Say No to Lazy Data – How Everyone Can Be Part of the Solution

What is Lazy Data?

Picture this: a chaotic jumble of inconsistent formats, messy categories, and a general disregard for order. Lazy data isn’t just data that prefers lounging on the couch to hitting the gym; it’s the unruly teenager of your business – wild, rebellious, and refuses to conform to a standard.

This laid-back attitude is the root of the problem – a lack of discipline that prevents your data from realizing its full potential. Lazy data isn’t a solitary problem; it triggers a domino effect. One inconsistent entry leads to confusion in reporting, which, in turn, affects decision-making.

Why Did Data Get Lazy?

In the early days of digital marketing, the ease of connecting systems with just a click led to a somewhat chaotic scenario. Imagine the digital landscape as the Wild West, with data flowing freely and connecting without much oversight. While convenient, this Wild West approach allowed lazy data to thrive, as there were minimal checks and balances. The ability to effortlessly connect systems created a false sense of accuracy, like linking two puzzle pieces together without ensuring they fit. 

Inconsistent data entry, neglecting updates, and failing to recognize the importance of standardized schemas have allowed lazy data to infiltrate our systems. The result? Confusion, inefficiency, and missed opportunities.

As privacy regulations tightened, especially in the wake of concerns surrounding user data, businesses realized they could no longer afford a laissez-faire attitude. The emergence of data clean rooms and the imperative for strict naming convention compliance, essential for enabling tools like marketing mix modeling, forced a reckoning. Lazy data, accustomed to a more carefree existence, suddenly found itself in an environment that demanded structure and order.

While the concept of standardized schemas might initially seem bureaucratic, they are, in fact, the essential foundation for ensuring data usability. Consider it as akin to a musical performance without a conductor; in such a scenario, each instrument plays its own tune, leading to dissonance.

How to Solve  

Data should not be viewed as isolated islands or individual pieces. Instead, envision your organization as a harmonious orchestra led by a master conductor. This fresh perspective brings forth a unified approach, ensuring that every fragment of data performs its role seamlessly.

View Your Business as a System: Don’t think of your business data in silos or individual platforms. Instead, adopt a holistic approach, viewing your organization as an interconnected system – an orchestra led by a master conductor. This perspective helps in creating a seamless flow of information and makes sure that every piece of data plays its part.

Embrace the Standard: Establish a standard data schema across your business. Think of it as giving your data a set of rules to live by – no more rebels without a cause – every piece of data should know its role and play it well.

Audit to Insure: Regular audits are the insurance policy for your data’s health. Ensure that the established standards are being followed and identify any areas that might need a little extra TLC. An audit is like a health checkup for your data – catch potential issues before they become major problems.

Mastering the Cookieless Future: Leverage Retail Data for Unmatched Customer Engagement

In the cookieless marketing era, the decline of third-party cookies opens new doors for marketers to leverage retail data, transforming marketing with personalized, engagement-driven messaging. This shift to analyzing customer behaviors and preferences via retail data not only enhances campaign effectiveness and loyalty but also fuels predictive analytics for strategic planning in product development and inventory. As traditional reliance on third-party cookies becomes obsolete, retail data stands out as a vital tool for building deeper customer relationships and driving business success

First-party retail data guides the way for gaining strong insights into customer behaviors and preferences, which are vital for enhancing personalization and developing tailored loyalty programs. Its use breaks through the limitations of traditional marketing, allowing businesses to understand customer segments more profoundly and anticipate future trends. This level of insight is critical for crafting effective, personalized marketing strategies, shifting the focus from mere transactional interactions to building lasting, data-driven customer relationships. In a cookieless future, leveraging retail data is key to staying ahead in areas like product development and inventory management, ensuring that brands not only adapt but thrive in the new marketing landscape.

The strategic utilization of retail data is crucial, going beyond merely recognizing its value. This is supported by a national survey from The Trade Desk Intelligence, which shows 91% of U.S. advertisers plan to maintain or increase their investment in retail data, to drive overall business success.

Unlocking the Power of Retail Data: How Enhanced Insights Lead to Personalized Marketing Triumphs

In today’s marketing world, retail data is crucial for creating highly personalized campaigns that truly understand customer desires and behaviors. It involves deep analysis of various data points, from purchasing habits to browsing patterns, offering a comprehensive view of customer preferences and behaviors.

This depth of insight allows for more than just tailored marketing messages; it enables behavioral and interest targeting. Marketers can segment audiences based on their actions, such as frequent purchases of a particular product category or regular browsing of certain content. Similarly, interest targeting becomes more refined through analyzing data points like search queries, product views, and content interactions. This approach ensures that marketing efforts are not just personalized but also highly relevant to each customer’s unique interests and behaviors, leading to more effective campaigns and a stronger connection with the audience.

This approach results in marketing that feels more like a personalized conversation than a generic broadcast. This tailored strategy leads to higher engagement and conversion rates, as customers encounter content that aligns closely with their individual experiences and needs, striking a chord that transcends mere attention-grabbing. This marks a fundamental shift in how marketers connect with their audience, paving the way for campaigns that are deeply personal and rooted in a thorough understanding of customer behavior.

Forecasting the Future: How Enhanced Predictive Analytics Shape Strategic Marketing and Decision-Making

Armed with a wealth of data like historical purchases and customer interactions, marketers are not just looking at what’s happening now. The spotlight is now on retail data, especially when it comes to predictive analytics. They’re using this data to power models that predict what customers might want next. It gives marketers a peek into future consumer trends and behaviors based on solid, data-driven insights from the past.

Marketers build predictive models on the concrete foundation of past customer data to anticipate shifts in consumer preferences and market dynamics. It’s about staying one step ahead in the game. Whether it’s product development or inventory management, predictive analytics provide invaluable foresight. Marketers can now predict emerging customer needs, ensuring that new products hit the mark and inventory levels are just right – no more guessing games.

Personalized marketing, empowered by predictive analytics, revolutionizes marketing by tailoring efforts to future customer needs, enhancing relevance and engagement. This strategy not only improves marketing effectiveness but also bolsters customer loyalty and guides SEO content strategies to align with future trends. Essentially, leveraging predictive analytics with first-party data equips marketers to create more impactful, forward-looking marketing strategies.

Data-Driven Bonds: Transforming Retail Data into Lasting Customer Loyalty and Trust

Retail data is driving the creation of deeper, more impactful customer relationships. ‘Data-Driven Bonds’ represents a strategic revolution, where retail data is not just supportive but central to forging enduring loyalty and trust with customers.

At the heart of this strategy is enhancing customer experiences through the insights gathered from first-party data, ranging from purchase history to direct feedback. This approach is more than just habit tracking; it’s a deep understanding of individual customer preferences, thereby establishing a foundation of trust and strengthening brand loyalty.

The strategy goes beyond traditional, one-size-fits-all loyalty programs to personalized experiences aligned with each customer’s unique needs. This personalization elevates loyalty programs from transactional tools to key components of the customer journey, enhancing repeat business and fostering long-term loyalty.

Embracing the Future: Navigating the Cookieless Landscape with Retail Data

Retail data opens up a treasure trove of opportunities for deeper customer insights, personalized experiences, and predictive analytics. This shift is a strategic evolution, positioning brands to not just understand but also anticipate customer needs, forging stronger, trust-based connections.

In this new era of marketing, customer-centric strategies define the approach, with personalization and predictive insights actively driving engagement and loyalty. As we navigate this cookieless landscape, leveraging first-party data is not just about adapting. Marketers need to transform every customer interaction into deeper engagement and lasting loyalty. The future of marketing lies in creating not just transactions, but meaningful relationships powered by data-driven insights.

MarketingProfs – ‘Subtractive Innovation’: Four Steps for More Efficient and Effective Marketing

Explore the power of ‘less is more’ in marketing with our latest post on MarketingProfs, where Allie Haupt, Innovation Lead, delves into the concept of subtractive innovation. Learn how rethinking strategies, like Dyson’s bagless vacuum breakthrough, can lead to streamlined processes, enhanced efficiency, and better outcomes. She covers four key steps to adopt a subtractive mindset, encouraging marketers to pause, evaluate, and focus on what’s essential for success. Read now to transform your approach and discover the benefits of simplifying to amplify results.

The Drum – 4 Questions to Help Build Your 2024 Marketing Budget

Elise Stieferman from Coegi presents four principles to guide marketers in determining their 2024 marketing budget. Addressing the perennial question of how much revenue to reinvest in marketing, she acknowledges the complexities of planning a new year’s strategy amid heightened goals, market pressures, and competition, and emphasizes the importance of aligning with CEOs and CFOs on budget allocations for achieving these objectives.

4 Digital Marketing Trends Sparking Strategic Growth in 2024

Welcome to the ever-evolving realm of digital marketing, where change is the only constant, and marketers sometimes feel like they’re surfing a wave that just won’t quit. As 2024 quickly approaches, it’s not enough to simply predict the next wave – marketing teams must master the art of riding it. Plan to seamlessly weave them into your strategies and create a digital ecosystem that resonates with your audience. 

The Digital Marketing Revolution of 2023: Strategic Imperatives for Growth and Connection

As we gear up to embrace the trends that will define the upcoming year, it’s equally crucial to cast a retrospective glance at the lessons learned and trends witnessed in the past year; exploring the currents that have propelled us to this point and laying the groundwork for the strategic surf ahead.

Content Grounded in Research and Careful Planning

In 2023, content ceased to just exist – it delivered purpose. Meticulously crafted, research-backed content seized consumer attention, proving quality and relevance outshine brevity. Consumers devoured content across various formats, from extended TikTok videos to long-form articles, reaffirming that quality and relevance surpass brevity. The results are clear – dedicate resources to content that educates, entertains and supports customers.

Consumer Insights Unlock Growth

In 2023, first-party data emerged as the primary driver of marketing success. As Coegi’s President emphasized, harnessing consumer insights from owned properties unlocks substantial value. He even threw in a friendly reminder – having first-party data without a strategy is like having a toolbox without a plan. The time is now to get strategic, tap into the goldmine of consumer insights to personalize experiences. The growth implications are immense.

Retail Media Reshapes Strategy

The emergence of retail media took center stage as a primary driver for digital marketing campaigns. Only gaining substantial emphasis in the past two or three years, its trajectory transformed. 2023 marked its seismic rise from the experimental budget line to the backbone of consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketing campaigns.

We are at a pivotal juncture where it’s essential for brands to adopt omnichannel strategies, placing retail media at the forefront and shifting social media into a more supportive role. The strategic imperative is clear – retail media first.

Breakthrough Digital Marketing Trends Poised to Captivate Customers in 2024

AI is Revolutionizing Digital Marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has evolved beyond a buzzword; it stands as a transformative force elevating your marketing success. Like a strategic genie, AI delivers hyper-personalization, automates rote tasks, and unlocks data-fueled consumer insights on demand. 

With 80% of marketers witnessing a positive impact, it’s clear that AI has transitioned from being a nice-to-have to a must-have. It’s imperative to harness the power of AI immediately and integrate it deeply into your marketing strategies. With AI transforming the marketing field, it’s vital for marketing teams to focus on essential integration areas to maintain a competitive advantage in this dynamic market.

  • Sentiment Analysis for Personalized Experiences: Implement sentiment analysis powered by generative AI into your marketing strategy to craft personalized customer experiences. Employ advanced algorithms to customize content and recommendations based on individual preferences, thereby enriching user engagement and satisfaction.
  • Instant Service Bots: Embed smart AI chatbots to engage customers with responsive, personalized interactions, boosting satisfaction.
  • Strategic Insights Arsenal: Unlock actionable intelligence by unleashing algorithms on unused data to sharpen targeting and segmentation.
  • Automate Routine Tasks: Free up talent by using AI to eliminate repetitive tasks like email workflows and social media scheduling through automation. By automating these repetitive processes, your team can redirect their efforts toward high-impact, strategic initiatives, boosting overall productivity.

By activating AI across these four areas, you not only free your teams to focus on high-value strategies but also unlock the potential for more meaningful interactions with your audience. The result? Immediate opportunity to better serve customers and outpace the competition. 

The First-Party Imperative: Winning Customer Intelligence to Fuel Growth

With the looming threat of cookies getting the boot in 2024, your first-party lists are about to become the MVPs of your marketing strategy. Far beyond lifeless lists, rich first-party data fortifies marketing strategies by enabling immersive personalization and forging enduring consumer bonds.

With consumers increasingly expecting hyper-relevant brand experiences, first-party data serves as rocket fuel – when artfully collected through value-driven relationships. This inside track on customer truth unlocks a multi-faceted competitive advantage. First, intimately understand your customers. Then, engage them in a relationship – not a transaction. With consumer trust earned, responsive audiences readily share information and preferences. 

Activate a systematic first-party data blueprint using these five high-impact strategies to own your consumer connection: 

  • Optimized Website Forms: Ensure that your website features user-friendly forms that encourage visitors to willingly provide information. This could include newsletter sign-ups, account registrations, or surveys.
  • Omnichannel Data Integration: Break data silos by connecting data collected from various touch points – website, social media, email interactions – to build a comprehensive customer profile. This integrated approach provides a more holistic view of your audience.
  • Consistent Data Updates: Establish consistent triggers that encourage users to update their preferences regularly, keeping data current amid evolving consumer needs and preferences.
  • Interactive Content Experiences: Compel users to self-identify through polls, assessments, calculators, and other diagnostic tools woven into the consumer journey.
  • Incentivized Programs: Implement loyalty programs, discounts, or exclusive access in exchange for customers sharing their information. This not only encourages data collection but also fosters a sense of value for the customer.

The rewards are immense for brands centralizing first-party data – enhanced segmentation and targeting, future-proofed marketing strategies, and customer experiences driving satisfaction through relevance. Integrating first-party data into your digital marketing strategy is a strategic move that unlocks a wealth of insights and enhances your ability to connect with your audience on a personal level. Prioritize first-party data collection and usage. Your personalized approach will thank you later. 

Retail Media Reshapes the Digital Landscape

Retail media has solidified its status as a disruptive marketing powerhouse. By engaging shoppers at the point of purchase, retail media delivers hyper-targeted ads without relying on unstable third-party data.

As consumers increasingly discover and purchase products through retailers, these platforms will reshape strategies. Insider Intelligence predicts a noteworthy surge of 28.6% in retail media ad spend for the year 2024, reaching a substantial total of close to $60 million. For marketing teams mapping out 2024 plans, retail media can no longer be an afterthought. Its trajectory as marketing’s predominant disruptor means integration must become a strategic pillar to lift visibility and results.

The time is now for you to lean into retail media’s unmatched ability to connect with high-intent users through relevant ads and premium placement. Integrating retail media into your 2024 strategy is a pivotal step toward enhancing visibility, engagement, and, ultimately, the success of your marketing initiatives. Here’s a few things to consider when planning your strategy.

  • Strategic Platform Selection: Strategically identify and invest in dominant retail media platforms where your audiences are actively discovering and purchasing. Commit resources to owned properties with the most traction. 
  • Point-of-Purchase Activation: Engage shoppers with contextual messaging and offerings to breakthrough the clutter at that crucial instant at the digital shelf where decisions are made.
  • Acknowledge Consumer Behavior: Continually realign efforts to acknowledge where consumers are demonstrating shopping behavior shifts. Tailor your strategy to align with these preferences.
  • Strategic Adoption: Approach retail media as an urgent marketing imperative – not a tactical experiment – fusing it into the very fabric of 2024 plans to lift brand visibility and engagement.
  • Utilize Direct Engagement: Harness retail media’s unparalleled avenues to deliver tailored brand messaging that resonates at the individual level based on each platform’s unique consumer DNA.
  • Performance Optimization: Regularly measure and analyze the success of your retail media initiatives. Track metrics such as visibility, engagement, and conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.

In 2024, marketers are experiencing rapid growth and strengthening their brand’s distinct value by integrating retail media into their strategies.

The Social Commerce Boom

As consumers increasingly take to social platforms to discover and purchase products, social commerce has emerged as retail’s new normal..

With social media shopping revenue expected to surge to $1.2 billion by 2024, brands must prioritize integrated social commerce to effectively engage audiences. The numbers signal that the time has come for social platforms to transform from casual scrolling to frictionless buying destinations. Find several strategies below to embrace social commerce effectively in 2024:

  • Optimize for Shoppable Posts: Break down barriers between discovery and purchase by enabling integrated product exploration and payment functionality for platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Influencer Commerce Alliances: Activate influential brand ambassadors to connect target consumers with products through embedded social commerce capabilities and exclusive offers. 
  • Exclusive Social Promotions: Drive urgency and action by giving social followers unique access to exclusive promotions and discounts available only on owned social properties. 
  • Performance Intelligence Infrastructure: Utilize analytics tools to track and analyze the performance of your social commerce efforts. Measure key metrics like conversion rates, click-through rates, and customer acquisition costs to refine and optimize your strategy.
  • Seamless Cross-Channel Integration: Ensure a seamless integration of social commerce with your overall multichannel strategy. Align your social media efforts with your website, email marketing, and other touchpoints for a cohesive customer experience.

By seamlessly intertwining social media and direct sales, marketers are not only streamlining the customer journey but also tapping into the rich tapestry of trust and engagement woven within social communities.

Key Takeaways for Your Marketing Strategy

The digital marketing landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift powered by disruptive technology and shifts in consumer behavior. As the course ahead is chartered, new frameworks must emerge across five pivotal domains – AI, first-party data, retail media, and social commerce.

Marketing leaders must be able to realign strategies, budgets and teams to activate these trends in order to gain a durable competitive advantage and build future-proofed growth models. Complacency poses grave risk. Effective leadership recognizes the need for bold and decisive action in response to changing circumstances, and with marketing currently experiencing a significant transformation, that moment is undeniably now.

The window of opportunity is immediate; build your vision and begin navigating uncharted waters armed with five navigational pillars able to elevate relevance, engagement and profitability in your decidedly digital future.

MediaPost – 5 Ways To Evaluate Brand Partnerships

Unlock the secrets to successful brand partnerships by harnessing the power of audience research, developing content that is relevant, and strategic execution for impactful marketing. This essential guide offers marketers a comprehensive roadmap to create meaningful, long-lasting customer relationships. Don’t miss out on these expert strategies to elevate your brand – click to read the full article now!

The Power of Independent Agencies with John Harris of Worldwide Partners

This Q&A is an adaption of a conversation between Coegi’s SVP of Marketing Innovation, Ryan Green, and John Harris, President of WPI, where they offer invaluable perspectives on the changing landscape of CMO roles, the evolving needs of brands, and the advantages independent agencies have in meeting a brand’s marketing needs. 

The following is an edited transcript of The Loop Marketing Podcast. Click here to listen to the full episode on one of your favorite streaming platform.



Ryan Green: Hello everybody. Welcome back to The Loop Marketing Podcast. I’m Ryan Green, the Senior Vice President of Marketing Innovation at Coegi, and I’m honored to be joined by John Harris. He’s the president of Worldwide Partners. 

As a little bit of a background, Coegi just joined Worldwide Partners this year. Worldwide Partners is a group of independent agencies, about 80 agencies worldwide that cover the full gambit of marketing services, from creative to production to branding to media and data services. John has done a spectacular job of bringing together some of the brightest minds, a worldwide of agencies and innovative groups, that are really contributing to some breakthrough marketing and advertising campaigns. It’s an honor to join your network and it’s an honor to have you today John. So thanks for joining us.

John Harris: Ryan, Thank you and we couldn’t be happier to have Coegi joining the network. You’ve been a fabulous edition and really contributing at a very high level. So, officially welcome and looking forward to our conversation.

Ryan: Yeah, and it’s a pertinent one as so much is changing in marketing even before the pandemic but certainly afterwards. The value of truly collaborative partners to brands I think, the lens of that has changed – at least the 10 years that I’ve been at Coegi, but certainly recently too. Independents have an interesting strategic advantage in a lot of situations to be able to really integrate with the business goals of the brands that we’re representing and to bring forth the right tools and the right people to cut through a lot of the red tape, to be more quick and nimble. 

I’d love to hear more about the genesis of your involvement with Worldwide Partners. What ultimately led you to found the network? What’s your background?

John: Sure, well, I’ll start way back when, but I’ll be brief because I’m not sure everybody wants to hear my whole history. I first started in marketing working for a radio station in Houston, Texas as the station mascot. So if you think those big old wooden radios that were rounded at the top. The mascot was called the Runaway Radio, it was a red one with a lightning bolt on the top and a slit over my head and had white tights and big red shoes, and had no peripheral vision in this costume.

Ryan: I’m disappointed that you did not wear that today for the podcast.

John: Yeah, well, I thought about it, but my job was to go to station events and interact and dance with the listeners. We would do a broadcast on a Saturday morning at a McDonald’s. We were promoting McDonald’s breakfast and meals.  At the time local radio station jocks were celebrities so people wanted to see them. We’d have 500 people show up while we were doing a live broadcast and at lunchtime we would go to a car dealership and broadcast from there, and another 500 people would show up, and 300 of them were at breakfast with us. Then that evening we would do something in a nightclub and broadcast, and another 600 people showed up, and 300 of them were at the car dealership. So I was just fascinated by a brand’s ability to literally move people from place-to-place and I think that’s where I first got my bug for this very early on.

I first got into the agency business working for Wunderman at a holding company, managing sports marketing for Miller Brewing Company. From there, I moved to Colorado to work at an independent agency that was actually a reverse trend of what we’re seeing now, which was Coors taking their in-house marketing team and then outsourcing it. So a new agency was set up and they recruited those of us from around the country that had beer experience. When I came there, I was fortunate enough to work on Coors, Procter & Gamble and McDonald’s. After that I went client side at a fast casual restaurant chain called Smashburger. Then, I went to the performance marketing space and back to the client side as a CMO. 

Finally, I was on LinkedIn and saw an ad that said Global Advertising Network in Denver, which is where I live. Those words do not end up in the same sentence very often. I explored this and saw that there was an independent agency network out there. I wasn’t familiar with the independent agency network model, and I saw an opportunity to take some of the background that I had at the agency side and at the client side. In both of those, it was really building out service platforms. As a client, I was selecting my performance media agency, I was building a creative team, I was finding the right experiential partner and bringing them together to collaborate, as you talked about earlier. Then, on the agency side, I was building cross-functional, cross-office teams to service clients. So the opportunity to do it at the global level and do it with independent agencies was just a fascinating opportunity for me. So, now you and I are here seven and a half years later having a conversation.

Ryan: That’s a great background and I love always working with people that have an unorthodox background. 

Let’s dive in a little bit about independents, right? I think that’s the one thing that brings us together. When you hear talk about the value of independent [agencies] and the partnerships we bring, maybe to somebody who for the first time that they’re considering picking an agency at all, or getting out of the holding company and into a realm of new possibilities, how do you talk about the value that independents bring versus either in-house teams or holding company agencies?

John: Yeah, I think, what’s been an incredible trend of clients moving more and more towards independent agencies. I think we had this moment, I don’t know, seven or eight years ago, where you were seeing more independent agencies being invited to pitches that may have typically been the territory of the large holding companies. I think that moment turned into a movement because clients are recognizing that independent agencies can bring a level of agility and speed. 

You mentioned the collaborative spirit early on and it’s really an entrepreneurial spirit, right? If you look at a holding company model, these are publicly traded companies. They have an obligation at the end of the day, no matter what, to deliver a positive return for their shareholders. In the independent agency world, you have the freedom to do what’s right for the clients. Sometimes that is investing more in a client’s business. And, when we do that as an agency, that’s not the client’s problem – that’s our problem. It’s our decision to make because we’ve had the ability to do it, but it really changes it from a shareholder mindset to a stakeholder mindset. I think independent agencies always put senior level talent on the business because, let’s face it, clients don’t need just arms and legs, they need heads. You’re a senior representative on the Coegi team and I’m sure you are working with your clients each and every day. So, having the business leadership, the business mindset, and ensuring you’re having the most senior level people working on your business each and every day, is a significant value that independent agencies bring to the table. 

Also with freedom comes the freedom to challenge. Clients will come to us and they’ll say, look, here’s what we want you to do. Independent agencies are always going to say here’s really what we think you should do and challenge, not in an argumentative way, but in a collaborative way without the fear of saying, “oh my God, if we lose this account, then we’re not going to get our bonuses.” You just have people who bring it every day and come with a business mindset, and they’re going to get it done no matter what it takes. I think that’s a very, very unique value proposition that independent agencies have alone. 

Clients aren’t going to hire us just because we’re independent. At the end of the day, we have to bring those behaviors and demonstrate that we can actually move their business forward. That is ultimately what clients are looking for.

Ryan: Yeah, I’ll definitely steal the stakeholders vs. shareholders verbiage. That’s really significant too because a lot of times it is the owners that are still involved with creating the strategy and pushing our clients forward too. A lot of times I think that’s probably pretty obvious with branding creative shops. The work almost speaks for itself, but that’s also true with media.

As an independent media agency that has seen the proliferation of programmatic and automated media buying, I can tell you that that’s not true. In fact, the push for shareholders as the primary focus has hidden a lot of fees and a lot of baggage underneath the surface at holding companies that don’t really exist with independents from the media side. Is that something that you’ve seen? Or am I just painting a rosy picture of why independent media agencies actually do have a strategic advantage by bringing the client’s business first, by bringing senior people who aren’t doing the bait and switch from pitch to execution? 

John: Absolutely. Well let’s tackle it from a couple of fronts. I think on the media front, there is a perception that bigger is better. That this antiquated idea of buying power is what’s driving, what is an extremely democratized digital media environment now. I mean, the programmatic tools that either agencies have, in some cases, have built, or have access to, have 100% leveled the playing field. So this is no longer a story of “what is your media spend?” So I think technology, the platforms, have democratized it. 

I also think that when you look at the upfront side, even on the digital side of it, holding company agencies are buying this inventory. If you’re not their top client, you’re not going to get the best inventory. So that doesn’t happen in the independent space, right? We go at this and put the value of the relationship with the media publishers over the spend. We have agencies that have all of the same level of access to alphas and betas from these major publishers that the holding companies have and we’re not coming in with a pre-packaged solution. You guys are bringing this at a very, very customized level based on what the client needs, not based on what a holding company agency might have to sell. So you’re absolutely right. It’s no longer the case. 

Then the bait and switch that you referenced, we were in a pitch yesterday. A global pitch with a major brand that I can’t share right now. We told them, this isn’t the pitch team. This is your team and it was myself and the senior level executives, and these are the people that are working on the business. So, yes, that’s what you’re going to get from an independent agency. So it’s a big advantage.

Ryan: When you look within independents, what are the things that you look for, especially as you’re attracting and evaluating independent agencies joining your network? What are the things that you’re looking for that differentiate good and great?

John: Let’s start with the customer, the CMO, and why our value proposition as a network is relevant to the CMO and then how that cascades down to the agencies that join us and what separates good from great. 

Change is a constant for CMOs. They are consistently having to innovate, to push the business forward. Resources are limited; we could all use more resources. They articulated that there were some internal gaps in skills that they had with their team that they needed to support with outside partners. There was almost, maybe a level of anxiety around having to constantly prove marketing value. That this is not an expense, but rather, it’s creating value for the organization overall. That’s a matter of driving growth, so this is not an easy job as a CMO. 

There’s a high degree of pressure that comes with it. You are trying to do two things: you are trying to minimize risk and you’re trying to maximize impact. So when you talk to the most progressive CMOs, what they’re doing is, they’re building out these marketing ecosystems. It’s around subject matter expertise. 

So when they are trying to identify the right agency partners that may manifest itself in an RFP, what they’re really doing when they issue an RFP is they’re issuing an RFE, which is a request for expertise. Sometimes that expertise is by market, it’s by industry vertical, it’s by audience, it’s by channel, it’s by capability. At the end of the day, by surrounding themselves with experts, just going back to the CMOs goal, they want minimized risk and maximized impact. That’s how we’ve engineered the network, and this solution can meet the very precise needs and business challenges of today’s marketers and through one of the largest and most fastest growing independent networks in the world. 

What makes this proposition unique is that the agencies [in Worldwide Partners] are 100% committed to collaboration within each other. We’ve talked about the holding companies, we talked about the fact that they’re publicly traded and that they’re using acquisition to create scale and diversification to offer clients and deliver value to shareholders. In our model, we’re actually set up as a reverse holding company. I didn’t “found” the network, right? I don’t “own” the network. The network was founded 85 years ago which is crazy to think about, and the agencies actually own the network. 

My accountabilities are to a board of directors of agency leaders around the globe and we work together to set the goals and the strategies. What happens here is, rather than the network dictating the terms to the agencies, the agencies are actually dictating the terms to the networks. So what that means for clients is, you’re going to get some of the top independent agencies in the world. We have experts in 90 different industry verticals, we have everything from performance and digital media agencies to creative agencies to experiential agencies to PR agencies. 

So let’s go back to what CMOs want. They are saying, I need this in this market with this capability. For example, I don’t just need a pharma agency, but I need a pharma agency in New Jersey that has child oncology experience and a UX capability, and med ed tech capabilities. What we’re able to do is when a remit comes in is say, yes, we have that. Yes, that may sound like a holding company, but what’s fundamentally different is we have not acquired all of these agencies and said, you guys come together, push clients between each other’s offices, cross sell services and make our shareholders all this money. These agencies are working together because they’ve chosen to work together, not because they have to work together. That element of opting in is the only incentive that they need to work together, because every agency has made a personal commitment that I want to be a part of this. We’re going to give you everything you need and nothing that you don’t, right? We’re not here to oversell. 

So, that’s kind of how we’ve shaped the network proposition. 84 agencies in 46 countries, 40 of them are full service, 12 media, 6 creative, and 26 specialist agencies.

Ryan: The brilliance of it is thinking and really tapping into what the CMO needs. You talked about how they’re trying to build an ecosystem, and you’ve built an ecosystem essentially that can cover all of those CMOs needs and be able to pick the three needs that they have to fit their ecosystem. Everything becomes customized to what their brand, their business needs. 

That being said, I think even the title Chief Marketing Officer, is under siege a little bit. There’s Chief Growth officers, Chief Revenue Officers that you’re seeing more. I’ve been to a couple of the ANA conferences that have Chief Media Officers that are separate from the Chief Marketing Officer. There’s always the friction between finance and the CFOs wanting to have an ROI calculation for every single breath that the CMO takes. So being able to sit and understand where they’re coming from, where their challenges are, and what their customer’s challenges are too, goes another layer deeper. We’re able to do that and I’m so thankful to be part of Worldwide Partners because I’m smarter now as a marketer. Because of the collective experience that I’ve gotten from working with such a great ecosystem of agencies that you’ve built.

John: If I might build on something that you said when you were talking about the evolution of the title of CMO. Chief Growth Officer, Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Product Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, it all comes back to what I talked about earlier of the requirement of demonstrating value. I don’t want to make this about myself, but I think it’s important for us to all understand this context. When I became a CMO, I was thrilled. I was invigorated because having been on the agency side for 15 years, where you are consistently trying to uncover the right insight and bring forth strategies, now I was gonna be on the other side of the table. I was going to get to make the call, right? It was on me. So I went into the role thinking that now I’m going to be able to work on the brand of the business and make the decision. 

But the reality of it is, 95% of that CMOs job or Chief Growth Officers job, or whatever you want to call it, has absolutely nothing to do with media and with making decisions on creative campaigns. It is a marketing operations role. It is managing through a matrix organization. It is looking and understanding the impact of adding a different label to one sweater and the cost implications of that on EBITDA. It is doing menu board optimization and understanding what’s more profitable. Do we do a free drink with a burger or a free fried egg with a burger? You are forecasting out the operational component of the marketing implications. 

So when you think about it, if agencies are not focusing on the 95% of what the CMOs job is, you are nothing but a commoditized resource. If you’re only focused on delivering the 5% of their role, then you are replaceable. Not to get ahead of, one of our questions I know we’re going to explore is, what makes a good independent agency a great independent agency. The great independent agencies are saying, I need to be up here in this 95% helping and adding value to my client’s job there. Not just in the, just purely in the media and the creative side of it.

Ryan: Then leading into the question that you know was coming, do great agencies then have a really intimate understanding of the customer, of our clients, and are empowering the brands that we’re working with to have even more astute understanding of those customers to empower the CMO, to bridge those conversations between the spreadsheet and the customer?

John: Without question. I think that with the great independent agencies, quite honestly there’s no shortage of data. But, what the CMO and the CEO don’t need is another dashboard. They don’t need a weather report. They need someone who’s going to extract the meaningful data from the dashboards and say, this is happening, and why do I care? What are the implications of this for my business? What are we going to do differently because of the data? I think that’s where agencies have an opportunity to really, really support clients. The ability to interpret the data into something that’s meaningful and actually contextualize the data. Great agencies are doing that for their clients and really kind of defining your value to the client within that ecosystem by doing so.

Ryan: Makes a lot of sense. So, what are the elements that make the strongest brand agency relationships? Agencies don’t wanna have a two year lifeline either. We wanna be partners for 20 years. What are the elements that make those long lasting, trusting, impactful partnerships? What advice do you have for brands to seek the agencies that are ready to partner for the long haul?

John: Building on the previous discussion about what makes great agencies, I think great agencies understand where they can add the most value. They’re not trying to be everything to everyone. Agencies hate it when I talk about specialization because it feels like it’s this limiting thing. But I actually think specialization can be an advantage in that it allows you to scale. In other words, if you’re the best at x, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, clients are going to find you because they’re looking for a level of expertise. If you are an expert in delivering that value for clients, you should be able to charge a premium and clients will be willing to pay it because you understand where you can add the most value. 

You talked about trust and that’s an outcome, right? We always say we want to be partners, we don’t want to be vendors. But there’s something that we have to deliver to earn that right. I used to tell my team, when I was running an account group, that our job is to get our clients promoted. Just sit with that for a moment. If your KPI at Coegi was I’m going to get my clients promoted, what does that look like? It looks like, okay, why do they get promoted? They’ve had a high degree of performance in the business. They’re driving growth, they’re innovating, they’ve managed change. If you’re in the mindset of we’ve got to deliver a 10 to 1 ROS, or if you’re in the mindset of, I’ve got to get this person to the next level, you’re going to do everything you can as an agency to understand their world. Let me have a real clear understanding of what your path to performance and growth is and what are the KPIs that you have as an individual and how do I help you hit those? 

We’ve got to push the clients. Clients have to let us in and not be protective of the data and the drivers they’re having in their world. I think if you put yourself in that mindset in service of the client to get them to the next level, you are going to succeed and they’re going to succeed. We’ve been working with 3M for 15 years. We’ve been working with Las Vegas tourism for 40 years. We’ve been working with ActiVision for 17 years. These are unheard of relationships and it goes back to where we started, about the value of independent agencies, how they put the best people on the accounts, and how they’re committed 100% to putting stakeholder, which is the client, above everything else. Trust is an outcome of a behavior set. My belief is if you said that’s my KPI, I’m going to get my client promoted, you’re going to have a very long standing relationship.

Ryan: That’s a great KPI for account people in particular. How can I get you promoted is a more succinct way of getting to that. Are there any other thoughts that you’ve had to wrap up the conversation? Anything else that you’d like to say before I let you go?

John: I would just say the idea of understanding who you are as an agency, I think it’s absolutely critical. I think it gives you the ability to make decisions about every aspect of your business. We are very good at helping clients connect with their highest value customers. That’s exactly how Coegi positions itself. It guides every decision you make. It guides the type of investments you make in your organization. It guides the type of people that you hire. It guides the type of clients that you know you can be right for. That notion of freedom, you’re seeing independent agencies make smarter decisions about the partnerships with clients. They know when they’re right for a client and they’re open with the client if they feel like maybe we’re not the right solution for you and that’s okay because they have the freedom to not have to chase everything. When you know the pieces of business that you have the right to win when you’re going into the new business opportunities, because let’s face it, pitching is a lot of work and it’s a lot of time not just on the agency side, but on the client side of the business. The data has just come out that pitches are costing clients up to a million dollars in time. Independent agencies are saying no to the wrong opportunities, saying yes to the right opportunities, and I think the more that that happens, you’re going to see the partnership between clients and agencies just flourish. I’d leave a collective group of clients and agencies that are on this call to say let’s lean into the partnership opportunity, not treat each other as vendors, and really kind of work together to elevate everybody’s business. I think our industry’s going to be in a greater place moving forward.

Ryan: I love it John. Thank you so much for joining us and looking forward to everything that’s to come from our partnership. Thanks again.

John: Yep Ryan, a pleasure. Thank you.

Navigating the Evolving Digital Video Landscape: 2024 Trends and Strategies for Marketers

In the digital realm, we’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of converging technologies and evolving consumer preferences. The intensifying battle for user attention, the ubiquity of smartphones, the proliferation of streaming services, and the growing appetite for immersive, personalized experiences have propelled video to the forefront of content consumption, surpassing text-based alternatives.

2023 saw video marketing become the cornerstone of engagement, revolutionizing business connections. This surge showcases diverse content and devices catering to personalization, authenticity, and educational value, making video king in marketing strategies.

Video & The Consumer Consumption Landscape 

Imagine captivating a global audience of 3.5 billion by 2023. That’s the video revolution unfolding before us, and the screen time speaks for itself: Americans spend over 7.5 hours glued to screens daily, devouring video content with unmatched fervor. Marketers are chanting in unison: video reigns supreme in social media marketing. Over half (54%) have named video as the sovereign ruler, with its unmatched ability to enthrall audiences, educate them, and spur them to act.


Smartphones have become the go-to device for digital video consumption, embraced by 69% of U.S. adults. This shift away from traditional television is fueled by the widespread adoption of 5G connectivity, with nearly one in four smartphone owners streaming videos on the go.


While mobile video remains significant, connected TVs (CTVs) are poised to take the lead with video accounting for 90% of CTV content. This trend will reshape the digital video landscape by 2025, with CTV video, social video, and YouTube taking center stage. Subcategories like SVOD and TikTok will further solidify the dominance of CTV video and social video.

The Impact For Marketers: Digital Video Advertising Spend & Strategy

The global video advertising landscape is experiencing a seismic shift, propelled by user consumption patterns. With an expected video ad spend reaching a staggering $180 billion by year-end 2023, it’s clear that video is king. The United States leads the charge, with a significant portion of that budget allocated to search and social video ads. Both channels exhibit a strong mobile bias, while their presence on CTV remains limited.


But this is changing. CMOs are discovering the undeniable power of video, with a 24.74% increase in brand lift and recall, 21.71% improved user experience, and a whopping 40% boost in brand perception. This translates to a more engaged and informed audience, ultimately driving brand awareness and loyalty. While video’s direct sales impact sits at 15.65%, its ability to nurture leads and build trust makes it a vital tool for marketing teams. This is evident in the fact that 68% of marketers track engagement, and 51% now measure lead generation and conversion rates, recognizing video’s true value beyond just views and likes.


2023 witnessed a critical development in this evolution: a wave of CTV adoption across diverse industries, with retail, health & wellness, and CPG leading the charge. By 2027, retail media spending on CTV is projected to reach $8.64 billion. Yet, a crucial challenge remains: our lagging migration to CTV. Despite consumers spending a whopping 25% of their time on the platform, advertisers are underinvesting, allocating a mere 9.5% of digital ad budgets.. Concerns about limited inventory and premium pricing are holding us back.


It’s time to overcome these hurdles and unleash CTV’s potential. By collaborating and harnessing its power, we can reach target audiences where they are and achieve unparalleled success in this transformative era. The video advertising landscape is ripe for innovation and growth. By embracing the full potential of video across platforms, we can unlock unprecedented opportunities to engage with audiences and build lasting brand connections.

Trending: AI-Powered Digital Video Creation & Personalization

In the competitive landscape of 2024, AI-powered personalization and audience insights can elevate your video marketing campaigns to new heights of engagement and effectiveness:

Key Takeaways for Marketing Professionals

  • Embrace AI-driven personalization while prioritizing authenticity: Audiences are craving real connections, not manufactured perfection. Refine your content to resonate on a deeper level, but steer clear of anything inauthentic. Micro and nano-influencers who spark genuine conversations are your secret weapon. And remember, transparency is key – be upfront about AI’s role in crafting your message. This authenticity is your golden ticket to engagement, trust, and brand loyalty.
  • Utilize AI for efficiency, not replacement: Automate tasks and gain insights, but don’t let it replace human creativity. High-quality creative content remains essential for impactful marketing campaigns.
  • Craft personalized video journeys with AI-powered insights: Analyze customer data and deliver hyper-personalized video content, tailored to individual interests through dynamic elements, interactive experiences, and customized recommendations. It allows you to lean into using an inclusive approach by going beyond surface-level metrics while driving engagement and fostering loyalty.

Unleashing Innovation through Experimentation

  • Streamline your video production process & elevate your marketing videos with AI-powered platforms, empowering you to easily create engaging videos. These platforms can be used to create videos from text, add AI-powered voiceovers and avatars, and craft captivating social media videos.
  • Harness the power of AI-powered creative effectiveness platforms to revolutionize your campaign planning, video testing, and media planning. These platforms utilize advanced technologies like facial coding, eye tracking, and computer vision to provide unparalleled insights into your target audience’s behavior and preferences.
  • Foster inclusivity by leveraging AI-powered dubbing tools to unlock global audiences, enhance accessibility, and expand your video’s reach by removing language barriers through dubbing, subtitles, and captions.

Trending: Cross-screen, Cross-channel Advertising Solutions

As audiences divide their attention across various devices and engage in multitasking, marketers must reimagine their video advertising strategies to win them over:

Key Takeaways For Marketing Professionals

  • The rise of Netflix and Prime Video’s ad-supported tier: As CTV advertising gains traction and linear TV struggles to find its footing, Amazon’s Prime Video ad-supported tier is set to fuel a surge in ad spending. This presents marketers with a wealth of new diversification opportunities using multi-platform video ad campaigns to engage with a broader audience.
  • Distinguish your brand and engage viewers with premium-produced video ads: UGC’s authenticity and relatability can be highly effective, but its production quality often falls short of premium video content’s polished and refined aesthetic. As streaming TV continues dominating viewing habits, marketers should prioritize premium video content to capture attention and drive results.
  • Fragmented media consumption necessitates a multi-screen marketing approach: With 5G technology enabling seamless video delivery, marketers can now craft engaging ad experiences that adapt to individual viewing habits. By leveraging an omnichannel approach, you can ensure your message reaches the right audience at the right time, maximizing the impact of your campaigns.

Unleashing Innovation Through Experimentation

  • Streamline the shopping journey by incorporating shoppable CTV video ads: Seamlessly integrate product information and purchase options within your video ads, enhancing engagement and driving immediate conversions.
  • Tap into the massive audience consuming live sports online: As digital platforms compete for your ad dollars, unlock premium inventory with NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube. Reach paying subscribers, traditionally targeted by major brands, with the precision of digital advertising. YouTube’s “multi-view” expands this inventory, offering even more targeted ad placements.
  • Long-form video investments drive exponential returns: Let performance, not production value, guide your video investments. Embrace a data-driven, multi-platform approach, and repurpose the content that truly connects.

Trending: Embracing Interactivity, Live Streaming, and Format Diversity

Marketers should strategically embrace the versatility of vertical and horizontal videos, strike a balance between short-form and long-form video content, and engage audiences in an interactive and immersive modern world:

Key Takeaways For Marketing Professionals

Unleashing Innovation Through Experimentation

  • Incorporate AR elements & VR experiences: Overlay virtual objects and graphics onto real-world scenes to create an interactive and immersive storytelling experience. Transport viewers into a virtual world where they can interact with your brand’s story and products in a fully immersive environment.
  • The Synergy of Branching Narratives and Gamification: By allowing viewers to choose their own path and incorporating engaging gameplay elements, you are enhancing viewer engagement, collecting valuable data, personalizing product recommendations, and fostering deeper connections. 
  • The powerful trifecta: Live shopping experiences, combined with horizontal and vertical video formats, and creator content, can create a powerful video advertising strategy that resonates across platforms and drives meaningful engagement with their target audience.

Digital video has emerged as a formidable force in the modern online world, offering marketers an unparalleled opportunity to captivate audiences and foster meaningful engagement. Marketers who fail to incorporate video into their strategies are forfeiting a valuable opportunity to connect with their target audience.

By embracing the evolving trends and unleashing innovation through experimentation, marketers can effectively navigate the ever-changing digital video landscape, establish deeper connections with their target audience, and achieve their marketing goals in 2024 and beyond.

The Drum – Unraveling the Multidimensional Consumer Tapestry

The pursuit of inclusive marketing is a shared goal, but the path to achieving it remains elusive. In this article on The Drum, Coegi’s Stephanie Dwyer outlines four actionable steps to foster inclusivity within the intricate customer journey of today.

Driving Patient Lead Generation for a Pharmaceutical Brand 


Coegi worked with a pharmaceutical company that supports people living with primary immunodeficiency (PI) and their care partners. They work to empower individuals with resources, treatment and education to manage their conditions. They partnered with Coegi to develop a patient-first lead generation strategy to enroll more individuals in their support programs.


Lift in Sign-Ups

Lift in Form Fills

Registration Submissions


We faced the challenge of reaching and generating leads from a very niche healthcare audience. The brand did not yet have first-party data, so we partnered with Pulsepoint to leverage their healthcare targeting capabilities as well as compliant third-party audience segments and lookalike models. 


To engage this audience and provide resources for managing PI, our media drove towards key landing pages where users were encouraged to take action via guide downloads, assessment completions, and patient support program registrations. 

With a budget of around $1.4M for a 12 month campaign flight, we activated a cohesive media campaign spanning across paid search, paid social on Facebook and Instagram, and native and display programmatic ads. 

We outlined three primary goals:

  1. Engage audiences through thought leadership content. 
  2. Drive enrollment traffic through website sign-up forms. 
  3. Educate patients and providers by increasing landing page traffic to informational guides, assessment completions, and registration form fills.

To drive these actions, we amplified content centered around the realities of living with PI, patient empowerment, and other educational support provided by the brand. Through strategic retargeting and sequential messaging, we were able to develop a lead generation funnel 

This campaign was highly successful in generating a pool of first-party patient audiences including 502 patient program sign ups, 444 completed assessments, and 453 registration button submissions. For all key website actions, this campaign drove between a 225% to 3,539% lift in quarter over quarter results.

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