Please describe your job: What do you do?
As Chief Growth Officer, it’s my job to power the ongoing success of Lotame. In today’s integrated market, that means covering multiple bases: prospecting for clients, pitching, closing and managing business are no longer separate processes, so my role involves leading activity in several areas, including product, marketing, and client success teams.
Operating on this unstacked model also means client relationships are collaborative and continuously evolving. There is always more we can do to help our clients grow, and because each element of the business is interconnected, we can quickly identify which capabilities will enable them to bolster results and make adjustments to refine, scale up, and enhance solutions.
How has your typical day been impacted in the short term by the pandemic?
Consistent communication is vital to stay connected, productive and on track — and, as a result, working life feels busier than ever. Both internally and externally, everyone is committed to being present and available; whether that’s for video conferences or online chats. There is a spirit of collaboration, with shared determination to go the extra mile and ensure greater groupthink can enable us to keep producing great results together.
All of this is also helped by the absence of the daily commute. For me especially, living 50 miles east of Manhattan used to mean a two-hour journey into work. Now, I have even more time to devote to leveraging opportunities, while maintaining a balance with personal life at the same time.
What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done at the moment?
Every aspect of life is increasingly digital, and work is no different, especially now. Typically, my day is built around carefully ordered browser bookmarks. Ranked by priority, they provide quick access to vital insights — such as product queue, industry updates and broader news. By checking in multiple times each day, I can keep my finger on the pulse of developments within the company, and beyond, to ensure I respond rapidly.
When it comes to linking in with the team, the main tools are email, Slack and, of course, Zoom. Slack was already a rising teamwork tool before the pandemic, allowing conversations across departments without the need for disruption or shouting across the room. In the current situation it’s essential to allow efficient communications, with the right optimisation for alerts and chats.
Zoom, however, has become central to maintaining relationships. I’ve tried to add more of a human touch — and some fun — with a green screen. Changing the background is a small but impactful way to spark conversations and show personal interests, such as placing yourself in front of a Tatooine sunset. That’s one for the Star Wars fans.
Which companies have impressed you since the outbreak?
Again, my first choice would have to be Zoom. The service has not only shown an impressive ability to update and upgrade functionality in line with demand, but it’s also highly responsive technically with issues speedily resolved. From a leadership perspective, founder and CEO, Eric Yuan, is proving an inspiring figure. Yuan has continued to communicate the company’s value proposition and vision, even amid criticism and — most importantly — he has also actively acknowledged problems and clearly explained how they are being addressed.
DoorDash is another service that has truly stepped up to meet the moment. Before it looked as though consolidation was inevitable in the food delivery sector, but DoorDash has shown its strengths as an independent player. In addition to leading the way with contactless delivery and text message notifications that have now become default, the company is moving to support others; highlighting local restaurants that are safe and increasing their business.
What changes are you making to help your brand connect with how people are feeling and experiencing the pandemic?
While direct consumer engagement isn’t part of Lotame’s model, we do provide the key tools marketers, agencies and publishers need to do so: data solutions and advanced technology to wield it effectively.
In the last few weeks, we’ve increased the consultative side of our business to uncover emerging client challenges and pinpoint which steps we can take to help them thrive, grow, and navigate the turbulence. Our mission is to use wide-ranging and reliable real-time analysis to give clients all the insight they need to sustain deep consumer bonds through high-quality data products, services, and marketing.
What trends have you seen in the last few weeks in your sector?
Due to the data-centric nature of Lotame and close involvement with programmatic trading, we have deep insights about fluctuations in digital advertising spend across and within different sectors. Unsurprisingly, this includes an overall pause as the collective ad industry regained its footing before adopting new approaches and picking up momentum. We’ve seen notable variations at either end of the advertising investment scale, with a vast surge in some sectors such as FMCG and insurance, and a sharp drop in others, especially automotive.
But what’s most interesting to see are the changing dynamics within sectors. The data shows that not every business is following wider industry patterns — for example, in areas where the general movement is towards reduced activity, challenger brands are bucking the trend by ramping up their advertising spend and, in doing so, optimising their market share.
Watching these changes unfold isn’t just fascinating in itself; it also gives us a competitive advantage. Using our intricate knowledge of the current twists and turns, we can advise clients on how to pivot for better outcomes; directing spend to digital or linear, as the headwinds shift.
What advice would you give a marketer right now?
For marketers looking to drive brand awareness, what they do now will have a significant effect on how their brand is perceived once the storm has passed, which makes continued investment in marketing and driving positive brand awareness essential. Those who move to persistently connect with consumers, provide support, and express their brand promise will be the ones who are front of mind when consumers are once more making purchase decisions; be that which car to buy, bank to use or items to place in their shopping cart. Now is the time to stand firm, not back away.
If you are a marketer focused on performance, lower programmatic CPMs mean there has never been a better time to experiment by using data and analytics to find the right type of consumer and then test messaging with them to optimise performance.
What does long term planning and strategy look like now at your brand?
Short-term is the new long-term for everyone right now. At Lotame, the majority of strategic planning is centred around staying agile and adapting to the ever-changing situation in a way that sustains maximum performance for all.
From a longer-term perspective, the industry as a whole is looking to the third and fourth quarters for a surge in growth – particularly the fourth with ad spend allocated to the holiday season. Lotame is drawing on our sophisticated analytical abilities to monitor market shifts and watch for the upswing. It might not be on the immediate horizon but there will be a time when the world restarts and brings a new normal, with an increase in consumer shopping, sports, and advertising spend.
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