He brought his more than 15 years of experience in marketing, including branding, cross-channel marketing, and demand generation to answer our questions about GumGum and what he sees for the future of digital marketing.
Can you give a brief overview of your company?
GumGum is a computer vision company with a mission to unlock the value of every online image for marketers. Translation: we use patented image-recognition technology to find editorial images relevant to brands and then serve highly visible in-image and in-screen ads in line with the content.
Our campaigns reach more than 400 million users as they view pictures and content across more than 2,000 premium publishers, including Time Inc, Wenner Media, and Bauer Media.
How can marketers measure success with images (or the impact your images have on their sales)?
A lot of vendors in the industry would want you to believe that it’s all about viewability and clicks, but the truth is, it’s very difficult to accurately measure success with those kinds of metrics.
It’s better to pay more attention to behavioral metrics such as time spent on page. The best use of images aren’t to pitch customers, but to drive brand awareness.
In the future there will probably be eye-tracking metrics that can show marketers just how long a person actually looked at an image, but that’s down the road.
Another way you can measure their success is by visually scanning social media.
People might be posting images of themselves that also include a brand’s image. That wouldn’t show up as a standard “repost” or “share” metric, but it is a ringing endorsement that the image and brand is a part of that person’s life.
Which recent developments have had the biggest impact on our industry?
The rise of the visual web is causing major shifts in how marketers approach social.
With social platforms focusing more on user-generated images, marketers face a large challenge, but there’s also a large opportunity.
Brands can dramatically improve their social reach by using images created by their customers in their campaigns, building the sense of community that draws people to social media to begin with.
The visual web has also given rise to the power of the influencer, and with the right visual listening tools, brands can find influencers that are helping to spread their message that they wouldn’t have found otherwise.
The web is only becoming more visual, and the opportunities for marketers are endless if they have the right tools.
Why did you partner with LiveRamp?
We wanted to improve our targeting capabilities and LiveRamp’s ability to resolve offline and online identities, and layering in 3rd party data, some of which isn’t available anywhere else, is helping us do that in a very strategic way.
When our customers also work with LiveRamp, they can send any of their first-party data through their pipes for us to target.
For example, say a large retailer has its own data it wants to send to us for targeting purposes. LiveRamp can facilitate that. We also have data assets to create new and unique audiences to support whatever targeting parameters our clients may desire.
Can you give an example of a CMO you admire, and why?
I am a longtime fan of Linda Boff, CMO of GE, as I experienced first-hand how she turned the MarCom department of an industrial conglomerate into a digital marketing lab.
What I admire about Linda is her relentless drive to challenge how things have been done historically. She’s pushing her marketing organization, agencies, and vendors to reinvent themselves, the same way GE is transforming itself into a digital powerhouse.
Linda’s approach to content marketing—“stop selling, start helping”—is something I regularly use during meetings with my own team. It’s also a reminder that as marketers, our role is to be helpful and serve our clients.
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