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Audiences in DV360 Whats what

There are a number of different audiences available to you in Display and Video 360, so understandably it can be difficult to figure out which ones to utilise and for which campaigns. We hope the below will give you a clearer idea of some of the main audiences available, and remember if you still need a little guidance - please reach out to the GMP team at GMP@iProspect.com   Affinity audiences  Affinity audiences are useful to advertisers who are looking to raise awareness and drive consideration among affinity groups that have a strong interest in their products. Add affinity audiences to your audience targeting to reach people based on their specific interests as they browse pages across the web. Select from a wide range of lists—from "auto enthusiasts" and "sports fans" to "luxury travelers" and "fashionistas"—to show ads to people who are likely to be enthusiasts.   Custom affinity When using Custom Affinity targeting, enter the interests your audience is likely to have, and then Display & Video 360 will intelligently define an audience without unnecessarily limiting the scale of your campaigns.   In-Market audiences In-market targeting is useful to advertisers who are looking to raise awareness and drive consideration among people who are "in-market" to purchase a particular type of good or service. Display & Video 360 offers free in-market audience lists that you can add to your audience targeting to reach people based on their interest in purchasing a type of product as they browse pages across the web.   Custom intent Custom Intent audiences allow you to go beyond Display & Video 360's predefined In-Market categories and use your own keywords, URLs (websites), and apps to reach specific people as they are making a purchase decision related to your product or service. For Display campaigns, use Custom Intent (Display, Video) to create a custom intent audience using in-market keywords — simply entering keywords and URLs related to products and services your ideal audience is researching across sites and apps.   Similar audiences Similar audiences is a simple yet powerful tool for reaching individuals who share interest profiles with your existing customers. By targeting similar audiences, you can reach more potential customers than by targeting only first-party audience lists on their own. Similar Audiences combines your first-party audience data (such as site visitors or past purchasers), Google’s rich audience data, and an intelligent look-alike modeling algorithm to build a custom audience of users who are likely to engage, click, or convert with your ads.                         0

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At CES, Smart Products and Privacy Concerns Remain King

Attending the Consumer Electronics Show is always an inspiring way to start a new year, let alone a new decade.  Major tech companies showcase their shiniest new products (and—let’s face it—concepts that will never make it to market).  Start-ups try to create buzz, sometimes with brilliant new solutions, but often with ideas that are simply bizarre.  Threaded throughout, the titans of Google and Amazon continue to integrate deeper across appliances, cars, and any other device that has evolved to be “smart.” After many hours spent meeting with companies and exploring the showroom floor, I came to the conclusion that this year’s event was a time of incremental evolution.  Sure, there was plenty of jaw-dropping tech on display—Samsung’s “The Wall” television was every bit as incredible as you’ve heard—but the overall sense I got was much different from past years.  It seems as though every major player is rethinking alliances and re-evaluating their position in the market, perhaps due to the arrival of CCPA (the California Consumer Privacy Act) and increasing consumer concerns over privacy. That’s not to say there were no fascinating trends at CES 2020. Below are my top five take-aways from both the showroom floor, and the conversations with key players throughout the week. The Smart Home Bandwagon:  Solutions in Search of a Problem Connected smart home products continue to be a big focus for brands exhibiting at CES.  Some solve for a specific need, like The Motion Pillow, a pillow gently adjusts head position when it detects snoring in order to improve airflow (and potentially improve marriages).  Some products are more like interesting novelties, like Kohler’s Smart Speaker showerhead.   Other products on the showroom floor feel more like a solution in search of a problem.  For example, the SimpleHuman smart trash can, which doesn’t sound like too bad of a proposition until you realize that it utilizes proprietary trash bags (which is either the “printer and ink” merchandising model or, if you’re feeling less generous, the Juicero approach).  Or if that’s not wacky enough, how about a $13,000 smart toilet?   Connected smart home devices will continue to be a major part of CES, but for many consumers the novelty of the basic concept has worn off a bit—meaning manufactures will have to level up their storytelling in order to truly demonstrate the value their products bring to everyday life. The Battle for the Smart Home Ecosystem In the spirit of the classic format wars of VHS vs Betamax and HD DVD vs Blu-Ray, Google and Amazon have been battling to stake a claim as the central hub for all the connected devices in a smart home.  In addition to those two titans, power users have a handful of other home connectivity options—but based on my personal experience, none of today’s solutions play nicely with the devices on the market today, let alone the new concepts showcased at CES. So, it’s fascinating to me that these companies (Google, Amazon, Apple (!!!), and more than ten others) have partnered to begin constructing a standard communications protocol to enhance device compatibility and cross-system integration.  This partnership is called Project Connected Home over IP (the unfortunate acronym “CHoIP”).  A universal standard would not only make smart home devices easier to set up and use by consumers, but since it is built on IP-based networking it would offer end-to-end security by default. However, CHoIP isn’t the only new solution on the horizon.  Smart home solution provider Z-Wave, a competitor to CHoIP partner ZigBee, is opening up their previously proprietary specifications to other chip manufacturers.  Many smart home products, including those by Amazon and Google Nest, already include Z-Wave radios as part of their connectivity.  Confusingly enough, Z-Wave’s parent company, Silicon Labs, is actually a participant in the CHoIP partnership. Lost yet?  Don’t worry—the space is incredibly confusing, primarily because unlike the format wars mentioned at the start of this section, this battle is over intangible network communication protocols, not physical media.  However CHoIP, Z-Wave, and other solutions wind up playing out, increased standardization of smart home connectivity is purely a good thing for consumers—and for the manufactures building products they want to sell (like, for example, that $13,000 toilet mentioned above). Surprising Exhibitors One of my favorite things to do at CES is keep an eye out for companies that seem like an odd fit for the showroom floor at the world’s largest tech conference.  Both Oral-B and Colgate unveiled new smart toothbrushes with features like detecting plaque in the mouth and connecting to your phone to track and coach good brushing habits.  AARP had a booth showcasing how they plan to use artificial intelligence to help improve elder care, but it felt very conceptual. Delta Airlines was the biggest surprise of the show for me.  Every time I stopped by, there was a long line outside their space, and inside they demonstrated a new smart display that tracks an individual’s location in a room and displays personalized information about their flight on a wall-mounted monitor.  The impressive part is that it does this for multiple individuals at a time, and each person sees only their information on the monitor, as it adjusts in real-time based on their movements—two people walking next to each other would see two totally different things on the monitor.  For a proof of concept product, it worked very well, and was even more impactful than the man outside the Delta booth demonstrating a powered exoskeleton that enables baggage handlers to move heavy luggage efficiently and without injury.  New Takes on Old Music Experiences As a musician, I’m always curious to see what the Roland Corporation brings to CES, and this year’s booth didn’t disappoint—a live band featured the latest electronic drums, digital amp modeling, and a “concept piano” that takes the mechanics of a traditional grand piano and wraps them in a futuristic package.Victrola showcased dozens of new takes on the classic turntable, integrating wireless connectivity into a record player with a variety of looks that were both classic and modern.  It was interesting to see how many other companies showcased record and cassette players with upgraded connectivity as well.  However, the most confusingly ubiquitous products scattered around the showroom floor were light-up speakers.  I saw at least a dozen of them at different booths, and outside of professional DJs looking to streamline their equipment cartage I’m not sure who the target audience for these strange devices is. The Looming Privacy Concerns Google didn’t have many gigantic announcements to make at CES this year, but one particular feature launch was quite telling.  Any time the Google assistant activates at a time when a user didn’t speak to it, users can now simply say “Google, that wasn’t for you.”  The Google Assistant will then apologize and delete the request from its history.Giving users this quick, real-time way to respond to smart devices triggering accidentally is a savvy move in a time when major tech companies are struggling to find the balance between privacy and personalized utility.  Over the next three years privacy is going to become one of the key differentiating features consumers look for when purchasing connected devices and choosing which framework to connect them through, yet privacy is one of the hardest features to showcase in the flashy way brands typically approach CES.  Throughout 2020 all of the major players will be navigating evolving legislation, but they should view adherence to the law as the minimum required action.  As our lives become even more interconnected with our devices, the companies that win will be those who actively showcase to their users that privacy is a priority, not just a legal requirement.  0

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Drive your Commerce Strategy with the Commerce Success Framework

This article has been authored by Damien Lemaitre, SVP, Media Product and Information.    Commerce is now a priority for absolutely every brand in any industry vertical. The recent changes to our way of living have made it clear just how important it is for a brand to be able to reach consumers across a complex media and commerce landscape.   According to eMarketer “US consumers will spend $709.78 billion on ecommerce in 2020, representing an increase of 18.0%.” This means there is a great growth potential for brands that are willing to invest in innovating themselves and to make commerce a strategic priority.   Now more than ever, marketers need a compass to prioritize the key brand and performance actions necessary to build a robust commerce presence – on the short term through optmisation, and on the long term through exploration. This is where iProspect’s Commerce Success Framework (CSF) can help, by exploring five dimensions of a successful commerce ecosystem. Start your individual assessment today at commerce.iProspect.com.     Desirability (Making the consumers want your products)   Optimise: Desirability, by nature, is not something you can increase instantly with the flip of a switch. Each consumer interaction with your brand, from media exposure to peer recommendation to purchase experience and customer support, influences how consumers perceive your brand. It means there is no shortcut to desirability, and that meeting consumers’ needs across the other dimensions of the CSF every day is critical.   Explore: New societal, environmental, and technological trends are changing how people live, communicate, and consume. While some brands have the agility to quickly evolve their proposition to adapt to these trends, for others it requires structural changes or even pivoting their business model. Ensure that your company allocates time and resources to detect and understand the key dynamics influencing your customers so that you can anticipate change and stay relevant in the long term.     Availability (Meeting consumers where they really are)   Optimise: Lockdowns have driven consumers in record numbers to shop online more than they ever have before. Ensuring you are just as readily available online as you are on the store shelf is critical to your commerce success. Identify the models that work best for your brand, whether in marketplaces, direct-to-consumer platforms, social commerce, or otherwise.   Explore: Marketing has long been a one-way communication from brand to consumer. This does not have to be the case anymore, as mediums like chat provide a two-way dialogue with the consumer. Consider building out this channel with a combination of artificial intelligence and human operators to support consumers whenever and wherever they need assistance. Explore how you could enable your store associates to assist your customers online as naturally as they would in-store.     Findability (Ensuring relevant visibility when it matters)   Optimise: Reaching consumers at scale can be a tedious task, which is why we recommend utilising technology where it makes sense. Scripts, bidding algorithms, and auto-reporting are a few ways automation can make media management more efficient and help you focus on more strategic and creative work, leading to greater performance all around. Audit your media management process to map opportunities for quick automation implementation.   Explore: The explosion of livestreaming presents a massive opportunity for brands. This format is a powerful vehicle for brand awareness through its scale, audience engagement through its interactivity, and sales stimulation through its shoppable features. To discover how your brand could enter this growing space, start by analysing how your audience consumes livestreaming, from the type of content they watch to the platforms they use.     Buyability (Differentiating products from the competition)   Optimise: In the short term, focus on areas where you can simplify the purchase experience. Start with a review of your e-commerce assets to ensure answers to the most pressing customer questions are easily accessible and the content is regularly refreshed to reflect seasonal offers. Additionally, identify opportunities to collapse the purchase funnel by including shoppable media in your marketing campaigns. Think beyond digital to TV, magazines, newspapers, and audio spots. All can be turned into interactive commerce opportunities.   Explore: As consumers spend more time at home, recreating a shopping experience as close as possible to the physical one will increasingly give you a competitive edge. Today, AR is not only good for fun one-time experiences, it can offer consumers actionable solutions, such as a virtual try-on. For brands, it could mean convincing hesitant customers and reducing the volume of returns. Explore areas wherein the use of AR could benefit your customers.     Repeatability (Building a relationship with the consumer beyond the first sale)   Optimise: About a third (31%) of marketers declare the purchase experience is a source of dissatisfaction for their consumers (iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey). This dissatisfaction represents a double risk: customers not returning, and a tarnished brand desirability in the eyes of potential customers reading negative reviews. To abate customer dissatisfaction, do not overlook what happens after people hit pay. For instance, develop rich content to guide their first-time use of your product, use home deliveries as a marketing channel for sampling, and ensure your support team responds to negative reviews.   Explore: Where people buy today may not be where they buy tomorrow. Often consumers make an initial purchase on a more trusted channel, but then make repeat purchases where it is more convenient. Always monitor the evolution of platform retention and engagement metrics (e.g., repeat purchases) to analyse consumer shifts. Explore the opportunity to develop subscription-based models to increase the convenience of your offer and secure revenue streams.   Start your individual assessment today at commerce.iProspect.com.   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

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SOCIETAL RESPONSIBILITY IS THE BRAND KINGMAKER IN 2021

Climate crisis, social justice, privacy rights… as people’s expectations change and consumer scrutiny increases, companies must adapt to societal evolutions if they are to remain relevant and grow. Being the closest ones to consumers and the ones responsible for driving brand response, marketers have a critical role in promoting a societal agenda within the organisation – uncovering new growth opportunities at the intersection of marketing and society.   The new reality for brands People are increasingly questioning their own consumption decisions, not only asking themselves, “What is best for my wallet?” but also, “What is fair for all parties involved?” There is an increasing public consciousness about the power people can have on brands, and about the ability of brands to effect positive change through their marketing dollars. In light of these societal changes, some brands have doubled down towards social consciousness, some have ‘dipped their toes’ in using their media budgets as ways of influence, and others have so far kept a distance to avoid becoming embroiled in an increasingly polarized conversation. But this later stance is quickly becoming untenable, as scrutiny increases from consumers and employees who do not hesitate to publicly call out internal communications that contradict their own beliefs.   The practical guide to societal responsibility There is no secret recipe for brands to become socially irreproachable overnight. However, there are some key considerations to drastically improve their societal impact.  Bring it to the top of your agenda. Too often, we see societal priorities wrongfully depicted as a thorn in the side of business conduct, whereas they are generators of economic value. Drive change from the inside out. Consumers and employees are two sides of the same coin. If you want to be relevant to diverse audiences, you need to see this diversity in your organisation, and empower these multiple voices. Use empathy as your guiding principle. Real change requires true self-awareness and empathy. It’s okay to not get everything right if you are genuine in your intent. It is a beneficial journey that brands need to take as they become more responsible. Be both ambitious and meticulous. The path to responsibility requires an ambitious strategy, yet one broken down into concrete steps that enable incremental changes all along the journey. A clear framework to measure progress is critical. Communicate with openness and authenticity. Document your journey and how you measure your efforts in a very genuine and transparent fashion – including the shortcomings you face. It is an excellent way to build consumer trust.   The critical role of media There is clear added value in using simple and accessible communications to help overwhelmed consumers sort through the apparent complexity of societal topics. For instance, combining convenience and transparency is a great way to empower people to shop sustainably, as illustrated by the Farmer Connect app that helps consumers easily trace the origin of their coffee.[i] From a content perspective, brands can provide an open platform to connect with users and influencers on topics such as inclusivity by sharing stories, inspiration and experiences. It’s not only about showing what the brand does well, but about recognising that good ideas can come from anywhere by giving them a voice. The good news for brands is that they are not alone on this path toward becoming more responsible selves. For instance, dentsu, iProspect’s parent company, pilots DIMPACT, a pioneering tool to manage the media industry’s digital carbon footprint. The DIMPACT web-based tool, created in collaboration with the University of Bristol, calculates the greenhouse gas emissions associated with serving media content, and can therefore be used to help advertisers select lower carbon alternatives as part of their digital media strategy. - Marketing has always been about understanding people to deliver the most valuable product and service to them. In an age where people’s rising expectations around inclusivity, privacy, sustainability and transparency intersect with their consumption choices, embedding societal considerations in the company’s strategy is not a distraction to business conduct. It is the essence of marketing – the most powerful growth vector for organisations, today and tomorrow.   [i] Farmer Connect website, as accessed on Feb 26, 2020 - link   0

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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

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The Quest for Effective Attention

Article has been authored by Jonathan Waite, Solutions Director and Joanne Leong, Solutions Director. The entertainment, information, and shopping options at our fingertips today are almost unlimited. As a result, our attention has never appeared as atomised. Additionally, with virus confinements blurring the lines between work, family and social life, constant partial attention has seemingly become a default state for most of us. In order to better comprehend the evolution of people’s attention and understand the relative value of advertising across environments, dentsu is conducting a multi-year research initiative, The Attention Economy. The current findings offer interesting leads to marketers looking to move from optimistic exposure to tangible outcomes.   Attention is the First 100% Human Metric Over recent years, we have witnessed the evolution and disruption of the media ecosystem, yet for the most part the industry has been slow to respond to move the dial on media planning and measurement.  Device metrics such as viewability have served a purpose over the years in helping to establish an opportunity to see and try to create similarities between impressions across different channels.  But ads can be made to artificially fit these standards. They've been a stop gap rather than a measure of meaningful exposure or measure of effectiveness.   The entertainment, information, and shopping options at our fingertips today are almost unlimited. As a result, our attention has never appeared as atomised. Additionally, with virus confinements blurring the lines between work, family and social life, constant partial attention has seemingly become a default state for most of us.   In order to better comprehend the evolution of people’s attention and understand the relative value of advertising across environments, dentsu is conducting a multi-year research initiative, The Attention Economy. The current findings offer interesting leads to marketers looking to move from optimistic exposure to tangible outcomes.   Yet, with consumers who are increasingly savvy about how they consume media, effective media planning is more important than ever to drive cut through. To this end, we believe current metrics and measures of success in media do not go far enough.   Crucially, they don't take into account the huge importance of the human experience in media.   Through the Attention Economy program, we have been measuring attention to advertising through eye-tracking. Working with a selection of forward-thinking partners, we have established the value of attention as a media effectiveness metric, including how best to measure it, value it, and apply it in practice.   In our phase 2 research, we've seen that human attention is not the same as viewability, and that being MRC Viewable does not necessarily mean eyes-on-ads. As such, because they do not fully represent real audience behaviour, sticking to them verbatim may not be a route to improved ROI across advertisers.    Standards such as these potentially further the demand, and therefore the cost inflation of perceived quality media environments leaves on the table potentially valuable inventory for brands seeking to achieve different communication objectives.       Additionally, when looking at brand metrics like choice and recall, we see that ads that are considered viewable, but not seen have a small impact across both metrics, and the same for the ads that are noticed, but not viewable. Ultimately, to have a strong impact on your brand, it needs to be both viewable and viewed.  This reinforces the point that human attention is unequivocally linked to outcomes.     We see a pretty strong relationship between increasing seconds of attention to ads and uplifts in brand choice.       This is why we must plan and buy on attention; it brings us closer to an effective exposure.   Developing an Attention Value System   Now that we have established how crucial attention is, we want to make it tangible for our teams and clients. We are working in partnership with media owners to ensure we build attention metrics into media frameworks to drive success.  Beyond research and data acquisition, we are also bringing this to life through real campaign activations.  We are doing so in several ways:   Attention Data and Metrics to Augment Existing Tools: We are building data into our cross-media planning tools such as TV Stack, where planners can optimise towards Attentive Reach and understand the value of that reach through Attentive Seconds.   New Tools and Services: We are creating custom scripts for DSPs in the programmatic space using Attention Data to create predictive models of expected attention pre-bid.   Attention-Guaranteed Partner Activations: Our goal is to get all of our AE programme partners (such as Google, Facebook, Snap) to develop a specific attention buying product/solution/creative optimisation. This could be as simple as an attention guarantee or building attention scores/outcomes scores into auction functionality.   It is our hope that this work and our continued commitment to change can build a fairer, more sustainable, and effective advertising landscape.  If you would like more information or would like to be involved, please contact us.     For more insights, download the new Attention Economy report, Unlocking the new currency of Attention, today. 0

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“Telling our stories, as opposed to having others come to tell our stories on our behalf, says a lot.”

This article has been authored by Joel Rao, MD, iProspect Kenya   The most inspiring thing I've seen today is purpose-led business outcomes. The work that has been awarded has been driven by that. Personally, I have found inspiration in the aspects of diversity and inclusion that have come out through the work that P&G has done around widening the screen in order to widen the views on diversity and inclusion. As a father of three daughters, and being mixed-race living in Africa, I believe telling our stories, as opposed to having others come to tell our stories on our behalf, says a lot. I believe storytelling and story-doing by brands are at the very foundation of widening the screen, the opportunity brought around what the space really needs. And that is to ensure that we offer economic benefits to those communities that have been marginalized in this sense.   I attended a session hosted by Nielsen around the streaming ecosystem, and the fact that SVODs and AVODs now make up almost 50% of overall content viewership in the US. I think this is going to spread across the world and is very much female skewed. What is interesting for me is that as far as content creation is concerned, the aspect of touching on social challenges, and going back to that element of diversity and inclusion, plays a very big role in in what the streaming platforms will be rolling out in the next couple of months. Streaming channels are being used as propaganda machines to address issues that are facing the world today - an extremely interesting takeaway. I was impressed with the work P&G and Cartwright have brought to life around storytelling for diversity and inclusion and how, actually, they have worked very closely with this ‘unstereotype alliance’ to be able to give life to storytelling within the context of communities that have been affected by inclusion and diversity challenges.   I have seen two things that will have the biggest implications for our industry over the next 12 months. Firstly, the aspect of purpose-led storytelling in for profit environments. But specifically, from a diversity and inclusion angle, I think it is going to continually play a role over the next 12 months as we look towards driving certain awareness of challenges that are facing communities today - playing that vital role of not just selling for the purpose of selling but selling with a purpose - to be able to not just bring awareness, but also some form of remedy within the communities where they exist. Secondly, the power of blockchain and the introduction of NFTs in that industry, not only to amplify the different art forms that come with it, but also to bring to life new forms of digital art forms that could be put out there. I think that will be really exciting to watch over the next 12 months. 0

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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

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THE FUTURE IS NOW: RETAIL REIMAGINED

This article has been written by Lizette Williams, Head of Global Vertical Solutions Marketing, Facebook   In 2020, COVID-19 transformed shopping as we knew it and shopper expectations along with it. Countrywide lockdowns, non-essential retail restrictions and the risk of contracting the virus accelerated e-commerce adoption by up to five years, according to IBM estimates.1 This transitional year, underscored shopper demands for frictionless omnichannel shopping experiences with an added complexity of safety; while also forcing retailers to quickly rethink traditional models at lightning speed. The future has arrived. Consumer behavior has forced retailers to adapt to new ways of how consumers are discovering, considering and purchasing products. Are you ready? Here are five key insights that will best prepare you to navigate the current landscape:   As consumer spending returns, pandemic habits persist After a year of diminished demand and paused purchasing, shoppers are now becoming more open to spending on non-essential items both big and small. In October 2020, 33% of US consumers say they are willing to spend money on luxury or high-end items (+9 points from May 2020), and 48% say they are seeking out small indulgences (e.g., nice soaps/lotions, candles, etc.) to treat themselves (+9 points from May 2020).2 However, as spending levels start to normalize back to pre-pandemic levels, new shopping habits continue to persist. In fact, 82% of consumers globally have changed shopping habits since the pandemic started, and among those who’ve changed habits, 92% say they plan to continue these habits after the pandemic ends.3   Shopping is evolving into a hybrid reality More and more, consumers are blending the best of online and in-store to enhance their overall shopping experience. In the US, omnichannel shopping grew by 50% since the beginning of the pandemic.4 And mobile is central to this cross-channel behavior. Nearly two-third (66%) of global shoppers say their mobile device has become their most important shopping tool, and 63% say social media has become as important as other sources when making product purchase decisions.5 Social commerce has shifted how consumers discover new products and sparked moments of excitement and connection previously only found after walking through physical doors. New digital formats are emerging to recreate the benefits of offline shopping in a completely virtual environment. For example, live commerce is a growing trend in which consumers are able to see immersive product demonstrations and reviews via live-streams. This shopping method has seen massive success in China and shows growth potential in other markets - nearly half (49%) of online shoppers say they would buy products directly from live videos where brands, celebrities or influencers they follow are launching new products.5 Messaging is also enabling in-store-like consultation in a digital, on-demand format. Some 59% of global shoppers say they want to connect directly with brands through messaging services to place orders and complete purchases.5   Consumers are turning their living rooms into fitting rooms Consumers still value being able to physically experience products before committing to purchase. As a result, shoppers are maximizing delivery and returns processes to transform their homes into showrooms. Logistics are influencing purchase decisions with 61% of shoppers globally saying delivery time is very important when determining where to shop, and 65% saying seamless return policies influence where they shop.6 Because of this, consumers are trialing products at home to inform their final purchase decision, with 42% of online shoppers globally saying they sometimes order several different items online with the intention of trying and returning the ones they don’t like.5 Beyond shipping and returns, shoppers are embracing new technologies like augmented and virtual reality to truly immerse themselves into products. Notably, 61% of online shoppers say they want to virtually try on products from the comfort of my own home.5 This technology is showing signs of growth. Among those who’ve tried AR/VR to explore products or services, 46% of consumers said they’ve done this for the first time since the pandemic started.2   In-store shopping has become more efficient and intentional Despite e-commerce’s growing prominence, it’s still projected that 80.5% of total retail sales worldwide in 2021 will still take place in physical stores.7 However, consumers’ needs are shifting when it comes to in-store shopping. Driven by the demand for an expedited brick-and-mortar experience, consumers are now looking for more efficiency. Some 44% of in-store consumers in the US say a fast or express checkout would significantly improve their shopping experience.5 This demand has given rise to offerings such as self-checkout, curbside pickup and click and collect services. Not only are shoppers looking to retailers to provide these conveniences, they are also planning their store visits in advance with the help of online resources. About two-thirds of shoppers say most of their shopping decisions are planned as opposed to spontaneous.6 Additionally, 55% of US shoppers say they often look at fashion items online before buying them in-store.8   Building loyalty now requires a multifaceted strategy Digital discovery and social commerce is paving the way for experimentation with new retailers and brands, disrupting loyalty and creating new opportunities to win the hearts and minds of new shoppers. As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen a strong drop in loyalty toward both physical retailers (-10 pts from Dec. 2019 to August 2020) and online retailers (-5 pts. from Dec. 2019 to August 2020).9 Just as consumer shopping decisions have gotten more complex, so has retaining shoppers long-term. Increasingly, loyalty is won by more than just affordability—though that remains key—and is driven by additional factors, such as availability (e.g., inventory), accessibility (e.g., communication), and assurances (e.g., safety measures). As we embark on a new year of optimism fueled by the hope for mass vaccine accessibility, brands and retailers will need to reimagine their strategies to account for new consumer expectations and behaviors. A change in approach from “acquiring new customers” to now “retaining valuable shoppers” will be a critical shift. The future has, in fact, arrived.   Sources: IBM US Retail Index, Aug 2020 “Industry Micro-Shifts Monthly Tracker” by Kantar Profiles (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 193,011 adults across AU, BR, CA, DE, ES, FR, HK, ID, IN, IT, JP, KR, MX, TW, UK, US), May–Oct 2020. Unless otherwise specified, data is a cross-country average across all 16 markets. “Global CPG Re-emerge Study” by Ipsos (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 44,899 people ages 18+ across AU, BR, CA, DE, FR, IN, JP, MX, SK, TH, UK, US), Jul–Aug 2020. Nielsen Connect’s Omnichannel Shopping Fundamentals Study, 2020 “Discovery-Led Shopping Study” by GFK (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 12,063 people ages 18+ across AU, BR, CA, DE, FR, ID, IN, JP, MX, SK, UK, US Jul–Aug 2020) “Global Retail Re-emerge Study” by Ipsos (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 43,474 people ages 18+ across AU, BR, CA, DE, FR, IN, JP, MX, SK, TH, UK, US), Jul–Aug 2020. eMarketer Retail & Ecommerce Sales Forecasts, Worldwide, Dec. 2020 “Fashion Consumer Journey Study” by Kantar Profiles (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 1,179 respondents ages 18-64, US, 2020) Data change is based on the difference between two studies: 1) “Global Omnichannel Retail Study” by Ipsos (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 56,102 people ages 18+ across, AU, BR, CA, DE, FR, ID, IN, JP, MX, SK, UK, US, Dec 2019 to Jan 2020) and 2) “Global Retail Re-emerge Study” by Ipsos (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 43,474 people ages 18+ across AU, BR, CA, DE, FR, IN, JP, MX, SK, TH, UK, US), Jul–Aug 2020. 0