Digital Advertising



Programmatic media buying is on the verge of a new era built on collaboration.

This was the key thread in the panel session on the future of programmatic run in association with digital advertising technology provider PubMatic at The Drum’s Agencies 4 Growth Festival. Watch the fascinating panel here.

Although advertising as a whole has been battered by the pandemic, the use of programmatic media buying continues to increase. At the beginning of October, IAB Europe published its 2020 Attitudes to Programmatic survey, which showed that the number of advertisers spending more than 41% of their display budget through programmatic channels had increased from 55% in 2019 to 77% in 2020. Similarly, the number spending more than 41% of their video advertising budget programmatically grew from 50% in 2019 to 54% in 2020.

As programmatic grows, the way it’s being managed continues to change. The IAB survey found that the number of advertisers using hybrid models, where brands bring some elements of programmatic buying in-house, supplemented with agency expertise, had doubled since 2019 to almost a third. In-housing of programmatic, meanwhile, fell from 38% of advertisers in 2019 to 20% in 2020.

Speaking on The Drum panel, Richard Kanolik, programmatic lead at Vodafone, put this change down to the growing level of programmatic expertise. Programmatic used to be a “black box” tended by the agency, he said, but now advertisers want more visibility and control of their media buy, and they can hire in the people to deliver that.

But he argued that there’s still a need for agencies to fill in the gaps.

“Advertisers can underestimate what’s required to bring programmatic in house,” he said. “Hence the hybrid model.”

This view was backed up by Chris Camacho, chief performance officer at Mindshare. He pointed out that in-housing involves more than just a deal with a DSP provider.

“You also need to think about the set-up, data, tools and talent,” he said. “It’s not easy, but with the right infrastructure, the right support and the right agency, it can be done. There’s a lot of value to having a guide.”

Lisa Kalyuzhny, senior director, advertising solutions, EMEA at PubMatic agreed that working together is crucial, both across the business and between the business and its agencies.

“It’s about knowing what your strengths are as a brand, and being able to use the people you have on the ground internally as well the agency, and being able to really collaborate. That’s where we’ve seen the most success,” she said.

But brands and agencies working together isn’t the only form of collaboration that’s changing programmatic buying. Kalyuzhny pointed out that the introduction of header bidding revealed to advertisers that they could be using 20 or 30 different partners to buy the same inventory, and they started asking themselves what the benefit was.

“Supply Path Optimisation has become a catchphrase for many different adtech initiatives. At the core, it’s about buyers understanding and optimising supply. To deliver better media buying and selling strategies, the collaborative relationships and understanding of both buyers’ and sellers’ goals are a must have,” she said. “In digital advertising, brands and publishers are ultimately working towards the same goal: creating a transparent programmatic set-up that optimises consumers’ ad experiences and values inventory at a fair price for all.”

Kanolik argued that programmatic’s transparency problems were self-inflicted, the result of an infant industry prioritising technology and innovation at the expense of clarity. But he also said that buy and sell sides know that transparency is crucial to programmatic maturing as a medium, and that awareness is bringing the two sides together.

“For programmatic to evolve into a trusted medium, transparency is key,” he said. “We’re moving towards that, and it will kick off a new era of programmatic advertising.”

To watch the entire panel discussion on the future of programmatic media buying, presented in partnership with PubMatic, click here.


Sourced from The Drum


Addressable advertising relies on being able to identify users to serve them the right message at the right time. But the identifiers that marketers use to do this are coming under threat as platforms and regulators work to improve data privacy and protection practices for consumers—namely by killing the third-party tracking cookie.

Now, some marketers are looking for ways to “replace the cookie”—which could be a doomed proposition if consumers don’t want to consent to being tracked and targeted by advertisers. The ad tech ecosystem sees consumer education as the key to getting that consent, but for more than a decade, consumers have expressed concerns.

In 2009, we noted research from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of California Berkeley School of Law, and the Annenberg Public Policy Centre that found two-thirds of US internet users did not want to see ads tailored to their interests—and that their opposition increased when they learned how such ads were delivered. Almost two-thirds (63%) said they thought advertisers should be legally required to delete information about consumer internet activity immediately.

In 2010, covering other research that revealed consumer discomfort with ad targeting practices, we wrote, “Education without effective empowerment with regard to their own data may not be enough for consumers to get comfortable with targeting.”

There has never been a clear process of informed consent, or radical transparency, nor have consumers had the capability to manage their preferences conveniently. There hasn’t been even the smallest effort to explain to the public how real-time bidding (RTB) works and what it means about who processes their data. But there has been a massive increase in spending on targeted digital advertising.

According to February 2019 research conducted in the UK by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Office of Communications (Ofcom), and Harris Interactive, consumer support for viewing digital advertising in exchange for free content dropped from around two-thirds (63%) to around one-third (36%) when survey participants were given some basic information about how personal data is used in RTB.

In 2010, we cautioned: “The fact that over time, as behavioural targeting has featured prominently in the news, Americans continue to regard it as invasive, creepy, or otherwise undesirable further suggests that educational efforts may not be enough.”

Almost two-thirds (63%) of US adults surveyed in June 2019 by the Pew Research Centre correctly understood that cookies allow websites to track user visits and site activity. And Performics and Northwestern University’s Intent Lab found in March 2020 that more than seven in 10 US adults wanted to see regulatory reforms of how companies treat their data.

Attitudes Toward Government Control of Select Company Practices According to US Adults, March 2020 (% of respondents)

To the extent that users are willing to share their data, it’s with the expectation of meaningful choice and control—which are often still not present. About three-quarters of US adults surveyed in November 2019 by geofencing firm Herow said they would be more likely to share their location data if they were given a clear and easy way to control if and how it was used.

App Attributes that Make US Adults More Inclined to Share Location Data, Nov 2019 (% of respondents)

“Marketers, agencies, and media companies are going to have to make a choice, and it’s a simple one,” said Anne Hunter, head of product marketing at consumer insights platform DISQO. “They can either use various technical workarounds to replicate the cookie, or they can do what consumers actually want: get permission before collecting data.”


Sourced from eMarketer

By Ashley Deibert

The world of digital advertising is undergoing a paradigm shift.

Even before Google pulls the final plug on third-party cookies in 2022, brands will be challenged to rethink their targeting and ad strategies. The demise of third-party cookies promises to accelerate the decline of third-party data, and brands will require more direct data solutions to ensure return on investment and maximize the impact of their advertising spend.

Enter first-party and zero-party data — fully consented data types that users provide directly to brands, often through their on-site actions. First-party and zero-party data have always been part of most brands’ advertising efforts, but they’re about to play a starring role as the foundation of their entire strategy.

While change is always difficult, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. First- and zero-party are more reliable than third-party data. And, since the data is provided by people who really want to interact with the brand, it’s a more reliable way to interact with individuals who are receptive to advertising and likely to become customers. Moreover, since both first- and zero-party data are provided voluntarily, they’re built on a foundation of privacy and consent that users and lawmakers increasingly demand. But to be successful, most brands will need to expand their stores of each data type.

The state of direct brand engagement

In July and August, 2020, Digiday surveyed 111 advertisers, representing 71 different brands and 40 agencies, to understand what brands were doing to prepare for a cookieless world. This research offers a snapshot of an advertising industry that is dramatically increasing its reliance on first- and zero-party data as a direct result of cookie deprecation.

The study revealed that 50 percent of marketers expect to be more reliant on first-party data in the coming year, and 49 percent will use more zero-party data. And they plan to draw on a familiar set direct engagement tactics to do so — those that have been honed by successful digital publishers.

The question is, are they making this transition quickly enough to be ready for 2022?

Direct brand engagement is emerging as a key strategy

Publishers have long understood that direct engagement is the key to increasing user investment. The more engaged in a brand’s site a user proves, the more often they’ll visit. And it’s these highly engaged users who are most likely to convert into paying subscribers, sign up for newsletters or share data on a registration page. But first, they need to see value in those exchanges, whether through access to premium content, expanded site features or some other tangible benefit.

Creating value exchanges to inspire users to become more invested in the site has enabled publishers to collect both first and zero-party data. In turn, they’ve been able to further personalize their user experiences, directly engage with their audience and provide critical data points to their advertisers to help them better target ads.

The survey results show that most brands are now embracing many of the tactics that digital publishers use to collect this crucial data. Email, already a powerful tool for brands, has become their medium of choice for new approaches. The study found that 55 percent are using surveys and questionnaires to gather customer data, and 50 percent are employing newsletter sign-ups. However, they’re also exploring subscription offers (used by 29 percent of respondents), registrations (28 percent) and gated access to site features (20 percent). When asked what they’ll be using a year from now, subscription offerings increase by 30 percent and registrations by 17 percent.

How they’re using all this data is equally notable. While direct ad targeting and broader segmentation continue to top the list of widely used data-driven tactics, 37 percent of those surveyed also plan to engage in direct one-to-one interactions with their customers.

Waiting for change will leave some brands behind the curve

The results show that brands are seeking out new tactics in the face of change. However, they also suggest that brands are moving slowly when it comes to making the big shift away from third-party data. They’re comfortable taking a wait-and-see approach, convinced they’ll have plenty of time to adapt away from their third-party data strategies when the time comes.

Among the survey respondents, 44 percent plan to start their post-third-party cookie planning in two years or less, putting them on the cusp of Google’s 2022 timeline. Meanwhile, 44 percent expect the transition to take up to three years — meaning they’re at risk of missing the deadline completely. And 78 percent don’t see any reason to hurry, assuming that they’ll be able to adapt to other data types quickly and easily at a later date.

In truth, late adopters are behind the curve from a strategic perspective. Experts, including multiple members of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3), have noted that advertisers, ad tech companies, browsers and publishers are simply taking too long to prepare for the end of third-party cookies. Much like the sluggish response to GDPR, this leisurely approach risks putting many businesses in the hot seat at a moment when they’re ill-equipped to swiftly adapt.

There’s no reason to wait. By virtue of being more clearly sourced, first- and zero-party data is actually a better alternative than third-party data, opening up the ability to target users more precisely. Still, there is a learning curve to building a strategy that revolves around direct engagement. Of those surveyed, 52 percent reported that the difficulty of creating content that appeals to their audience was a roadblock to improving direct engagement. Getting a head start now will give brands the time to test what works for their audiences, and what doesn’t.

Digital publishers have spent decades perfecting the tactics they use to build direct engagement. Brands have less than two years to do the same.

By Ashley Deibert

Sourced from DIGIDAY

By .

Confusion over the twin functions of digital advertising could lead marketers into flawed decision making, especially when ads used to signpost customer journeys are treated as if they can generate demand.

This year Facebook is 15 and Google is 21, but as advertising channels for big brands, neither has emerged from the troublesome teenage phase into a fully effective adulthood.

It’s because marketers are often not using these and other online channels appropriately. Online ads perform two distinct tasks that need two different decision-making processes, but many marketing departments only use one.

The first task is the one that marketers are most comfortable with because it is the same task that’s done by offline ads. If seeing a compelling picture on Facebook is similar to seeing a poster on the street, and watching a video on YouTube is similar to watching one on TV, then it’s clear, an online ad is just like an offline one. It’s an investment into generating demand and producing future sales.

The second task is less familiar to marketers, albeit equally important for sales. It’s the role of online ads as signposts for ecommerce businesses. This task is the online equivalent of the name above the high street front door, the lights that stay on inside, the shelf-space and even the entry in the Yellow Pages. The task is to help people who are already on their way to a website arrive safely. It isn’t an investment into future sales, but a cost of current transactions.

The two tasks can lead to flawed decision making when ads that mainly perform the second task are treated as if they perform the first. It can lead businesses to treat signposts as if they were substitutes for true investments into future sales and, in some cases, waste money shepherding sales that were going to arrive anyway.

Making sense of the macro data

The existence of the second task explains the matching trajectories in the chart below. In it, online advertising’s share of budgets (black line) and the ecommerce share of retail (grey bars) have been growing in parallel for as far back as the data is available.

At least part of the explanation is that some online advertising is a cost of carrying out ecommerce. Businesses that want to sell on the internet need to be visible there.

pic1 - Grace KiteAh, but correlation is not causation, a sceptic might argue. The chart fits other explanations too. For example, both ecommerce and online advertising rely on the same technologies, so of course they grow together. Or perhaps ecommerce and online advertising are both superior to their offline versions and people have simply begun to use them both more over time.

These alternative arguments break down in the reaction to Covid-19. So far this year, both ecommerce percent and online advertising percent have increased in lockstep at a time when decision making has clearly been about keeping businesses going rather than making bets on new technologies.

The reason is that during Covid-19, decisions about the two tasks of online advertising have been different. Offline budgets have fallen because, as is typical in a recession, businesses find it hard to invest into future sales when survival today is under threat. But, as the chart below shows, many types of online advertising are enjoying maintained or even increased budgets.

pic2 - Grace KiteSome of this change in the media mix is driven by lockdowns and reduced available reach from channels like out-of-home and events, but some is also because more and more people are shopping online, and that makes the second task more important.

In a recession, businesses cut down on advertising, but they don’t close the shop. They keep the lights on offline and they remain visible online too.

Counting everyone that walks past the signpost

More important for marketers’ day-to-day decision making is the way that the two tasks manifest in decision making tools. My team and I use charts, like the one below, to help make things clearer for clients. It shows the case of search engine marketing carried out by a semi-fictional, but typical advertiser.

pic3 - Grace KiteIn the chart, the proportion of total sales driven by search ads is around three times bigger in Google’s attribution tool than it is in our econometric modelling. The reason is that in two thirds of customer journeys that involve a search click, the ad didn’t actually generate the sale, it acted as a signpost, helping someone who had already made their decision to complete their purchase.

Some more sophisticated advertisers are aware of this distinction, but others treat all of the signposted sales as if they were generated by the signpost rather than the price cut, TV ad, or good weather day that prompted the customer decision. They calculate return on investment figures that are too high, and costs per acquisition that are too cheap, and they believe, sometimes wrongly, that switching off signposting would be disastrous.

Using signposts properly

We advise clients to make the comparison above for all online channels and test limited switch-offs. The test and learn should be focused on ads that mainly perform the signposting task rather than the demand building task, so that they don’t damage incremental sales, but do reveal how important each signpost actually is.

pic4 - Grace KiteThere is still a lot to learn in this area, but the above chart is typical of our limited experience. The online ads that are most often an investment into future sales are those that target new rather than existing customers and reach rather than engagement. They typically have richer creative, particularly video, and they highlight newer or less well-known products.

At the other end of the scale we typically see text only ads for the advertiser’s own brand, social that targets clicks and generic search for well-known product lines.

Sometimes the test and learn reveals that the signposting task wasn’t necessary, as in the left panel of the chart below. This advertiser had strong SEO and competitors weren’t buying their own brand terms. Switching off core brand PPC didn’t affect sales at all.

pic5 - Grace KiteIn other cases, the signposting job is revealed to be critical. In the right panel, the switch-off revealed that without a presence in generic search for these keywords, even a customer who had already decided to buy could be diverted and fail to arrive safely.

In our past projects, this kind of guided test and learn has helped clients to use their online channels more effectively and avoid wastage in the performance budget. It’s also generated an additional return on investment benefit when advertisers re-invest the money saved into their best performing, demand generating channels.

It’s the best that current adtech and econometrics can do, but it’s still quite clumsy. Trial and error is rarely the best way to make plans.

The future is in collaboration between marketers, analysts and other departments in the advertiser’s organisation. Experts in sales channel management and merchandising have the skills to make decisions about spending on physical signposts, call centres and high street shops. Their expertise must be relevant here.

Time will tell, but my bet is that the fully mature, fully effective role for online advertising will be very different to the adolescent one we are familiar with today.


Sourced from www.marketingweek.com


n the last few years, podcasts have exploded – but you don’t need anyone to tell you that. Every man, his dog, and his competitor have launched a podcast recently, and it’s hard to know where to start.

Podcasting keeps making the headlines, too. Joe Rogan went viral when he signed an exclusive deal with Spotify, and the streaming platform doubled down when they also signed Michelle Obama. In fact, journalists actually listen to more and more podcasts now to source quotes from people for their stories, quotes that are out in the public domain. And to make the case for B2B, one statistic found that there are avid fans of business podcasts in a massive 13 million households.

Podcasts are ideal for brand awareness and managing your personal brand, in an on-the-go, busy lifestyle. How do you get yours noticed in a landscape where the top 0.1% most popular ones reign and the market becomes more saturated every day?

You don’t need to create your own show to thrive in podcast land

People, and brands, launch podcasts on social media almost daily.

While this should be rewarded, people only have so many hours a day to listen to podcasts and don’t always have time for new ones. Plus, you need a lot of spare cash for ads and need to be ready to make a big commitment, having people lined up ready to guest each week.

If you’re starting out, you should dip your toes into the water first. Podcasts are fantastic for small and medium-sized businesses and their executives to grow awareness. By taking part in podcasts and guesting on existing shows, you’ll get:

1. Free advertising/brand awareness

2. Likely a 15-30 second slot to plug yourself

3. To promote yourself as a thought leader

4. See how other people run podcasts, for future reference in case you set up your own later

5. An opportunity to network and connect with key influencers.

How do I become a guest on podcasts?

There’s so many of them out there, it can be easy to become a deer in headlights at the vast number of podcasts available, but it doesn’t need to be scary.

If you start your own podcast, you need to grow it from scratch, develop a long-term content strategy, and invest a lot of time and money. But if you start by guesting on others – they’ve already done the hard work for you!

Research relevant podcasts by searching key terms

As of January this year, there were more than 850,000 active podcasts. The easiest way to filter down to find podcasts that are right for you to be on, to get in front of your audience is by searching for the key terms on your podcast app of choice.

For instance, if you search ‘SaaS’ on Apple, Google, Acast, Spotify etc, it’ll show the shows which mention SaaS in previous episodes, or their titles. Search for your job title, or for your audience base. For example, if your core offering is smart pay solutions, you can search for:

  • Smart pay
  • Finance
  • Young people + money
  • Retail

There’s also nothing wrong with just searching for top podcasts in your industry on Google, too – but some of these lists may be outdated, and the devil moves quickly, but podcasts move quicker.

Look at their relevance, not popularity

With almost a million podcasts, it’s impossible for them all to have high listening figures – there’s only so many hours in a day. Many should look at the reviews and ratings on the podcast to see how popular it is.

But Megaphone collected data on the US iTunes store which found that 80% of podcasts have no rating listed. Think about podcasts in the same situation as a microwave – who actually leaves ratings? Usually it’s those who think it’s the best microwave they have ever bought and it’s life-changing, or those who actively hate it. The millions of people who bought the microwave and think it’s good won’t leave a review. The same can be applied to podcasts.

You don’t need to guest on a podcast with 100,000 weekly listeners. All you need to do is make sure that they’re relevant. Don’t feel like you can’t ask the host or organiser who their target audience is, just to be sure, as they’ll have more of that data than you will be able to see.

If you do want to see what Joe Public has to say about the podcast, you’ll have a better chance by searching the name of it on Twitter and LinkedIn, where people tend to post about things they enjoy that are relevant to them and to others in their industry. At Hallam, we noticed that The Goat Agency’s podcast, The 30,000ft View, was being spoken about a lot on Twitter, and so pitched Susan Hallam MBE in to speak on one of their next episodes – which they said yes to.

Identify your niche talking point

You want to be seen as the expert, and that won’t happen if you’re just repeating what everyone else is saying.

What can you tell their listeners that someone else can’t? Think of it like a speaking slot – what’s your podcast USP? To identify what your brand, and your people can talk about, answer the following questions which might help you to identify your key talking points:

Do you have any major thoughts or controversial opinions on recent news in your industry?

What are you doing about consumer behaviour changes? Can you offer your thoughts on this?

Everyone’s favourite phrase – digital transformation. What are you doing to cater to it in your industry?

Do you have any major company hacks that you can share which have helped you to become more productive/successful/happier?

Are there any new regulations you can comment on?

What do you see people doing all the time that is wrong or you don’t agree with?

Any cool customer data you can share?

Securing the spot

Search on Twitter. Set up an alert on ‘IfThisThenThat’ which will help you to get alerted every time someone includes the word ‘podcast’ with the hashtag #JournoRequest or #PRRequest. This will save you scanning thousands of tweets a day.

Once you know which podcasts you want to go on, reach out to them and ask. They’ll likely have a website with their contact information, or it will be on their social media. Explain why you like their podcast, and what you can offer to their audience.

Connect with podcast hosts on Twitter and LinkedIn, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter. If you start to interact with them and build up a relationship organically, you’ll likely be ahead of the pack when it comes to securing that coveted spot. Kieran S-Lawler, Head of Content and Social Media at Hallam, was being vocal on LinkedIn, and his connections at Pitch Consultants noticed him. As a result, they invited him onto their podcast.

Thought Leadership 2.0

We all want to be thought leaders, and get in front of our audience. Adding value to a podcast will have people searching for you and your brand after, and one guest appearance can easily turn into ten. Once people hear you on one relevant podcast, they might invite you on theirs.

Guesting on podcasts will allow you to broaden your brand and reach out and build your reputation on the topic in your industry, whether it’s digital marketing, SaaS, hair and beauty, or finance.

It will also help you to increase your exposure and develop personal relationships, There may be an opportunity, should you eventually launch your own podcast, to invite them onto yours – with their raised following, you’re more likely to get a higher number of listeners.

Feature Image: Hallam comment on the growth of business podcasts and suggest that now might be the time to get in front of new listeners.

By .

Rebecca Peel is senior PR and content consultant at Hallam.

Sourced from The Drum


Does marketing have the power to change the world? The year 2020 has forced us all to redress the net result of the industrial revolution, which spurred mass consumption and throw-away consumerism. So, can our industry – with the abundance of talent, skill and creativity- champion for a better future for all?

The Drum and Facebook have partnered to bring together teams from brands and agencies across the globe to provide some answers to this very challenging question. The idea is to get together experts from the industry to find solutions to business and societal challenges to help create value for the people and the communities it impacts.

The creative brief

Uniting three markets under the theme of ‘stakeholder capitalism’ – with attention to inclusion and diversity – three separate teams in North America, EMEA and APAC were put together to answer the brief that involves a rethink of how small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) that are run by minorities operate, and how as an industry we can help create more resilient businesses especially in these unprecedented times.

Each of the three regions were given three separate briefs – The US (North America) team’s brief is to focus on women run SMEs. So how to overcome systemic social and financial challenges while starting and sustaining female-led businesses? Do they need to approach entrepreneurship differently?

For the London, UK (EMEA) team the theme was immigrant-led small business. Are immigrant-owned businesses the untapped potential? What are the challenges and opportunities of migrant founders and their businesses?

The theme for the APAC team is silver start-ups. A growing number of over-65s are now delaying retirement by starting their own firm, fueling a ‘grey business’ boom. What are their challenges, can we identify the most pertinent ones and solve those problems?

The first meet-up

Each of the teams kicked off their first virtual brainstorm session to find a campaign solution that would positively impact the lives of minority groups operating in the SME market. Each of the teams were also given mentors to help guide through the process.

Following is the list of the three teams:

Team US

  • Tom Spaven, brand director, Bombay Sapphire, North America (mentor)
  • Stephanie Walker, innovation marketing manager, Pepsico
  • Cassie Begalle, strategy and innovation brand Manager – U by Kotex, Kimberly-Clark
  • Iyanni Callender, junior art director, Strawberry Frog
  • Paola Ortega, associate strategy director, DDB Chicago
  • Michael Rodriguez, content strategist, 3 Leches Creative

Team UK

  • Arjoon Bose, marketing head- culture & brand experience (Europe-Australasia), General Mills (mentor)
  • Andre Campbell, partnerships lead, Mercedes-Benz
  • Fatima Diez, head of marketing, MunchFit
  • Shannie Mears, co-founder & talent chief, The Elephant Room
  • Jade Nodinot, former creative associate, BlackBook London
  • Emma Luxton, former senior account executive, Avantgarde London


  • Erica Kerner, SVP, marketing strategy & partnerships, ONE Championship (mentor)
  • Triveni Rajagopal, global digital director, skin cleansing and BPC, Unilever
  • Chandini Malla, senior manager, Diageo
  • Bryan Martin, social media executive, Reprise Digital
  • Adrianne Pan, planner, Havas Singapore

Team US: A fact-finding mission

Gender equality is at risk of being set back decades in the current climate – not just minorities in general, but especially women in it. In the US, the focus is on women-owned SMEs, looking at how female-led businesses can overcome systemic social and financial challenges, as well as addressing the different approaches that this cohort might have to entrepreneurship in order to succeed.

One such challenge was posed by keynote speaker Victoria Monsul Singolda, owner and creative director of Iris & Virgil, who discussed that though it might be true that for women-led businesses, their vulnerabilities as women and as small business owners are compounded, there needs to be a gender-smart approach because not all women-led businesses are the same.

“I never really thought of myself as a female business owner, I’m just a business owner. Maybe because my mother was very dominant in the household, she was a student, she was a business owner, she was a mum, we always saw her, we were always together. Maybe that’s why I never thought that there was something different or special being a girl.”

Headed up by mentor Tom Spaven from Bombay Sapphire, the team immediately honed into “resilience” and “impact” as the insights towards this gender-smart approach.

The team delved into discussions to align on common goals and objectives. The first step was to focus on the challenges in order to find the most creative solution – with three key take-aways that these women are lacking: Knowledge and resources to tap into; a community to help them venture into this new world; and platforms available to really share and have people learn more about.

The team then decided that the initial insight-led approach would begin with a fact-finding mission to assess the situation and the scale of the problem that the campaign needed to solve; followed by the consumer insight to understand the deep motivations and needs of the target to ultimately give the barrier they need to start to push against in order to solve the problem; and finally, culture listening around this topic – all of which would help to get a clear, sharpened brief about the real problem they are trying to solve.

Team EMEA: Move from ‘pivot to evolve’

On the other side of the Atlantic, Team EMEA, led by mentor Arjoon Bose from General Mills, tackled the untapped potential of ethnic minority and immigrant-owned founders, their challenges and opportunities.

“The last few months have been testing and I think we’ve all come up with a ton of learning. But I think we’re at that stage right now where we’re needing to move from pivot to evolve,” said Bose. “A growth mindset is what we’re going to have to need as we come out of this and prepare to get stronger and accelerate.”

After hearing from keynote speakers Sharon Jandu, director, Yorkshire Asian Business Association and director, Northern Asian Power List; and Steph Douglas, founder, Don’t Buy Her Flowers, it was clear that a heavy emphasis on networking, relationships and experiences, along with access to digital technologies, were key in bringing this community together.

“For an SME, they are so busy doing what they do that they don’t have the time or the capacity to think about what they can do – or they don’t have the networks to enable them to get the contacts to get investments or to get ideas. They are constantly running on a treadmill, trying to do and keep what they are doing alive. How can we stop them becoming so absorbed in their business that they can actually distance themselves and look at it from an aerial perspective?” asked Jandu.

The team identified the need to listen and learn directly from migrant-led business owners themselves to understand their experience, their struggles and challenges with direct feedback through focus groups and on-the-ground research. This would allow them to narrow down into one or two sectors that need the drive and support. They identified Facebook’s own small business community as a great place to start to create a questionnaire in order to gain invaluable insights to help shape their strategy.

“The opportunity that digital gives us to connect these immigrant-owned businesses with each other and provide each other with their own experience and their own knowledge can be a very valuable thing that we could leverage if it’s relevant to their challenge,” said Fatima Diez.

Team APAC: Reinventing and re-energising culture

With a growing number of over 65s now delaying retirement and fuelling a ‘grey business’ boom, the focus for Team APAC was on overcoming the challenges faced by the silver start-ups, particularly when it comes to navigating through the coronavirus pandemic.

Mentored by Erica Kerner from ONE Championship, the team was presented with a keynote talk by Jeremy Nguee, founder, Preparazzi Gourmet Catering; Batu Lesung Spice Company; who helped his mother set up Mrs. Kueh, a local sweet treat business. They touched upon some of the unique experiences and challenges of their business that they ran from home.

Hoping to learn from this experience and translate these lessons to help support silver entrepreneurs and home-based businesses through his volunteering role in the Hawkers United Facebook community, Nguee said: “I think this is going to be a very, very big market. There are a lot more home-based businesses coming up because of high unemployment in the market.”

Inspired by the talk, the team decided to focus on Singapore food culture and food service industry run by silver entrepreneurs, that has an international dimension throughout much of its history but continues to retain features firmly rooted in the locality so that the global and local are not always distinct. The team wanted to understand the different segments of businesses and the landscape in which they were working in.

“The complexities of Asia, the complexities of the segment, the types of digital, could become such a beast,” says Kerner. “My instinct is to start with the data. Starting a business now, no matter what your age is a challenge and a lot of small businesses are obviously struggling to survive. We’ve got a lot of things to think about. What aspect of this do we want to try to unbuckle?” asked Kerner. “In Singapore we are losing a lot of that Hawker culture and if we can find a way to re energise it, and bring more people back into it, it’s good for all of Singapore culture.”

The next steps

Over the upcoming weeks, the teams will continue to work on their campaign and then subsequently present the big idea for solving that problem.

The final ideas will be entered in The Drum Social Purpose Awards.

The Drum consulting editor, Sonoo Singh, said: I’m inspired to see the true power of marketing when used to promote issues that are critical to our societies, persuade a change in behaviours, and influence a positive shift in behavior that would benefit our environment. Having been involved with all the teams, I cannot wait to see the final outcome of this very challenging brief.”


Sourced from The Drum


Brands need to focus on hyper-localisation by connecting with consumers where they are, as Covid-19 has dramatically changed consumer behaviour and altered the path-to-purchase, according to Facebook and Boston Consulting Group.

According to a new report called ‘Turn the Tide’, released by Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group, the use of micro-targeting can help brands get the first-mover advantage. This is because countries are being divided into different zones, with distinct restrictions due to the pandemic, so they need to build social connections despite social distancing, by engaging with consumers in their context

To cope with pandemic lockdown, which has caused significant disruption for communities and businesses, people are spending more time on social media platforms. This means brands have an opportunity to build stronger dialogues and deeper connections with users.

The aim of the guide, according to Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group, is to guide brands to adapt to the pandemic and ensure business continuity.

Nimisha Jain, the managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group, says: “We are experiencing unprecedented shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviours as 80%+ consumers will continue to practice social distancing and are bringing the outside inside, over 40% of consumers are dialling up on health and wellness spends, e-commerce adoption has already advanced by two-three years, to name a few.”

“These aren’t just temporary surges, and many will last longer and become more defining traits. Our analysis reveals that only one in six companies emerged stronger in past crises. Players who show the agility to reinvent their value propositions, go-to-market plans and business models to address these demand shifts, will be the ones that set themselves apart from the pack.”

In addition, the report also shares actionable guidance for brands to build for the new consumer journeys in times of Covid-19 and beyond.

For example, brands can bring alive experiences through virtual launches and product demos as people turn to virtual experiences for every facet of their life. Facebook said it is already seeing more brands explore Facebook and Instagram ‘Live’ to connect with their followers and customers, with brands now thinking about using social media platforms for new product launches too.

Heeru Dingra, the chief executive officer at WATConsult tells The Drum the agency has modified its planning and strategy around the new consumer journeys, urging its clients to follow a simple mantra of ‘solve, serve and sell’.

She explains brands should focus on solving the problems their consumers face, serve their purpose and the result thereof could be the sale of services or products. She notes a lot of brands have understood this concept and have already started altering their approach to fit this mantra.

“We leveraged the power of gaming and re-created one of the most iconic games of all time, Ludo, for our client Tata Motors. Titled #SafetyFirst Ludo, this version aims to spread awareness about the importance of personal hygiene and social distancing amid the Covid-19 outbreak,” she says.

She also calls out work by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance called #CareWillOvercome, which salutes frontline workers, while a #ReconnectWithStarbucks campaign turned the act of baristas calling out people’s names into a digital phenomenon.

She adds: “These examples summarize how we integrated the need of the hour that is to maintain social distancing, continue to concentrate on personal hygiene and at the same time have our heartfelt appreciation for the ones who have been fighting for us day and night, into our brand approach in some way. This helps to amplify the brand message while being sensitive to the current situation, serving the purpose of extending the required communication and increasing as well as sustaining brand recall.”

The report also advised brands to look at their media mix models to drive growth by aligning to new media landscapes. According to the report, when brands, especially those with traditional product categories, start spending more online, they need to understand incremental outcomes, as well as cross-platform efficiency.

This would increase the need for digital measurement standards, such as custom mix modelling (CMM) by Nielsen, which Facebook said it had piloted last year.

Gautam Mehra, the chief data officer for South Asia and chief executive officer of programmatic at Dentsu Aegis Network observes the importance of moving away from traditional marketing metrics to real business metrics that can be measured and improved on an ongoing basis.

“With the impetus of commerce, CRM and digital transformation, I think, every company will now have a direct-to-consumer line of business and will want to bring themselves closer to the consumer, and rely less on the intermediaries,” he explains.

While most brands are dealing with huge change across many aspects of business, focusing on the changing customer journey is a good place for marketing to focus attention.

Feature Image Credit: the report also shares actionable guidance for brands to build for the new consumer journeys in times of Covid-19 and beyond.


Sourced from The Drum

By .

Influencer marketing has proved to be a reliable marketing resource throughout the years.

A number of companies have allocated a large portion of their overall marketing budget to influencer marketing activations. It is a great way to get user-generated content, feedback from users/customers, improve brand awareness and increase sales (especially when a specific discount code or time-sensitive offer is used by an influencer in a TikTok video, YouTube video or Instagram story).

Yet, as we enter a new year, agencies and brands should be aware of the biggest challenges the influencer marketing industry will face in 2020. They should pay attention to the following:

  • How much do I compensate influencers?
  • What metrics should I track?
  • How to be truly authentic?

As the campaign budget expands, it becomes even more crucial to gauge compensation to the influencer and calculating payment isn’t as simple as one may think. In fact, calculating an amount per post published that is based only on the number of followers would not be accurate, since it is fairly simple to manipulate that metric (for example buying fake followers). A good number of brands and agencies pay influencers based on the number of followers and engagement rate. This is also additional metric that is easy to manipulate by purchasing fake likes or participating at engagement pods (private groups where influencers exchange comments to each others social media posts).

With that being said, a brand or agency should take more factors into consideration when it comes to compensating influencers and I’ve listed some of the main factors below:

  • Country of the influencer
  • Geo-location of the audience of the influencer
  • N. of followers
  • AQS (Audience Quality Score) that can be calculated using free tools online that analyze a sample of the followers of an influencer to find any fake profiles or follow/unfollow pattern
  • Quality of the comments: Are they related and specific to that content or just generic and full of emojis?
  • YouTube videos: are they strong for SEO? What’s the traction of a specific video? You can use a tool like VIDQ to make an- in-depth analysis
  • Time spent in: creating the storytelling, shooting a video or a series of photos, editing and post-production, number of contents sent to the client or agency for approval

Once you have decided on the amount that you are going to pay a specific influencer or group of influencers, it becomes crucial to track the right metrics that will determine whether or not your campaign will be successful. Before even beginning the campaign, the agency and the client have to be on the same page to avoid any miscommunication. KPIs and metrics have to be decided. KPIs and metrics depend on the type of campaign and goals of a specific campaign, but some examples could be:

  • Organic reach
  • User-generated content
  • Sign-ups generated on the client’s website
  • Number of download of the client’s app
  • Sales on an eCommerce
  • N of. Time a promo-code has been used during the campaign

It is important to remember that an influencer marketing campaign is not directly associated with generating sales or signups of an app. In fact, influencer marketing is one of the many touch points to get in contact with potential users and customers that will see the promotion from one of their favorite influencers, and they might activate and become paying customers or download the client’s app in a second moment. Results can even be seen weeks after the marketing campaign has been completed. For that reason, is important not to compare influencer marketing with display ads, programmatic or remarketing activities, as they are completely different ways to communicate to the users.

Lastly, It will be even more vital for influencers to be authentic in 2020. Users are enjoying less of the same perfect and aesthetic Instagram content. In turn, starting to prefer more raw photos and videos. TikTok is the best example of how to be authentic and relatable: Gen Z users want to feel accepted and share their emotions and feelings with other peers of the same age around the world. Less photoshop and more “be yourself” will gain some wins in 2020.


Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and CEO of The Influencer Marketing Factory.

Sourced from The Drum


Marketers must stop prioritising strategies built around cookie data if they’re to succeed in the 2020s. Speaking on a panel at The Drum’s Predictions 2020 event at Sea Containers this week, Andy Chandler, Adjust’s VP for UK and Ireland, called for brands to evolve in the post-cookie world and start to work out whether they’re truly adding value to their customers’ lives.

“With Google Chrome getting rid of third party cookies, brands need to start looking at data differently or they’re going to very quickly get left behind,” he explained. “We are moving into a cookie-less world, where consumers are interacting more with apps than browsers, so the way we measure data needs to truly reflect that. We need to keep evolving and keep up with where people are, ensuring we add real value to their lives.”

A recent feature by The Drum explored the impact of Google’s plans to “render third-party cookies obsolete” and how brands must now respond. According to Ed Preedy, chief revenue office at Cavai, one solution could be for brands to use online messenger apps to speak directly to their consumers. He says messenger apps can ensure more tailored advertising and better conversion rates when it comes to making a purchase.

He added: “In 2019, there were 73 trillion posts across all messaging apps. And in markets like APAC and Latin America, something like 63% of consumers purchased over a messaging app or spoke directly to a business. These are becoming hotbeds for commercial opportunity and it will only grow in the decade ahead in the UK too.

“Messaging apps allow for a genuine two-way interaction. They qualify what users want and who they are almost instantly, so therefore the advertising that runs is contextually relevant. They will become so much more important as cookies start to dissipate. I think there will be a wider move to more personalised platforms, where advertising is less random.”

It was a frank assessment that Tanzil Bukhari, managing director for EMEA at DoubleVerify, very much agreed with. He insisted consumers now want to see more relevant advertising and that getting rid of cookies will ensure this happens more consistently. “The Google Chrome announcement will mean publishers have to offer much richer and directional content, and that’s only a good thing.”

Using data in the right way

But there was also a message of caution in the air, with Vodafone’s brand director Maria Koutsoudakis warning that brands and agencies who prioritise data too heavily risk becoming irrelevant, on a panel earlier that morning alongside Ogilvy CEO UK, Michael Frolich. Koutsoudakis asked the audience: “When was the last time you spoke to a customer? If you stood back from click attributions and A/V testing then what do you really know about your customers now?

“By only really focusing on data, there’s a risk we create a generation of marketers who don’t understand brand, consumers or behavioural change and aren’t agile enough to cope with it. There needs to be more of a blend of people being on the ground, really speaking to their customers, as well as having a good data strategy. If marketers only care about digital metrics then there’s a risk they become irrelevant in marketing in the 2020s.”

With consumer data obviously so important to the UK mobile network’s business, she admitted it has taken a back step to ensure it’s precious about protecting it. “We don’t sell this data as we can’t afford to lose our consumers’ trust,” she admitted. “Being so cautious might mean we get left behind, but I think it’s worth it as we can’t take any chances.”

Frolich agreed with Koutsoudakis’ sentiment. In the 2020s, he said ad agencies shouldn’t be using client and third party data unless they can absolutely prove it has a positive impact on creativity and this in turn enriches the lives of their customers.

“We aren’t a data company, we are a creative agency,” he insisted. “We use client data and third party data to feed our creativity and build better work that consumers then enjoy. If you’re using this data and it isn’t creating better human insights then you’re using it incorrectly.

“Agencies have bought big data companies and it isn’t working because they’re not using the information to create better marketing. If we can work with a client like Vodafone and use their data to feed better creativity then we’re winning.”

The sentiments around trust were picked on another panel, where Courtney Wylie, VP of product & marketing, Mention Me had a word of caution: “We’re going to continue to see this evolving trend of lack of trust. A declining trust in influencers, brands, marketing channels.”

However, the way the relationship between agencies and brands works will become a lot more adaptable over the coming years, with a one-size-fits-all approach now completely redundant. John Readman, CEO & Founder, Modo25, explained: “In past there were only two options: work with an agency or do something in-house, but we will see these lines blurring more and more. There’s no reason why a combination of both won’t be the best way forward.”

Talking about the way forward, Andrew Challier, chief client officer, Ebiquity predicted that the industry will finally see “the rebirth of creativity and the importance of creativity in engaging people and reaching people in a meaningful way.”

A more ethical way of thinking could impact Facebook and Amazon

As we move further into the 2020s, some of the event’s panellists warned that established retailers and social media brands could start to fall short, as consumers switch to a more ethical way of thinking.

“Yes, lot’s of people still buy off Amazon, but the fact Brits also want to become more engaged with their local community means independent retailers should be confident heading into this new decade,” predicted Hero Brown, founder of Muddy Stilettos.

She explained further: “We’ve noticed a real shift in our readers wanting to support the high street more and more, and there’s this ethical thinking coming through, which could be detrimental to an Amazon. Shoppers want real-life experiences, even from online brands. They’re starting to get tired of faceless fast transactions and want to see brands brought to life in a more physical way. This trend will only intensify in 2020.”

Meanwhile, Darren Savage, chief strategy officer at Tribal, would like to see Facebook’s dominancy recede in the social media space. “I think major firms who consistently lie will come unstuck in the 2020s as people won’t put up with it anymore,” he said. “An immoral toxic cess-pit like Facebook will come tumbling down.

“The blatant lies they tell around consumer data will mean people will leave the platform in much bigger numbers. Truth is more important than ever before and just being a big business isn’t going to protect you if you mislead consumers.”

Proving you’re making a difference

This ethical way of thinking also extends to a brand’s commitment to sustainability, and Misha Sokolov, co-founder of MNFST, believes this will only rise in importance over the coming years.

“I spoke recently to someone at the Volkswagen Group and he was telling me how they calculated they were responsible for 1% of all global emissions, and that’s why they now want to be carbon neutral within 10 years,” he said. “The smartest brands won’t just put a nice message on their packaging, but do something that has a provable positive impact on the environment and helping reduce climate change. It must happen automatically as brands will lose market share if consumers don’t think their being ethical enough. There’s no excuse in the 2020s.”

And businesses shouldn’t just think of sustainability in environmental terms either, with it also being just as wrapped up in how a brand and business treats its employees. Stéphanie Genin, global VP of enterprise marketing at Hootsuite, says employee advocacy will be a huge trend moving forward, as consumer want to ensure their favourite brands treat their staff good before supporting them with a purchase.

She added: “Employee advocacy and employee generated content will become so so important. When you empower employees to be the communicator of what your business stands for it really adds to brand value and boosts sales. I think marketers are missing a trick by not prioritising this more heavily.”

However, Readman, added none of this will work unless it’s part of a global governance policy. “It’s all good being sustainable and doing good things for employees in one market, but if it’s not something you’re doing consistently across the board then consumers will work it out and there will be a backlash.”

Meanwhile, for John Young, executive creative director and co-founder, M-is, as brands start to really understand the consumers through personal engagagement, “the advertising budgets will transfer into experiential budgets.”

Be as safe as possible

Another topic of conversation that came up throughout the day was brands ensuring the data they keep on consumers remains safe, especially as more and more of their ads are traded programmatically.

Francesco Petruzzelli, chief technology officer at Bidstack, said that 13% of global ads are currently fraudulent and that while major brands know it’s a “big issue”, they’re not necessarily doing enough to prevent it. “We acquired a publishing guard to protect publishers, but I find a lot of people aren’t thinking seriously enough about this issue. It won’t go away!”

Dan Lowden, chief strategy officer at Whiteops, added how he recently worked with a major brand who believed bots were accounting for up to 5% of fake views of its £10m campaign, but says his team worked out they were actually accounting for 36% of traffic.

Looking ahead, he concluded: “The bad guys aren’t going to let up and will keep on persisting with cyber crime in the 2020s. We all need to be serious about tackling this problem and do more to collaborate as an industry to ensure that marketing dollars are genuinely being spent on human engagement and not just robots.”


Sourced from The Drum

By Shreya Ganguly.

The total Indian digital advertising industry spending stood at INR 13,683 crore at the end of 2019, a 26 per cent jump from INR 10,859 crore in 2018

Internet penetration in India has undoubtedly given a boost to social media usage and online content consumption. With popular social media platforms reaching out to millions across the country, it serves as an important outlet of advertisement for  business and political parties.

According to the recently published, Digital Advertising in India 2020 report by Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), advertisement spending on digital media in India is led by social media with the highest share of 28 per cent amounting to INR 3,835 crore in the total digital advertising pie.

Social media share is followed by spending on paid search which accounts for 23 per cent, online video accounts for 22 per cent and display media forms 21 per cent.

The report revealed the Indian digital advertising industry spending stood at INR 13,683 crore at the end of 2019. This marks a 26 per cent increase from INR 10,859 crore in 2018. The overall advertising industry grew by 9.4 per cent  to become INR 68,475 crore in 2019.

“2020 is going to be cricket heavy; and this, along with the upcoming state and Rajya Sabha Elections, should be able to generate strong demands in advertising. Also, the instant feedback and the ability to track ROI from digital—some of the most distinguishable traits of this medium, will once again make it a favorable platform among advertisers,” said  Anand Bhadkamkar, CEO of DAN, in a statement.

Credit:  Digital Advertising in India 2020 by DAN

Digital Media Ad Spending To Cross INR 50,000 Crore

According to Bhadkamkar, as the economy starts looking up in 2020, voice and technology will become the biggest driving forces, and together they may provide a huge impetus to the Indian advertising and marketing industry this year.

The report also showed that advertising spending on digital media is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 27.42 per cent to become INR 58,550 crore market by the end of 2025. Factors such as technological advancements, improvements in data science and analytics, introduction of policies and regulations, among others, will drive this growth.

Credit:  Digital Advertising in India 2020 by DAN

A deeper insight into various industry segments showed that FMCG has the highest expenditure on advertising, i.e. 30 per cent amounting to INR 20,182 crore followed by e-commerce  at 10 per cent and automotive segment. The biggest spenders on digital media are BFSI (42 per cent), consumer durables (38 per cent) and e-commerce (37 per cent).

Credit:  Digital Advertising in India 2020 by DAN

Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock.com 

By Shreya Ganguly

Sourced from Entrepreneur India