Staying Ahead of the Curve with Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer

April 11, 2017

By Ryan Dinger


As the co-founder and chief innovation officer at eMarketer and a former ad agency account manager, Geoff Ramsey has spent his career poring over data that shows an evolving consumer journey, an increasingly fragmented media landscape, and the tactics marketers have used to successfully continue connecting with consumers despite these challenges. Recently the ANA caught up with Geoff, who will speak at the 2017 ANA Advertising and Financial Management Conference, to get his thoughts on how marketing has changed and what marketers must do to stay ahead of the curve.

Something you talk about often is how the consumer journey has evolved. How does this journey look different today than it did when you first started your career?
Long ago, in the dark ages before the internet, social media, and smartphones, the consumer journey was considered a linear path. Today, the consumer journey can only be described as circuitous. With media and content instantly at their disposal, and available on-demand wherever they go, consumers have taken control. They are constantly searching, discovering, and researching products and services across a maze of devices, channels, and platforms, and marketers struggle mightily to keep up with them. The challenge here is that it is harder than ever to achieve scale — to reach enough of the right people and engage with them. On the other hand, if you have a great brand and a loyal base of consumers on social media, you can end up reaching and influencing prospects you never would have thought to target. Customers will always be your best advocates, and now they have megaphones to spread the good word.

With a media landscape that has become severely fragmented, what should marketers be doing to improve attribution?
In a fragmented media world that blends online and offline channels, attributing media impact is a challenge for all marketers. Fundamentally, the problem is a data management issue, and it requires discipline and a top-down dedication to breaking down silos, both at the organization level and at the channel level. If your data resides in multiple silos — one for search, one for email, one for mobile, one for television, and so on — you will never know what is impacting what. Companies need to take a holistic approach, working with multiple partners to solve the marketing attribution problem. Fortunately, we are about to reach a turning point. eMarketer estimates that the percentage of companies in the U.S. using multichannel attribution models — as opposed to single-touch approaches — will rise from 39 percent in 2016 to 50.2 percent by the end of 2017. Over the next few years, marketers will get significantly better at measuring media and results right down to the purchase level.

There is a real challenge to stand out in a market oversaturated by content. What are some of the ways marketers can better grab the attention of consumers?
There is certainly no lack of content in a digitally connected, always-on, social, mobile, and video world. With a glut of content, including much of it user-generated, marketers need to move away from the traditional "push" model, where they push out undifferentiated and often irrelevant messages to as many consumers as possible. Instead, they should gravitate toward a "pull" model, where they focus on creating content that is designed to be inherently valuable to the consumer rather than just to sell them on the product. I think of it as magnetic content. If you focus on creating really valuable content, and you partner with best-in-class creative partners, then you will be able to attract consumers to your brand, just like a magnet attracts needles. Consumers will value content from brands if it tells a great story, makes them laugh, solves a problem, provides them with useful information, or simply entertains them. The focus should be on quality, not quantity.


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