There’s so much happening in digital marketing, especially in the advertising world. The abundance of channels and devices that shoppers interact with in their customer journey now has really shaken up how brands can monitor and monetize a digital ad campaign–not to mention the fact that out-of-home advertising is getting a second, digital-driven wind. That’s why I was so thrilled to sit down with Shawn Schwegman. His company, DemandJump, is a customer acquisition platform that helps companies enhance marketing performance and eliminate wasted spend, specifically with digital advertising efforts. He had some great insights on how the shift to multi-device has changed digital advertising, and how marketers are starting to realize that the marketing funnel (yes, the one we’ve held so dear), might actually be flawed.
Lumavate’s VP of Marketing, Stephanie Cox: How much has business changed in terms of digital marketing since you began your career 15 years ago?
DemandJump’s Co-founder, Shawn Schwegman: I think there’s a data explosion, but marketers are data rich. 90 percent of the world’s current data has been created in the last 48 months. We really need machine learning and AI to help make sense of it. And I don’t think AI will ever replace marketers, but it should help you do some of the heavy-lifting. The other thing I’d say is just targeting in general. I think Internet advertising was born from offline advertising concepts, and a lot of it doesn’t apply. We try to fit a square peg in a round hole when it comes to trying to make digital marketing perform. And so that’s one of the things that I think hasn’t really changed, but needs to.
Stephanie Cox: I think that’s a really great point because I do think when we as marketers start moving into a new channel our first reaction is, ‘well, it’s like the one we currently have, so let me take my print ads and make my e-mail look like them, or make my landing pages that way’ instead of rethinking it all. People don’t realize is that mobile is not just your phone anymore. It’s about the way I consume content, not necessarily just a channel anymore.
Shawn Schwegman: The truth is it’s not mobile first. And there isn’t a shift from desktop to mobile. It’s a tectonic shift to multi-device, meaning customers are still using their desktops and laptops, but in addition to that they’re now using their mobile phones, tablets, and wearables. So you have to be everywhere they are, and that puts a big burden on development and marketing. It’s not a mobile first, it’s a multi-device first.
Stephanie Cox: So how does this shift affect digital advertising?
Shawn Schwegman: I was recently at a Shop Talk event where they asked multiple CMOs what their greatest problem was, and four out of five of them said attribution–so how do you attribute a sale to those three or four different digital ad touchpoints along that journey? But what’s made matters really complicated now is that one of those touchpoints could be on mobile and the next touchpoint might be on tablet or desktop. And so combining all of that cross-device activity for a given user and making decisions based off that that data really presents a data science challenge.
Stephanie Cox: One of the big stories for me in 2018 was when P&G announced they had cut their digital ad spend by $200 million. I think that caused some questioning in the marketing community. So can you talk to me about what you’re seeing brands do to really attack some of these changes that we’ve seen in consumer behavior on different devices?
Shawn Schwegman: How do you measure marketing when some things aren’t easy to measure, right? I think what marketers are starting to wake up to is that a funnel is broken. What we’ve realized is that if you’re spending money on awareness campaigns, but when a user is ready to buy they don’t see you, then you just wasted your spend. So we believe marketers are kind of waking up to the fact that they have to fill the funnel from a budget standpoint from the bottom up. It makes no sense to waste money on campaigns just for brand awareness. It’s important to be branding from the bottom of the funnel, up. And I think that’s what P&G and others are waking up to. They wasted a lot of capital by blasting ads all over the place to everyone. They were not necessarily focused on where ads would resonate to get the buyers to the bottom of the funnel.