The Drum – How to Be a Green Zone Chicken: 4 Ways to Build Creativity Through Collaboration

Lessons about creativity can come from the most surprising corners of the world – group dynamics among chickens, for example. In this article, we look into the benefits of adopting creative ‘green zones’ inspired by our feathered friends. Four ways you can build a collaborative mindset into your process are:

1 – A Shared Vision

2- Bringing Together Diversity

3 – Building Safety and Trust

4 – Essence Before Form

Make Smarter Marketing Decisions with Media Mix Modeling

Every brand wants to pre-optimize their campaigns for success right out of the gate, with parameters in place to quickly attribute success to specific channels, audiences, and creatives. However, as we look toward a future without the simple attribution offered by cookies, we need to get back to our statistical roots of traditional media strategies, those without the easy button involved. That’s why marketers should lean further into the value that’s offered with media mix modeling.

What Is Media Mix Modeling?

At a high level, media mix modeling is a way to define optimal budget allocation for media channels by looking at previous campaign performance. It requires analyzing sales-related data and media metrics (Coegi’s data and technology team recommends 2-3 years worth) to make predictions and strategy optimizations that will, in theory, improve future campaign performance

Is Media Mix Modeling Superior to Attribution Models?

In short, these models should be considered and analyzed alongside each other, as they both offer valuable insights from unique perspectives.

  • Attribution gives you quick, real-time information about how specific media parameters are impacting your business goals. This information is useful when making mid-flight optimizations and short-term reporting.
  • Media mix modeling zooms out to give a bird’s-eye view of how all the pieces are working together to affect long-term strategy and performance. Each model informs the other, but tells different stories. 

How Can Marketers Build Strategies from Modeling Learnings?

It is crucial to fully understand the data you’re analyzing, not just the standard media metrics from campaign reports. What are all of the factors that may have contributed to performance fluctuations?

  • Creative?
  • Messaging?
  • Audience strategy?
  • Seasonality?

Knowing the context surrounding the numbers will give you a strong foundation to build future strategies upon. Using that context as the framework, determine what story the data points are telling you. The numbers don’t lie, but they don’t always tell the whole story. By asking the right questions, and maintaining a test and learn mentality, you will ensure strategic decisions are based on multiple factors rather than just one KPI.

How Do You Know Your Media Mix Model Is Working?

A media mix model makes predictions, but it’s not a crystal ball. Just because Facebook historically performed well does not mean it will continue to do so forever. That said, it is important to develop a continuous learning agenda to design your models.

Test your assumptions based on historical performance. For example, what will happen if you increase the budget for programmatic channels? Do overall business results change? The only way to know is to strategically make the budget adjustment and measure incremental results. From there, you can make more informed decisions about your channel strategy and budget allocation. 

Priming Your Media Mix Model For Success:

  • Keep business goals at the center of your strategy 
  • Gather quality, historical data to measure actionable results 
  • Understand the contextual factors impacting your data results 
  • Consider the sales cycle when designing tests – a longer cycle needs more time between strategic adjustments
  • Share strategic details and learnings across teams. Seemingly trivial aspects to you may impact how a model is built. 
  • Data can be easily manipulated to tell an inaccurate story. Think critically and apply business acumen to make sure you have sound methodology. 

Further Reading:

Understanding Implications of the Cookieless Future

Google’s announcement that Chrome will no longer support third-party cookies as of 2024 has many digital marketers concerned about their cookieless future. Marketers that have historically relied on cookies to reach their target audiences and measure success will be greatly affected by this change. Many are actively working on the next steps to avoid campaign performance declines. The actions taken by marketers in this pre-cookieless environment will help define the future of targeted advertising and performance metrics.

“Businesses and advertising professionals will need to better understand how customers make decisions, what actions are valuable for businesses and bring that all together when showing success.” – Maggie Gotszling

Why Are Cookies Important And How Do They Work?

Cookies are a backend line of code on a website. They help advertisers track a user’s behavior across the internet and include 3rd party tracking pixels from platforms such as Facebook. Tracking these activities makes it possible for advertisers to effectively deliver ads to their target audiences and directly measure and attribute conversions. With the deprecation of cookies, that tracking will no longer be viable, effectively blinding some targeting and measurement capabilities on which many marketers currently rely.  

What Does It Mean For Campaign Targeting Strategies?

The major impact will be on retargeting third-party cookie-based audiences. It is recommended that advertisers begin shifting overreliance on this tactic and begin testing alternative targeting options to fill the gaps. Gathering first, second, and zero-party data will be central to an effective digital market strategy in a post-cookie environment. Additionally, contextual targeting does not rely on cookies and provides brands with a strong opportunity to generate increased brand awareness when done strategically. As an additional benefit, the cost of contextual advertising is typically substantially lower than addressable impressions as data. However, costs depend on whether you are activating through a whitelist or a private marketplace deal.

Cookieless ID-Based Solutions For Targeting And Measurement

There are also multiple cookie alternatives in development that promise to bridge the addressability gap when cookies are deprecated. Here are a few of the options currently out there or in development.

Google’s Topics:

Google is developing a solution for targeting called Topics. Topics uses an individual’s browsing activity to tag them with broad interest categories. For instance, if a user visits Nike’s website, they may be tagged with an interest in fitness.  When ads are served to this user, their browser will randomly choose three of that user’s top five topics based on the previous three weeks’ browsing history. Those three topics are then shared with the advertiser to serve relevant ads to the user during their visit. This method allows the advertiser to target based on interest without using identifiers or other potentially invasive data points.

Standard Universal IDs: 

Originally used as a way to combat mismatched data when syncing cookie data across domains, companies like The Trade Desk, LiveRamp, and IAB have developed Universal IDs. This standardized identifier allows advertisers to buy into a community of shared data to track audience activity across the internet. The primary concern with Universal IDs, however, is that they still currently rely on third-party cookies, without which they are unable to set or recognize identifiers across domains. 

Encrypted Universal IDs:

Understanding the original design of Universal IDs would no longer be effective once cookies were deprecated, companies like The Trade Desk (Unified ID 2.0) started developing encrypted identifiers using email addresses instead of cookies to track user activity. The primary hurdle with email-based IDs is they require users to provide the same email across websites in order to build an accurate profile. If the user is unwilling to provide that data, or uses different emails for different sites, advertisers will be blind to their activity and be unable to target them accurately.

While all of these solutions have their pros and cons, they are worth monitoring as they continue to develop. They will be key in building targeting and measurement strategies in 2024 and beyond. 

Recommendations to Prepare for the Cookieless Future

  • Plan early & anticipate impacts to your measurement/attribution system. 
  • Benchmark your current performance. 
  • Apply business intelligence models to your analytics. 
  • Expand implementation timelines. 
  • Create new relationships with third-party, cookieless data providers. 

“Brands who have been targeting super-niche audiences will have to reestablish expectations for programmatic and be open to experiment with alternative targeting and measurement solutions.” – Colin Duft, Account Strategy Director 

3 Reasons to Use Podcast Advertising

Podcasts have been around for nearly 20 years, but only recently have gained mass appeal among both audiences and advertisers. With growing audiences, loyal listeners, new targeting advances and reporting options, there has never been a better time to explore podcast advertising.

“The growth of podcasting has brought a massive opportunity for advertisers to reach highly engaged, niche audiences.” – Arica McKinnon, Vice President, Client Consulting at Nielsen.

Not sure if podcast advertising is the right tactic for you and your brand’s bottom line? Here are three reasons that may change your mind.

Reason #1: The audiences are there…and growing

An estimated 120 million Americans listened to podcasts in 2021, with a projected growth to 160 million listeners in 2023. Despite a short flatline in listenership in 2020 due to shortened or non-existant commutes (a highly-popular listening time for the avid podcaster), podcast engagement increased notably this year with no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, according to a survey done by NCS Solutions, 88% of current podcast listeners maintained or increased their listening time over the past year. This increase can be attributed to several factors. Those factors include the return of commuting, increased WOM, new shows for niche audiences, and an influx of influencers developing their own shows to flesh out revenue streams and reach their audiences in a new way.

With this growth trajectory, it is no surprise that advertisers are increasing investment in this lucrative channel. According to IAB, podcast ad revenue in the US increased by 19% in 2020 and is predicted to exceed $3B by 2023. This indicates brands are seeing success with podcast advertising. As follows, competition for reaching these audiences will continue to build over time. Jumping into the pool of opportunity now will allow you to expand your reach and effectiveness.

Reason #2: More options and flexibility

Podcasts have held the attention of highly-engaged, niche audiences for years. Historically, the only option for brands to advertise in this space was to purchase expensive, inflexible and hard-to-measure direct buys. In recent years, however, the growing popularity of podcasts has created a demand for an updated, more flexible and measurable system for reaching these audiences.

The industry recognized this opportunity and began developing alternative ways to monetize it. The result? A programmatic option called dynamic ad insertion (DAI) has now entered the market, making it easier and more affordable to incorporate this tactic into your media mix.

This biddable technology allows for new audience targeting options, including listening habits, geographic region and weather conditions. Due to the nature of podcasting, there are somewhat limited options for targeted demographics. However, as the technology continues to develop, there will likely be more options on the horizon. Don’t let these limits keep you from investigating this tactic as a viable option.

Reason #3: Listeners are ad-friendly

Not only are the audiences growing, they are receptive and responsive to the ads they hear while listening. A recent study on podcast “super listeners” discovered that 48% of listeners pay more attention to podcast ads than any other media and that 71% of those surveyed say they never, rarely, or only sometimes skip the ads they hear while listening. The study also found 54% of respondents are more likely to purchase a product after hearing an ad for it on a podcast, up from 46% in 2019.

There are a few surface-level reasons for this acceptance. Firstly, most podcasting platforms are free to use and audiences understand they trade the ad for the content. Then, there is the fact that most listeners tune in while doing other activities – driving, cleaning, walking, etc. Their hands are not typically free during these activities so they are more likely to listen through the ad. This is unlike many other ad formats that are easy to scroll by or tap the skip button.

The primary reason audiences are receptive and responsive to podcast advertising, however, is trust and authenticity. Listeners often feel like the host is directly speaking to them. Before the introduction of DAIs, hosts read all podcast ads. Because podcasts tend to attract highly engaged, niche audiences, the hosts became their own breed of influencer. They make trusted recommendations to their highly connected listeners. This has set the stage for advertising to natively work its way into the expected user experience. Host-read spots are still the most highly trusted advertising spot in podcasting, but they have conditioned podcast listeners in general to be more receptive to advertising.


With the growing audience sizes, ad-friendly listener behavior and advancing technology options, reaching your ideal audience in the podcast space has become easier than ever. However, the unique channel constraints may require different strategies than what is successful for your brand on other channels. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Be creative with your targeting strategy. With limited out-of-box options for DAI placements, hyper-targeting will likely lead to overly expensive and minimal scale results. Instead, research the audiences that are already listening to podcasts and find a happy medium between niche and broad. What podcasts would your target audience be listening to and engaging with? Use interest and affinity-based audience insights to inform your targeting strategy.
  2. Consider the user experience when creating ad content. Like with all advertising mediums, your ad will perform better if it blends into the user experience. Podcast listeners are used to more conversational experience, so ads that are organic, informal and relatable perform best.
  3. Experiment with programmatic and traditional direct-buy placements. A podcast whose audience perfectly aligns with your target may be worth the direct ad buy. But also experiment with more flexible DAI purchases to find the most successful shows and targeting combinations for your brand.
  4. Stay on top of technology developments. Be comfortable in these platforms so you can take advantage of the high value podcast audiences before your competitors.

Further Reading:

3 Tips for Better Performing Video Content

The Top 3 Benefits of Video Advertising

Are you capitalizing on the benefits of video advertising?

Programmatic video advertising is growing rapidly. Many growth brands are seeing the benefits of incorporating this highly engaging medium in their marketing mix.

However, there are still those who are unwilling to make the upfront investment to create these assets, fearing it requires too much money and too much time. That’s understandable, especially for brands operating with a very lean marketing budget.

Coegi’s Director of Marketing, Elise Stieferman, shares three reasons why your brand should avoid leaving video out of the marketing strategy:

The Opportunity Cost of Not Using Video Ads

To summarize that video, there are three reasons why brands are missing out if they aren’t leaning into video advertising.

#1 Video Drives Incremental Sales

It may not seem blatantly obvious, but brands are actually losing out on sales if they aren’t investing in video. Historically, video has been seen as an upper funnel tactic. It’s all about awareness and gaining brand rapport. This can be true, especially for a longer form video where you’re telling a story. But videos are also very integral to building consideration before purchasing a product. Sometimes, it even leads to the end conversion.

This is especially true of short form videos. I know a lot of people are afraid of six-second videos not being effective. However, that’s the way digital is going these days. Obviously, there’s a lot of things trying to grab consumers attention, especially on social media. So brands have to quickly explain the value of the product and compel action. 

Video advertising is a more personal way to connect with the consumers. It’s more impactful in a lot of ways than a display ad. Those are simply static banners, whereas video is compelling you to stop, pay attention and consider the next steps 

#2 Video Improves the Customer Lifetime Journey

The second thing brands should consider is the customer lifetime journey. Video can build greater affinity. This is especially true for people who already know your brand. It’s easy to pivot to other brands with a similar offering, especially if it’s lower cost. But if you use video to build connection and affinity, it will be positive for your brand.

Another thing to consider is how you can use video to educate the consumer. Think about creating useful how-to videos. Help them visually see the value in investing in your brand. Then, there’s the excitement around generating new leads for your brand using video. 

But there’s also the consideration of building repeat purchasers. For example, serving videos that highlight different products to upsell or compliment their existing purchases. There’s no better way to do that than this very highly engaging medium.

#3 Video Increases Brand Recognition

Lastly, video can generate buzz around your brand. Of course, people appreciate reading reviews online. But when you think about platforms like TikTok and YouTube, video is really what’s capturing attention. It’s a very shareable medium. If you want to go viral and create a moment for your brand, video is the way to go. 

Video can seem expensive. But it doesn’t have to be high production quality. It can be user-generated content that comes from your iPhone that’s six seconds long and that even feels more authentic on social platforms. 

The longer we wait to dip our toes into the water, the further behind we’re going to be for our brands. Now is the time to invest in video and understand you are going to get that return. It may be a longer journey before you see that investment come back, but it ultimately will feed into your bottom line.

Now that we know the benefits of using video, let’s explore how to maximize the impact of your video ads.

How to Create Better Performing Video Advertisements

“Humans are incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning…video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.”

– Dan Patterson, Digital Platform Manager for ABC News Radio

Digital video consumption is on the rise and forecasted to reach $12.66B by 2024. How are marketers adapting to changing consumer trends and creating better performing video content?

Recent studies show that the increased ad spend towards digital is a worthy investment as video is the #1 preferred content form to see from brands on social media. Additionally, video has major down funnel implications. 71% of consumers report purchasing a product or service after watching a brand’s video.

Compiling a quick video and using it across all channels, however, is not a strategy that drives results for businesses. Consider where and how long you have your audiences’ attention. This will help you avoid wasting the resources and budget you have dedicated to high performing video content. Your videos must also be intentional, authentic, and targeted to resonate with your audience.

3 Tips to Improve Your Video Marketing Content:

#1 Remember time is money

With the recent popularity of short-form video formats like TikTok and Instagram Stories, conversions are now outperforming longer-form video. Brands have mere seconds to capture their audiences’ ever-shortening attention. According to a report by Analytic Partners, this shift has translated into much higher ROI for 6-second videos (127%) than it does 30-second videos (58%).


Long-format videos certainly have their place, but when designing ad campaigns, make sure your content catches attention immediately and keeps your audience captivated throughout. Shortening viewing times also mean you need to make sure your product and brand both appear within the first few seconds. Otherwise, the user will likely scroll away before they understand your offering.

#2 Meet your audiences where they are

Not all video viewing experiences are the same, especially when you consider the difference between desktop and mobile viewing.  Penthera reports that 74% of consumers are watching video content on their mobile device or tablet, where the standard horizontal video appears much smaller and allows other content to be displayed along with it. With multiple items competing for attention, the viewer may decide to continue on to the next item instead of consuming the entirety of your ad. To combat this, consider framing your videos vertically so the video fills the screen. This makes your ad easier for viewers to see and focus on.

92% of consumers now watch video on mobile with sound off. So designing ads to be seen and understood without audio has become crucial. This could be telling your story entirely through visual elements or adding closed captioning to the final product. According to a report from Verizon Media and Publicis Media, “when captions are available, 37% of viewers said they are encouraged to turn the sound on.” These videos seem more interesting, and 29% said that even with the sound off, they were better able to understand the video because of the captioning. With that in mind, incorporating captions can be an easy way to boost video campaign ROI without increasing your budget.

#3 Be a story-teller, not a movie director

The single most impactful component of video performance is the creative. An Analytic Partners study found, 70% of the potential ROI comes from the creative itself.” This does not mean, however, that you “push out Oscar Award-winning video content for every commercial or video,” as our Account Strategy Director, Maggie Gotszling, said when asked about her recommendation for better performing video. There are baseline levels of quality to aim for: decent resolution, good lighting and audio. But, the key for video performance is to capture the viewer’s attention with visual interest and a strategically designed story.

In a recent publication, The Lab outlines several principles to consider while strategically designing your video content. There were three on their list we think are especially impactful for improving marketing ROI:

  1. Be short and succinct
  2. Flip the standard storytelling arc
  3. Build visual interest with eye-catching graphics.

Short and succinct messaging serves two purposes. First, making sure the viewer has a chance to consume the message fully before they scroll. Second, ensuring your messaging is clear and memorable, leaving no room for confusion. If the video has too much fluff, complexity, or goes on too long, you risk losing their attention.

When you shorten the message, also consider rearranging the story arc so the most engaging piece comes first. Historical story arcs take their time. First they establishing key elements and players. Then they build to an energetic conflict and eventually resolve the issue at the end.

To grab and keep attention with video ads, however, you’ll want to flip the script. Start the story with the high energy moment and conclude shortly after. This will “slow the scroll” of your viewer and hold their attention more effectively. If your video needs to be on the longer side, add multiple twists and turns throughout to sustain interest.

Another way to grab viewers attention is to add visual interest with eye-catching graphics and fast-moving edits. Our eyes naturally follow things that move quickly, so adding this will also contribute to scroll-slowing. When you combine these cuts with the shorter message and flipped story arc, you will have done the bulk of the needed work to hook your audience and lay the foundation for conversion.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Time is money: Get to the core of your message and display your branding/offering as soon as you can.  If you opt for a longer video, design the messaging strategically (see Takeaway #3).
  • Meet your audience where they are: Design the frame and video contents for mobile viewing. Crop the frame vertically, rely on visual storytelling and/or include closed captioning.
  • Be a story-teller, not a movie director: Reach basic technical quality standards then focus your efforts on crafting an effective story arc. Start with a bang and include surprising twists and turns.

Recommended Reading:

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