It’s never an easy time to be a marketer, but these days seem especially challenging. Recession, heightened competition, new regulations, and industry shifts are top of mind for companies trying to prepare for whatever happens next. Throughout the scores of sessions we attended at Advertising Week New York, one message resounded: no one needs to face these changes alone. Great minds not only think unalike, they also work together.
Here’s some of the best advice we heard that you can put into practice as you steer your business through the current economic climate and into the upturn.
Foster a community of diverse partners
Meeting customer expectations will take a village heading into a cookieless future. As brands look for new options to supplement their first- and second-party data, it’s easy to gravitate toward walled gardens. But more collaborative options exist with premium publishers. Our CEO Scott Howe reminded us in his session, “Your Mother was Right about the Future of Programmatic Advertising,” it doesn’t always pay off to hang out with the “cool” kids.
“When I was in high school I was chasing after the popular people, and my mom used to say, ‘Keep an open mind. All these other people are so nice,’” said Howe. “For the last 10 years, we put so much of our spend with the giants because it was easy and because it worked initially. But something funny happened along the way—it wasn’t as effective anymore.”
The customer journey will continue to fragment, offering new opportunities to build partnerships that provide a unified view of consumer habits. While building new partnerships, however, privacy and consumer trust must come first.
“Who you surround yourself with is key,” said Laura McElhinney, Chief Data Officer at Horizon Media, during the panel, “I am Woman: Turning Trials and Tribulations into Opportunity.” “You’re only as good as the people around you.”
Let an audience-first culture guide you
What’s your most valuable business asset? Your customers. We all know this, but it can be easy to lose sight of what customers are telling us each day through data. In “Deepening Your Customer Focus through Data Collaboration,” Mike Bregman, Chief Data Officer at Havas Media Group, shared how he guides tech and team decisions with an audience-first culture.
“We like meaningful media, meaningful brands, meaningful experiences. So we look for the touch points and signals that are the most important,” he said. “Thinking of audience-first planning as the cornerstone was core to how we formed our architecture and strategy for clients.”
This audience-first approach led Havas to working with partners such as LiveRamp that share the same core values. Jessica Shapiro, our CMO, moderated the discussion with Mike and echoed the importance of balancing customer personalization and privacy.
“I think it all comes back to these meaningful moments,” she said. “If the next best action isn’t meaningful, our customers are going to leave.”
So how do you start building game-changing partnerships?
Reinvent the playbook
Whether you’re leading a team, reevaluating your tech stack, meeting new partners, or making career moves, change is key to success and survival. The only thing riskier than change is staying stagnant with strategies that aren’t meeting your customer’s or company’s needs. “Sometimes you just have to reinvent the playbook,” Daniella Harkins, our SVP of Commercial Excellence and Strategy, said during “I am Woman: Turning Trials and Tribulations into Opportunity.”
Echoing this sentiment, Jennifer Lavelle, Head of Global Business Marketing, Ambulatory, Monitoring & Diagnostics, at Philips, said, “Take leads, risks; do the scary things that will stretch you. That’s what it’s all about.”
Ready to deepen your customer focus and insights? Reach out as we’d love to help.