WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN THE MARKETING TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY?
Years ago, I was working in the experiential marketing industry; a lot changed in that space with the emergence of smartphones. At first I was intrigued by how mobile devices enabled marketers to engage with their audience in entirely new ways (e.g., SMS messaging, QR codes), but quickly I realized that the real value came in giving brands a chance to learn more about their audience and continue the conversation with them once they left an event. I spent the next few years working with media companies, helping them monetize their events with emerging digital solutions.
HOW DID THIS LEAD YOU TO JOIN “NTOOITIVE DIGITAL?
I met the Ntooitive Digital team while I was working with a broadcast media group. At the time, I was interested in white-labeling their digital marketing services with our existing advertisers. Through that relationship I was able to sit ringside as the agency built out their proprietary workflow management toolset, called N2Hive. Seeing the N2Hive evolve into a centralized business intelligence solution that could displace multiple platforms and manual administrative efforts made me interested in wanting to get this in front of other agencies and media companies that were facing similar challenges.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I work in the business development side of the agency; I begin each work day with dedicated time reading through digital marketing trades and/or participating in online demos and webinars. The digital media landscape is very fluid, and it is important that I understand where the industry is headed and what our competitors are doing. A significant portion of my day is also spent navigating between virtual meetings with existing and prospective partners. Ensuring that I’m spending as much time in retention as I am in development.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
My toolkit isn’t tremendously exciting: we use our proprietary platform, the N2Hive, to track opportunities, generate proposals and follow up with existing campaigns. So the N2Hive is a tab that’s forever open in my web browser. Aside from that, I use Evernote for notetaking in client meetings. This allows me to send quick meeting recaps and copy and paste follow-up items for my team. I’ve recently started relying more on the entire Google suite of products for my presentation and word processing needs. Having our entire team on the suite makes it easy for us to collaborate on presentations and documents, which is important when you’re working remotely or on the go.
WHAT DATA AND INSIGHTS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR ENSURING A BRAND’S MULTICULTURAL ADVERTISING RESONATES?
In the midst of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which officially took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and the looming reality of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) reverberating way beyond Europe, brands are being forced to focus on new content strategies that draw consumers back to their website. To make matters more interesting, Google Chrome’s very recent decision to phase out support for third-party cookies by 2022 will affect everyone in the digital media industry and challenge how we currently are able to identify multicultural segments through cookie data. Content and location strategies coupled with whitelists will begin to play a role in how we are able to target multicultural segments. Teams that are interested in finding multicultural audiences need to be looking ahead on how regulations will change the landscape, and begin working to build out their own whitelists and location parameters to help identify multicultural audiences in the absence of behavioral data.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR PROVIDING EFFECTIVE MULTICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE SOLUTIONS TO CLIENTS?
Be relevant, consistent, and genuine. Relevancy: know the audience you’re targeting and ensure that the messaging is reflective of their culture – using small cultural nods, like images in the creative, when possible. Consistency: ensure that the messaging is carried all the way through the customer’s journey with your brand – if your creative is in Spanish, that customer should be delivered into a Spanish-language landing page. Lastly, being genuine means taking the time to ensure that ad creatives are double, and triple verified. Multicultural audiences can present a huge opportunity for driving business growth, especially in larger markets, and taking the time to be intentional when developing the strategy is the difference between winning the audience and alienating them with your campaign.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING WITH “NTOOITIVE DIGITAL” AT THE MOMENT?
Taking the ‘bored’ out of dashboards. The idea of providing marketing dashboards that nobody looks at drives me insane. I like sitting partner’s down in front of our business intelligence team and getting to the heart of what they need to see in a dashboard. Understanding what information they’d need to see that would not just make their jobs easier, but actually deliver them actionable insights. Our goal is to create dashboards that become an essential part of our clients’ daily workflows!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT THESE DAYS?
Seeing smaller businesses starting to pay attention to multicultural in their marketing plans. We’ve seen the national brands doing this in digital for years, however, local advertisers have addressed these segments exclusively through traditional channels. With some of these channels starting to become less efficient with increasing costs per calls or acquisitions, local business owners are starting to seek out partners that can help them deliver higher efficiencies. Partners that can address an entire market will end up on top of those that are only addressing a portion of the market.
WHAT DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF MULTICULTURAL ADVERTISING WILL LOOK LIKE FOR CONTENT CREATORS AND DIGITAL PUBLISHERS?
The rapid growth of OTT networks created a need for more content development, and we’re beginning to see quality content targeted to multicultural audiences on these larger platforms. Providers like Netflix are creating specials featuring international personalities; and others like HBO are dedicating entire categories in their apps to address the demand. With more restrictions around consumer privacy and compliance, this content can prove to be key in helping advertisers connect with multicultural audiences. We are already seeing this play out with audio streaming. Advertisers can target Spanish-speaking advertisers absent of personal data, through specific Spanish-language content streams.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS LOOKING TO BUILD THEIR OWN PRODUCT, NOT HAVING A DIGITAL MARKETING BACKGROUND?
Focus on building communities. We continue to see apps and sites built around this simple concept succeed. Emerging apps like “Nextdoor” that look at micro-communities within larger cities, or websites that focus around specific lifestyles, continue to win because they deliver relevant information to address the needs of niche communities. Any publisher or developer with a focus on the community and delivering value to their community will continue to win.