Go Beyond the Views | Wunder 2023

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This is a podcast episode titled, Go Beyond the Views | Wunder 2023. The summary for this episode is:
02:44 MIN
What Are the Biggest Issues With Brand Measurement in Digital Today?
01:51 MIN
What Has Been the NBA's Biggest Issue When It Comes to Brand Marketing Initiatives?
01:19 MIN
What Has Been MediaCom's Biggest Issue When It Comes to Brand Marketing Initiatives?
00:38 MIN
Balancing Brand Building vs. Performance
02:52 MIN
How Can Advertisers Start Measuring Attention in Digital Advertising?
05:45 MIN
Is There Value in Standardization?
01:31 MIN
How Does the NBA Approach a Buyer Team Regarding Attention?
01:45 MIN
How Does MediaCom Approach a Buyer Team Regarding Attention?
00:40 MIN
What Channels Does Adelaide Measure and Where Do They Focus on Development?
01:59 MIN
Talk About the Adelaide Power Curve Analysis
03:37 MIN

Jesse: My name is Jesse Brewer. I lead the Wunderkind Ads team. And so we're here today to talk about not just Adelaide, Diane's from Adelaide, but attention measurement in general, the problem it addresses in market, what it is and how it can help bridge the gap between performance and brand marketing. So first before I dive into it, I want to give the panelists a little bit of time to tell us about themselves, their role and their experience with attention measurement.

Selena: Yeah, I'm Selena. I'm the Programmatic Associate Director at Mediacom, which is an agency under Group M. I've been there for six years, and for the past five years I've been working on a large tech client and I now oversee the US programmatic activity, our target audiences, consumers, all the way up to large corporate enterprises. We've worked with Adelaide since 2020, started off on very small display campaigns, and more recently we've expanded Adelaide onto all of our branding campaigns.

Chaz: It's on me. I'm Chaz Wilson. I work at Media Hub Worldwide. We service the NBA client. I've been at Media Hub about two and a half years, and we've been working with Adelaide since I started.

Diane: Great, I'm Diane De Cordoba, founder and chief operating officer at Adelaide. We weren't supposed to give total bios, but I just always like to say that I am a reformed investment banker. I sort of discovered digital media in the 90s as it was evolving. So I feel like a digital native, even though I'm beyond that age. And really after several stints at companies like Excite and Yahoo and Google really found my passion with startups and cutting edge things that my father never quite understood what I did. So I could kind of say I was doing digital music in the nineties and custom beauty and whatever, centennial era digital media, and then really found my path at Google and setting up the Google brand lab and left that really to work on introducing this notion of a mutual understanding of value of media so that brands and publishers can really come together. And so we've done that through Adelaide now with a measurement of attention.

Jesse: Nice, and then for some context as to why I'm up here. So in the seven years I've worked on Wunderkind Ads, we become somewhat of the go- to upper funnel branding solution in the programmatic space for brands like Samsung, Verizon, apple, HBO, Mercedes, and what we've noticed with them, but more importantly with a lot of the medium and smaller sized brands that we work with, that a lot of the work that goes into branding initiatives is really just justifying the investment upfront. That's something we've talked about in multiple panels so far today. So justifying the investment upfront and then proving the impact more importantly. So what are the metrics you actually look at? Not everything is going to go wildly viral. You can't throw the funeral for the tree, which I love, but that's not going to be every single brand initiative that you run is going to go wildly viral. And so then what are the metrics you have? Because on the other side of the spectrum, it's really just the last click GA, maybe a little bit further clicks, potentially site traffic. So the goal with attention measurement, attention metrics and Adelaide specifically as a partner is to say, how do we measure the impact of branding? We don't want to skip that step. Our goal as marketers is to get people's attention to ultimately drive that purchase, but that doesn't happen right away. So how do we make sure we're measuring that and providing some concrete value back for the dollars we're spending on branding? So I'm going to stop talking now and jump into it. So the first question, very broad. So what are the biggest issues with brand measurement in digital today? What metrics have historically been relied upon? So prior to attention, but what did you really look at? So what are the biggest problems and where were those metrics coming up short before attention?

Diane: Well, as we all know, there's been a tremendous fragmentation of media and a number of metrics out there that correspond to different platforms. So for brand marketers generally, there are a lot of issues to deal with, but in the digital media space specifically, viewability has emerged as a metric. The challenge with viewability specifically is that there's really a lack of correlation with outcomes, with I would say, meaningful brand outcomes. So that's really the biggest challenge that we see in what we're trying to address.

Jesse: And Chaz, one thing that we talked about for your brand, and I can share the brand you're working on?

Chaz: Yeah, you got it. I already did. You already did.

Jesse: Okay, for NBA. So for you all, what has been the biggest issue with brand marketing initiatives? I know you spoke a little bit about real- time indicators.

Chaz: Yeah, that's one of the things that the NBA's was looking for and they were hungry for and why we partnered with Adelaide because they wanted more real- time business solutions. A lot of the third party measurement that we work with to analyze tune in and incremental tune in, we don't get it back until after the campaign, so it's hard to make real time decisions with that. But working with Adelaide and getting the AU scores on a week by week or day by day basis, it allows us to work closer with the partners and let them understand that this is what we're looking for to get the higher AU score and the higher the AU score, we've made a correlation, and I know we're going to talk about it in a little bit, but we've made a correlation with more incremental tune- in for the NBA's nationally televised games. So being able to get that AU data and taking it to the partners and being like, all right, this is where we need to be because this is where we're seeing the highest AU score and tailoring our inventory to that to deliver a great campaign for the NBA.

Jesse: Cool, and Selena, anything to share?

Selena: Yeah, I think it's important to think about long- term goals. Post Covid was really hard for Tech. Everyone already bought home office stuff. Companies already sent out monitors to everyone, and the lifecycle of those products is not two years, it's five plus. So to have your client think about, okay, this campaign isn't driving revenue, let's shut it off. Instead of that, let's look at attention. It might not be revenue, which is your short term goal, but it'll lead to it later.

Jesse: Right, cool. And that leads us into the next very broad question. So go as deep as you want to. So your thoughts on just the balance of brand building versus performance. Do they have to be considered siloed initiatives? You kind of just started touching on this now, but do they have to be considered siloed initiatives or can they be considered part and parcel the same thing?

Selena: Yeah, I mean, they should be considered the same thing. My clients are siloed, so it's really hard to get them to talk to each other about, okay, yes, this brand campaign has a higher budget, but should we continue running it? Should we shift some of that money to a revenue driving campaign? It's hard to get them to balance that out.

Jesse: Right, and I mean, on that front, Chaz, the priorities for you all, I think probably the biggest thing when it comes to branding initiatives, the limitation can often be just budget and I feel like we heard about that in prior panel. So how do you all justify it?

Chaz: So on the NBA business, there's two different sides. So we have the NBA, and then we also have the affiliate leagues, which are the WNBA G- league, NBA 2K League, and NBA pick'em, which is their daily fantasy game. And the priorities shift across all those different brands that I mentioned before, Jesse, and with the NBA, they struggle sometimes with should we do brand messaging? Because everybody knows NBA, everybody loves Diamond Silver. So it's like, are we wasting our money here? They look at the landscape and a lot of the other professional sports leagues aren't doing as much brand advertising as more tuned focused. But when you look at something like the WNBA or NBA 2K league or G League, the awareness isn't as high. If I ask people in the room to name me two G- League teams or two WNB teams, it might be a little bit difficult for some of you guys. I'm not going to put anybody on the spot.

Jesse: Maine Red Claws.

Chaz: Yeah.

Jesse: That's one G- League team, I think.

Chaz: Okay, and then I'll say the Westchester Knicks, and we'll just bounce it out there. So the awareness is more of a priority for those leagues. So when it comes to marrying the two of them together, the brand and the Tune- In, with everything that we've measured with Adelaide and other third party measurement sources, we find that it's best when you're running them both together because stronger together. So what we implore the client to do is allocate a certain portion of your budget for brand messages and allocate a certain portion of your budget for tune- in messages and run them at the same time. The tune- in messages are usually a little bit closer to the day of the matchup of the game, but the brand we want to run always on because we want to continue to give that brand message to everybody to love the NBA.

Jesse: Cool, and we talk about... I mean, obviously the goal of a marketer to get to that purchase is to get someone's attention. Now we're talking about more practical applications. So how does someone start actually measuring attention today? How can an advertiser start measuring attention in digital advertising besides just going and talking to Diane after this panel and yeah, how are you currently doing it?

Diane: Well, there are a lot of ways to measure attention, and there are a lot of descriptions of what attention actually is, and some approaches are more oriented towards biometrics and gaze duration, attention seconds and things like that. The challenge with attention is that there's several influences of attention. So it's not just the brand itself, it's the creative, it's the audience, it's the media platform and so forth. So to have a more scalable approach to the measurement to move beyond viewability, we see an interest and an increasing focus on duration seconds or attention seconds or duration based metrics. Generally we call them DBAMs, Duration Based Attention Metrics. It's a bit of a mouthful, but the unfortunate consequence of using DBAMs as metrics is that attention is driven by these various things, as I said, and the influence of other factors besides just media quality, like creative targeting and creative and targeting, is that you run into the risk of the paradox we call the attention audience paradox. So really research shows that if you're optimizing your media towards what will get the most duration or attention, you'll find that the results are people who already familiar with your brand because we pay more attention to what we know. Research also shows that you get drunk people and you get old people. Some of you last night maybe, older people and drunk people tend to scroll slower. So attention is drawn out there. So what you want to try to do is separate out and isolate the media placement itself, and that's really what we do. So at Adelaide, our metrics called the AU, it stands for Attention Unit, but essentially it isolates the media quality and scores that on a scale of zero to a hundred based on the likelihood of attention, and most importantly, the probability of an outcome. So at the end of the day, we want to model that's sort of weight the outcomes in terms of what brands really want, whether that's upper funnel or lower funnel metrics. So that's what we do.

Jesse: And Chaz, I think it was an openly shared case study, but how you had justified it not just for the NBA, but then getting into WNBA and G- League, especially with the brands that have less budget, how did you convince them to move into it?

Chaz: Yeah, well, where we started was with the NBA itself. So we were able, and I teased this before, but we were able to establish a correlation with the high AU scores and the incremental tunes that we get to specific 10 poles that we run for the NBA, that being NBA tip off the Christmas day games and the entire NBA post- season playoffs and finals. So we were able to establish that correlation with the higher AU score going toward more in. So we were able to use that data that we got on actual NBA campaigns and we're able to show it to the WNBA clients, and we're working on the G- League clients right now as we speak and just show them like, all right, well, if we measure everything with attention and we do the AU scores the way we did it for NBA, now we're not going to say that the WNBA is going to give us the same result that the NBA gives us because like I said before, the attention level is different, but for the WNBA, women's sports viewership as a whole is up, and that's what we're actually pedaling forward with the WNBA. But establishing that correlation was actually a big key for us to prove it out. So what it really does is help the NBA with their business outcomes. So the NBA at the end of the day is what we're trying to do is get more and more people to tune in to the nationally televised games. And the effect that has is the more people that tune into it, the more leverage that the NBA gets for their contract negotiations with broadcast partners, and the more leverage they have in those conversations, they can get more money from those partners. And then when more money goes to those partners and goes to the NBA, more money goes to the players. So basically what I'm saying is Anthony Davis, Jalen Brown, you're welcome.

Jesse: Selena, for you, the pitch essentially to your client to zero in on this metric, how much time did you have to spend on proving that correlation out to them?

Diane: Yeah, I mean, we started off only running display campaigns. So first was, let's take on CTV, let's take on audio. And now that we have it, we need to be able to show success.

Chaz: Not two months after the campaign is over with a brand lift study, but in real time. So now that we have Adelaide pixels across all of our activity, we can say, okay, two weeks into the campaign, here's a publisher that has a high AU score, here's publisher that doesn't, let's shift budget across the two. So they're really interested in seeing Cadence reporting on their brand campaigns, which they weren't able to see before.

Jesse: Right, okay and so a little bit of a pivot. So obviously I'm doing a bit of Diane's job for her and selling Adelaide so hard, but it is a great partner. It's a partner of ours. It does help us justify the brand spend that we ask for from a number of our partners. But is there value in standardization across the board and how much work needs to be done to get there? Because all different methodologies for each partner, we'd like to think Adelaide's the best, but yeah. Is there value there?

Diane: Well, this is a subject of great debate in various conferences that I've attended recently and lots of points of view on whether there should be standardization. I think the question is, what does standardization mean? What is it that we're actually assessing? Are we looking at attention or inattention? Because inattention is also something that's somewhat quantifiable. Is it a KPI? Are we looking at real estate of media, which is really what I've been talking about as opposed to the human element and the biometric elements of that. So there are lots of different approaches. I think our point of view is that the market should really just decide, work with different organizations. There are three or four leading ones now, and some of the big players like Double Verify are actually getting into it as well. So the question is really what works for you? And of course we're very pleased to be working with Under Kins because it was working for them.

Jesse: So now trying to balance it, and I think Selena and Chaz for just for everyone here, background on their role, I think specifically digital, correct?

Chaz: Yeah.

Jesse: Yeah, and so how do you speak to other traditional buying teams and talk about the holistic media buying when you all are using attention and potentially trying to talk to them about the value. And then I guess continuing on that conversation, Diane, afterwards maybe talking about is there movement for attention into other channels? So yeah, I guess first Chaz talking about how you talk to the rescue team outside of just digital.

Chaz: The NBA does a lot of linear TV buying as well. Even though We're talking about digital right now. At the end of the day, they're trying to get people to watch these games, which are on linear TV because they don't currently have a streaming deal. I think it's being worked on right now, but at the end of the day, we're trying to get people to watch the game at 8: 00 on TNT, watch the game at 8: 00 on ESPN or even an afternoon game on ABC. We're pushing them toward that. So we are actually doing linear TV as well. And we all know, and I feel like marketers here in the room have done TV for years and years. The NBA is very selective on what they do for linear TV. So it's got to be very top tier, very prime. I know I was talking with a couple of individuals yesterday about having spots in Yellowstone, one of the best networks, I mean one of the best programs on cable networks right now. So when we speak to those teams, we understand that they have their own method to their madness, and we're using the same method to our madness for AU and marrying them together to give the positive outcomes to the NBA.

Jesse: And Selena, how about for yourself? When you speak to the rest of your buying team, I imagine you speak to them relatively frequently. How do you talk about attention? And has there been consideration for expanding it to other channels at all?

Selena: Yeah, our first goal is to get it expanded onto every business unit. So consumer right now is fully integrated with Adelaide. B to B is a little bit slower. So first we need to expand it across all of digital. And then when you showcase success, then you can say, okay, roll this out onto radio, roll this out onto print. Because again, it's a real time metric, which they don't have right now.

Jesse: And Diane, what are the conversations overall, just in terms for Adelaide right now, what channels are able to be measured and what is the focus for development?

Diane: Yeah, so there's a lot. So we are currently measuring digital display online video, CTV, linear TV, audio, and we just got into the cinema game with NCM, so we now have a cinema AU. So the idea for brand marketers, it's the holy grail of trying to be as pervasive across the various platforms as possible. Digital out of home is also sort of next but from a development standpoint, there are a couple of places where we're exploring and expanding and improving. One is just in the data science element of it. So what signals are we picking up? How much outcome data can we import into our model to constantly re- weight the elements in the model that result in the scoring? There's the data science component, and then there's actually making it actionable. And so one of the things we've done is worked in conjunction with, I think it was Access and Audi and Essence Mediacom, where people have moved from optimization done manually, looking at where good scores are and where they buy media to now developing custom algorithms. And so we developed a custom algorithm for Audi, which resulted in... It was like a 60% increase in conversions, and if I'm remembering the numbers correctly, 53% improvement in the cost per conversion. So those are big, big numbers. And so what we see with the success of that is increasing penetration into both buy- side and sell- side platforms so that buy- side platforms can have pre- bid filters focused on attention. SSPs also can have custom PMPs, and that makes it easier to activate, and that's sort of the key.

Jesse: Cool, and Selena, somewhat relevant to what we spoke about a little bit earlier, but the power curve analysis that Adelaide helped you all for your client, can you talk a little bit about that and what that proved or showed to them?

Selena: Yeah, so we started off just measuring brand campaigns and what we found was that even though it was a brand campaign, it also resulted in an increase in ROAs. And so Adelaide and our analytics team worked together on figuring out if we implemented a custom algorithm on lower funnel campaigns that drive revenue, does attention directly result in higher revenue, which it did. And so after we expand Adelaide onto all of our brand campaigns across business units, the second step is putting it onto revenue driving campaigns. Using those PMPs that have attention floors would be really helpful in increasing revenue.

Jesse: Do you see attention measurement and even just more concrete metrics in the brand space overall as going hand in hand with just more trust with your client. So I think you essentially answered that question there, but not just trust with your client, but trust in the industry where brands really do look to brand marketing as something that can be very effective for them. So do you think Adelaide helps push that trust forward? Selena, if you want to start with that.

Selena: Yeah, I think there was a lack of trust in programmatic in general before. And so this helps to show, like I said before, you're not just setting up a campaign and letting it run, you're able to use attention as a success metric that they can see every day if they wanted to. So it's definitely helping increase trust.

Jesse: Nice.

Chaz: And I can just jump in really quick for NBA based on the correlation that I've been mentioning the whole time, that allowed the NBA to use AU metrics as their main KPI, because we know that the higher AU score we get, the more tune- ins we can potentially get as well. And that correlation was done by the analytics team at Media hub. When a shout out, Ann Fong, she works on that very closely. I'm from New York, so we always find a way to shout out people out. We always got to a shout out, I'm sorry. But being able to show that delivery allows the N B A to look at that as a main K P I. So when a lot of the people here are doing KPIs, you may be doing more frontend metrics or there might be sales goals that you have as well. The NBA, when we do our main KPIs, it's all about AU.

Diane: Yeah, and I would say just having a common understanding of value between buyers and sellers is a net positive. And showing that these metrics sort of tie to outcomes is just a net positive. So I think the challenge with opaque media quality is it leads people to make investment decisions based on price as opposed to value. And so really we need to have that common understanding of value and then we'll just get a more fair marketplace and more trusted marketplace.

Jesse: Great, so yeah, I say this to my team all the time, that brand metrics in general, historically before attention started to become a thing, they're very fluffy. And so we have to do as much as we can to justify that brand spend. So I do want to thank everyone on this panel, not just for speaking, but just for making our job and justifying brands spend a little bit easier by leaning into attention.