IAB NexGen Marketing Conference Highlights: Data Takeaways

IAB NexGen Marketing Conference Recap: Video

Legacy Brand Steps into a Big Idea that was always there: When Brand Equity Makes a Difference

Implementing a 4-C approach Culture, Category, Consumer and Company, Cadillac reinvented its brand based on legacy elements that were always there. Cadillac’s approach to reinvention tells a tale of data detail and consumer equity that matters most to their core consumer. Some may say Cadillac is one of America’s first and most consistent aspirational brands. This iconic US auto brand recently leaned into its history taking data and previous overlooked iconography into the 21 Century with an ad campaign the relied on their differentiating factor- Earnership. That’s right, Cadillac has always represented achievement. At 2019’s Oscar’s, arguably the pinnacle of achievement in the art of film, Cadillac parlayed a series of influential nominees and break out stars to tell their stories to articulate their steps to success. This messaging was purposefully paralleled the overlooked diagonal blue steps featured within the logo. You will never look at this logo the same way again! The brand realized a 20% lift in social conversation over the previous year related to their #KeepRising ad campaign. More importantly, this effort drove an increase of 65% to their website traffic and best yet almost 50% increase in dealership visits.

Lessons Learned in the Transition to In-Housing

Using Bayer as an example, Josh Palau, VP of Digital Strategy and Platforms, US Consumers, shared insights on how Bayer brought programmatic media buying in-house. This new way of executing media transactions created a series of cost savings for the company while identifying better performing, more targeted, more profitable, higher converting audience segments.

3 Considerations for Success

  1.  Hiring the right team matters as well as upskilling existing staff to maintain brand knowledge. Experience in SEO, Social and strategic thinking are all key attributes need to build a strong knowledge base to proactively anticipate issues and build solutions.
  2. Executive support from the top is key as immediate benefits are not always apparent. Need to work towards the long-term goals that can only be achieved once people, tech and analytics are all in place.
  3. Choose the right partners. Transitioning third party contracts and relationship from the existing media agency to -in-house team takes a skilled communications and dedicated staff to address the intricacies shifting data from one entity to another.

Marketers needs a New Attitude Towards Consumer Privacy

In a world where regulatory uncertainty looms, marketers need to face the fact that consumers are confused about data and just not that into it. VP of SRAX Shopper, George Stella expertly outlined a suggestion all of us should consider (or chew on). George cited the classic Domino’s Pizza case study from about a decade ago. In advance of launching a new and improved recipe launch, Domino’s Pizza announced an obvious truth based on customer comments, their pizza tasted like cardboard.

Did the pizza loving public abandon Domino’s? No way! Domino’s sales increased from $3.1 billion to $5.9 Billion. What is the lesson here? Media needs to change the ingredients in how we handle data engagements with consumers, reduce fear and reinforce benefits. With consumer privacy regulations evolving, the media industry cannot afford to be anything other than honest and up front.

6 Things Brands can do Now to Get Ahead of Regulatory Headaches & Protect Their Brand Equity

Cai O’Connell, Programmatic Manager, Blue Chip Marketing shared a series of important recommendations for how brands can plan ahead of new rules. These are just a few of her great ideas.

  1.  Innovation needs to outpace regulation. We see the concerns, develop strategies to future-proof against privacy.
  2. Advocate for transparency for consumers on how, when, and why, their data is being collected and used.
  3. Connect brands directly to consumers. Invest in own your first-party data.
  4. Build deep partner relationships. Demand partner transparency. Partners must be compliant or work towards it in order to maintain your business.
  5. Monitor regulation carefully – appoint someone at your company to own this role with weekly updates.
  6. Scenario Plan: Start planning and acting now as if the worst cases scenario was occurring and hope it doesn’t. Create multiple media and marketing plans for different scenarios; consider 3-6 scenarios so you are prepared #ScoutsHonor.

Never Under Estimate the Power of the Human Touch

Sara Robertson, Global VP, Product and Engineering at XAXIS led a crash course session in AI admitting when it comes to AI, education is critical. Why? Everyone has a different definition and nobody is really wrong.

In its simplest form, AI is turning Input A into Output B. Common business tasks using AI include search engine results, financial trading, content curation and product recommendations. Regardless of your definition or use, the most surprising takeaway here was when working with AI if given the choice for accuracy or interpretable data, choose interpretable every time. Why? Relying solely on machine learning and data outputs cannot replace the human know how. And by the way, to all the data scientists out there, let AI improve your knowledge base because it is here to stay and you will be too if you can master this evolving technology.

The Next Gen is Here & They Can Keep a Secret

Millennials grew up in era of new tech and social media exploration where every little thing was a mandatory post. On the other hand, Gen Z has the benefit of their predecessors’ misdeeds, miscalculations and let’s face it mistakes. In some cases, Gen Z knows better than most about the trials & tribulations of public party pictures.

The aftermath? For Gen Z, silence is golden. This creates major challenges for brand researchers looking for that golden data nugget for success from the next wave on consumers.

The tactical answer- develop more personalized and private ways to build trust with them to get their thoughts on your next campaign.

These up and coming consumers are more protective of their data and their personal presence online. They gravitate to one to one private online interaction. Whether its chatting on WhatsApp or sharing Snap filtered baby images, Next Gen Z lives in a private world or secure/safe space.

But have no fear, Brooklyn’s Big Spaceship may have cracked the code for getting real time insights from these dark social mavericks with what they’ve labeled Reveal.  Using private conversational tactics like a #Slack chat to gauge opinions on brands, dating and more.

See Photos from the IAB NexGen Marketing Conference Here

Read the Mobile and Video takeaways from the IAB NexGen Marketing Conference.


Joe Pilla
Director, Data & Automation
at IAB