Content is key in digital marketing
Iteo's Senior Adviser, Espen Skogheim Haugen, believes we should focus more on emotional engagement in the proper context, regardless of the market.
From being a strictly PR agency with three employees in 2010, Iteo has changed its focus to a full-service B2B marketing communications agency with almost 30 employees. We had a chat with Espen Skogheim Haugen, to learn more about how they work with contextual marketing and how it fits into their media mix.
Espen says he first heard about Kobler when Erik Bugge, CEO and founder of Kobler, visited Iteo a few years back to talk about contextual marketing. But it took some time before it became a part of their media mix.
– It all started while various tools were tested to find the right fit for our toolbox. A colleague tried contextual advertising by Kobler when working with a customer. After that, I got introduced to the platform. Since then, Kobler has been a natural part of our media mix, says Espen.
– I feel contextual marketing is part of the future. When we present the media plan to our customers, no one ever questions using Kobler, they are more curious about what it is and its results compared to, for example, Facebook, says Espen.
The importance of being up to date
– We experience that customers are more aware of the rules around privacy now than ever before, no wonder considering all the publicity surrounding this topic in recent years. It's important for us to be proactive so we can provide the correct answer to our customers when they wonder what is legal and what is not according to the GDPR.
– We recommend our customers look for programs that ensure the data stays within the EU. For example, Google Analytics 4 seems better at complying with GDPR than the previous version. The question is whether you actually need such a complex platform or whether you should explore other alternatives that also give you the insight you need and, at the same time, ensure keeping the data within the EU.
– This is one of the reasons we recommend Kobler to our customers, because they want to ensure that they are entirely safe without compromising on quality.
Great value without the use of personal data
The screenshots Kobler offers make it super easy to show the campaign's value, says Espen.
– All you need to do is show the screenshots to the marketing manager! They provide visible and concrete proof of where the ads actually appeared. That way, it is super easy to show the effect, and not least, it gives a perfect wow-effect!
– Even if you have perfect targeting, you will never be able to be sure you match the proper context in articles, but with Kobler, it is much easier. Because when you know that your ad about, e.g. patent on nanotechnology ends up in an article about nanotechnology, it can't be more spot on!
Espen says this has always been a challenge with display ads, e.g. Google. Such ads are used everywhere and all the time, which means that no one actually knows where the ads turned up. It is possible to both include and exclude placements, but it can not be compared with the level of the contextual that Kobler offers.
– You risk your ads ending up on articles with entirely different topics that have no relevance to the ad. Our experience is that every time the ads match the content, the brand gets strengthened. We also see a clear increasing quality of the traffic when ads are placed in context.
– When you advertise contextually, it is only based on interests without personal data. A win-win situation, as you both meet the target group and do not have to think about the rules on what is allowed or not allowed as you need to do when using personal data.
How do you relate to privacy?
– One thing is for sure, privacy is not being taken care of for you; you have to take care of it yourself. How we as marketers relate to privacy can seem like waves. When the GDPR first was introduced, people got stressed, probably because they did not understand what they had to do and how to deal with the new rules. While this turned out to be a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at what you had stored and then clean up.
– The same thing is happening now with "Schrems II" and the cookies. At Iteo, we are highly focused on privacy and not least obtaining the proper consent, but it is still demanding because there is still much uncertainty.
What is a successful campaign for you?
– First and foremost, we relate to different KPIs like most others. Other than that, we are not concerned about CTR and clicks as long as the ads are displayed and positioned on articles of our choice. The same goes for WinRate, as long as I have my proof with Kobler's screenshot that shows the actual ads on relevant articles.
– Don't get me wrong, CTR, clicks and WinRate are important tactical units of measurement to be able to A / B test creatives etc., and not least to analyze the effect of various targeting variables on e.g. LinkedIn. We are often measured by commitment, increased brand awareness and the number of new market-qualified leads (MQLs). In more extensive campaigns, market research is carried out before and after to measure the effect of brand awareness and also get an overview of the total impact of the market mix.
Espen tells how he prefers to work long-term with campaigns, ensuring a good effect over time and optimization along the way. He rather recommends sales-activating campaigns as supportive along the way.
– At Iteo, we are involved in everything from the early phase of a strategy to designing landing pages and articles to set up the campaigns. This means we get ownership of the entire campaign and the opportunity to know the customer, their market and target group much better.
What do you think is essential to focus on in the future?
– Content is key! From a B2B perspective, many probably underestimate the enormous value of emotional engagement. It is about moving away from talking about the product and oneself to focusing on impressions, feelings and values. A common assumption is that a decision group in a B2B company emphasizes price and features the most.
– It is easy to forget that it is people with emotions you communicate with, even in a B2B market. Decision-makers make decisions based on emotions to sow the underlying choices with the brain's rational part. From previously writing subjectively about the service the company offers to address the need, a potential solution to the problem and bringing out the value, has given an absolutely insane effect!
– The key word here is thus; emotional commitment and objective content. What is also interesting are campaigns that have the content of emotional engagement, often characterized by more creativity. Both in how we present the message and the visual. At Iteo, we believe that B2B marketing is - and will be - more characterized by creative campaigns and visual designs.
– Another important thing for the future is to think more about brand knowledge. It has been underestimated for far too long by many. There has been a lot of focus on short-term sales-activating campaigns to acquire leads and hits. The focus should be on building brand awareness through trust and credibility. The campaign should be timeless to a greater extent and be able to scale across markets.
– I think there will be a shift in the mindset when collecting data. Do we need all that data? Do we really need cookies, and how are we using it? Are we using it for something useful? Most people hold large amounts of data, but many do not know how to deal with it and how it can be utilized in the best possible way. I think establishing a so-called data strategy within the next 1-3 years will be an excellent last tip on what to focus on in the future, Espen concludes.
Would you like to know more about contextual advertising?
Do you have questions? Wonder how to start using contextual marketing?
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