David Ogilvy concluded his book Ogilvy On Advertising with 13 predictions.
Many of them were flat out misses (billboards are just as prevalent as ever, direct response is still effective and politicians lean on negative advertising even today).
Because for as creative as he was, he wasn’t Nostradamus reincarnated.
But, seeing as how this is January, we want to give you our 2023 advertising predictions, delivered by Stealth Creative Owner and President, Dan O’Saben.
(And if you prefer reading, keep scrolling.)
What a time to be alive.
You can give ChatGPT a prompt to write a blog post. Use Midjourney to create images. And then use Grammarly to edit the post itself.
Impressive, yes. Ethical? While still unresolved, we’re starting to see this issue play out in legal arenas.
Effective? Kind of. After all, AI isn’t creating anything new per se. It just scrapes content and images from the web and rearranges it.
All of this can seem great for a company with a limited budget. But if you ask someone to compare work produced by a person to that made by machine, that someone will probably gravitate towards the authentic, non-AI work.
AI is still pretty nascent. It lacks that quintessential human touch. More importantly, AI hasn’t perfected groundbreaking concepts, even with the best of prompts—yet.
Gone are the days when people tuned in at the same time to the same channel. Music playlists are generated by songs you’ve streamed and liked.
We live in a fractured environment, where we all consume media tailored to our tastes, with narrowcasting gaining hold on traditional broadcast.
So while traditional media isn’t going anywhere soon, that’s why we think there will be a bigger investment in OTT/CTV advertising in 2023.
Here’s another reason: There are no elections, which works against the amount companies typically spend on traditional media.
With an influx of budgets ready to be deployed in alternative formats, that means the need to identify and segment audiences with even greater precision becomes critical.
There seems to be a misconception that the average person has the attention span of a gnat.
That’s not always true—at least when it comes to content we care about. Who among us hasn’t spent more hours than we’d like to admit watching or listening to a true crime docuseries?
We’ve learned that when it comes to consequential content (like videos on an assisted living facility where a loved one may reside), long form still reigns supreme.
As a result, we see brands leaning into short form reels for teasers or to raise awareness and long form, in-depth content to educate when an important decision needs to be made.
That’s what we see happening next year. What do you think? Will our prediction be more accurate than Ogilvy’s? Do you have a different take?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment or reach out to us. We predict we can help you crush your marketing goals.
Talking first-party data is now trendier than a Kardashian wearing vintage NASCAR apparel—and it’s becoming more important than ever for companies to recognize its value. This is largely because consumers are getting savvier when it comes to protecting their personal information.
First of all, what is first-party data?
First-party data is personal information that customers willingly provide, such as entering an email address to qualify for 10% off a first purchase. Or submitting their birthdate to get a discount or any other personally identifiable information. And anything you can offer in return to the customer will increase their willingness to share this valuable info.
You may have already been collecting this information for years. The question is: how you deploy this information to grow your business?
Not only must a good digital marketer be strategic with targeting, timing and messaging but they must be flexible and adaptable to whatever is going on in the world. And in the background, advertisers are continuing to grapple with the eventual demise of the third-party cookie.
This initially had online advertisers in a panic, since so many depend “crumb trails” that users leave behind when going from website to website for their targeting efforts.
With Google pushing the date of full third-party cookie depreciation back again and again, this news is starting to feel stale. But marketers still need to adapt, both to technical regulations and the increasing savviness of today’s consumer.
“Be mindful of the shoes your customers are walking in, and how you can help them.”
-Stefanie Grossman, CMO, Prezi
Moving towards this identity-based approach ideally means that advertisers will have a clearer picture of their customers, and customers will have more trust and develop a stronger connection with brands they interact with.
Some benefits of focusing on personal identity in your digital strategy:
When you know exactly who you are talking to, there is great opportunity to maximize ad content with dynamic creative, exclusive offers and other touchpoints.
Advertisers should feel inspired by this push to capture attention and give customers what they want, sooner. More intelligent marketing and stronger relationships between companies and consumers will be the result.
But how do I start building/using my database of first-party information?
Our advice is to look for ways to connect with your existing customer base in any way you can and give them something in return for sharing their information with you. Not only will you have better a chance of converting one-timers into repeat customers, but you will be able to constantly hone your target audience profiles. For example, if a customer just bought a new living room couch from you maybe you target them with an offer of a floor lamp or coffee table.
A strong digital partner can help you get the most out of your data.
Sure, there are still plenty of unknowns when it comes to effectively replacing the third-party cookie. Google, along with many other online marketing platforms, are doing what they can to get ahead of the change by developing tools that use data aggregation rather than individual tracking. (That is a topic for a different day.)
But no matter what is going on in the digital landscape at large, the key to success is ensuring your digital marketing team is paying attention and serving as a true partner—not just a vendor. That way, you can work together to focus on attracting and retaining customers, no matter what the ever-changing digital landscape has in store.
So, if you are ready to:
Contact our expert digital team at Stealth Creative, receive the individualized attention and dedication to understanding your needs that you deserve—and start seeing how the identity-based approach can help you get the results you’re looking for.
The Google Overlords have brought big changes to the next iteration of Analytics—a tool that has become essential in the daily life of digital marketers and business owners the world over. And within a year’s time, we’re all going to have to adapt to a totally retooled version of what we’re used to.
So, naturally, everyone’s freaking out a little bit.
Okay, not everyone. But it’s true that the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) interface looks pretty different from the Universal GA we’ve become familiar with over the last decade. And what’s more, Google hasn’t exactly been on their horse about getting tutorial support out—so far. More official information continues to trickle in, though, and third-party support is already out there (although a lot of it may be hard to understand unless you use Analytics on a regular basis).
Here’s some good news: All the familiar features you’ll probably be looking for are still in there. You just have to know where to look.
So, we at Stealth Creative figured we should lend a helping hand and share what we know (so far), and what we’re doing to help our clients prepare for the inevitable changeover. But first:
“Great. Now I have to get used to an almost entirely new interface, just to continue tracking my website’s performance! There better be some damned good reasons for this…”
Trust us, there are. As Google puts it: “Google Analytics 4 has the flexibility to measure many different kinds of data, delivering a strong Analytics experience that’s designed for the future.”
What that’s basically telling us is event-based data is now where it’s at.
Google has fundamentally changed its measurement model for GA4, with actionable items (called “events”) taking priority over page views and other session-based metrics.
Page views can give you a general idea of where customers are spending the most time on your site, but event-based analytics better track the behavior of site users (their active engagement with your website’s buttons, form-fills or other features).
Dovetailing with Google’s efforts to prioritize first-party data with the (now delayed) elimination of the third-party cookie, event-based tracking is all about personalizing and refining the user experience for the customer—and giving the marketer more valuable data to work with.
If we can successfully swing with these inevitable-but-not-quite-here-yet changes, we’ll have a better understanding of our customers’ wants and needs. Therefore, everybody wins.
“I get it—this is all about making the digital journey smoother for my customers, everything changes with time, yadda yadda… but how about a little help here?”
First and foremost, we’ve got a year to get used to the new digs. The biggest piece of advice we can offer, which may seem obvious, is to start diving into GA4 ASAP.
The good news is you can run GA4 and UA at the same time, so you can familiarize yourself with the new property and set up a campaign or two while continuing to collect that juicy familiarity data in UA. At Stealth Creative, this has allowed us to start digging in and learning the new ins and outs early—to the benefit of our clients.
Here’s one example: While migrating some campaigns over from UA, we discovered that GA4 defaults to showing only the most recent two months’ worth of data when we’d create a custom report. Therefore, it appeared we were missing a ton of historical information at first—until we went in and adjusted.
Check out the video below to view our simple fix for this issue!
*We will update this post as we find further “quirks” to watch out for.
You have to look under that new “Explore” tab, instead. Truly a prime example of the seeming lack of intuitiveness that folks are reacting to with GA4 (Why wouldn’t it be under “Reports?”), the “Explore” tab takes the place of the old “Analysis Hub.”
Presumably, Google put the custom reporting functionality here instead due to the number of new dimensions you can track, such as “Variables” and “Segments.” It’s all designed to help measure what’s most meaningful to you and achieve better results.
Here, too, we will update this post as we uncover more organization oddities.
When Google changes the rules, it’s more learning for us. More work. More delays. More things to remember. More aggravation.
But it also means progress. As we discussed earlier, the changes Google Analytics 4 brings (along with other sweeping changes related to improving the protection of consumer privacy) are all about refining the experience.
Sure, it will take some time to learn the new interfaces and use the new tools. Sure, Google owes us some further guidance on how to use them. But in any case, we must remain open to change and remember these tools are there to help refine the way we think about the customer journey, become more relevant to our audiences and (let’s be real here) become more successful and profitable.
Otherwise, we’ll just be swimmin’ against the tide.
The digital strategy and content creators at Stealth Creative would love to hear your thoughts and questions. Drop us a line today at email@example.com!
One huge advantage of digital marketing is that real-time data is available to show you how effectively your campaign is engaging your audience. Another advantage is that you can use that data to make informed decisions about ways to increase that engagement, even mid-campaign.
That’s why it’s important to work with a marketing partner who believes in the power of data and has the experience and discipline to read and respond to the story it tells.
At Stealth Creative, we’re devoted to data. We think being able to identify key metrics, dig into the numbers and communicate results in clear language is table stakes. What we do with those results to fine-tune tactics, placement and frequency is the real difference-maker.
Because our digital clients represent a wide array of industries, we use an assortment of digital tools and platforms to drive the results they desire. Whether it be ecommerce, ticket sales, form fills or email opens, we never lose sight of our goal to deliver a strong return on investment for our clients.
We may design a programmatic digital display campaign to reach a custom audience, create and optimize an ecommerce search campaign, drive form fills, create segmented content for an email campaign and improve a customer’s Google review ratings—all to ensure our clients’ marketing dollars are being spent efficiently.
A recent ecommerce search campaign for one of our national health and beauty clients produced a return on ad spend of 33:1. Not only did we track spend and correlate it with product sales, through access to their ecommerce and Google Analytics, we also were able to identify the users who made purchases from the campaign, which products they purchased, the dollars spent and other identifying characteristics. With this information, the client was able to send personalized messages to folks who made purchases for similar products or routine maintenance.
We all know how important online reviews have become for companies. Some of our clients have asked us to help them develop a strategy to engage with customers so they will leave reviews or contact the company directly if they are not satisfied with the product. By working with one of our clients in the insurance industry, we identified customers who had recent contact with the company and created a personalized email asking them to leave a 5-star review. This approach resulted in a significant increase in the ratings for our clients.
A well-planned and developed social media campaign helped one of our entertainment clients set a record attendance at their event. More than $56,000 in ticket sales resulted from a spend of $3,600.
Our media buying, from traditional to digital, is handled in house, resulting in greater efficiency for our clients. We took the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s digital media buying in house and reduced their cpm by 40 percent, which allowed us to buy an additional 1.2 million impressions. For more details, check out this case study.
Madison Mutual Insurance Company wanted to increase the opens and clicks on their policyholder newsletter. Our solution was to segment the newsletter by geography and policyholder type. The result was an increase of 36 percent in opens and 250 percent increase in clicks. For more details, read the full story.
Spend some time with our other case studies or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charlie Kolsky is a digital and analytics specialist who’s dedicated to delivering results for our clients. He’s also a pretty mean pickleball player.