We got the opportunity to sit down with Lewis Rothkopf, President of Martin, a media buying platform that solves critical gaps in the existing DSP market. Read on for Lewis’ take on how the advertising industry is changing, Martin’s stance on incrementality measurement, and how Martin is working with Cuebiq to improve the experience of marketers.
What challenges are brands and agencies facing in 2021?
It’s impossible to discuss day-to-day challenges that marketers are facing without first reflecting on the human toll that COVID has claimed. Marketers are people, too, and they are experiencing the same fears, anxiety, and sadly, loss that so many have endured.
At the same time, the world continues to revolve, and marketing remains the engine of the consumer economy. Virtually every discussion with agencies and brands centers around two areas: measurement (i.e., is my marketing working, and where, and why?) and the forthcoming depreciation of third-party cookie and certain device-based identifiers.
Although these changes will require that marketers and their solution providers evolve to adapt to a new, better, more privacy-focused reality, we reject the notion that anything “apocalyptic” is about to take place. Offering consumers more control over their data, while continuing to support interest-based advertising, is a win for everyone, and we embrace it.
Can you talk about a project your team has worked on that’s been particularly rewarding when addressing any of these industry challenges?
We have this great client called Brooks Running. A super sophisticated and forward-looking brand, they make awesome athletic gear (some of which I own myself!) We’re big believers in the notion that measurement needs to be causal in order to be valid — that is to say, vanity metrics are mostly irrelevant and can actually harm a marketer’s efforts if they optimize to things that don’t really matter much, like CTR.
Brooks understands this and has been a leader in championing incrementality measurement, so that they can better understand the real-world impact that their marketing has on their business. We recently demonstrated with them that “always-on” lift measurement in our platform using a sophisticated methodology consistently shows lift in purchases.
How important is the ability to customize measurement and targeting in today’s increasingly complex marketing landscape?
Really important! At Martin, another thing about which we feel really strongly is that marketers should be able to easily utilize one of their most precious assets, that is, their own data, to make their efforts more successful. This can take the shape of onboarding CRM files to anonymously target (or anti-target) their existing customers online. It can also be used to customize the bidding algorithm with fine-grain control, based upon the marketer’s objectives.
How does being an independent DSP allow you to help your clients achieve their goals more effectively?
Look, we’re not naive — we know that there are others that have been at this for a long time, and that are much bigger than us. But we see that as a strength that powers several of our most important competitive differentiators!
Being an agile, nimble, scrappy, customizable, and strategic technology partner that is willing to quickly adapt our product to meet our clients’ unique needs is why we are succeeding. We are able to make and act on decisions quickly. The most junior media buyer at any of our clients has a direct line to our CTO. We listen to our customers. And we hear them. And then we help them win.
How is the use of visitation and mobility data improving your ability to serve your clients?
Here’s where partnering with Cuebiq provides us with a not-so-secret weapon: being able to kick off Cuebiq-powered visitation studies from right within our platform is pretty groundbreaking, I think. Again, it all comes back to measuring the incremental impact that a campaign has had on a marketer’s business: did our algorithm reach the right set of consumers, and cause them to visit a retailer’s location? Cuebiq helps us answer that, and we’re excited about the ways in which it’s driving the industry towards being more privacy-focused, with consumer consent and choice at the center.
As you look to the near future (12–24 months), how do you anticipate the advertising industry will change? What excites you most about where the industry is going?
Honestly it’s difficult to consider anything beyond tomorrow as being the “near future” these days! But COVID, thankfully, will become under control and consumer migration and purchase patterns will likely revert to their pre-pandemic norms. The ways in which we address consumers and attribute lift may change, but it is indisputable that marketers will continue to demand more precision in how they are able to target as well as a greater understanding of what is driving their success.
I’m excited to be part of a company that is purpose-building marketing tech entirely anew — not on top of an older codebase — to meet the evolving needs of marketers today and tomorrow. I’m excited to partner with forward-thinking companies like Cuebiq, who do things that we don’t, and do them really well. And I’m excited (and a bit misty-eyed) to enter my third decade in digital marketing surrounded by a team of experts who fight like hell every day to make this industry a better, safer, and more accountable place.
Check out this blog on incremental impact to learn more about how incrementality is key to marketing measurement.