Lessons on innovation from 4 millennial marketers

Young marketers from Boston Fine Arts Museum, Kiip, Adobe and Retention Science share their tales of delivering digital marketing

Digital innovation is less about ‘lightbulb’ moments and more about improving inefficiencies and foundational capabilities, such as technology and data, to deliver better experiences.

That was the view of four millennial marketers at this year’s Adobe Summit, brought together to discuss how they’re helping their organisations cope with digital disruption.

Senior manager of database marketing at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Rebecca Sisson, said there wasn’t any email and social activity occurring when she started five years ago. Her first focus became what could be done from the ground up to introduce digital capabilities into the arts museum.

“The first thing we did wasn’t exciting: It was building a data warehouse,” she said. “We needed to take all these disparate areas of the organisation with their own systems attached – ticketing, dining, parking for example – that were all doing their own thing, and organise these into one cohesive space to then leverage.”

Rather than invest technology dollars into high-profile tech activities to immediately engage with audiences, such as iPads, Sisson said the organisation opted to get the foundations right.

“There was recognition that combining our data, and getting that to that space [integration] was the foundation,” she said.

The pressure put on the marketing team to innovate its customer engagement strategy couldn’t be fulfilled without making that first investment, Sisson said.

“We can’t start with the biggest, brightest shiniest ball in the room; you have to have that foundation first,” she added.

Adobe manager of display media operations and analytics, Matt Scharf, said the motivation for his recent digital advertising initiative, ‘project iceberg’, was to deal with inefficiencies around how viewability influences digital attribution.

“This concept of a lightbulb going off above your head is not true. There’s more light when you embark on a path that twists and turns and opens up new standards and leads to innovation,” he claimed. “For me, there’s no direct path between the ideation and actual innovation.”

While associations and industry focus on increasing viewability and establishing measurement standards, the unspoken problem is that marketers still give credit to ads that are never seen by end users, Scharf said.

“Iceberg was about getting under the surface and isolating those ads at a cookie level, then removing ads never seen and pulling those out of attribution so we only focus on things with media exposure and had the chance to have a positive influence on the user,” he explained.

Scharf said he initially treated these ads as waste. But towards the end of the project, he realised unviewed ads also provided a valuable analytical benefit and represented a naturally occurring control group.

“We could use those to analyse if media was performing better than expected, and how effective media was in driving ROI of business,” he said.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of mobile advertising startup, Kiip, said his mobile marketing company launched with the aim of recognising a consumer’s moment of achievement using rewards. The idea was initially focused on gaming but quickly extended to fitness, finance and professional achievement.

Earlier this month, Kiip announced a partnership with Mastercard to power the priceless moments mobile initiative aimed at improving customer retention.

“It’s an evolution for us where we’re not only using moments as way of advertising and reaching a new customer, but using moments to build a better relationship with an existing customer,” he said.

Wong said innovation has also come from the broader thinking presented by Kiip’s board and key strategic investors: Interpublic Group, American Express Ventures and Verizon Ventures.

“My original idea was very games-based, until a few of our board members came along and pointed out that moments happen outside of games too,” he said. “Thinking about food, fitness, sports, music and finance was a much cooler idea.

“Another one that happened recently was moments with connected devices, which is even more mind-blowing. Think about moments with your wearables, or even your connected car… we’re testing around moments when you need to fill up with gas, so the moment that’s happening, we’d serve up an ad for Shell or Exxon.”

Related: Marketing must take charge of innovation, says TBWA chief
CMO Council: CMO/CIO friction inhibiting digital marketing innovation

Jerry Jao, CEO and co-founder at marketing consultancy, Retention Science, said the million dollar question he’s trying to help marketers answer is: How do you turn those customers on your site into brand loyalists and advocates?

“Most products and services don’t have that brand equity with customers. So our innovation is around how we can create a journey with our customers,” he said. “The one-to-one journey is something the industry has been talking about for a while now. At the end of the day, that comes down to understanding customers, who we’re talking to, and how they’re using products and services.

“Those are all ‘moments of truth’ or little signals that enable us to discover a customer’s frustrations. It’s listening to end users and then looking for innovation and creativity around that.

“It’s innovation not by innovating, but by following.”

More from Adobe Summit 2015

Nadia Cameron travelled to Adobe Summit 2015 as a guest of Adobe.

CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

The best design always features a minimalist approach to the use of color. Many designers are tempted to use many different colors but us...

Jose Salas

How email marketing automation is helping this Aussie electrical wholesaler enter the digital age

Read more

I read you post full. It's really good .

Yusuf

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Promotion is difficult. You should be able to do it. Sometimes it turns out bad, and when you turn to professionals, it turns out well - ...

Jordan Samuil

Village Roadshow partners with Lion for pourage rights and promotional partnership

Read more

This is very good news for Australian SMEs as ActiveCampaign is an very powerful marketing automation / email marketing tool that costs a...

Lawrence

SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

Read more

Completely agree! For the best commercial properties in Mumbai, visit our website - Jagaha!

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in