Fast Track to Data Maturity

Fast Track to Data Maturity

Want to get on the fast track to Digital Marketing Maturity?  In response to the unparalleled changes of the last 18 months - specifically the accelerated digital evolution caused by the pandemic, rapid expansion of consumer demand for personalisation and the dwindling data-stream once nourished by the third-party cookie – BCG & Google have collaborated once more to analyse the impact this has had on advancements in Digital Marketing Maturity.   As we would expect, overall brands have progressed their digital maturity since the first research in 2019. The coveted multi-moment stage registered a considerable jump (from 2%) with 9% of companies now operating as the most digitally advanced marketers. There’s more good news for those already making strides along their Digital Marketing Maturity journey, as this new BCG research has found that more mature brands have further increased their effectiveness and efficiencies since the first study -    18% 29% 2x Sales Increase (up 2 points since 2019) Costs Savings (up 16 points since 2019) Increase in Brand Share (by 3% or more)   As you can see companies that have made considerable advancements are already reaping the rewards of those efforts, with the gap widening between the former and those companies that have continued to stand still or have made only minimal steps compared to their more mature competitors. But all is not lost if your company is yet to begin its own Digital Maturity advancement. In getting to the heart of the rapidly changing landscape, this new study identifies four specific drivers that can accelerate the journey of digital maturity and put companies on the fast track today.  Rest assured that wherever your current position, the six digital marketing pillars identified in 2019 remain imperative to digital success.    Even when in the same stage of maturity, companies that are balancing their development of the four accelerators are generating more effective and efficient business results. For those high-maturity brands this is not something to ignore, the further development of these accelerators has the potential to increase revenues and efficiencies by 2% compared with static peers.   Accelerator One: Technical - Building a virtuous cycle around first-party data Utilising first-party data — information that is shared directly by people following their consent — has always enabled companies to gather valuable insights about their audiences, that when strategically analysed gives a competitive advantage in their category. Privacy concerns and regulatory changes have heightened the value of that first-party data, with the primary objective being to gain and maintain consented access to the data itself. Companies that are yet to invest in understanding their current sources of data will need to start now, to ensure that data quality is the foundation across their capabilities. This in turn will help them navigate new regulatory changes and privacy concerns.  For more digitally mature organisations, further investment into creating a holistic view across all sources of first-party (online and offline) data and establishing a cross-functional data privacy team for the long-term will be key.  And how do you convince your consumers to share this valuable data? Success will come in the creation of a compelling story across each touchpoint of the purchasing journey, which is told in the language of your audience. That story must underpin the two-way trust value exchange of first-party data, as without this companies may struggle to build trust with their audience — leading to difficulties in maintaining long-term access to first-party data. This latest research shows that companies who have connected their first-party data can generate 1.5x the incremental revenue from a singular interaction, compared to those with limited data integration.   Accelerator Two: Technical - Developing a true end-to-end measurement capability across channels, using predictive models The ability to measure the impact of paid, earned and owned interactions with consumers along the purchasing journey, has long been the sought-after holy grail of marketing. Stepping towards this, companies need to build an effective measurement system that continuously optimises the value exchange with customers.  With the sun setting on the third-party data source, precision marketing must evolve into the predictive marketing era. This latest study finds that even some of the more advanced marketers have not yet built this capability. Only 42% of Multi-moment companies and 36% of Connected companies currently leverage predictive models effectively. In establishing true end-to-end measurement capabilities, companies must widen their lens from focussing only on consistent KPIs through cross-channel and cross-device measurement out to deploying predictive models along the entirety of the purchasing journey. The future is modelled. Only by leveraging advanced analytics can these predictive models permeate the data gaps currently filled by third-party cookies, attributing the value of customer touchpoints on modelled conversions in place of actual.   Accelerator Three: Operational - Setting up agile performance loops based on a test-and learn approach The importance of the two technical accelerators reaffirms the need for organisational agility. Curating first-party data cycles and test-and-learn approaches will not be possible for those still operating in traditional, siloed organisational structures. Nevertheless, a considerable number of companies still lack cross-functional, agile teams.  Likewise, real-time response capabilities - think dashboards accessible by all relevant stakeholders presenting data signals on campaign performance - are still not commonplace. While multi-moment marketers have built connections between their data, allowing this to flow between cross-functional teams in near time. Agile teaming aids in the breakdown of silos and empowers companies in reacting effectively and efficiently to fast-evolving consumer behaviour.  You can take the first step toward establishing agile teaming by inspiring and enabling cross-functional teams to work in partnership, while promoting a strong, strategic test-and-learn culture based on current trends and insights-driven hypotheses.    Accelerator Four: Operational - Securing access to new skills and resources In strengthening skills and resources companies can take a hybrid approach, primarily filling skill gaps through strategic, specialist partnerships, while conducting in-depth analysis of the most effective balance of internal and external capabilities longer term.  The success of this a hybrid model may rely on external partners for areas such as creative content, objective strategic advice, and technical expertise, which is then harmonised with internal skills which may be focused on data analyses and activation. This is a chance to navigate the turbulent sea of “The Great Resignation” by building compelling development and retention programmes, creating an environment of professional growth that empowers talent.    So how are you going to pick up the pace? The digital maturity journey has already begun — and less mature companies need to accelerate their endeavours just to keep pace as our Multi-Moment finish point today may fall into Connected tomorrow. It may seem overwhelming; however, it is not unachievable. The spotlight is firmly on C-suite leadership here as their sponsorship is key, particularly critical in when advancing into the upper levels of maturity. Only then can alignment of stakeholders throughout the organisation begin, with customer value and trust moving to the centre of the vision for the future. No matter your position on the maturity curve, the four accelerators outlined above are powerful levers of progress in driving long-term, sustainable growth.    Read more of the complete research ‘The fast track to digital marketing maturity’ .telerik-reTable-5 { border-collapse: collapse; border: solid 0px; font-family: Tahoma; } .telerik-reTable-5 tr.telerik-reTableHeaderRow-5 { margin: 10px; padding: 10px; color: #3A4663; text-align: left; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-family: Tahoma; text-transform: capitalize; font-weight: 500; border-spacing: 10px; line-height: 11pt; vertical-align: top; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableHeaderFirstCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; color: #3a4663; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableHeaderLastCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; color: #3a4663; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableHeaderOddCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; color: #3a4663; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableHeaderEvenCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; color: #3a4663; } .telerik-reTable-5 tr.telerik-reTableOddRow-5 { color: #666666; vertical-align: top; font-size: 10pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 tr.telerik-reTableEvenRow-5 { color: #666666; vertical-align: top; font-size: 10pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableFirstCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableLastCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableOddCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableEvenCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 tr.telerik-reTableFooterRow-5 { color: #3a4663; font-weight: 500; font-size: 10pt; font-family: Tahoma; line-height: 11pt; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableFooterFirstCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; text-align: left; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableFooterLastCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; text-align: left; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableFooterOddCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; text-align: left; } .telerik-reTable-5 td.telerik-reTableFooterEvenCol-5 { padding: 0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; text-align: left; } 0

7 mins read

A Cookieless World Conclusion

A Cookieless World Conclusion

As 87% of people now believe data privacy is a right, not a privilege,[1]we, as marketers, should do better to address their growing concerns around how their information is collected and used. It is not only a matter of legal compliance, but also a matter of trust.  In that context, although the recent evolution in the cookies landscape has triggered legitimate concerns around the potential consequences on advertising efficiency and on market dynamics, we should all welcome any change promoting user privacy as a collective, meaningful progress.  Of course, these changes come with their own set of challenges and uncertainties, and the industry will probably have to make do with less - but better - data.  As we have seen in this report:  The leading web browsers are moving away from third-party cookies, creating a fresh paradigm for the digital marketing industry. In 2023, we consider using third-party cookies for advertising purposes should be a relic of the past. Apple is going even further, requiring apps to explicitly obtain consent to keep tracking users.[2] Some digital marketing activities are impacted, such as data management, audience activation, and performance measurement.  Marketers must reconsider how they manage data. This means questioning their current value exchange, improving communications around data privacy, and revisiting their technology needs.  To keep engaging consumers, marketers should investigate the possibilities offered by contextual targeting and cookieless audience targeting alternatives such as persistent IDs.  To measure future performance, marketers will have to combine multiple techniques, from in-platform attribution to incrementality measurement to media mix modelling. A solid testing roadmap will be more important than ever.  There is no silver bullet for this evolution, instead, each brand must develop its unique combination of responses. It is fine if your organisation has not figured out the best option yet. You are not running behind as there is still time to adapt – but you should not wait any longer to plan your transition to a new model.  We expect discussions around privacy and identity to stay at the forefront of the debate even after we have pivoted to the cookieless world.  This is why at dentsu we constantly monitor the martech landscape and are committed to working alongside our clients and partners to imagine and implement solutions that work for all. As a global leader in search marketing, we have implemented advanced cookieless strategies for the world’s largest brands for the last 10+ years. We are using this know-how to help our clients not only thrive in a world free of third-party cookies but do so with speed.  Digital advertising has always been one of the most dynamic and exciting marketing spaces - and we are confident the best is yet to come.    For more, download the full report today: http://ow.ly/KDTK50FKTaJ  [1] Microsoft Advertising in partnership with iProspect, 2020 Consumer Privacy and Brand Trust Survey, Dec 2019 – Mar 2020, as featured in the report In Brands We Trust, published in April 2020  [2] Apple Developer, App Store, User Privacy and Data Use, as accessed on May 4, 2020    0

3 mins read

The Beginning of A New Era

The Beginning of A New Era

The global demand for privacy is one of the most consequential consumer dynamics at play today.   Across the globe, 91% of consumers are concerned about the amount of data that companies can collect about them, [i] and 42% have taken steps to reduce the amount of data they share online.[ii]   In light of this desire for increased privacy, most technology platforms have recently implemented or announced restrictions around data collection and user tracking through their web browsers and operating systems.   For brands and the advertising industry, the magnitude of this evolution is massive.   On the short term, it is undoubtedly a source of conundrums for many marketers and publishers. Processes, ways of workings, legal compliance efforts, technology stacks, customer data strategies – even business models – must be reviewed and rethought to limit business disruption.   Yet, in the long term, it offers a unique opportunity to (re)build trust between brands and consumers around the data issue. Success will hinge on increasing efforts to educate audiences (67% of consumers declare they have little to no understanding about how their data is being used[iii]) and defining a right value exchange that works for all (only 15% of consumers feel they are getting a good value from granting access to their data[iv]).   In the midst of sensationalist headlines, technical solutions still being worked out, and a lack of shared standards to get behind, it is normal for marketers to feel lost and nervous. In a recent marketer survey we conducted, 60% of respondents declared they are not familiar with tracking prevention or are unsure about the consequences on their business, showing that this fast-changing landscape is not fully understood yet.[v]   In this new dentsu definitive guide for global marketers, The Cookieless World, we rise above unique market perspectives and cut through the ambient noise to help you focus on what you should know today and investigate tomorrow to be ready in 2023, when the world will become cookieless.   For more, download the full report today: http://ow.ly/KDTK50FKTaJ    [i] Microsoft Advertising in partnership with iProspect, 2020 Consumer Privacy and Brand Trust Survey, Dec 2019 – Mar 2020, as featured in the report In Brands We Trust, published in April 2020   [ii] Dentsu, Decoding Data Dynamics: Digital Society Index 2020, Global survey of 32,000 respondents   [iii] MMicrosoft Advertising in partnership with iProspect, 2020 Consumer Privacy and Brand Trust Survey, Dec 2019 – Mar 2020, as featured in the report In Brands We Trust, published in April 2020   [iv] Microsoft Advertising in partnership with iProspect, 2020 Consumer Privacy and Brand Trust Survey, Dec 2019 – Mar 2020, as featured in the report In Brands We Trust, published in April 2020   [v] iProspect, iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, November 2020, as featured in Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated, published in April 2021 0

3 mins read

iOS 14.5 is here, what’s next?

iOS 14.5 is here, what’s next?

Since the announcement of Apple’s iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency (ATT) update, performance marketers have been left wondering what the impact will be on their Paid Social campaigns.

5 mins read

Getting ready for Core Web Vitals

Getting ready for Core Web Vitals

Back in November 2020, Google announced some new ‘page experience’ metrics, Core Web Vitals, which will become a ranking signal from June 2021. At iProspect, we’re tracking 1,500 sites across 15 industries to find out who’s ready, and who will miss out.

3 mins read

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

The new iProspect Future Focus report explores the intersection of consumer attention, commerce and data.    Today, we officially launch Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as the essential read for conscientious marketers seeking to explore and exploit the latest consumer and industry advancements for brand growth. The 75+ page report addresses some of the most pressing aspects of modern marketing including; the battle for attention, wholesale changes in data privacy, and the emergence of assisted commerce.    Combining evidence-based research with interviews and responses from over 200 brand marketers in 29 countries, the Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated report delves deep into the challenges and opportunities faced in the current global climate and within the immediate media landscape. And, convenience and relevancy of media to the consumer is key, as 61% of marketers, polled for the report, considered ‘building a highly convenient experience for the consumer’ as the most powerful lever to generate business growth.i    The content of this sixth edition of the Future Focus series typifies the intricacies of bringing brand and performance together to achieve growth.     “Despite the challenging times we live in, I believe there have never been so many opportunities in media. With our new and unique approach of performance-driven brand building, we are firmly optimistic about the future and resolved to make it happen, today. With Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as their guidebook, I hope all marketers will be able to leverage the growth potential afforded at these significant intersections of media, data, commerce and culture.”  Amanda Morrissey, Global President of iProspect    The findings showed that around 2 in 5 marketers (42%) still think the linear path to purchase is as relevant today as it was decades ago, despite the rise of digital. While at the same time 32% of marketers feel that expanding commerce capabilities is important for the 2021 roadmap, however 26% see this as one of the most difficult challenges this year.ii      Practical advice to marketers.   In addition to discussing and dissecting the impact of major global industry trends and innovations, the report spotlights the relevancy and opportunity for brands, regardless of sector, to capitalise on these seismic shifts in the media landscape. Examples of the report’s advice and guidance for marketers worldwide include:    #1: Commerce is Everywhere    Organisations should strive to build and maintain an accurate picture of their commerce capabilities across five key dimensions: desirability, availability, findability, buyability, and repeatability. This will help them define the most profitable commerce model for their brand, better integrate their e-commerce and stores into an actionable omnichannel strategy, explore new growth channels, and turn media opportunities into transaction opportunities.    #2 The Battle for Attention  Brands should consider factoring attention into their media optimisation and measurement efforts to elevate the impact and efficiency of their investment. To maximise audience attention, they should ensure the content and experiences they design truly align with consumer intent, and that the campaigns they develop do not relegate diversity and inclusivity as afterthoughts.  #3 The New Data Playbook    On the data front, organisations should embrace the new privacy-conscious world by re-evaluating the value exchange they offer to their audiences and anticipate technological changes to minimise business disruption. This is the occasion to explore opportunities for automation, evaluate the quality of the data they collect and process, and more broadly reflect upon how data is effectively used to inform decisions.    The last point is of particular significance as the report found in some circumstances there are huge disparities between what the consumer and brand marketer think, when it comes to assessing data value. Only 9% of marketers believe helping a company improve products or services is an incentive for consumers to share their data, while 44% of consumers believe it is a good enough reason to release personal identifiable information (PII) to the brand.iii      Download your copy of Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated now.    -----------------------------------------   [i] Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents. [ii] Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents. [iii] iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey (Oct 2020) and iProspect and Microsoft Advertising, Consumer Privacy and Data Survey (Mar 2020) Content 0

4 mins read

News

Dentsu bolsters global media offering by bringing together iProspect and Vizeum brands to form future-focused iProspect brand globally

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Q&A with James Bailey and The Drum

Q&A with James Bailey and The Drum

Earlier this week, iProspect relaunched globally as a ‘performance-driven brand-building’ media agency following its integration with Vizeum. The relaunch brings together more than 8,000 specialists across 93 markets and includes six offices across the UK. James Bailey, CEO, iProspect UK discusses what this new agency proposition means to him.  What do you hope to achieve in with this new agency proposition? The work we do is very complex. How clients engage with our people and capabilities needs to be really simple and delivered without friction. I want clients to feel like they can access capabilities, thinking and talent throughout Dentsu with ease, and for that to be deployed around their goals with real speed. We want to continue to be a home for media and digital practitioners throughout the UK where they feel like they can grow in their craft. We want to be a home that provides amazing commercial returns for clients. Ultimately, I want to convince new clients to join the party. What’s different about the 'new' iProspect? It’s in the right proportions and in the right locations. We have 80% of our people focussing on optimising today’s commercial returns for clients in digital and media. Meanwhile, 20% are liberated to think about transformative behaviour for future brand health. That could be in technology, in communications strategy, first-party customer management in partnership with Merkle or creative work in collaboration with DentsuMB and Isobar. Our people are based throughout the UK with significant teams in Manchester, Stafford, London, Newcastle, Leeds and Edinburgh. Both iProspect and Dentsu represent the best geographic diversity in the industry and we are committed to delivering digital careers throughout the UK. Why do you think now is the right time to make this change?  Every single advertiser is in an accelerated mindset. It can be enthralling and exhausting for marketers in the same instance. Clients need partners that can move at pace, that can accelerate them to meet new consumer behaviours or disruptive threats head on. iProspect is a safe space because so many of our people are there to deliver on today’s commercial goal. But with this merger and expansion of our services we’re also creating head room for clients to plan for tomorrow’s challenges with the right strategists and consultants on our side ready to work with them on the big questions. What do you think the biggest challenges will be in the coming 12 months? There are a few. Managing a migration to a cookieless view of digital advertising is first up. iProspect and Dentsu have the best analytics, platforms and data science teams of any agency and they are providing considerable support for clients looking to adapt their measurement and optimisation approaches. For my part, it’s important to hold Google and Facebook to account over how conversion data is mapped to advertising effectiveness in a closed ecosystem but geared clients toward testing all opportunities CAPI, GA4 and Ads Data Hub opens to clients.  The next challenge is ensuring the balance is right culturally when offices re-open. We’re committed to hybrid working for our people but I need to ensure cultures in the office or remotely accessed do not move at different speeds. We need to address where COVID and remote working is undoing progress that the industry has made in making marketing a positive career for mothers, it’s not acceptable that we’ve stepped backwards here as a society.  Finally, we need to collaborate more and more. If there is any brief for the people of iProspect it’s to continue to increase the breadth of your collaboration, in Dentsu, with clients and their marketing partners and with media partners. How have clients taken to the changes at the agency?  Really well, although I would say that. But interestingly it’s the clients that on paper this made least immediate sense in a new iProspect that are the ones that are really welcoming some new perspectives in media and digital. My message to clients is simple, we’re just trying to expand the capabilities that are at the fingertips of your teams here. So far no one has suggested that’s a bad idea. How does the 'new' iProspect compare to its competitors?  We’ve taken a step to expand our list of competitors. When I look at the scaled independents like JellyFish and BrainLabs, agencies I admire because I know they can deliver performance marketing really well, they are starting to make some strategic hires in communications strategy to broaden their horizons, I find that encouraging because we’ve leapt past this to merge with a communications planning agency but backed that up with an international footprint of 8,000 employees worldwide. The independents are great competitors to have because they move quickly and I want us to be on our toes. When I look at the media groups I believe that our geographic footprint, centralisation and de-badging of capabilities, strength in CxM, the reduction in brands and focus on collaboration should worry them. In Dentsu Media there is now genuine distinction between our media agencies – Carat (deep human understanding), dentsuX (convergence of creative and media) and iProspect (accelerated brand growth) and I don’t believe that’s the case in all holding groups. What effect will these changes have on the UK footprint of iProspect?  Only positive ones. We’re going into new digs in Stafford where we have nearly 150 employees. We’re keen to expand in Newcastle and Leeds where we have in infrastructure there to grow. In Manchester and London, we have the most sophisticated digital operation in the UK marketplace and in the considerable expertise in the fine art of stitching it all together for clients.  We will look at additional locations alongside other Dentsu capabilities if it allows us to access great talent. I think we’re up to around 80 new hires in 2021 already and there is a nice distribution of that opportunity in London and through all other locations.   0

5 mins read

A year in Creative for Digital PR | iProspect

A year in Creative for Digital PR | iProspect

For those working in creative fields, 2020 presented unique challenges as to how we worked, created and collaborated, whilst adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Our Design and Development team - the creative executional arm of iProspect’s Digital PR team - collectively had to tweak the way in which they delivered content. It was more vital than ever that the content we produced aligned with the way journalists wanted branded stories pitched to them. As we enter a new year, in similar circumstances, we take a look back at how last year shaped the way we worked and how it will inform and steer our work into 2021.  The challenges The rapidly changing landscape and news agenda of 2020 meant that any content that attempted to align with real-world events was often out of date or irrelevant by the time it was ready for outreach. It was also clear that journalists and publishers were oversaturated with topical content and there was a desire for escapism, for something abstract that was a break from the never-ending COVID-19 news flow. To meet these challenges head on and continue to deliver for our clients we needed to ensure we could deliver timely, relevant and most importantly, stand out creative to bring our content to life, in record time. We rose to the challenges and below we share our favourite campaigns of last year. Our three favourite campaigns of 2020 On the theme of escapism, in 2020 we saw great results with image lead campaigns that feature photo-realistic, inspiring interiors, such as this campaign for Neville Johnson which explored famous historical figures’ bedrooms to illustrate how they could look if they were created in the modern day. We worked with a 3D artist to create a set of images that captured the feeling of each figure from history, including (below) Coco Chanel, Jimi Hendrix and William Shakespeare. We wanted to make sure that even without knowing which figure they represented, readers could identify the famous figure, through clever use of ‘easter eggs’ such as the dagger and skulls in Shakespeare’s room, or the Chanel handbag in her bedroom suite.   Our next campaign gave us an opportunity to work closely with our research team to create an original, data-based campaign that due to its subject matter proved a success with design press including coverage on It’s Nice That, which for a creative team is an accolade we’re very proud of. The Currency in Colour campaign for Money.co.uk analysed 157 currencies from across the globe, to explore the dominant colours and features of notes equivalent to a £20 note. The data was displayed in an interactive map, a swatch grid that was sortable by hue and A-Z, plus further analysis of note features, culminating in the creation of a ‘global note’ that included the most common features of all currencies combined. What was unique about the approach to this campaign is how our developers worked with the research team on the data, using code to filter the colours thus saving a large amount of time in design. The creative team stayed close to the idea from the start, which played a vital part in shaping the final delivery of the campaign. Our final pick of creative campaigns that have seen success in 2020 is the The Art of Playing Cards for BetVictor, which allowed us to create a series of five playing card designs, inspired by the work of four famous 20th Century artists: Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Banksy. We made sure that we paid attention to specific card features of traditional card designs and included them in our modern re-workings. The campaign production was also unique and worked on by three members of the design team who were assigned specific artists to imitate based on their working style and skillset, enabling us to get the very best out of each designer. This approach coupled with a clean, simple page build with eye-catching card animations, made for a well-crafted piece of content that was able to secure links from not just poker and casino sites, but lifestyle and design sites too. In summary 2020 has brought unique challenges to creative teams - not just the obvious challenges of how to stay creative, motivated and continue to produce great content and reach journalists, but also the more nuanced, practical challenges that arise from a change in where we work and how we communicate. While it has been far from smooth sailing, what the year has taught us is that it is vital for us as a creative team to stay close – closer than we may have been in the past - to the end-to-end development of a campaign including ideation, research and outreach, in order to be working to our very best. Looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings in the creative space. 0

5 mins read

Building Signal Resilience

Building Signal Resilience

iProspect's Paul Bland and Facebook's Nicolas Arrivé discuss emerging trends that will have a significant impact on a brand's signal resilience. Building Signal Resilience from iProspect UK on Vimeo. 0

1 mins read

We analysed 47m clicks to see how brand traffic should be measured

We analysed 47m clicks to see how brand traffic should be measured

Having a clear view of where traffic, sales and revenue comes from is critical for any marketer. Better understanding allows you to do more of the things that are working and less of the things that aren’t, which means you get more from your resources. This is crucial for SEO when you’re particularly measuring brand versus non-brand, as the influence you have on each differs a lot. So why is it that in SEO, we often take a loose approach when categorising brand versus non-brand traffic? Why an accurate brand vs non-brand split matters Getting an accurate brand vs non brand split is of crucial importance to deliver a successful SEO strategy. It gives you the ability to: More accurately assess the SEO visibility of your site Analyse changes in conversion rate Assess the impact of an Above The Line campaign affecting your overall numbers Look into new vs returning users Forecast the impact of your SEO activity over the next x months One way of using a shortcut to get a brand vs non brand view for SEO is to just take the homepage vs non homepage split and go with that ratio. This is useful because it avoids the more complex (and lengthy) process of looking at individual keywords in Google Search Console and mapping them to URLs in GA. The assumption is simple: “The homepage is the main landing page for pure brand keywords and a number of brand + variation keywords. It will therefore pick up the vast majority of total brand traffic. As such, if I want to look at total non-brand performance in Google Analytics I can just exclude homepage from my calculations.”  Why measuring just the homepage can be very misleading Any SEO will know that there are aspects of how both search engines display results and how users search which will undermine the accuracy of this approach. To name a couple: Sitelinks appearing for brand searches meaning users might click on a different page than the homepage. Users searching for “brand + keyword” leading Google to serve a more specific landing page than the homepage. Yet still, the hope remains. Perhaps the data is not 100% correct, but it is close enough to it? We investigated this claim to assess if it is broadly true and how it differs on a site by site basis. Keep reading… The Approach Using Google DataStudio and the Google Search Console – specifically the URL Impressions data source – we can use Regular Expression formulas to exclude or include brand keywords from the data and get accurate traffic splits. Then, using “Landing Page URL” as a dimension, we can look at homepage vs non homepage totals by URL matching our brand and non- brand filters. Note that we have been careful to exclude data such as strong subdomain brand profiles or international subfolders. This is to ensure the results only depict user brand traffic going to subproducts or content hosted on subfolders. Data was gathered from a total of 52 different domains across 2020. The data set is sizable with a total of 47,240,034 clicks analysed across a number of verticals and site types including: fashion, home, travel, sports, nutrition, property, beauty and financial. The sites analysed ranged from ~70,000 organic clicks per month to over 2,000,000.  The Results Through analysis of keyword data for the 52 domains, we have found that the approach is broadly a flawed one. Overall, the percentage of brand clicks going to the homepage are just over half at an average of 58%:   When looking at the split by site type, we can see that on Lead Generation websites the % of brand traffic going to the homepage is even lower compared to the average at half of all clicks: What was most eye opening was the spread of how much the ratio differed by website. In the sample of 52 sites, we have seen sites ranging from a high of 87% to a low of 18% brand traffic to the homepage: The range in and of itself, obviously, immediately discredits any sort of one size fits all approach but, also interesting, is that no site even exceeded the 90% mark. In some cases, sites were showing less than 20%! This means that, even in the best of cases, the assumption that it is possible to treat homepage traffic as brand still sees you discrediting 13% of the total brand traffic. As a result, a large site could be a matter of tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of brand sessions on a given month. If there was more need for evidence to discredit the hypothesis and that each site requires a custom analysis, it is the fact that the size of the brand itself bears no correlation with the % of brand traffic going to the homepage. This latter concept is illustrated by the table below, which shows the top and bottom 5 sites in terms of homepage brand traffic % split vs the total share of brand organic search traffic: Conclusion I believe everyone understands that shortcuts can be a slippery slope which lead to assumptions being made on a flawed data set. In this context, if you have been assuming homepage = brand then it is worth rethinking the approach. Utilising Google Search Console and Google DataStudio, it is now relatively straight forward to drill into the data and get a much more accurate representation of where and to what extent your site is driving its brand clicks than just picking the homepage. Furthermore, more work to set the foundations and analysis right at the outset will enable you to report and forecast more accurately and optimise your site more effectively in the areas that matter more. 0

5 mins read

The Renewed Importance of Structured Data

The Renewed Importance of Structured Data

There are multiple benefits of automation for brands, from more consistent user experiences across platforms to a competitive edge in performance optimisation to reduced media waste. According to the iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, about one marketer out of two has already automated data and analytics (54%), search (50%) and programmatic (47%) activities – at least partially. One out of three (32%) has automated social efforts and one out of four (24%) has automated effectiveness measurement. As automation is increasingly accessible to brands, with increasing numbers of automation focused solutions made available by vendors and tech platforms, it is relatively easy for brands to launch decent campaigns – but it also makes differentiating from competition more difficult. This is why structured data and feeds continue to grow in importance.   Structured data and feeds power automation Structured data and feeds are collections of data (e.g., price, product availability, weather) with useful associations that can be used consistently across a large array of marketing channels (e.g., search, social, email). By organising information to be understood and utilised by various systems, structured data is the true cornerstone of automation, powering the brands’ ads across many verticals, such as airlines (e.g., flight rates), hospitality (e.g., hotel listings) and automotive (e.g., nearby dealerships). Structured data is becoming increasingly important for three reasons: Structured data can be used to automate the integration of any data signal into the media ecosystem, especially the brand's products and service details. Products and service data sets do not include personally identifiable information (PII) data and are not impacted by data privacy concerns, which means marketers can confidently invest in these specific structured data to deliver the best value for audiences regardless of the ever-changing privacy landscape.   Six marketers out of ten (61%) declare the most powerful lever to business growth is building a highly convenient experience for the consumer (iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey). Feeds enable marketers to make the most of shoppable media opportunities, which make the consumer path to purchase more convenient. They also improve the relevance of ads through more personalisation possibilities. For instance, iProspect helped a retail apparel company to dynamically adjust which product image to use for each product via the feed and connect it to media campaigns. Analysing performance data, we realised that for women's products, images featuring models performed much stronger than images of the product by itself. For men's products, it was the exact opposite. We were able to increase the relevance of ads by optimising the images featured for each product, resulting in stronger engagement and increased average order value.   With the current recession putting marketing budgets and resources under pressure, structured data and feeds can make media management more efficient. For example, campaigns can automatically be paused when a product is momentarily out of stock, reducing media wastage. They also make maintaining ad accuracy of large catalogues more efficient. For instance, we augmented the feed of all the properties managed by a real estate client with point-of-interest data and neighbourhood data - both critical to how people search for properties - so that the ad copy could be updated automatically with minimal human intervention.   How to get started with structured data and feeds There are three challenges most marketers will face when exploring how to use structured data and feeds to create a positive value exchange: identification, access and execution. The following considerations are key to overcoming these challenges. Data signal audit (People): Conducting a thorough data audit to understand what data sets are available to you and what signals are relevant to your brand is the first step to tap into structured data. When it comes to automation, bad data input can quickly turn into a very bad output, which is why collaboration is critical at this stage. Involving internal stakeholders (e.g., IT department) to align on how to structure data sources and setting quality standards for third-party feeds is a good practice to prevent potential issues later. Data acquisition (Platform): Securing continuous, real-time access to the right data signals requires identifying a technology platform able to both connect to your own internal data systems to pull in relevant data and ingest third-party data sources into a single data environment, such as iProspect’s FeedConnect and iActivate. Data management activation (Process): Connecting structured data to active media programmes can be challenging, as each platform has its own technical integration, and each channel its own requirements. For instance, paid search keyword campaigns typically call for short titles of products without brand names, while product listing ads and organic search require longer titles and descriptions. On top of technical know-how, it is important to include a complete testing strategy to make the most of each data signal in the feed and inform campaign management decisions, for instance, by factoring product seasonality to adjust bids throughout the year, or by including margin data to the feed to optimise against bottom-line performance.      Product-to-audience affinity is the future of structured data We believe the future of structured data leans toward optimising how likely a given audience segment is to purchase a specific product, and we predict there will soon be an opportunity to use additional data signals to maximise the affinity at the product level. It could mean using analytical data at the CRM and product SKU levels to determine which products drive the highest contributions to a consumer's lifetime value, looking at the types of products that most often drive a second purchase to boost them through advertising and drive customer retention, etc. For instance, a smartphone brand will be able to use structured data and feeds to increase the bid of ads featuring their most recent device - and not the bids for its entire smartphone range - when communicating specifically to early adopters.   The possibilities are endless, but it is crucial to coordinate between departments to create models with tangible applications.     This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated. Download it now for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

6 mins read

INTRODUCING A NEW iPROSPECT

INTRODUCING A NEW iProspect

Hello and welcome, I have the great pleasure of introducing the new iProspect, a brand new digital-first media agency which will define a new era of performance-driven brand building at a global scale. As Global President for iProspect, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a front row seat at the creation of this new agency as we’ve fused together skillsets, teams, and resources into something new and something different, with enhanced capabilities to accelerate our clients’ brand growth.  The essence of this new agency and its people is rooted in a single, fundamental belief: We are an agency where the promises of tomorrow are our building blocks for today, where uniting performance and purpose creates brands that can change the world by getting better one moment at a time. Simply put, iProspect is a new agency born at the intersection where the science of performance marketing and the art of brand building come together.  This unrivalled perspective, grounded in deep digital specialism, married with brand building strategic firepower enables us to optimise in real-time and with precision in order to accelerate brand growth in the short and long term. And, we can do all of this at scale. At iProspect we focus on how consumers behave in their digital world and apply that to real world scenarios via a highly connected and creative use of every media channel.  As digital specialists, our perspective allows us to rapidly optimise our work and adapt to ever-evolving human intent at those pivotal intersections in life where culture, content, data, and technology meet. We also understand people are different and behave differently the world over and it is through rich insights and our network of iProspect and dentsu teams globally that we can adapt, flex and scale to meet unique client, consumer and market demands.  We are an inter-operable organisation which builds solution-orientated teams via our agile teaming platform, underpinned by data and technology enabled infrastructure.   The heart of this agency is our immensely talented people and their unparalleled understanding of media, of local culture and, of course, their clients. We have built our new brand working with teams in more than 90 markets to ensure we have both global consistency and also local relevancy in everything we do. In short, this new iProspect is powered by our shared passion and restlessness to create momentous work which makes us proud, transforms brands, provides effective business growth, and sets us on a path to change the world by getting better one moment at a time. We want to drive growth for good through our commitment to a fairer, equitable and sustainable society that works for everyone. We are a different type of agency built for the future.   Amanda Morrissey 0

3 mins read

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