Konrad Feldman: I’m fortunate to be joined now by Jackie Mattina of dentsu. Jackie, thanks for joining us. Perhaps you could start by introducing yourself and your role at dentsu.
Jackie Mattina: Yeah, happily. Thanks for having me, Konrad. I’m excited to be here. So I have two major roles at dentsu, one is the Chief Strategy Officer of dentsu X, where I’m looking at macro trends that are changing consumer behaviors and being able to use that intel to power marketing and media strategies for our clients. Second is I lead the audience and insights group for dentsu Media, which enables consumer understanding and intelligence through data-driven audience research.
Konrad Feldman: So over the past 18 months, there must be so much that’s changed in consumer behavior. And when you think about the clients that you work with, you know, all around the world, you work with well-known brands like 7-Eleven, Discover Financial, Kroger–what’s top of mind for them? And how are you adjusting in your business to support them?
Jackie Mattina: We are very fortunate, as you said, to have totally different types of clients. In some cases, like retail, we’re seeing polar opposite success or major strain, due to COVID. Ultimately, all they’re asking now is: how do I re-envision my audiences and my consumer base through a completely new lens? So we’re doing deep segmentation, we’re doing different types of custom research, both qualitative and quantitative, to understand what new behaviors are taken on and what kind of need states may have arisen.
Konrad Feldman: So you have some customers that must have a lot of their own first-party data, and others that probably wish they did. How do you have to modify your approach based on, sort of, the different landscape that each customer’s data environment represents?
Jackie Mattina: Yeah, well, I think in the cases where we have customers or clients that have first-party data, it’s really sitting at the table and identifying what data can we bring to the table that will be incremental? And then, the case where a client doesn’t have first-party data, we typically will use our own, we have our own proprietary consumer system that allows us to understand over 10,000 data points for every audience.
Konrad Feldman: Yeah, clients’ first-party data can be so valuable, because it aligns with their own business segmentations.
Jackie Mattina: So what we’ll do is typically take the existing audience, understanding the segmentation, use additional data–like intent signals or psychographics–to start creating subsets, and then develop a message that makes the most sense. I think that’s also where digital media becomes so powerful and interesting is because those intense signals that allow you to understand the differences between two consumers, they’re instantaneous; they’re at your fingertips!
Konrad Feldman: How are you helping your clients measure the effectiveness of their advertising? I always thought that without measurement, it’s hard to optimize. And the power of the data and the analytics can only really be fully brought to bear when you can measure things back to the outcomes your clients really care about.
Jackie Mattina: Oh, absolutely. Measurement is key in this space. And it’s also one of the best things about digital media is that we can see almost instantaneously whether something is working or not. We’re starting to think about is: what is the value of attention? What is the value of intention? And how long does a message have to be on screen? Does it have to be overlaid? And is it potential that the time that I listen, or I actually look at the ad through eye tracking, make that interaction more valuable? So at dentsu, we’re trying to move away from simply engagement and move to actually what is the value exchange and that experience that happened with that one message?
Konrad Feldman: Yeah, the better we get at measuring the incremental outcomes that advertising can deliver, the better we’re able to take advantage of these different types of proxy measurements of attention, or focus, and so on, to be able to use those to optimize–to drive–those ultimate outcomes. So Jackie, when you think about, you know, we’ve had an enormous amount of change the past 18 months, and there’s no sign of that abating in terms of the sort of constant turmoil and changes in our industry: what’s front of mind for you, as you think about the next, you know, the rest of this year, the next year, the next 18 months?
Jackie Mattina: I would say, first, is being laser-focused on planning ahead and planning your roadmap. Back to your nod about measurement, you should have a test-and-learn roadmap set up and stick to it–learn and iterate and optimize. Second is, as a marketer, build your first-party data pool. So as I said, that is the basis and the fundamentals and the foundation for being able to understand your consumer. And then, lastly, a plug for what’s near and dear to my heart is: spend a little bit more time understanding the consumers who want to engage with your brand, or who should be engaging and are not, because that’s really the way that you make that moment in time more valuable for them.
Konrad Feldman: Recently, Google announced they would delay the deprecation of cookies by two years. What does this mean for you at dentsu and for your clients?
Jackie Mattina: What this means is that we have a little bit more time to prepare and build our first-party data foundations. Nobody should be bumping the brakes right now but instead be doubling down on the amount of data that we’re gathering about our consumers and what they like and the need from each one of our brands.
Konrad Feldman: Yeah, I certainly agree that, whilst this change is certainly welcome, there’s a lot of preparation still to do. They’re already large parts of the open internet, many of the visitors from the Safari and Firefox browser, for which cookies aren’t present, and therefore alternative methods create opportunities for marketers to reach important valuable consumer segments and engage them with messages that can drive their business outcomes. And that can happen today.
Jackie Mattina: Yeah, I agree. And I love your point about segmentation. Even though we’re in a brand-new world, and a lot of consumers have kind of stayed consistent in their buying patterns and behaviors for some brands, they feel wildly different about their purchase behaviors for others. And so every brand, every client, regardless of whether you have pre-existing customer segmentation and audience research, should reassess at this moment. So that as you’re gathering that information, it makes sense through the lens of a brand-new type of consumer and mindset. I think, as a consumer, marketing is a service, if done right. And if we could get all of our peers as marketers to start thinking about that, making each touchpoint more meaningful and more resonant, it would be a completely new experience for everybody involved.
Konrad Feldman: You know, we often forget that when we make advertising better for consumers, it automatically gets better for marketers in terms of the returns it generates and for publishers in terms of the content that it can fund. And when advertising is really effective, a small amount of it can go a long way. Well, Jackie, thank you for joining us today. We’re incredibly excited to partner with you and your team at Dentsu and thank you so much for sharing your perspective with us at today’s NOVA.
Jackie Mattina: Actually, my pleasure. Thank you for having me. And thank you for being such an awesome partner.