The ForwardPMX Advertising Week New York Roundup: Part 2

October 22, 2019

Data Integrity, Gamers Galore & Cultural Relevance

And we’re back with Part 2 of our favorite #AWNYC 2019 insights. To read the first part of this two-part blog series, follow this link. Here’s more of what our agency’s attendees said:

Sara Pollack, Director of Marketing

At the “Instagram, Stories & the Cultural Conversation” session, panelists discussed the convergence of brand and performance marketing, more specifically within the Instagram ecosystem. Bombas’ Randy Goldberg talked about how the barriers between brand and performance are breaking down, ‘It’s all brand, and it’s all performance. It all needs to perform, and we’re in a constant feedback loop with customers.’ The session leaders also discussed the need for brands to be culturally relevant, but in a way that’s real. ‘Brands that are open, listening, having a conversation, that are willing to make a mistake, and aren’t just attaching themselves to a trend, but attaching themselves to culture in an authentic way. Those are the brands that win.” It’s a really important conversation, particularly given the heightened political and cultural messages consumers are exposed to every day – brands shouldn’t be ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, they need to be taking a stance that’s true to their identities, and that reflects who they want to be to their customers, sometimes from an aspirational standpoint.”

Noelle Marra, Group Director of Strategy

“I was really energized to hear that so many marketers are focused on putting customers at the front of their marketing efforts, however clients and brands are still looking at a diverse mix of KPIs to monitor these programs. In the ‘Buying Media to Buying Audiences: The Evolution That is Changing the Industry” panel, Julie Anson of Magna Global stated that KPI frameworks/needs are still very diverse and dependent on the client. Some are still heavily reliant on and using GRPs/traditional KPIs. I can see this trend permeating some of the brands we work with as well – especially those that manage both traditional media and digital performance & brand. To me, unified KPI management is an area that needs to be a continued focus!”

“I accidentally attended a Data & Governance session, because the one I had intended to attend was completely full, and I have to say, I’m so glad this happened! Erin McKelvy wasn’t easy on the panelists, and pushed them to speak openly about gaps in our industry and their ideal future states for us all. The speakers were all compelling in their urgency for agency and publishing folk in the room to continue to pioneer data integrity and transparency in the U.S. – for both the brands we assist and the consumers we aim to reach.

I think we’re all really leaning into audience targeting, but we’re still not talking enough about the safety behind the capabilities and process.

We all know that sometimes our marketing comes off as creepy to consumers. We need to continue to focus on delivering personalized and exceptional customer experiences in ways that are not only compliant, but that are safe and consumer-friendly.

Abby Lopaty, Programmatic Trader

 “STX Entertainment’s Amy Elkins gave some really interesting use cases of audience and “TV first insights” in the session, “Not Your Typical Data Discussion”. She talked about finding the true niche audiences for the movie, Hustlers, and how they could focus in on an audience that sees 1 or more movies per month in an attention economy. The campaigns were tested with an engineering mindset, with hypothesis for incremental change. Ultimately, 60% less marketing budget was spent on the campaigns for the movie as a result, which could then drive profit.”

“There was a lot of talk about transparency, privacy and data. In “The Transparency Game” session, some of the top related issues were data, as it relates to user consent, and long tail inventory. The question was posed, ‘What is the value of your own data?’. Ultimately, session leads agreed that radical transparency creates growth, and companies have to go further and work harder. They need to challenge the incumbents in this regard.”

 Victoria Cassano, Associate Director, Paid Media

“I also attended “The State of AI” session, and something that really stood out to me was the idea that as marketers, we must be critical of algorithms and who made them. If the people who wrote them are biased, even unknowingly, the algorithm’s output is likely to be biased too. This is incredibly important, because you get into a scenario where an algorithm may have been written by two people, but it’s ultimately making the decisions of 1,000 people. There was also a lot of talk about what AI means today – artificial intelligence must be self-learning. It’s also not here to replace humans, it’s here to complement and enhance what we do.

For AI to be effective and efficient, it often still starts with humans asking the right questions.

Michelle Sanchez, Associate Director, Account Management

“I’ve been really intrigued by Twitch lately, so I attended the “Gamers are Losers: Twitch Dispels This & Other Gaming Myths” session. Twitch is getting hugely popular and continues to grow with the Gen Z and Millennial audiences. The session leaders talked about the gaming industry growing in prominence, and how marketers need to embrace and adapt to the new opportunities that exist within these platforms in order to reach key target audiences. They also debunked the myth that the gaming universe is too niche, and therefore brands will not be welcomed or adopted in the same way they are outside the gaming space. Twitch has several capabilities to promote brands in an engaging way, where gamers can connect with product in a virtual space. While Twitch is mainly used for brand awareness tactics at this point, the panelists talked about how Twitch developers are open and willing to partner with marketers on plan development based on their KPIs.

The end of Advertising Week leaves advertisers to ponder the big, sometimes existential, questions posed at the event. What will our industry look like in 2029? How can we harness technology to bring positive change to the advertising industry? What will the next big social media platform be? While we don’t have all the answers, were looking forward to a future of data-informed positive change in the industry.

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