Q&A with iProspect’s new Chief Strategy Officer, Sam Huston

I sat down recently with our own Sam Huston, who recently became iProspect’s first Chief Strategy Officer, and asked him a few questions.

Sarah: What about being named iProspect’s first Chief Strategy Officer is most exciting to you?

Sam: If you think about the way advertising works, the direction the market is going and the technology available to us now, we have a huge opportunity to effect change in the marketplace.  That’s what I’m excited about…the chance to lead both iProspect’s agency and client strategies bravely into the future, making sure we always deliver campaigns that are personal, adaptive and valuable.

Sarah: The industry is united on the fact that quality content is king, but these days it’s often true that great content doesn’t travel very far, and doesn’t deliver the desired business results.  What are your thoughts on this?

Sam: I want to believe that great creative will always find it’s way, but it’s difficult in today’s congested and segmented marketplace. Brands are realizing that even the best content can fail to convert consumers and deliver on business objectives. The way of the future, and the game-changer for brands, is in the strategic amplification of a campaign via holistic digital performance marketing.

Sarah: What is the future of programmatic, iProspect’s legacy service offering?

Sam: We’ve been at the forefront of programmatic since 1996, so we know it better than anyone in the industry. And now, we have the ability to leverage programmatic as part of a brand’s holistic digital program to drive change and a business outcome.

Sarah:  The iProspect leadership is highly committed to this idea of making marketing personal, adaptive and valuable to the consumer.  What is your definition of these three words?

Sam: Well, I would say that personal means understanding the needs of the consumer. In this Back to School season that we’re in now, it’s knowing that parents need to save time and money and students need to look cool. Adaptive has to do with technology, and meeting the consumer wherever they are looking or buying, in the right way. And, valuable means helping the consumer save time, energy or money – preferably all three.

Sarah: How can a brand stand out in today’s ever-changing marketplace?

Sam: Today, it’s less about being “in your face” and more about reflecting the needs of the individual consumer.  That’s how a brand can truly stand out.  It’s not about being the loudest or showcasing bigger deals than everyone else. It’s about offering something relevant to your most important consumers. So if someone is a Facebook fan, or following you on Twitter, or simply part of your loyalty program, it’s all about understanding that person, not just seeing them as a consumer of products.  It’s about knowing that a certain mom has two middle schoolers and looks for deals on Facebook.  That’s what’s going to truly set brands apart now.