The impact of COVID-19 on digital advertising planning

 

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Eyeota Audience Data Session: The At Home Edition!

The Eyeota team chat with our industry partners, clients and friends about what brands and advertisers can be doing during this difficult period.

Travis Roznos from Eyeota speaks with Jason Deutsch and Jessica Cordero from Programmatic Mechanics about the trends they have been seeing over the last few weeks and what advice they have been giving to clients.

Watch the 15-min discussion here:

 

 

Read the transcript here:

Travis Roznos:

Hello everybody. I'm Travis Roznos here at Eyeota, I'm part of the Demand Sales Team. I work with our agency partners, our ad-tech partners and brands here at Eyeota. I'm joined today, gratefully, with Jessica Cordero and Jason Deutsch of Programmatic Mechanics. And at Eyeota over the past few weeks we've spent time meeting internally on, on what can we do to help the market react and adjust and also just lead the current dynamic of our reality today in a strong and powerful way. So one thing we decided, let's engage our customer first. Let's engage them. Let's ask them questions, let's explore how they're implementing changes and how they're implementing best practices in communicating with their clients and also communicating with currently to make the most of this current situation and to be strong leaders in the current situation. So with that said, I'll pass, I'll pass it on to talk to Jessica and Jason just to share some background on programmatic mechanics and then we'll dive into the discussion.

Jessica Cordero:

Thanks. Yeah, thanks for having us. We're happy to engage in this conversation with you. And we should say to start off with, we are also engaged, which is why we are not social distancing. We have been a company for a while. I started in February of 2016 and Jason was actually the first employee...

Jason Deutsch:

...February of 2014 so we've been around for a while and now we're, we're thankful for, for the company for that.

Jessica Cordero:

And we're thankful for the like in this ever changing landscape that the company is, you know, still doing well and we're happy to be chatting with you about that now.

Travis Roznos:

Yeah. Yeah. Great. And maybe share a little bit on your day to day roles and what that looks like and also who you guys serve primarily in the advertising landscape.

Jason Deutsch:

Sure. So I'm the VP of Media Trading Operations, so I oversee the day-to-day operations of all the 'hands-on' keyboard work going on. So that involves overseeing the trading team, obviously, execution from beginning to end. So when we receive a campaign from pre-sales that flows right up to my team, where we then begin to implement the campaign in various platforms that we work in, working in tandem with Jessica's team.

Jessica Cordero:

So I am the VP of Client Services, so I oversee the account managers, um, anything. And we, so we handle all day to day communications. We're basically the liaison between the clients and the traders, right? So that the traders can just focus on what they need to do. But we also are the air traffic controllers, making sure that everything's going correctly between sales and finance and trading. So we work with a variety of clients, from brands direct to agencies and holding companies. We run mostly their programmatic arm of their campaigns, be it through social networks through, display and video or YouTube. We run the whole gamut. One of the pillars of Programmatic Mechanics is that we are an independent, nimble organization. So we like to say that we'll trade and be the experts on trading. Anything that has a platform online that you can do. So even with linear TV actually.

Travis Roznos:

Great. So what I'm hearing from you in which is really helpful, you know, because our audience will be at brands direct and agencies so and, and in their roles, there'll be traders or there'll be more strategists client facing. So we've got everything covered. We've got every channel covered in terms of your expertise. So let's dive right in. You mentioned nimble and that was my assumption, right, in the beginning stages of our relationship in terms of they serve a lot of people who are {inaudible]. They're agile cause they're smaller, they're independent. And so let's talk about that. What have been some best practices or mentalities even that you guys are putting into place to adapt quickly to the changes and offer recommendations to your clients during this time?

Jessica Cordero:

Yeah, I would say firstly our goal is to be super sensitive to the brands and to the clients themselves. Like we want to be there to support them, whether they need to pause or continue. We're all here in this, going through this together. So, we'd see them as partners, right. And like, we don't want to be just a vendor for them. So we have always had the mentality of being able to pause campaigns easily. Since Jason's team is all hands-on keyboard, it's as soon as a client needs something paused or switched, like we are very quick to do that. Jason can also speak to like the platforms, being easy to move or move money around. But, but I think we want to be sensitive. We want to understand their needs. We also are providing them with education. We love to be a source of knowledge for them. So we're talking to our vendors and our account managers, right, who service us to see what they're seeing and just making sure we have the purview on everything, which has been super helpful.

Jason Deutsch:

Yeah. And to that piece about being nimble, we've always been a somewhat bootstrap, always nimble organization. We are in all the major DSPs. We purchase everything that, anyone's able to purchase digitally. So that is expertise. And since that everything is purchased by our team, my team being Trading team, in-house, we're able to easily switch, um, between different platforms, between different strategies. Let's say a client had specific messaging before all this started happening, that was going on display. We've been seeing a lot of trends going more towards the video side, whether it's CTV or pre-roll. We're very easily able to work within our current platforms within the assets that we have received or have worked with clients to receive in order to shift any type of messaging or any type of budgeting to a strategy that's a little bit more conducive to the current day and age.

Travis Roznos:

Great. Yeah. So what I'm hearing from you is a, wide ranging skill set and knowledge base on all technology platforms, right, is helpful in this situation, and Jessica, you mentioned sensitivity, right? To the situation. We need to really put on our understanding caps, right? Really seek to understand what's going on, what the client's concerns are, what their worries are, and obviously everybody's going through the same thing. And just in regards to you know, having to be mindful that everybody's situation is unique personally and professionally. So that's sort of the backdrop of everything right now in business. And you mentioned, just leaning on vendors, right? So leaning on the right resources too, to kind of funnel that information. How about, you know, your conversations over the past month with clients. What are a couple of broader highlights of what they're asking for right now? What are they wanting to learn most about then? Yeah, what have you learned so far?

Jessica Cordero:

Yeah, I mean they're asking, you know, where is the usage? Like where are their users or their target audience, like engaging the most, right. And like where can we get that messaging out? And they're also revising that messaging, right? They're doing the whole gamut of what do they want to say? Like they can't have images of people coming home from the office anymore. Like that won't resonate with their users since no one's moving around. So they're kind of looking to us to provide that insight. And we're so lucky and happy to lean on other people, right? Like we want to be experts, but we can only be as smart as the people who help teach us. So things like what you're doing now with this information share is super beneficial to us and we've have other vendors like sharing information as well. So we're just kind of compiling that for them. I think that they've been coming to us for that.

Jason Deutsch:

Yeah. And it's been incredibly helpful that you're really seeing industry banding together over this. So we're receiving this information from our vendors. We are constantly running analysis on what we're seeing on our end from the exchanges. So then we're able to pull all that information together, communicate to our clients, you know, on the best steps forward for them. We're hearing, you know, where do you think we'll be in, where, you know, what should we plan for May? They are completely aware that that might change, but we do our best to inform them how we see things are moving for, you know, as far as possible. Then we're very open with them and they're open with us and understanding that this is ever, ever shifting.

Jessica Cordero:

I have to be said, we're doing that both for campaigns that are paused, like helping them plan and for campaigns that are currently live, like helping them navigate like agilely as it's going on. So it's a bit of a mix of both of like, like taking a step back and planning calmly and also just trying to like wander the path as it's going as well.

Travis Roznos:

Yeah. So I'm hearing language where, you know, it's, it can be helpful for everybody. You know, cause we're in the service industry, right? I mean we like, like, so in this time it's part of the language people can use are the tactical agile stuff now with some of those softer recommendations for the near future to help them think, think ahead without getting too far ahead of themselves. Because again, we don't have enough data necessarily to really help us educate and inform the future. I like that, like balance, nice balance in the right now and in the near future. So Jason, you mentioned a little bit about shifting to video. You know, we obviously know people are sitting at home, we're streaming more content, news information, you know, the publisher are seeing it on news sites and there are a ton or things changing at the more mechanical auction-based level. And you don't have to go super into detail on that. But in addition to where the connected to the space, video space, how are the discussions going on just channel reallocation, shifting based on where people are spending their time?

Jason Deutsch:

Yeah, so obviously we're seeing a huge shift on people's habits and what they're doing day to day. So someone that you know, was commuting previously an hour to work and using their phone in their car for audio or you know, on a bus or a subway when they had a service on their phone. That's shifting towards more of a home so desktop and video on their TVs. So OTT and connected TV has really exploded and that's a huge opportunity to potentially shift a medium of communication to your audience in a new manner. So your previously reaching your audience on their cell phones in the morning and now they're available to be reached throughout the day at home on their desktop or their TV. So we're seeing a huge increases of availability of that type of inventory and it's really a huge and a great opportunity for our clients to also interact with their audience at different medium. So we're coming to our clients with that point of view and they've been very interested in that and it's been very receptive to our ability to reach them in that matter. So there's a lot more inventory available and we're able to reach these users in places where we maybe previously haven't been able to.

Travis Roznos:

Yeah. And what I see there too is banner ads are great and native ads are great. You know, there's all the purposes that those formats serve along the journey throughout whatever vertical you're working in. Right. But now is the time for really strong and brave storytelling, right. And Connected TV and those formats and with the mechanics changing of how to acquire those impressions like there, there is a really ripe opportunity for right advertisers who are really ready to act. So thanks for that. How about a B2B versus B2C? What are you noticing maybe in your client communication with the two sides of that coin? Is a difference in the opportunity or a difference in how those advertisers are wanting to react to the situation?

Jessica Cordero:

I mean, I think it also depends on like industry, right? Like B2C is hard to say because some of our clients like in the healthcare space are still doing, are still pushing things quite forcefully, right? Or insurance wise are things that like things are always going to be pillars that are gonna be needed in society and while others in the B2C space are, are slowing down because perhaps they're allocating their resources somewhere else in another part of their business. But I think overall in the same way that like our industry has banded together, finally for a reason that that's not around drinks, we're now we're all banding together. Our brands are too, in both spaces, the messaging is kinda changing in both B2B and B2C, right. They want to reevaluate the creative and how they're reaching the users, to your point and to Jason's point, in different mediums.

Jason Deutsch:

Definitely story telling matters, when possible, through video. But we're definitely seeing a trend on both sides, sort of coming together in a way, in a similar messaging matter because we're all in the same boat here. So, I think messaging on both sides are, in a way, obviously, impacted by our current situation. So they're both reflecting that.

Travis Roznos:

I like that. And what I'm hearing from that, my personal translation of it is like we're all human, right? I mean, if you're a decision maker at an organization or a company or a telecom, you're also a mom with kids and dogs and everybody's in that, you know, so there is a painting of the full consumer as professional and consumer right now, depending on the industry, right? The opportunities to connect the dots more holistically. Right. So I like that. That's all I have for you guys. I mean, you've been great. I think it was really insightful and again, everybody at Eyeota, we really, really appreciate you guys putting the time aside in your day to talk about these topics and anything else to add?

Jessica Cordero:

It's our pleasure to partner with you guys, and I'm happy to be on year seven of the company going strong.

Travis Roznos:

Thanks so much, guys. I appreciate it. Thanks so much.