Tinuiti Live 2023: Questioning Your Way to Clarity
[This post was authored by Shannon Mullery and Emily Sullivan, Content Specialists at Tinuiti.]
Tinuiti’s CEO, Zach Morrison, and CMO, Dalton Dorné, kicked off Tinuiti Live 2023 on May 4th at Ease 605 in NYC. Morrison opened by thanking virtual and in-person attendees, our clients, and our partners for their help and support, including the engaging content that many brought to the Tinuiti Live stage later that day.
Morrison then jumped into what he called a theme for the day ahead: “The future is here; it’s just not widely distributed.”
He went on to explain…
“What got us here won’t get us there, and we have to keep questioning that and keep moving forward, especially in today’s world where innovation is moving fast—and maybe even faster than it ever has—especially in our industry. And that’s why I can assure you that it’s here—it’s in parts, it’s in different pockets—but it’s just not widely distributed. And that’s what our goal of today really is.”
After explaining how Tinuiti’s strategy fuels our clients’ growth, Morrison passed the mic to Dorné, who unpacked some of the headwinds we’ve all been facing as people and marketers in the past year+, noting: “It is never going to get easier; it is always going to be more complex.”
Some of those complexities include…
- What is AI going to mean for our businesses?
- How are we going to measure in the future?
- Are we ready for changes with GA4 and cookie deprecation?
- What will come of the TikTok hearings?
Dorné noted that when deciding the theme for Tinuiti Live 2023, they realized the greatest gift a marketer can give to another marketer is clarity.
“Clarity gives you confidence to stand in front of your board, your CFO, your stakeholders, and say, “This is the bold marketing decision that we’re going to make, and this is the impact it’s going to have on our business.” Clarity does not come easy, and it is not easy to get to. And it really starts with asking the right questions to get the right answers.”
Dorné then walked attendees through the agenda for the day, noting that it was designed with answering the right questions in mind.
Presentations from clients and partners included:
- e.l.f. Beauty
- KIND Snacks
- Pair Eyewear
- Wild Planet Foods
Are You Asking Enough Questions?
Leslie K. John, a James E. Burke Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, kicked off Tinuiti Live’s first keynote session by challenging marketers to think about the questions they ask on a daily basis. Are we asking enough questions? Are we asking the right questions? Asking the right questions can unlock value both in marketing and in life.
“The power of asking questions is vastly underrated.”
— Leslie K. John, James E. Burke Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
John highlighted how we are often advised to be careful with the question we ask and in actuality many of us err on the side of under-asking. She covered a variety of studies including a recorded speed dating study where researchers coded different types of questions.
Types of questions:
- Follow up: A specific question directly related to the topic at hand
- Full switch: A question that fully changes the topic
- Partial switch: A question that is on topic, but changes the conversation direction
- Mirror: Following up with the same question
- Introductory: “Hi, how are you?”
- Rhetorical: A question that doesn’t require an answer
Are all of these types of questions created equal? John covered how researchers found that the positive effect of asking questions (on getting more dates) was actually driven by one type of question: the follow up question. This type of question signals that you’re truly listening and helps the asker get better information.
In her session, John also noted how it’s important to recognize that we have entered a new era of marketing…
“Understanding our customers is more important than ever before. But yet, we’re finding that some of these tools like third-party cookies that have been so helpful are no longer available to us. It’s becoming increasingly important to directly ask customers to learn from them.”
— Leslie K. John, James E. Burke Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
Be sure to check out more of Leslie K. John’s thought provoking keynote when our on-demand sessions go live.
Proving that Anything is e.l.f.ing Possible
e.l.f. Beauty’s energetic CMO, Kory Marchisotto, shared some of the monumental successes the brand has recently been enjoying. These include launching their first Prime Time TV ad during the big game, featuring Jennifer Coolidge, that helped lead them to the spot of having the #1 SKU in Mass Cosmetics—and the many other steps and moments that helped them unlock these achievements, making the impossible possible.
“We don’t see limits. We see data points as barriers that we can break through, as ceilings that we can shatter.”
— Kory Marchisotto, CMO, e.l.f. Beauty, President, Keys Soulcare
The Power of Accretion
Marchisotto walked attendees through the power of accretion—the things that need to happen over time to make something possible. She outlined a formula of 4 repeatable steps that brands should follow to build their own success:
- Tune In: Learn more about what your audience is most interested in right now, and use that to inform you how you make your content relevant for them
- Dream It: “Put your head in the stars, and look for the stars that are shining the brightest. And don’t stop looking until you make a constellation.”
- Do It: Once you make a constellation, actually make it all happen
- e.l.f. Speed: Act fast, moving at the speed of culture
Online Video & Streaming Ads Offer Measurable Performance
Tinuiti’s VP of Client Strategy & Analytics, Ella Toselli, sat down for a Q&A with Pair Eyewear’s VP of Marketing, Grant Goldman, discussing the success Pair Eyewear has realized through online video and streaming advertising.
Goldman noted that they took a full-funnel approach to their Streaming campaign, launched in 2020—when they also aired on Shark Tank—and also needed a full-funnel approach to measurement.
Among the benefits Goldman discussed in regard to the ability to make data-driven marketing decisions in Streaming were:
- Test quickly with velocity
- Reach a large untapped audience
- The time people spend on streaming is continuing to grow
- Wanted to be where customers are finding their news, entertainment and sports
- Full-funnel measurement with an ability to: hone in on new customer growth; test and optimize over time, making fast and flexible targeting and flighting adjustments as needed based on results and conditions; A/B test Creative
- Data transparency with results that can be validated internally
“Not only were we able to measure from the great dashboards we have with Tinuiti, but also internally we were able to ingest that data and take unique identifiers that were passed along from publishers and networks and match that with our customer base who are making purchases, or even visiting the site, and be able to connect those two…Even though they didn’t click on an ad, we can see where they last clicked from because we have those unique identifiers and can match those together.”
— Grant Goldman, VP of Marketing, Pair Eyewear
Authenticity and Openness Never Go Out of Style
Brian Norris, SVP of SMB Growth Advertising Sales & Partnerships at NBCUniversal sat down for a Q&A with Karamo Brown, host of the syndicated daytime talk show, “Karamo” to discuss the questions you need to ask to uncover your passions. Karamo has the unique ability to ask questions that help people uncover love for themselves – and for those different from them.
During their conversation, Brown highlighted how on his show, he tackles many difficult, hard-hitting topics. He covered how important it is to ask his guests questions with empathy and thoughtfulness.
“One of the things I try to teach people constantly is the idea of intention versus impact. It’s about considering what your intention is when you’re asking a question… and understanding it may impact someone differently than you anticipated. If you can understand that once you see the impact is not what you intended it to be, you must quickly pivot to something that’s going to make the person as if you hear them, see them, and support them.”
— Karamo Brown, Host of the Syndicated Daytime Talk Show, “Karamo”
When Norris asked what were some of the tough questions that Brown has had to ask himself in order to unlock his own passions, he pointed out the value of happiness and checking in on your own happiness…
“I think we get into a routine of constantly saying ‘I’m okay…’ but being okay doesn’t define if you’re happy. I think when we are talking about living and growing and wanting to be around people, happiness should be on the top of that list. If you find yourself not being happy, you should evaluate why.”
— Karamo Brown, Host of the Syndicated Daytime Talk Show, “Karamo”
When it comes to working with brands, Brown wrapped up his session covering how important it is to ensure that a brand aligns with his own values and personal identities. He noted that he wants to be truly seen by these brands in a deeper way, and if that occurs, he knows that the brand will treat their audience in the same way.
This inspirational session is a must watch. Check it out on-demand!
You Can Drive Social Growth in the Age of Signal Loss
Senior Director Cameron House and Director of Growth Emily Gates from Ampush—part of Tinuiti—took the stage to share how our unique approach enables us to drive social growth for our clients in the age of signal loss.
House and Gates presented a case study from Bonafide, a brand who was dealing with post-iOS14+ signal loss challenges, particularly on Meta.
“The reason that signal loss is impactful is that it’s not an incremental change to the business—it’s a step function change to the business. In Bonafide’s case, they no longer understood the customers that they were reaching on the Meta platform, and the ones that they were reaching, they didn’t have the right Creative or message to do so effectively.”
— Cameron House, Senior Director
“We stopped optimizing ad performance in a silo; we stopped isolating metrics and trying to improve them, looking to maximize clickthrough rate and then conversion rate without thinking about how they impacted each other. The question became, “So how do we look at all of the places that we are reaching a customer and use that to make up for the targeting that we had previously built strategies around?” Here, we combined that pre- and post-click experience and looked at it through a lens of impression efficiency.”
— Emily Gates, Director of Growth
Gates noted this analysis included looking at post-purchase surveys, Creative performance, site metrics, and LTV to determine how impactful each of these were toward APM (acquisitions per thousand impressions). Rather than focusing on overall ad engagement, with APM in mind, Gates’ team focused on ensuring Bonafide’s ads “engaged the right people and got them into a funnel that was designed to fit their needs.”
Their team helped get users through the funnel—from low familiarity to conversion—within a few sessions. The pre-click strategy included developing ad creative that “imbued credibility and trust” while “still being engaging enough to get users out of their feed and onto the site.”
Two things that helped in making this work were the data-backed audit that allows them to “rank [their] tests on priority order and projected impact,” and building a machine that enables them to do this at scale, “testing anywhere from 40 to 80 creatives a month until [they] find that winning one.”
Learn more about how they did it in the on-demand session!
Pasta Water: The Glue Holding Your Marketing Mix Together
Leah Lloyd, VP of Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti started her session at Tinuiti Live with a powerful analogy. Have you ever cooked a recipe that encourages you to put a bit of pasta water to the side to complete the dish? Have you ever forgotten to save that important pasta water? We’ve all been there. Lloyd shared that If we look at our marketing mix as pasta, our lifecycle data should be treated as the “pasta water” that really makes things stick together. But how do you know if you’re wasting this critical “pasta water”? She encouraged marketers to ask the following three questions:
- Do you have a real time data connection to your ESP to Google Ads and Meta?
- Are you layering lifecycle audiences into your paid media strategy?
- Are your paid media campaigns personalized by where they are in the customer journey?
During the session, Kellie Collins, Associate Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti shared the importance of first-party data and how you can use event-based data from lifecycle marketing efforts to fuel your paid media campaigns in a post-cookie world.
To round out the session, Lloyd highlighted how marketers can make the most out of their pasta water with a three step process:
- Collaborate with Your Counterparts: Make sure that connectivity is being driven between your two groups to ensure that you’re closing the loop
- Layer in Your Audiences First: Get an understanding of how different audiences perform with your channel and use that data to create your long term strategy
- Evolve and Update: Performance of individual audiences can shift based on products, inventory, macroeconomic conditions, etc. so ensure that you’re monitoring performance, implementing different strategies and pivoting if needed
You Can Create an Omnichannel Strategy Built for Today
Tinuiti’s CCO Diana DiGuido led an information-packed Q&A with Maya Wasserman, Director of Marketing—Television and Video & Sound, Sony Electronics and Elan Lieber, Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Olly. They focused the discussion around the tactics and strategies used by high-growth brands Sony and Olly to create a unified, personalized audience journey.
The trio unpacked all the elements necessary to orchestrate an informed omnichannel strategy in today’s privacy-centric landscape, exploring the importance of collecting quality first-party data, how to segment and activate against that data, always-on testing, internal education, leveraging the right tech, finding what aligns with your business goals and audience, unified messaging across your own channels and third-party retailers for a consistent customer experience, how and when to test, and more.
Some of our favorite takeaways included:
“We do a quarterly culture tap meeting where we just share what’s trending, what’s happening, what platforms are people on, what kind of content is happening, what lingo are Gen Z using…so that when we come with ideas, it’s not out of left field.”
— Maya Wasserman, Director of Marketing—Television and Video & Sound, Sony Electronics
“What we have found has been the most crucial point to that consistency across channel is really bringing Marketing Communications, Creative, and Sales really into that campaign development process, and our Creative Team really specifically—they’re part of the tactical planning really from the beginning with Marketing Communications, because they support so many different aspects of our product, our marketing, our campaigns, and so it allows us to have consistency across campaign and across offline in-store activations.”
— Elan Lieber, Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Olly
Learn more about how they test, execute, monitor, analyze, and iterate for optimal performance in the on-demand session!
It’s Time to Address the Elephant in the Room: Generative AI
To round out an exciting day, Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer and Jeremy Cornfeldt, President of Tinuiti took the stage to close out Tinuiti Live 2023. Throughout the day of jam-packed sessions, Cornfeldt noted that in the background of it all, there was an elephant in the room that needed to be addressed, and that elephant is Generative AI.
Ahene explained how things are still early in this space but it’s been very clear the application of this technology represents a true paradigm shift in not just computing – but entire industries, shifting winners and losers in a way that hasn’t been seen since the widespread adoption of the internet.
Ahene noted that ChatGPT is the app that most of us are aware of, but it’s important to understand these generative technologies are largely open-sourced. This means that anyone can use them to create new and novel applications and many of the companies and organizations that are pushing the technology do not have an incentive tied to the status quo. To end the day, he encouraged attendees to stop and spend some time to ask themselves how this technology will change the nature of what we do and how we do it.
“The pace of change is the slowest it’s going to be right now, the technology is the worst it’s going to be right now. Everything is only going to get better and everything is only going to get faster.”
— Jeremy Cornfeldt, President of Tinuiti
This year’s Tinuiti Live was truly inspiring and has encouraged us all to question our way to clarity. If you couldn’t attend the in-person event or the livestream and want to learn more, check out the on-demand sessions.
If you’d like to chat with any of our team members about topics covered at Tinuiti Live, contact us today for more information.