the scarcest resources for brands and marketers. Fragmentation is at an all-time high. The challenge for advertisers is to look beyond buying demos and make sure consumers are actually seeing ads. This especially impacts linear TV and AVOD.

Viewers are moving away from watching shows with heavy ad loads. Linear TV averages 14 minutes-per-hour while AVOD is as low as 4. First, last and middle placements in the ad pod tend to perform best.

There is an opportunity to re-center the conversation around metrics to KPIs more closely tied to business impact and consumer behavior. To do this, we need more collaboration between the buy side and the sell side. This involves creating better ad environments through managing ad loads, as well as agreeing on a metric solution for attention. Transparency and open communication are key.

Anheuser-Busch and dentsu have had success with TVision, however there is an understanding that this metric is still not fully fleshed out and there is much work to be done— ideally in collaboration between technology providers, buyers and sellers.

Linear, SVOD, AVOD are not in a race to the end. All three will continue to exist and compete for viewers. More than anything else, content will drive consumer decision between platforms.

The Future of Connected TV Is Precision Marketing
With Adam Bergman, Vice President, Network Partnerships, Vizio
Brian Norris, Senior Vice President, Direct to Scale, NBCUniversal
Jason Lynch, TV Editor, Adweek

Panelists shared experiences with connected TV and discussed best practices—focusing on how the industry can learn from the mistakes of desktop advertising and apply those lessons to this nascent platform. Key takeaways:

It important to broaden your target audience when using streaming because it hits every age group.

The average household has four streaming subscriptions, and the time spent on streaming has doubled. On the other hand, the time spent on linear has collapsed by half. Connected TV is only going to grow from here, and 48 percent of time in streaming platforms is in ad-supported environments. The time to invest in ad-supported streaming is now.

Brands believe they need to choose either linear or digital strategies, but in reality, they should use both tactics to reach audiences and achieve long-term profitable growth. Brands are also looking at their strategy from a platform standpoint rather than an audience standpoint. Brands and agencies who find the most success are taking an audience-first approach.

Budgets need to work cohesively. Be results-driven and focus on business objectives and outcomes.

The digital share of total video advertising is growing, and buyers predict a shift to digital TV budgets. The growth of CTV market share provides an opportunity for brands—big or small—to break through.

Automatic content recognition (ACR) data collected by smart TVs enables better advertising, better content experiences and forges a better relationship between people and companies. Take advantage of innovations; brands can utilize advanced products to drive relevant ad exposure across devices. And think outside the spot, as there are new ways to engage advertisers in TV that aren’t reliant on traditional creative.

Leveraging social and digital platforms

New World, New Engagement: Social-First Storytelling
With Karla Davis, Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Media, Ulta Beauty
Christine White, Senior Director, Media and Content Strategy, Ulta Beauty 
Sally Scarbrough, Director of Brand Partner Marketing, Ulta Beauty
Shannon Miller, Senior Editor of Creativity and Representation, Adweek

Leaders at Ulta Beauty discussed the power of creating strong, thoughtful storytelling across touchpoints. Key takeaways:

Leverage social media to sell the “why” not just the “what.” Give people a reason to care beyond the products. Find ways to connect with your audience in an authentic and relevant way. For example, Ultra Beauty used social to make it easier for customers to have gift-giving experiences with family and friends when the pandemic prevented in-person gatherings.

Prime the pump with creative. Storytelling and promotion do not need to be separate things. Knowing more about the brand’s values makes people more confident in purchasing. When brands create great content that’s valued by the audience, sales usually follow.

Be flexible. Don’t get locked into strategies that can’t easily change with the needs and preferences of your customers. Don’t treat your creative as a “matching set of luggage.” Allow ideas to change to fit each different platform.

Partner wisely. When working with influencers and partners, make sure your purposes are aligned and they add credibility and authenticity to your brand. Don’t just look for borrowed equity. Beyond celebrities and popular figures, think of other people your audience respects—like your top retail sales associates and local experts.

Untapped platforms to explore:
Pinterest is a place for discovery that people use during pivotal moments in their lives, like planning a wedding, getting a new job or planning a big trip. Because audiences are actively searching out products, it’s easier to collapse the funnel and go from awareness to purchase in a single message.

Reddit is where things tend to happen first on social. It’s also where many people go to get product recommendations. Even if you’re not ready to create content for Reddit, it’s a good place to do community management and learn what customers are thinking.

Audio-driven platforms like Clubhouse will become increasingly important. While no brand has found the right formula yet, indications point to some promotional models focused around supporting creators.

What Performance Marketing Means for the Nation’s Largest Retailer
With Saleel Sathe, Vice President, Performance Marketing, Walmart
Lisa Lacy, Commerce Editor, Adweek

Saleel Sathe dove into Walmart’s best practices to reach customers in organic yet unexpected ways. Key takeaways:

An effective digital strategy starts with knowing your customers beyond basic demographics— understanding how they feel about your brand, why they shop with you, why they stopped buying from you and what platforms are most important to them. Don’t lose faith in customers who haven’t engaged recently. They may simply need a little connection to come back.

Brands must always keep an eye on what social platforms their customers are moving to. Walmart recently tested shoppable livestreams on TikTok and saw results that surpassed every KPI.

Consider retail media networks (like the ones established by Walmart, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Kroger, Target and Walgreens) as a way to accelerate meaningful connection between the brand and the customer base, while getting first-party data insights and precision targeting.

Look at KPIs in the long term. Ask yourself if you’re doing things that are paying off now but won’t scale or whether your strategies could deliver growth years from now.

Have a healthy failure rate. Learn from what didn’t work. If you’re only trying a few ideas that you know will work, you’re not experimenting enough.

Industry predictions

Pandemic Pivot
With Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business

Professor, founder, entrepreneur, author and podcast host Scott Galloway unpacked the pandemic’s implications on marketing, media and tech, and what the future holds. Key takeaways:

Dispersion will be one of the biggest paradigm shifts in the coming years. Broadly defined, this is the ability to distribute products and services over a wide area where they are needed most—removing unnecessary friction and costs. Dispersion has been accelerated by the pandemic, which has forced brands to move ahead quickly with implementing digital transformation tools.

Industries most likely to change through dispersion will be the ones that have the most frustrating customer experiences—including healthcare, education and real estate. For example, Galloway proposed that the popularity of the electric car was not only due to environmental concerns but also consumer frustration with the gas station experience.

Dispersion will also affect media, as streaming grows in popularity. For example, consumers are likely to want to continue to enjoy the convenience of being able to avoid movie theater crowds and stream new releases in their living room—like Wonder Woman 1984.

Galloway cautioned that dispersion could lead to one or two companies controlling entire markets, which could limit innovation and leave some communities underserved. He emphasized the importance of both regulation and responsibility among leading companies.

The Era of Responsible Investing: How Agencies and Brands Partner to Fund Positive Change with Media Dollars
With Christian Juhl, Global Chief Executive Officer, GroupM
Rob Master, Vice President of Media and Digital Engagement, Unilever
Amanda Richman, Chief Executive Officer, North America, Mindshare

GroupM, Mindshare and Unilever shared how they are using media spend as a force for good while also driving brand growth. Key takeaways:

Brands that act with a purpose grow exponentially faster. It is not enough to say you are committed to cause—you must put the money behind it and act.

Integration must be incorporated into the cadence of your business to properly execute CSR initiatives as well. CSR cannot be siloed. It should be discussed when designing every plan or strategy. Always think about what you can do to give back to the community and appeal to your customers’ values.

When you back certain viewpoints or social movements, you also alienate the opposition. This cannot scare away your brand from taking a stance on the issues in our society. You must make choices and know what your brand stands for. There is a risk, but it is impossible to please everyone, especially now that the world is more polarized than ever before. Know your audience’s values and what they expect, and satisfy them. Do not worry about people on the opposing side of your stance, because it is worse to be neutral. If you are confident in your purpose, your customers will reward you.

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