Sustainability is important to consumers: Friday’s daily brief
Plus, acquisition news from Sitecore, partnership news from Acuity
Good morning, Marketers, how many of the lessons learned during the pandemic will apply in the coming years?
Perhaps more than you think. Take events, for instance. If and when in-person events start up again, event marketers will have a whole set of tools for virtual events that were sharpened during the last year.
In-person or virtual will be a new choice planners and attendees will both have, based on their specific needs and goals. There will be a mix. That’s what our Kim Davis gleaned from Denzil Rankine, founder and Executive Chairman of AMR International and co-author of “Reinventing Live,” a new book from Anthem Press.
Further down, you’ll see how one adtech player, AcuityAds, is providing a new toolset of contextual intelligence for advertisers through a partnership with GumGum. In this case, it’s a different kind of challenge, in the form of the phasing out of third-party cookies, that has marketers expanding their playbook.
It makes me wonder how many other top industry solutions have resulted from a pivot.
Fewer in-person events, more hybrid options
“Reinventing Live,” the new book by Denzil Rankine and Marco Giberti from Anthem Press is a comprehensive analysis of the past, present and future of events. But it’s really the future marketers are focused on right now, whether as event organizers or attendees. Most marketers expect live events to return next year. But does that mean saying goodbye to the virtual environments rapidly constructed in 2020, and will brands be as willing as ever to pay the cost of live event attendance — including the carbon footprint of business travel?
We dug deeper into these questions in conversation with one of the book’s authors, Denzil Rankine, founder and Executive Chairman of AMR International, a strategic consultancy for the events industry. “We’re going to have a mix,” he said. “We’re going to find that some versions of events are working very well online; businesses are having an impact, making money, and so on. And certain models — for example, one-to-one meetings work that way.” Some in-person events will certainly return, but there will be fewer of them, and attendance is likely to be reduced.
Hybrid events can mean anything from a global live stream of an in-person event to an in-person event with certain digital assets or an event app associated with it. How does Rankine view hybrid? “I think we simply say it’s live plus a digital extension,” he said.
A full-scale live stream of an in-person event seems daunting, like producing two events at once. “I think it’s the future.” It’s time to jettison old-school events thinking, he said. “Wake up one day, get out of the other side of the bed, get a completely clean sheet of paper and say, ‘how are we going to do this differently?'”
Consumers have high expectations on sustainability
On Earth Day this year, we reported on research showing that brands were missing an opportunity by not communicating their environmental initiatives to their customers. That point is underlined by new research from digital and creative agency Compose[d] and sustainable products designer and manufacturer MaCher.
Based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers across all adult age groups, a striking 94% say that a more sustainable lifestyle is desirable. A clear majority (over 60%) are looking for products that have a low environmental impact and/or products made from recycled materials.
The actual impact of these views on purchasing decisions is more limited than might be expected — but for the simple reason that one in three consumers report difficulty in finding sustainable products across a range of product categories.
Why we care. Yes, we care about the environment, but we also care about some brands not realizing that (1) being environmentally responsible is the right thing to do, and (2) that letting your consumers know what you’re doing is a win for everyone.
AcuityAds brings contextual targeting to advertisers with GumGum partnership
Omnichannel adtech platform AcuityAds announced a new partnership with contextual intelligence specialist GumGum. The agreement provides contextual intelligence for AcuityAds’ illumin product.
AcuityAds uses illumin’s journey automation technology to offer planning, buying and real-time intelligence in omnichannel campaigns. GumGum’s Verity solution will add contextual intelligence to AcuityAds’ DSP, as well as sentiment analysis and brand safety capabilities.
Contextual intelligence has seen more attention recently as marketers look to future-proof their digital campaigns against the phasing out of the third-party cookie.
Early results from pilot testing suggest that the GumGum solution can also identify “safe” ad placements within inventory that is typically marked and blocked as “unsafe”, according to comments from Ken Weiner, Chief Technology Officer at GumGum.
Why we care. First-party data is valuable but doesn’t tell the whole story, so advertisers and their adtech solutions are being driven to look for other sources of intelligence. In doing so, they may very well discover previously overlooked opportunities to be more relevant to consumers and boost ROI. Buyer sentiment, especially, is all about context. Where are they and what are they doing when they get close to completing their purchases?
Sitecore to acquire MA and campaign platform
CX management platform Sitecore has announced that it will acquire U.K.-based marketing automation and campaign management platform Moosend. Among Moosend’s customers are Domino’s Pizza and Sephora.
This follows the acquisitions of CDP Boxever and B2B e-commerce platform Four51 in March and represents a further investment drawing on the $1.2 billion raised in a January funding round.
Why we care. What was once the e-commerce and CMS space is now firmly the customer experience and digital experience space, as leading vendors like Sitecore rapidly build out their offerings through strategic acquisitions. With B2B brands across almost all verticals, as well as B2C brands, adopting a digital-first go-to-market, these vendors are seeing — and investing in — big opportunities.
Quote of the Day
“The job market has dramatically changed in the last 12 months and now just about every company is competing to recruit remote team members.” Hiten Shah, co-founder and CEO of FYI (usefyi.com)
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