Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.
Despite a difficult year, we made it through 2020 with the help of playful distractions like memes, dance crazes, and viral challenges. Oftentimes, brands want to tap into these cultural phenomenons in order to humanize their voice on social media. Marketers frequently question, 'How does a trend become a viral success?' and, 'Who creates these trends?'. Let's take a look at the various key players that come together to create these trends and learn how your brand can capitalize on them and join the conversation. The Innovator If we think of social media challenges holistically, the template is always the same: innovators create the idea, influencers make it popular, and the rest of the social community joins the trend. By definition, an innovator is ‘a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products’ In every viral equation, there needs to be an innovator to help spark an idea/challenge. The innovator is often a forgotten piece of the puzzle when it comes to viral trends. For example, Renegade creator Jalaiah Hermon had the most prominent dance on the internet in 2020, but most users didn't even know who she was. Unfortunately, content creators are often not given credit for their original ideas and are seemingly left in the dust. However, that isn't always the case; skateboarder Nathan Apodaca quickly rose to fame when his Ocean Spray video went viral, and others recreated the video with their own flare. The Influencer Spark Influencers help set the standard of "cool" within the digital world and help push the innovators' ideas in front of fans. TikTok influencer Charli D'Amelio was named ‘C.E.O.’ of the different dances similar to the dance craze Renegade, which she popularized. If the concept is unique and interesting, other influencers and celebs will begin to jump onto the new craze. Once a trend becomes popular, users recreate the template with small differences while always keeping the overall idea the same. During the pandemic, the ‘Don't Rush Challenge' became very popular amongst all different audiences - make-up artists, celebrities, students, and more. Less than a month later, the ‘Wipe it Down Challenge’ went viral; both of these concepts had the exact same template with small variations. Brands and Trends Being authentic on social media will encourage consumers to follow, engage, and ultimately purchase products, assuming that's the end goal. Consumers align their personal values to those of brands. Once brand values are established, a fundamental building block for brands is to showcase their personality through their content – tapping into cultural trends is a great way to humanize themselves. From a brand perspective, capitalizing on viral trends shouldn't be a hard selling point but instead, a chance to connect with your audience and showcase your brand's personality. In the summer of 2020, Twitter began to flag misleading messages about COVID-19 and the 2020 Election with 'This claim is disputed' warnings. After the Election, the disputed claim Tweet type evolved into a popular trend on the platform. Brands like Oreo, Burger King, and Maruchan saw an opportunity to participate in the pop culture conversation and added humor to the political trend. Viral memes are also a great way to highlight the brands' wit and humor. Just For Men participated in the ‘How it Started vs. How it's Going,’ and it showcased the brand's growth, wittiness, and personality. A brand can even use pop culture to sell a product when it feels native to the platform. For example, Invisalign used a soundbite from a popular viral video to help promote its product. All things considered, this doesn't mean that every viral trend is an opportunity for a brand to enter the conversation. Sometimes jumping into a conversation that isn't authentic to your brand will feel forced by consumers; for example, in 2014, DiGiorno accidentally used the hashtag ‘#WhyIStayed,’ which was about domestic violence. Prior to your brand joining a viral trend, consider the following questions: 1) Will this feel authentic to the brand's audience? 2) Can this help support the brand's values and develop the brand's personality? 3) What value will this content add to the social media space for your brand? 4) Is this the appropriate social channel for the brand? 5) Is this something you should test into first before diving in? And lastly, remember to have fun and tag the innovator to give them credit for their work!
In partnership with our sister company Adlucent, a performance digital agency, AMP Agency is excited to share we have been named media agency for Sunbrella®, a performance fabric company whose products are used by consumers, designers and architects. Adlucent will support the media program by providing performance marketing services powered by their purpose-built platform, Deep Search™. Check out what AMP, Sunbrella and Adlucent had to say about the new partnership below: “We’re extremely pleased to be working with Sunbrella, which is already valued by home designers and top specialty retailers as a maker of high-quality, outdoor and indoor-use fabrics,” said Michael Mish, AMP’s SVP, General Manager. “Sunbrella has a great opportunity to become a consumer lifestyle brand, particularly as consumers relook and rethink their indoor and outdoor living spaces. Our mission is to not only reach retailers and design professionals but end-consumers as well, so they proactively seek out Sunbrella fabrics for all of their decorating projects. We’ll be using a variety of paid channels, including display and paid search, across a number of B2B and B2C segments, to help Sunbrella grow.” “As a company that prides itself on innovation and performance, we look forward to building on our strong foundation by leveraging AMP and Adlucent’s data-driven capabilities to connect with consumers in new and more effective ways,” said Steve Pawl, Sunbrella’s chief marketing officer. “We look forward to the creativity and idea generation that are sparked by new partnerships.” “We are honored to support Sunbrella’s media strategy, in partnership with AMP, to accelerate sales with existing and future customers using our custom science-based performance marketing approach.'' said Adlucent Chief Executive Officer Ashwani Dhar. Check out the full release and other coverage about the new partnership here: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/358135/sunbrella-opens-new-relationship-with-amp-agency.html https://www.lbbonline.com/news/amp-agency-named-media-agency-of-record-for-sunbrella https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amp-agency-named-media-agency-194100218.html
Perfect Isn’t Worth It: Hot Takes from the 2020 Media Innovation Day Think about your favorite brand – and if you can’t pick just one, don’t fret. You can focus on your top three, or five, or whatever number will get you through this exercise. Got a few in mind? Great. Now ask yourself: what makes the brands you’re thinking of so wonderful? Is it the quality of the products they sell? The tone of voice they take on? Or maybe, just maybe, is it the fact that they connect with you on some level that you can’t quite put your finger on, but know is there? If that’s the case, then you probably love your favorite brands because they feel real to you – and that makes total sense. Because as people, we tend to favor brands that feel honest, authentic and human. Despite this affinity, there aren’t as many brands that have this real, human element to them as there should be. That’s because brands have long equated success with perfection, holding themselves to a standard that, in actuality, puts them at the risk of seeming fake. So, as we wondered where we as marketers should draw the line between achieving success and losing humanity, we decided to gain further insight into the matter. That’s why we sat down at this year’s Media Innovation Day and listened to a series of industry experts share their thoughts on the topic of “Being More Human” in the land of brands. Now, we’re going to break down some of our key takeaways. Let’s Get Personal It’s always nice when things have a personal touch to them, isn’t it ? Well, according to Bertrand “Coca” Cocallemen, Teads’ Global Creative Director, this rings true for brands, too. When brands can create personal experiences for consumers across all touchpoints, it’s highly beneficial for the brand as a whole. For example, during his Media Innovation Day presentation, Coca recalled a rich media unit Teads created for a Dior perfume launch. What started as a 60-second video transformed into an interactive in-content unit that allowed the model, Jennifer Lawrence, to maintain eye contact with users as they scrolled through the page. This use of eye contact proved to be eye-catching for consumers and successful for Dior. Not only does the use of eye contact in an ad increase ad recall and lead to better overall metrics, but it can help brands become more personal and recognizable when paired with clear branding. Since simple optimizations such as this can make advertisements feel more personal and engaging, we as digital marketers can weave tactics with a human touch into the work we create for our clients in order to help them find success and build a world of better brands. Trust Us During his discussion on The New Media Experience, Brian Stelter, Chief Media Correspondent at CNN, honed in on the responsibility brands have to build trust with their consumer base. According to Stelter, gaining a trustworthy reputation for CNN was built on honest journalism. For us as marketers, it comes down to creating content that our clients’ consumers can connect with. Since a show of simple humanity can go a long way on making an impact with viewers or consumers, we want to help our client base find moments where they can have these trust-building interactions with consumers. Don’t Worry: Everybody Makes Mistakes One final key takeaway from the 2020 Media Innovation Day pertains to quite possibly the most human thing there is: making mistakes. Everybody does it – even brands. And according to Adam Petrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at PUMA, what matters most isn’t whether a brand messes up or not, but how they reach out to consumers after a mistake is made. When brands reach out to consumers and own their mistakes in a way that stays true to their brand mission statement, they add value to their brand in a way that is honest and human. For PUMA specifically, Petrick explained that their company mantra is to be “Forever Faster” – always a step ahead, acknowledging that they aren’t perfect and turning any mistakes they make along the way into learning experiences that can improve and grow their brand. While the “Forever Faster” mantra is specific to PUMA, the thought of maintaining transparency with consumers is something any brand can get behind. By weaving humility into our clients’ brand platforms and practices, we can help them all feel more human and relatable. So Let’s Get Real With all of this in mind, we now ask ourselves: what’s next in the media industry? For us, it’s finding ways to take this human approach to marketing and use it to drive engagement and connections. Stacy Mienro, Head of Twitter Arthouse said it best: “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” Since the rules of branding are what put the pressures of perfection in place, our job is to help our brands impart a bit more humanity into everything they create and how it shows up in the world. Sometimes, that might be achieved by adding a personal touch to ads wherever possible. Other times, it could entail capitalizing on moments where we can build trust with consumers. And once in a while, it may simply require us owning up to our mistakes should they ever be made. Hey – we’re only human, after all. Authors Thays Tejeda Kristen Forbes Nikki D'Amato Marianne Lukes
You may know Sascha Lock, our VP of Media who sits in the AMP Boston office. But did you know he recently had an article titled “My Quantified, Connected Self” featured on Little Black Book Online? In his article, Sascha describes the world we’re living in as a “privacy paradox” where brands and tech companies struggle to find the right balance between personalizing user experiences and respecting people’s data privacy. “One of this industry’s biggest desires is for clients to share their transactional data, as granularly as possible, with the enviable goal to measure activity X’s impact on metric Y,” Sascha explains. “And in most cases, they aim to demonstrate things like incremental lifts in sales, foot traffic, engagement, clicks, etc. - let’s say as a result of paid media activity - so they can refine and optimise for the future.” Want to continue reading? Check out the full story here: https://lbbonline.com/news/my-quantified-connected-self/
Our own Doug Grumet, SVP of Media & Analytics, was recently interviewed for eMarketer’s latest report on Digital Ad Spending by Industry by Ross Benes. The report analyzes digital ad spending from three countries and details fascinating findings, like that US digital ad spending will reach $129.34 billion in 2019, up 19.1% from last year. Doug spoke with Ross in depth about the shifting media landscape of the largest industries and how AMP Agency is adapting with the trends to drive greater efficiency and a stronger customer experience. In the report, Doug shares, “Our retail and CPG clients are very active in mobile. The rationale there is around bridging the offline and online worlds. Can I leverage mobile as a retailer or as a CPG brand to either push brick-and-mortar or pull people into the ecommerce funnel?” Check out the full report from eMarketer here: https://www.emarketer.com/content/digital-ad-spending-by-industry-2019
Over the past several years, we’ve operated in a golden age of data. Between first-, second- and third-party sources, marketers have leveraged this information about their consumers as a powerful marketing tool. But the data well is about to start drying up. Our VP of Strategy, Greer Pearce, and our VP of Media, Kazi Ahmed, talk about the data drought and the three things brands can do right now to ready themselves for it. Check it out on MediaPost: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/331299/data-drought-coming-prepare-with-effective-use-of.html
As consumers continue to buy online, retailers are under more and more pressure to refine their sites to convert to sales. However, the average conversion rate for most e-comm sites is still hovering around the 3-4% mark globally. While there are a myriad of reasons of why someone would leave your site before buying, one of the main causes is usually attributed to not delivering the product information they were seeking. This can be solved through optimizing your product pages with more in-depth information, such as images, videos, and consumer reviews. Given that updating an e-comm site to add this content usually requires integration between the UX, creative, development and marketing departments, it can take a while to get changes made. Enter Flixmedia, a UK-based company who is the leader in product page optimization*. Flixmedia has made it easy for retailers to quickly add in enhanced product information to their site pages. Using existing assets, they are able to seamlessly incorporate product imagery and videos into the product page. They also use innovative technology in their dynamic hotspots, giving consumers an opportunity to interact with the product. Why are we so obsessed with Flixmedia? Because they produce results. Adding interactive hotspots has resulted in increasing conversion rates by 28%. Adding imagery and videos to product pages has grown Add to Cart rates by an average of 23%. Don’t spend all that time and money driving traffic to a site that doesn’t convert. Optimize your product pages to give consumers the information they are looking for and leave that 3-4% in the dust. *Full disclosure: Flixmedia is owned by our same parent company, Advantage Solutions
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. 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. 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.
The advertising-supported model online is broken, and is threatening the whole online content experience with it. It’s no easy task to either make money online as a publisher or to advertise your product in a world where attention is so fleeting and divided. But the current system of ad-supported web content isn’t working for readers and viewers. It needs to be reset. The alternative is elusive.
To say that the Internet has changed the media business is so obvious. It turns out that the impact of the Internet — and the outlook for the future — differs considerably depending on what part of the media industry you look at. Most of the changes in the last three years were simply laying the groundwork for actual shifts in behavior. Once those shifts start to happen in earnest, there will be feedback loops in everything from advertising to content production to consumption that will accelerate the changes, resulting in a transformed media landscape that will impact all parts of society. The end is nearer than you think.