Episode 7: Behind the scenes of outcome media

Published on October 27, 2021
blog, insights, podcast
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With the digital media industry facing more complexity and uncertainty than ever, brands are showing rising interest in outcome-based strategies that guarantee business results from their marketing investments. In episode 7 of our “People of Programmatic” podcast, part of our 10x10 series to herald Xaxis’ tenth anniversary, we're going behind the scenes of outcome media to help you better understand its nuances, realities, and possibilities.

Listen to this episode on: Apple Podcasts |  Spotify | Google Podcasts

In this episode:

  • Henry Stokes, Managing Director, Global Accounts, Xaxis (Host)
  • Michael Siewert, Global Programmatic Marketing Director, Colgate-Palmolive
  • Emily Knight, Senior Director, Business Development, The Trade Desk

We will cover:

  • The ways outcome media is defined.
  • How brand marketers and their agencies can determine desired outcomes.
  • The challenges that outcome media can help solve.
  • The benefits of technology in using outcome media.
  • How brands can embrace outcome media.

“Outcome based media to me is about being specific and accountable to an outcome, whether that is a media metric, or whether that's a sales figure, and having the data to do it is really what makes it different.

- Michael Siewert

What is outcome media?

Outcome media is fundamentally about data, and about using that data across the spectrum of brand marketing and performance marketing, which have traditionally been seen as representing two sides of a divide. 

  • Outcome media brings a new level of sophisticated thinking to marketing.
  • It allows marketers to get a clear sense of what they can expect from their media campaigns.
  • It also allows marketers to measure efficacy in real time, to be accountable to a defined outcome.
  • It fulfills the needs brands have to quantify results and justify their ad spend.
  • It can connect media across channels, for example connected TV, shoppable media, and performance marketing.

“It comes down [to] a level of sophistication in our marketing that makes us specific to what we expect our media to deliver.”

- Siewert

The strategy depends on the brand

Outcomes should always be derived from the goals of the brand’s business, but the exact strategy depends on the brand.

  • There can be upper-funnel targets, such as generating awareness, for which the metrics require a proxy to measure them.
  • Further down the funnel, there may be metrics the marketer can tie directly to sales or other direct actions such as store visits.
  • Determining outcomes and how to measure toward them is a case-by-case conversation, and often requires a bespoke approach to fit the brand’s needs.
  • The category influences the strategy. What’s possible in consumer products goods is very different from what can be done in auto, retail, or ecommerce, for example.

“It comes down to data and what the brands have available and what their actual business objective is.”

- Emily Knight

Outcome media helps marketers focus

With all the metrics and channels they have available, marketers can, Siewert notes, “go down a rabbit hole” of different measures that don’t tell an overall story of whether a campaign is actually “winning” for the business. Our guests suggest that:

  • Marketers need to think longer term, come up with a mix of metrics that prove with data and testing over time to have the best effects.
  • They should focus on the goals, not the minutiae they measure to help reach those goals.
  • It’s imperative to incorporate as much first-party data as possible.
  • Marketers must test, test, and test toward the goal. That can range from something like performance oriented metrics to more custom solutions such as interactions with a purpose-built API.

“There are always going to be different sorts of layers of activation. In large brand campaigns, we're always going to be doing awareness [and also] we're always going to be doing search and lower funnel type things.”

- Siewert

Technology brings huge benefits

The technologies available to marketers facilitate an outcome-based approach, whether the focus is awareness, an increase in brand recognition, or more directly tied to direct actions.

  • Platforms can support media buyers to help create campaigns designed to deliver on specified outcomes from the start.
  • They can be used to customize throughout campaign objectives and KPIs, even to tie back to specific metrics such as sales, foot traffic, and so on.
  • Media traders can work with what Knight calls “campaign wizards” who use AI to find recommended audiences that deliver on desired outcomes.

“Manage expectations and be very strategic about what you can get with a given budget for a single campaign, and across specific channels. That's where we see things be most successful.”

- Knight

Embracing outcomes can inspire transformation

Brands need to work across groups to incorporate expertise and resources across organizations at a holistic and granular level. Knight and Siewert offer the following tips to marketers:

  • Define clear objectives that can align everyone involved.
  • Work closely with the analytics groups and incorporate research that illustrates key metrics to which media should optimize.
  • Be willing to fail and learn from that failure. 
  • There needs to be a focus on what's impactful, not just what’s easy. Don’t let outcome media be a crutch that supplants sophisticated thinking.

“It really starts with organizational transformation, and then supplementing in tools that help us go faster.”

- Siewert

Outcome-based media will, our guests concur, be even more important as cookies start to diminish and first-party data become more important. Marketers can use the data that is available along with the metrics they’ve established to set hypotheses, test, analyze and continually improve to achieve their brands’ objectives.

Episode Host:

  • Henry Stokes | Managing Director of Global Accounts, Xaxis
    • Henry has 19 years of experience in the digital advertising and search marketing arena and more than 10 years working in programmatic media. He is currently Managing Director of Global Accounts for Xaxis where he leads a team delivering programmatic strategy for some of the world’s largest advertisers. His career began at MediaVest and then Mindshare, where he ran the IBM and Nike digital accounts. In 2005 he set up Circus Street, a consultancy & training business working for the likes of Nestle, ITV, Guardian, and Sky. He returned to Mindshare in 2010 as Head of Digital before moving to GroupM to lead client development for Xaxis UK in 2011. After two years of rapid growth he decided to take on the challenge to do the same for Xaxis in Asia where the business was successfully rolled out across 14 markets and saw 10x growth in 5 years. Training and education remains a passion for Henry. He has delivered the digital marketing course for MsC students at the the reputable CASS Business School in London and also developed the Xaxis programmatic 101 training program in APAC.

Episode Guests:

  • Emily Knight | Business Development Director, The Trade Desk
    • Emily Knight is Senior Director of Business Development at The Trade Desk, the largest independent omnichannel demand side platform (DSP). In her role, Emily is responsible for working across a wide category of advertisers and their media agencies, including some of the largest brands in the world, including Colgate-Palmolive. She's held the role for over four years at the company, while serving prior roles in programmatic at LiveIntent and Mindshare. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Emily lives in the greater New York City area with her family, and outside of work you can most often find Emily chasing after her daughter.
  • Michael Siewert | Global Programmatic Marketing Director, Colgate Palmolive
    • Michael is a digital media industry native with over 14 years of experience in planning & strategy, e-commerce, and capability building. He has worked with top agencies in the service of brands like Unilever and General Mills as well as on the publisher side at Vice Media, in e-commerce at Chewy.com, and with brands like Colgate-Palmolive. Currently, Michael serves as the Global Programmatic Director for Colgate where he is focused on further accelerating the adoption of programmatically traded media across the company and its ability to deliver outsized performance improvements.

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