Top 10 lists are all the rage. Buzzfeed, Business Insider, and other sites use lists to attract audiences and provide some good snacking material.
I wrote this top 10 list for our agency. Ten things you should be considering as a chef (what we call our strategists) of The Media Kitchen, when working in digital media.
These are in no particular order:
1. Understand the impact of programmatic buying on the digital media industry. A good way to start to understand where this is all going is to research Overture and GoTo and understand how Paid Search evolved. A great resource is AdExchanger. Programmatic buying isn’t just for remnant inventory. I see a world where an entire media plan of all tiers of inventory are potentially bought programmatically across most major media channels.
2. Analytics. If you want to succeed in planning for digital media, don’t just think about it as purely a “paid media” channel. You should immediately become familiar with Web Analytics which also covers much of Mobile Analytics. A great primer is here. Clients hire us to drive results and much of the results occur off of our creative assets: in our clients stores and their sites. We must understand how to track all of this.
3. Serving & Tracking. In digital, we serve media and we track it using a 3rd party ad server. Because of this, we can justify our spending and it’s how we’ve grown to a multi-tens of billions of dollars industry. For us at The Media Kitchen, we use DART or MediaMind. You should become fluent on how these systems work as they are fairly robust in their offerings.
4. Content is Marketing and Marketing is Content. We’ve grown up in digital with 300X250 ad units and 160X600 but increasingly so, digital marketing is not a banner and is more of a content unit. We must understand how to deploy content units and measure the effectiveness of these new units. This is sometimes called Native Advertising depending on the context of how it’s being used. A good person to follow here is Jon Steinberg who provides lots of stats and examples of content marketing as he runs Buzzfeed.
5. Mobile. It goes without saying but the mobile device is increasingly prevalent. Tablets and phones are everywhere and we must understand the opportunities and limitations of what we can and cannot do. The secret ingredient to these devices are the “location” factor -> understanding location can have a profound impact for targeting.
6. Cookies. The FTC and government has come down hard on 3rd party cookies. Keep your eyes out for articles about this subject as we’ll have to respond and react quickly to any legislation that occurs. As an agency, we watch this closely and participate in many of the industry workgroups, but you should be aware of this in case your clients as you any questions.
7. Early stage innovation. If you are looking for cutting edge, you should check out early stage companies, also known as startups. You can start here. Working with startups is not easy as they aren’t at the same scale as most major technology companies but a successful campaign with a startup marketing technology could reap huge benefits for the client and the agency. Our go-to-market at TMK is to harness innovation so you should not be a stranger at all to this world. I do not want to be part of an agency that Steve Cheney talks about here.
8. Read. If there’s one thing that the digital media world is not, it’s shy. Everyone likes to write. MediaPost, AdAge, AdWeek, TechCrunch, Mashable, Digiday, Fred Wilson, Bijan Sabet, Charlie O’Donnell, Paul Graham, Albert Wenger, Chris Fralic etc. All of these sites are chock full of information about campaigns, technologies, vendors, solutions, strategies, early stage innovation, etc. You should read at least 1-2 of these sites each morning you arrive and maybe one of the sites before you leave. Subscribe to their RSS feeds or newsletters. Get up to speed as much as you can with the whole industry, even if it’s another agency or another client. The smarter we become, the better we all become.
9. Be Open. Sounds weird to include in this list, but it’s important. Don’t be scared of early stage innovation. Don’t shy away from quantitative measurement because you’re not a quant. Lean in and be open to anything in digital. The rate of change in digital media is so fast that you need to lean into things to fully understand what comes next.
10. Ask Questions. We’ve got a great support group here at the agency around digital media. Email me directly. Stop by my desk. Talk to Andre. We’re here to help, inspire, troubleshoot, etc. Don’t be a stranger.