Advertising Week, the Google Partner Summit and beyond the wild frontier

Last month’s Advertising Week and Google Partner Summit shed light on some pretty radical shifts developing in paid media in response to fresh technology in voice and machine learning.The summit also covered game-changing insights on how to best approach CRM and profitability-versus-efficiency approaches to company growth. We were incredibly excited to attend and talk shop with other agencies among the top 200 exemplary marketing performers in North America. The attendees showed up sharp, hungry, and ready to grapple with the biggest questions facing marketing strategists today. In short, everyone we met had their game faces on, ready to learn, innovate, and integrate the outstanding content presented at the summit.

We’re glad we get to share these highlights with you.

Tech Spotlight: Voice

We’ve watched technology shrink down to pocket-size and now it’s time to watch it disappear as we enter the era of voice assistance. The voice technology takeover is spreading fast, a sleeper hit emerging with major implications already revolutionizing CX. Personalized voice experiences answer these growing customer demands: Help me faster, know me better, and wow me everywhere. Get ready to hear a whole lot more about voice UI, UX, advertising, conversational computing, and sentiment monitoring. That’s right — tracking customer moods is about to become a key component of 21st-century marketing, which will totally transform advertising as we know it. With the merging of home, vehicle, and mobile voice UX, Spike Jonze’s Her just isn’t so sci-fi anymore.

Tech Spotlight: Machine Learning

Machine learning means voice assistants are learning all about their users — everything from their work schedules to their unique senses of humor, offering brands the novel ability to get to know their customers on a one-on-one level. Additionally, it’s more important now than ever that marketing leaders hone in on strategy, as machine learning is poised to automate campaign execution and customer service. We’re in the “assistance age” now. Voice assistants and bots will rapidly replace human marketing labor, but there’s still no stand-in for the precision and creativity needed to come up with stellar strategy. Aside from personalization and automation, machine learning is also metabolizing staggering amounts of data into actionable insights faster than ever before.

Strategy Spotlight: Profitability

It’s time to make core growth the main KPI and focus of your accounts, not cost-per-acquisition efficiency. Why? Well, a few reasons, according to Google. Investment in future growth rather than quarterly gains lets you view your customers in terms of lifetime spend. CPA efficiency is a CMO’s pet KPI, but allocating paid spend toward long-term profitability is more persuasive to the CFO. And after all, they’re the ones with the final say. CFOs can’t argue with a profit-focused strategy. While some companies bonus based on efficiency and consider it their main yardstick, you can minimize pushback and transform the way your marketing department is judged once you’re able to clearly demonstrate the profitability of your paid spend.

Strategy Spotlight: CRM

Machine learning teaches us that the best time to shift your attention toward strategy is … yesterday. So in doing so, take a customer-first mindset. Hiring a full-time CRM analyst is ideal since marketing is now more about personalized precision than demographic targets. Don’t push the same ads to your customers — new or old, loyal or fickle — making sure the right ad hits the right set of eyes at the right time is all about careful A/B testing and making the buying and intent cycle crystal clear. You’re already sitting on a treasure trove of data with which to make more optimized campaigns. Your customers have a big platform on social media to make their voices heard, making it a no-brainer to put your efforts toward listening to their pain points and desires and pivoting ad spend accordingly.

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