March 8, 2019

YouTube's SXSW Creative Agency Challenge 2019- AMP Agency

A core tenant of our business at AMP Agency is that we strive to generate strategy that is creative, and creative that is strategic. But any marketing agency would agree that it can be challenging for the Strategy team to continually build briefs that present a unique POV and inspire the Creative team; on the other hand, it can sometimes be a puzzle for Creative to generate ideas that are both breakthrough in the marketplace and guaranteed to resonate with our audiences.


This winter our Strategy and Creative teams were given the opportunity to push those bounds and work on a project, leveraging audience insights, that has made us into even more creative and thoughtful storytellers. Not only that, it’s revitalized the way our teams collaborate together.

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THE BACKGROUND


We were selected to participate in the 2019 iteration of YouTube's South by Southwest (SXSW) Creative Agency Challenge. We were excited to learn the theme was "Signals and Storytelling." This theme pushed us to look beyond audience demographics and think meaningfully about consumers’ interests and intent signals based on how they’re using Google & YouTube--and more importantly how these insights could more strategically inform our creative storytelling.


During the Challenge kick-off at YouTube NYC, we discussed how it’s no longer acceptable to fill the Target Audience section of a creative brief with simple, demographic information. The comical example that Google gave, and that stuck with us, is that by writing a demographic-led brief like, Aged 65+, British, high net worth, dog lover, we would unknowingly be creating content that tailored to both Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne!


In addition, this year’s Challenge looked to harness the participating agencies’ efforts towards a greater good. YouTube partnered with the Ad Council, and we were asked to create two pieces of skippable YouTube video content for a select cause-based organization. AMP was assigned to work with She Can STEM. Our goal and our challenge was to use insights-based, creative storytelling to empower parents to encourage an interest in STEM.  More specifically, we wanted to understand and reach the audiences of Bargain Hunter parents and Technophile parents, who we found, through working with Google, showed strong affinity for the cause.


 

 


 

 


Below, our Senior Strategist, Jen Herbert, and Creative Director, James Hough, reflect on their insights, the process, and experience.

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FROM CONSUMER INSIGHTS TO CREATIVE STRATEGY


Jen: When analysing interest and intent signals, what came as the biggest surprise was that bargain hunter parents like watching quirky videos featuring silly experimentation around the house, such as Making Slime and the Cheese Ball Bath Challenge. To resonate, I thus wanted to recognize their lives are full of creative, scrappy, playful discovery, and how through this they established a foundation that could translate to a career in STEM.


For Technophile Parents, I saw that they are often shopping for gaming systems, but also interested in sports, TV shows, movies and news articles. So, to cater our messaging to Technophile Parents, I wanted to acknowledge their lives as multi-dimensional and well-rounded.


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THE CREATIVE PROCESS


James: The Creative Team viewed this opportunity as a chance to see how we stacked up against other up-and-coming and established advertising agencies and marketing agencies. We felt empowered to ensure our storytelling was on point. Basic empowerment and “you’re a badass” messaging wouldn’t cut it when we need to tell parents they have a job to do – keeping their daughters interested in STEM through the 11 to 14 year-old drop off point. More simply, “She can STEM.”


Based on the strategic insights in our creative brief, we presented four concepts and eight scripts to the Ad Council after sharing initial thoughts with Google. After the Ad Council chose a direction we storyboarded, found a director (Max Esposito), found locations, cast and shot– all within about a week. I think that the financial and time constraints coupled with the freedom to go out and create without check-in’s made for something special.


While each of our spots are aimed at a different audience, they shared the same goal. In each of the stories we see relatable and tangible ways a parent can encourage their daughter at the right time to keep going. Instead of pushing future-focused images of a marine biology or coding career, we centered the seemingly minor moments of everyday life that could have a big impact on a girl’s interest, like a trip to the aquarium with mom or the gift of a tablet from dad.


Check them out. We really hope you like them:

 

https://youtu.be/-bxOcFJNEjs  

 

https://youtu.be/hWZrvXpace8  


And check out the story on Adweek, Think with Google, MarComm News, and others:

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/youtube-wants-to-teach-marketers-how-to-create-more-targeted-advertising-at-sxsw/ 

 

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/video/youtube-audience-behavioral-insights/ 

 

https://marcommnews.com/youtube-and-ad-council-tap-amp-agency-and-others-for-sxsw-challenge/

 

https://lbbonline.com/news/ad-council-spots-show-how-girls-can-be-inspired-to-work-in-stem/

 

July 12, 2017

Creating a Connected Data Ecosystem

The number of marketing technology tools is rising at a staggering rate, having nearly doubled YOY in 2016. On average, 51% of organizations use 21 or more digital marketing solutions. While having the ability to access all this new information provides unprecedented insight, it frequently results in an overload of data siloed in disparate systems. Marketers are buried under a landslide of fragmented campaign metrics, products, customers, purchases, and more. And there’s seemingly no end in sight; Gartner reports that 50-65% of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year.

To make meaningful use of all this data, metrics need to be reviewed cohesively. Without a full holistic view, it’s impossible to get a complete understanding of the real story. Only analyze existing customer behavior and you may miss out on opportunities to attract new audiences. Only review site traffic from media placements, and you lack an understanding of why your customers are loyal to your brand, or how to create more of them.

The problem is that most marketing teams don’t operate with systems that talk to each other. They end up trying to manually analyze disparate data points to uncover insights, a practice that is neither scalable nor responsive in real-time. This data fragmentation is costing marketers real dollars as they lose the ability to effectively optimize campaigns and fold learnings into future plans.

An example of how some marketing departments utilize data today:

The solution begins with creating a connected data ecosystem. The concept is simple—collect all data points into a centralized system able to analyze them en masse and surface actionable insights in real-time. Using those insights, marketers can then start to roll out personalized content, translate strategies across all channels, and efficiently improve customers’ experiences.  While the initial creation of the connected data ecosystem can be time-consuming, it pays off. One example: Annuitas Group reports that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects report a 451% increase in qualified leads.

 

Based on our experience with building ecosystems for clients, we have created a four-step process that we follow:

  • Discovery: we assess all the various systems that are collecting data around your organization. We also identify areas where the data returned may be less than perfect in quality–a very common occurrence. During this period we also outline the shared objectives and definitions of success across all the stakeholders.
  • Solution design: using our learnings from the Discovery period, we design a customized solution that aligns to your business objectives. We build a roadmap using multiple analytic approaches across our four service categories: Performance analytics, marketing sciences, research, and business intelligence.
  • Analyze: This is where the magic happens. Now that we’ve designed your ideal system, we begin to collect the data and review the outputs using our team of data analysts, statisticians, and social scientists to uncover those insights that will truly give your business the competitive edge.
  • Insights: This is when our team works with marketers and other members of your organization to communicate our findings and share recommended actions to meet your KPIs. Once the initial foundation is built, this process can be repeated multiple times over the course of the year, ensuring your teams are always up to date on the latest findings and fully able to use fresh data to inform future plans.

The creation of a connected data ecosystem takes some effort but pays off almost immediately by making teams run more efficiently with a full understanding of the current state of their business and what levers they have to achieve their goals.

April 27, 2017

WTH is a DMP?

I recently read a stat from CMO.com that said 56% of consumers feel more loyal to brands who “get me” and show a deep understanding of their priorities and preferences. It reminded me of a conversation I had at an event with a woman who walked up to me and said, “Can I ask you a private question? Just what in the heck is a DMP?” Those two things highlight the disparity between the need for data-driven, personalized marketing and just how tough it is to figure out how to do it.

The woman at the event who asked me that question is not alone – I get asked some form of it all the time and from really experienced, savvy marketers. They know that they need to care about data’s impact in their campaigns and they usually have some great ideas for how to personalize content so it’s meaningful for their customers. However, they are absolutely lost when it comes to understanding how to capture, analyze, and actually use the data. A data management platform (or, DMP) is extremely helpful for that, but it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to build and maintain one. With the number of MarTech tools growing exponentially every year, most marketers don’t even know where to start. Add to that the significant investment in money and time as well as a potentially foggy ROI and it can be easy to slip into analysis paralysis.

MarTech

Since I get asked so frequently, I thought it would be helpful to start with the basics on what the heck a  DMP is and what kind of campaign results can be garnered using one. To start, a DMP is basically just a big database that stores a bunch of different data points on your current and potential customers. It can be populated using 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data which is then combined to identify patterns in the way your target audiences shop, spend their free time, consume media, and move about the world.

Using a DMP, marketers have the ability to get deep insights into their customers, such as what other retailers they visit and how frequently they are viewing their website versus going into stores. When paired with media trafficking systems, like a demand-side platform (DSP), a DMP is able to use those insights to inform personalized media campaigns and deliver messages to consumers at just the right time and on the right device. They are pretty amazing things.

Of course, that amazingness can come at a hefty cost. There are plenty of vendors out there who will set up your own DMP using their infrastructure and your data; the average estimated cost to get started is around $250,000, not a small investment by any means. Maintaining and optimizing the data over time is an additional cost. Some companies do invest in building their own DMP, but with the necessary staff, servers, and security precautions, you can quickly surpass the cost to outsource.

Before you feel you have been priced out of the game, I have good news. There are several companies, of which AMP Agency is one, who have gone through the hassle of setting up and populating their own DMP, allowing clients to use them for their campaigns for a fraction of the cost. AMP’s DMP is called Advantage Media MomentAware,™ and has been created by partnering with some of the largest data providers. Also through our partnerships with the largest retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in the world and our own 2nd party (proprietary data),  we are giving our clients access to informed insights .  We made this investment and continue to build on this proprietary data investment because we recognized that our media products wouldn’t be cutting edge without it; in fact, the market is evolving so quickly that pretty soon media products that don’t leverage insights from a DMP will be deemed obsolete.

So, I’ve told you what DMPs are and how to get access to them, but how does using one impact results? Positively, of course. Here are a few examples of ways that a DMP could be used to build and optimize campaigns:

  • Audience identification – one of our clients in the pet insurance space had low brand awareness and came to us to help with targeting prospective customers. They had small budgets and large conversion goals, usually a deadly combo when needing to get results quickly. We built our target audience by identifying the physical locations of dog parks, veterinarians, and pet stores across the nation; using anonymized data, we were able to identify patterns in frequent visitors to all three locations. We then built out a profile on their media consumption and determined the time of day to best deliver messaging for maximum conversion. The campaign improved their click through rate by nearly 250%, reduced cost by 83%, and increased lead efficiency by 19%
  • Target specific stores – with MomentAware, you are able to use location-based targeting to deliver media to specific store locations. Have a store that has an abundance of inventory of one item? Run a campaign in the local area to drive in-store traffic. This also can be used to exclude locations that don’t have the item in-stock, particularly during promotions. Save your valuable media dollars to only spend where shoppers can take direct action v. running a blanket campaign.
  • Connect online actions to in-store visitors – In a recent Salesforce consumer study, 52% of Millennial shoppers said they strongly/somewhat agree that it would help them if a physical store knew about the online research they had done prior to getting to the location (e.g. wishlists, abandoned cart, etc) so they could receive better service. Using MomentAware makes that possible – it associates mobile device IDs and cookies (computer)  to understand site activity and when that device is in store. Imagine that the shopper gets a relevant ad or offer with a store locator when they are browsing prior to going to the brick and mortar location. Better, more relevant experience, both online and offline. With MomentAware, it’s easy.

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These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using data in creative ways to deliver personalized experiences. Using a DMP is integral to activating on data quickly and easily. Are you using a DMP? Let us know your experience in the comments.

November 18, 2016

2016 DataXu Summit

Programmatic is no longer a buzzword – it’s the buzzword. And at the 2016 DataXu summit held recently in New York, programmatic was the core focus of two days of learning. With everything from campaign management to performance attribution on offer, attendees were able to design their own tracks by focusing either on programmatic platforms or trends. A full recap of the summit can be found here (https://www.dataxu.com/blog/dataxu-summit-2016-event-recap/).

We at AMP have been working closely with DataXu this year to expand our team’s programmatic capabilities as well as our knowledge, a team effort that paid off during the second day of the summit. DataXu recognized AMP as having the first users to complete the DataXu Professional Certification, a multi-level digital curriculum designed to measure user proficiency not only in the DataXu platform, but also on core programmatic concepts.

With programmatic ad spending projected to account for more than 80% of all digital display spending by the end of the decade, it is more important than ever that the AMP team remains ahead of the curve through partnerships with platforms like DataXu.

Find further reading about the Professional Certification, please visit dataxu.com/training.

October 13, 2016

New DataXu Professional Certification is Precursor to Programmatic Future

Ongoing Education and Multi-Level Certification Enhances Self-Service Clients' Expertise and Addresses Industry Skills Gap

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Oct 13, 2016) - DataXu, a leading provider of programmatic marketing and analytics software, today announced the rollout of its new DataXu professional certification, designed to provide defined educational paths and resources to DataXu platform users at brands and agencies.

With programmatic ad spending in the United States projected to reach 82% of all digital display spending by 2018, the market is hungry for education on technology that enables measurable return on marketing investment. As agencies and brands consolidate marketing efforts with select partners instead of a large set of siloed specialty vendors, on-demand training has become crucial to success for programmatic marketers. The rollout of DataXu's professional certification seeks to address this need and offer a superior practical educational experience for the users of DataXu's AI-powered marketing platform.

DataXu platform users can earn accreditation as a Certified DataXu Platform User, Specialist or Expert depending on their level of expertise. The certifications build upon continuing education opportunities; annually, certified users can maintain their status by ensuring all corresponding learning paths are complete as courses are updated. Throughout the learning paths, users' understanding of the DataXu platform and associated concepts that surround it will be assessed.

"We consider our platform users to be some of our most innovative clients. They look to the DataXu platform as their toolkit for leveraging new insights and tactics to improve their campaigns and deliver maximum ROI on every marketing investment," said Kim Remley, Senior Director of Learning and Talent Development, DataXu. "With this new certification, we're filling an industry skills gap and empowering our clients to better meet and surpass business goals with their media plans."

In order to achieve DataXu platform certification, users must:

  • Meet prerequisite guidelines for platform usage.
  • Participate in web-based curriculum on the DataXu platform and programmatic marketing topics.
  • Successfully complete on-demand assessments designed to measure user proficiency.

Boston-based integrated marketing agency AMP Agency, a part of Advantage Media Solutions, is an early partner in DataXu's certification. "The programmatic market is moving forward at lightning speed, and as our clients become more and more entrenched in it, it's crucial to keep our skills up to date and to ensure we have exceptionally trained media buyers," said Chris Boucher, SVP Advertising Technology at Advantage Media Solutions, AMP Agency's parent company. "With DataXu's professional certification, we have created a team of experts able to utilize all aspects of the DataXu platform, a clear benefit to both our employees and our clients."

"Ongoing learning is a crucial component of both our employee and corporate value proposition here at DataXu," said Tiffany Mosher, Senior Vice President of People Strategy, DataXu. "Now, with the launch of DataXu's professional certification, we're thrilled to offer additional on-demand learning opportunities to our customer base."

DataXu certification is available to DataXu self-service clients globally. To get started, contact your DataXu Account Representative.

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About AMP Agency 

AMP Agency is a full service marketing agency with offices in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles At AMP, we believe in better ideas created a different way. It’s in our heritage. Through the years, we’ve morphed from a non-traditional marketing agency into a full-service shop. Today, we’re a team of 200+ intellectually curious individuals who are eager to solve your business challenges.

About DataXu

DataXu's mission is to make marketing better using data science. The world's top brands and agencies use DataXu to better understand and engage customers across all devices and media formats. Our solution provides marketers with unparalleled Media Activation, Marketing Analytics and Data Management capabilities. With sixteen offices in eleven countries, DataXu's full-stack solution is powering the digital transformation of the world's most valuable brands.

Source- DataXu

December 2, 2015

Hungry For Data?

Boston, like many cities, collects a tremendous amount of data to make the City a better place. Enough to make the thought of sifting through it, analyzing it and creating a compelling, data-driven story driven seem daunting.

At AMP, we're always looking for a challenge.

We also happen to be data nerds who are obsessed with our hometown.

So we put the team to work, asking them to translate the mounds of robust data into a visually compelling, interesting story about our beloved city. The result was AMP's Boston Data Lab.

The Boston Data Lab's mission is to create interactive data visualizations where viewers can engage and interact with different data sources from and about Boston. Our first experience explores one of our favorite things ' food. More specifically, we're crunching the numbers on Boston's most famous restaurants to separate the tourist traps (aka all-stars) from the hidden gems.

We wanted to find a way to separate Boston's best-kept secrets from city's tourist meccas through publicly accessible data. We also wanted to display those findings in a compelling, visually interesting way.

Enter the All Stars vs. Hidden Gems Map. Like most restaurant recommendation experiences, our interactive map lets users explore by neighborhood. Ours, however, also lets you view by All Stars or Hidden Gems'the places the locals love, and those that draw out-of-towner crowds.

Using Twitter and Instagram's APIs, AMP was able to pull tweets and photos from a restaurant's location and label them as 'local'? or 'out-of-town'? based upon their profile location. Lots of locals means it's a Hidden Gem. Lots of tourists make it an All Star.

But tastes change and restaurants rise and fall. Our dynamic experience accounts for this by constantly pulling live, real-time data, reflecting changing opinions and creating a more robust experience over time.

Click here to visit.

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