AcuityAds CSO Seraj Bharwani was recently joined by Maddy Apsey, SVP of Digital Investments of 22Squared for the inaugural episode of the Journey Insider podcast, where they talked about how agencies can grow, innovate and gain strategic advantage despite recent upheavals in the media business.
Here are three things we learned from their discussion:
Media strategies are not one-size-fits-all
When asked about the main media issues that 22Squared is looking to solve, Maddy was quick to point out that carbon copy media strategies that are not tailored to the specific needs of clients simply don’t work.
At 22Squared, each media plan is bespoke, allowing both agency and client to build an intentional learning agenda and navigate the frontlines of the complex media world together. The agency views each problem as unique, and is always looking for ways to outwit and outmaneuver the marketplace to deliver impact instead of depending on a single media model:
“Only once you are able to isolate impact and know which levers drive what outcomes at a certain statistical significance, can you [unlock the full power of] your marketing arsenal,” explained Maddie.
Perhaps this dedication to seeing each problem as unique is why clients of 22Squared see an average KPI improvement of between 18-24% after their first engagement.
Trust and transparency are the keys to meaningful partnerships
22Squared holds their agency partners to a high standard, and chooses them wisely—but as Maddy explains, it isn’t about being exclusionary.
“We know that trust and transparency are the two most crucial elements [of any partnership]… We are operating at the bleeding edge of media, and need partners who are willing to see the road as we see it, not how they would like us to see it.”
In 2016, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) published the results of an investigation which showed evidence of non-transparent practices across the media industry, including digital, print, out-of-home, and television—and many of these issues are ongoing. (Source: Forbes) By making transparency and openness part of their core philosophy, advertisers can differentiate themselves in the industry and gain the trust of partners that they can grow with together.
“Our team really made a stand in the industry,” Maddy told Seraj at the tail end of their discussion. “We are going to be transparent. We are going to make sure that our clients know where their dollars are spent, and that we’re able to be strategic partners who can manage the risk with them.”
Don’t lose sight of the human aspect of media
Finally, Maddy also warned about the dangers of forgetting about the personal side of media:
“The thing that I’ve found in our industry is that we have almost done an over correction to the bottom of the funnel. We have been so focused on data-driven optimization, hitting that last touch or core KPI and whatever measurement framework we’re operating in. What I’ve found is we’re missing out on the message. We’re losing the human aspect of our media plans.”
In our media-saturated world, consumers are constantly bombarded by superfluous messaging from TV, print, radio, web, mobile and just about every other avenue of human interaction. Media strategies that solely rely on interruption and repetitive messaging are missing the key insight that consumers don’t want to feel like they are engaging with a machine. Such interactions can even end up alienating an audience, instead of building brand affinity.
To win consumers’ attention and trust, marketers should not forget about the human side of media; they must prioritize the consumer experience and strive for a level of personalization that drives meaningful interactions.
The Journey Insider is available now on Spotify!
The path to success isn’t always a straight one. Join AcuityAds CSO Seraj Bharwani as he discusses transformational journeys in marketing with the ones who paved the way. Stay up to date on industry trends, gain actionable insights based on real campaigns and discover your own path to marketing success with the Journey Insider. Subscribe today!