“Programmatic Champions” with Albert Thompson from Walton Isaacson

Albert Thompson
Managing Director, Digital at Walton Isaacson
Website Address: www.waltonisaacson.com


What services does your company provide?

Creative, Media Buying and Planning, Social Media, Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Marketing / Pay Per Click

About Walton Isaacson:

Walton Isaacson is a full-service agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Dallas.


When it comes to strategy, is it more about the story you tell or your CPM? How does this affect your KPIs either way?

It’s about consumer truth. Do they have a real interest and intent to buy our client’s brands?


How important is your content/creative to your programmatic efforts?

It plays a support role, but audience targeting is the key driver.


What does data-driven marketing mean to you?

Utilizing “signal data” to ensure effective media spend with ROAS in mind, while that same media investment teaches things about the consumer journey and consumer decision making.


Has the RFP process changed for you guys? How are those questions?

I think the biggest difference that I see is you get to the return on ad spending (ROAS) or revenue return compensation questions almost immediately. Look, most businesses are in business to make money, and they should be. Companies try to synthesize and detect and understand what you’d be good at Now, they’re just blatantly asking you for a game plan. What’s your approach? What are the key indicators to let us know that, in fact, we can make money with this? Look at this day and age, all spending is being scrutinized beyond C-level executives, so you get board members. So the level of prudence and diligence has gone way up.


Tell us a bit about consumer truth.

First of all, new consumer psychology emerged post-COVID outbreak; we’re not even over it yet. And person patterns are very different. There’s almost a new lens of how you feel sentiment overlaid on what was the normal purchase behaviors you had. Financially, are we stable and are things now really essential? I think the thing is the path of purchase. Most brands have a dedicated path they want you to take, but now it’s very much the consumer saying, “I don’t know if that’s safe anymore.” So when you have to overlay public health concerns on the notion of the path to purchase–which you’ve spent years, maybe decades constructing–and now, they’re out the window, what does that essentially mean?


Are KPIs and signal data even more important now or is it still status quo?

No, it’s dialed up. If it was at 10 or should have been 10, it’s at 11. That goes without saying. You need to synthesize as many data signals as possible whether there are revenue indicators or not. You just need to understand where the average consumer is at.

We, as human beings, don’t declare all our sentiment around why we do what we do. But you need to have location data to know how people are moving or if they’re not moving from home at all or where they’re willing to move or better yet, because stores aren’t as safe, how long they’re willing to stay there. You have to look at conversations. You have to be synthesizing social data because most people in this day and age, we tend to post how we feel on social media. Does that track to purchase patterns we may have had? Maybe not anymore. Maybe sometimes it doesn’t track with what we’re actually physically doing. You need to look at transaction data. You need to look at the average size of a shopping cart. Is it getting smaller or bigger? Then you need to just look at, based on the fact that people are stressed, what does escapism mean? Is escapism going to retail or is escapism picking up new hobbies? You need to have a better understanding and unfortunately, the world is getting a first-class lesson in supply chain management. What it means is when the product can’t show up at retail to be sold, it does not exist and neither does your marketing budget for it.


 

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