The second day of SES Chicago 2013 kicked off with a great morning keynote moderated by Mike Grehan, Publisher, ClickZ & Search Engine Watch, Producer, SES Conference & Expo. The panel discussion on Creating Campaigns That Count: The Impact of Converged Media featured Daina Middleton, Global CEO of Performics, Adam Singer, Analytics Advocate from Google and Kevin Lee, CEO from Didit.
The main discussion was how marketing is changing and evolving in a media-driven world, and how human interactions are having an impact on marketing as a whole. Lee says that the role of search in media is having its perception changed from where it used to be years ago.
“Search is really good at being a sort of media, but it is also a metric,” Lee said.
The use of data in media was a hot topic, with all three weighing in not only on how important it is but how it has changed.
“In my generation, people went into marketing because they hated math. Now, you have to have the math to be in marketing,” said Middleton, showing how the role of marketer has significantly changed, even in the past 10-15 years.
Singer also pointed out that you don’t need to have a PhD in math to figure out analytics.
“We have hired many people at Google who don’t have PhDs, but they got the Analytic experience from running their own website or blog, and went from there.” But he also stressed that math is an important part of today’s marketing toolset, and he said bluntly “If you are not using data as part of your marketing, you are failing as a marketer.”
Middleton agreed but she said humanistic experiences can influence marketing and media choices.
“We are using data to make our decisions, but we are still very human in our choices,” she said.
Singer continued on that vein and said marketers need to consider how their media comes across to people in a world where many people see their mobile devices as an extension of themselves. “You need to be thoughtful about how your ads interact with people,” as you don’t want to present an experience that is jarring or offensive.
The panel also discussed how people can sometimes focus too hard on data and specific channels while not being flexible enough to use the data to its best advantage.
“What is the elasticity of each kind of media you buy?” Lee asked. Some marketers will buy a bulk lot of media, yet not look close enough at what is working and not working first.
Middleton related to it as being like gardening.
“Today’s marketing is like gardening,” Middleton said. “You are going to plant a lot of seeds, weed the bad, and nurture and grow the ones that work.”
Lee also said that when faced with this, people still struggle with budget allocation across media types. Marketers aren’t putting enough effort into figuring out the best way to allocate the budget.
The panel also discussed that sometimes people do the opposite of doing poor allocation across media types and instead focus on a single media type. However, this can be a very dangerous game to play. They said marketers should never be over-reliant on one media type because if something changes and that media dries up, marketers can be left without a viable fallback when it happens.
They also briefly discussed the impact of media on mobile.
“Too many people treat mobile as just another channel but it’s not,” said Middleton.
Mobile needs its own strategy that won’t necessarily be very similar to other channels, so you need to look at different metrics and KPIs. Users on mobile devices are in a different state of mind compared to users on desktops or laptops.
Singer said that people also focus too much on sessions, rather than looking at the bigger picture of individual users.
“People pay too much attention to sessions in their Analytics. You should be paying attention to single users instead,” he said.
When you can track a user from first contact to conversion, even multiple visits later and across multiple devices, it will give marketers a much better picture.
The panel briefly touched on the buzz phrase of the industry – content creation.
“If you are creating content just to create it, you are doing it wrong,” Singer said.
Finally, the importance of relationships in marketing was discussed, and it is an area where many marketers fail at.
“You need someone who can market your product and create relationships,” Singer said. “But building those relationships is hard.”
Image Credit: Digital Always Media