360i’s Marketing Leadership Playbook provides guidance to marketers on how they can reimagine their approaches to marketing to advance legacy infrastructure, pave the way for more progressive advertising and move the industry forward in this new digital era.
The Marketing Leadership Playbook
From TV-Led to Digitally Led
Bryan Wiener, Chairman
03 SETTING THE FOUNDATION:
Establishing New Success Metrics and Benchmarks for
Bryan Wiener, Chairman
Marketer POV with Tom Bick, Brand and Advertising Senior Executive
From Digital as a Channel to Digital as an Organizational
Sarah Hofstetter, Chief Executive Officer
Q&A with Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital & Social Media, Nestlé
09 BRAND STRATEGY:
From Relying on What Worked Before to What’s Right for Right
Lee Maicon, Chief Strategy Officer
Case Study: Red Roof Amplifies Its Search Success
Case Study: Oscar Mayer Brings Home the Bacon Using Digital
From Why Will They Listen to Why Will They Care
Shankar Gupta-Harrison, VP of Strategy
Case Study: Nestlé Lean Cuisine Challenges Women to Weigh More
From Real-Time to Right Time
Matt Wurst, VP, General Manager of Social
From Winning with Scale to Outsmarting with Specialized
Jared Belsky, President
Case Study: How Jameson Used Data to Win the First...and Last...Pour
21 BRAND REPUTATION:
From Reactive Crisis Management to Building the Right
Rebecca McCuiston, SVP of Influencer Marketing
From the Pursuit of Perfection to Creating an Analytics-Driven
Jared Belsky, President
In the past year, we’ve seen cord-cutting and web-based TV services on the rise, the physical world getting
smarter and more digitally connected through the Internet of Things, and dramatic changes in media and
commerce as mobile gives rise to new ways of doing business faster and more seamlessly.
It’s time to reimagine (almost) everything.
Our industry is moving through an accelerated transition from TV-led to digitally led marketing. The confluence
of pressures that have been building for over a decade are reaching a boiling point that portends dramatic
change over the next 24 months. In fact, Forrester predicts digital spending will surpass TV in 2016, becoming
the number one media category for the first time.
Yet our industry is operating at its core much the same as it was in the pre-digital era. Despite shifting their
budgets, many organizations have held onto outdated ways of working during the decades-long shift to digital,
even as changes in technology and consumer behavior fundamentally disrupted, and continue to disrupt, the
Together, marketers, agencies and the industry as a whole can overhaul the legacy infrastructure that has been
holding us back, and pave the way for more progressive, digitally led approaches to marketing and media that
are designed to break through and accelerate revenue growth.
So why are we publishing this playbook for marketing leaders? While many marketers want change, knowing how
to change is less obvious. One study by the Association of National Advertisers and McKinsey found that while
81% of marketers believe they need formal content and distribution processes to navigate marketplace disruption,
84% have no such processes.
Through our experience (and good fortune of) working with leading marketers around the world, we have
compiled this guide, to help marketers reimagine organization, brand strategy, content, media, reputation
management and measurement in this new era. We don’t claim to have everything figured out, but our aim is to
help move the industry forward by advancing the conversation on how best to evolve so marketing will continue
to be an effective engine for driving company and economic growth.
The world has changed, communication has changed, and consumers have changed–now marketers stand to
benefit by overhauling what worked in the old era and adapting new approaches for the future. There is far more
risk in standing still than there is in advancing with an active test-and-learn approach. It’s not easy. But we’re all
in this together.
We hope you find this to be a helpful manual for navigating the change ahead and welcome your comments and
debate. Most of all, we look forward to partnering with you on the journey to reimagine the future of marketing.
Bryan Wiener, Chairman, 360i
• Causation–Challenge assumptions of causation
that rely on historical models of customer
• Investment–Be careful that this process is used
for optimizing marketing investment allocation
rather than a mere cost-cutting exercise, which
has happened at more than a few corporations.
“To reimagine (almost) everything, marketers
have to start by making substantive and
2. Don’t Exclude the Value of
“Non-Working” Media Dollars
Another relic that impacts budget allocations is the
working vs. non-working media ratio. “Working”
represents paid media and “non-working” includes
everything else needed to make the advertising–
like research, content development and agency
fees. Marketers are often being publicly measured
by their financial organizations on how they can
maximize the percentage of working media out of
the total marketing budget. This ratio made sense in
the TV era when the only way to reach consumers
was through paid, interruptive advertising, but in
a world where earned media (i.e., social media,
influencer marketing and PR) has enormous impact,
this outdated ratio of working to non-working dollars
is no longer helping marketers succeed. The quality
of an organization’s insights, ideas and content is
a huge factor in whether its message will resonate
and gain effective reach, and all of these things are
technically “non-working” dollars. On the flip side,
in an era when consumers can so easily ignore
interruptive advertising, marketers should
ESTABLISHING NEW SUCCESS METRICS AND
BENCHMARKS FOR BUDGETING
The future of the advertising industry is being driven
by dramatic changes in consumer behavior–led by
an increasingly influential population of millennials–
and the meteoric rise of digital, which is disrupting
the current marketing model.
To reimagine (almost) everything, marketers have
to start by making substantive and sustainable
changes within their own halls. Start by
fundamentally rethinking budgeting and marketing
success metrics in this new era. This will lay the
foundation for setting brands up to connect with
consumers in ways that are meaningful, motivational
The time is ripe for reimagination. Unconventional
approaches are causing positive disruption
across industries–from entertainment to retail
and beverages. Organizations can create new
opportunities by considering these three effective
ways to modernize:
1. Take a New Approach to Budgeting
It’s time to retire the age-old process of building
marketing budgets by tweaking last year’s plan up
or down a few points. Over the last few years, many
in the industry have championed new approaches
to budgeting, but some organizations have been
slow to shift. To help move the needle, here are four
steps to budgeting differently in 2016:
• Objectives–Start with clear objectives, an
aggregate affordable investment number and a
blank sheet of paper.
• Budget Allocations–Challenge teams to
create channel-agnostic budget allocations
that will allow for the best chance of hitting
by Bryan Wiener, Chairman, 360i
not assume that all paid advertising is actually
3. Establish New Success Metrics
The success metrics organizations establish drive
behavior—for better or worse. Measurement is
important, but it mustn’t become the enemy of
“Measurement is important, but it mustn’t
become the enemy of progress.”
For instance, many companies use marketing mix
models to determine the optimal blend of marketing
dollar allocations. These models use historical
relationships to determine cause and effect, which
presents two challenges. First, earned media is
generally excluded from the model, creating a
bias towards paid media and leading marketers
to underinvest in areas that drive word-of-mouth
impressions. Second, these models often infer
causal relationships between watching commercials
and making purchase decisions using historical
behavioral data, which often doesn’t apply in today’s
media environment. Consider the difficulty in using
a person’s behavior in a pre-iPhone era to predict
how they act today.
Transformation should start from the foundation up.
To get to digitally led marketing requires ensuring
marketers’ own budgets and success metrics set
them up to succeed in a new era.
• Try a new approach to building marketing
• Don’t discount non-working media in the
• Create new success metrics.
START BY ASKING:
• When budgeting, am I only tweaking last
• Am I measuring the value of earned media?
• Is the way I’m gauging success right for
A version of this article appeared in
Wall Street Journal CMO Today
MARKETER POV WITH TOM BICK
FROM MEASURING ROI TO MEASURING MARKETING EFFECTIVENESS
As a marketer, I have had the great fortune of working on some of the biggest and most
powerful brands over the past 25 years. During that time, one recurring question always
becomes a point of contention—how do I measure advertising effectiveness?
As an ex-researcher and, more recently, as senior director of integrated marketing and
advertising at Kraft Foods, I discovered this topic is crucial because it impacts almost all
decisions made within the marketing organization. My experience has been that most
marketers don’t have as deep or keen an understanding on this topic as they need,
and therefore are falling victim to decisions made by others, such as well-intentioned
researchers or finance people. Here are ways to reimagine measuring ad effectiveness:
Many marketing organizations are measuring ad effectiveness using regression based (or econometric) models.
These are powerful tools that, if built correctly, measure short-term sales effects, or where each GRP or impression
corresponds to a shift in sales at retail (e.g., same week sales, a 2-3 week aftereffect, also called ad stock or
decay rate). While this is typically accepted as the best way to measure the direct impact of advertising, it has one
major flaw; it ignores the long-term brand building effects of advertising, such as repeat purchase, brand equity
and flattening of the price elasticity curve. In many cases, these longer-term effects are as important, if not more
important, than immediate short-term sales, yet they don’t become part of the equation because they are not
measured by marketing mix models.
I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in board rooms where the analytics and finance teams review ad
effectiveness by media type and campaign, going down the list to rank various efforts by ROI and cutting those
that fall below an arbitrary number. Typically anything below 100% ROI is deemed ineffective and is discontinued.
What’s interesting is that the industry average ROI on TV is 72% and it doesn’t raise any red flags for the decision
makers in the room. This would imply that either the real ROI is actually higher than what we measure, or the entire
industry is going out of business slowly. According to a new Nielsen-CBS study, the long-term impact of advertising
(not surprisingly) measures from 1.2 to 3.5 times the effect of the short-term results. Other studies have shown long-
term results to be 10 times the impact of short-term results.
The implications of these findings are huge. Outdated success metrics are leading marketers to cut work that is
highly effective over the duration of the campaign. But the real power comes in being able to hypothesize how a
brand’s advertising should work over time, allowing marketers to project the relationship between short-term and
long-term effects. Not all advertising works the same way and not all media is the same. As such, we should expect
different types of messaging and media vehicles will have different correlations between their respective short-
term and long-term impact.
For example, I would hypothesize that utility brands such as Bounty, rather than image brands, such as Apple, tend
to have a smaller short-term to long-term impact ratio. In part, this is due to lower involvement with the decision
making process. Additionally, messages that are more rationally based or promotionally based may have larger
short-term effects, but probably don’t translate to higher long-term effects.
On the other hand, brands that advertise shared value messages probably are more likely to have a longer term
effect, because they are building equity, reinforcing choice and building communities around their brands. This
type of messaging isn’t as simple as a “buy today and save” message. Video (including TV and online) also may
have higher short term to long term effects due to their ability to more deeply engage consumers through site,
sound, motion and storytelling. This is important because often when laying out ROI comparisons, some media
tactics like display may show higher short-term ROI than video, but I question if they translate to longer-term impact
given display ads are more transactional.
Ultimately, brand marketers shouldn’t measure ad effectiveness by short-term results only. Understand that not all
media vehicles or messages have similar short-term to long-term ratios. By using the short-term effect as a proxy,
marketers may be making decisions that optimize to the short-term only, but that are not sustainable for creating
long-term impact. As the steward of the brand, take ownership by being the most informed person in the room
when it comes to measuring the marketing effectiveness.
A version of this article appeared on LinkedIn.
FROM DIGITAL AS A CHANNEL TO DIGITAL
AS AN ORGANIZATIONAL MINDSET
Chief Digital Officer. Center of Excellence. Digital
by design. Large companies with entrenched
organizational dynamics are struggling to figure
out how digital plays into their business models.
It’s been more than 20 years since the first banner
ad, but only recently have seasoned marketers
internalized the inherent importance of digital–
how it’s driving communications, inspiring product
development and influencing consumer behavior
in significant ways–and recognized the opportunity
to change the way their businesses and marketing
teams are organized.
We often see three barriers to digital success:
• Despite shifts to organizational integration,
many marketers are still held back by traditional
ways of doing business–like outdated
budgeting, ways of working and talent models–
that are keeping them from taking advantage of
• Performance-driven marketing has become
extremely sophisticated, with the ability to drive
impact across the entire marketing ecosystem,
but it’s often completely disconnected from
brand marketing teams.
• Organizations continue to keep digital at
the “edge,” putting responsibility either on
junior employees or those at the core of a
standalone group, sometimes called a “center
If any of these challenges sound familiar, it may
be time to reorganize to keep pace with changes
in technology and consumer behavior. To do this,
digital must be–at minimum–integrated, and ideally
a first consideration for how marketing and media
are planned. To succeed will require marketers
to first clarify business objectives and aims, and
then recruit the right teams, champion a culture of
curiosity, and advocate for new ways of working
both internally and with external partners.
“...only recently have seasoned marketers
internalized the inherent importance of
digital...and recognized the opportunity
to change the way their businesses and
marketing teams are organized.”
Here are a few tips to help marketers evaluate
what’s right for their organization:
As with all business planning, the first step is to
clarify the objective and North Star–identify where
by Sarah Hofstetter, Chief Executive Officer, 360i
This year digital spending is on track to surpass broadcast, and by 2018 is projected to
climb to more than $55 billion. This requires marketers to do two things:
(1) Recognize digital as a strategic driver of a brand’s marketing strategies and
(2) Change organizational patterns built around digital as a channel by treating digital
as a mechanism for consumers to create, consume and share information.
the organization wants to be and how to achieve
that outcome. For example, P&G Fabric Care wanted
to build loyalty, move faster and improve processes
without having to disrupt or overhaul the larger
company, which is why it launched its “always on”
environment. This led to fantastic work from Tide
and Downy. Recently, it evolved internal practices
so the mindset around being culturally relevant
could be further ingrained into its communications
planning, budgeting, activation and measurement.
Finding the right talent who can embrace
change and incorporate newer mechanisms of
communication is essential (even if this really
isn’t new). This has nothing to do with age or
experience level–it’s all about mindset. Marketers
should demand interaction and knowledge sharing
between brand managers and analysts, tech gurus
and platform experts, to get to smarter solutions.
It’s important to recruit the right people and
encourage them to collaborate with different subject
matter experts to inspire them in their everyday
jobs. Facebook and Google do this by hiring for
aptitudes, such as drive and the ability to think
creatively, rather than just discrete skills. This leads
them to bring in talent who are hungry to make an
impact and natural cultural fits, and ultimately gives
them the ability to identify better ways of doing
Ensuring success requires multiple members of
the C-suite to champion organizational change
by inspiring others, demonstrating curiosity and
openly showing they’re learning and adapting. If an
organization doesn’t have this leadership already,
it should cultivate it. It’s a necessary ingredient for
the fabric of a company’s culture. When leadership
makes digital and integration a priority, so does
everyone else. For example, GE encourages
development by having its executives generate
“Imagination Breakthroughs” during its twice-a-year
meetings of senior executives. This spurs ideas for
growth and creates a process to encourage talented
people to participate.
“When leadership makes digital and
integration a priority, so does everyone else.”
Look at the strengths and weaknesses of the
organization’s culture and capabilities, and re-
evaluate which functions would be better incubated
or fostered in-house vs. outsourced. If a particular
capability is core to its operations vs. core to
its marketing, is it worth considering incubating
it from within? For example, an airline trying to
use social media as its primary online customer
service channel may have more success insourcing
vs. outsourcing, but this would include getting
executive buy-in for the right levels of investment.
In contrast, a CPG marketer who wants to deploy
a dynamic, campaign-based approach to social
marketing that requires ongoing investment in
research, learning and team development may
not be able to attain the right focus or levels of
efficiency inside his or her organization to most
effectively pull it off.
The key to success is looking beyond the
complexity of digital to drive better organization,
strategy and change management. At 360i, we
are exposed to how many large companies are
organized, and it’s clear there’s no one-size-fits-
all solution. Across our clients, Nestlé’s Digital
Acceleration Team is sparking and infusing digital
curiosity throughout a 300,000-person global
organization; the Coca-Cola Company is using its
Liquid and Linked approach to share content and
stories that encourage conversation and sharing;
and Pernod Ricard USA is making digital core to its
overall media integration by bringing in a new
agency partner and approach. Every marketer must
find his or her own way towards organizing better
for the digital age.
• Clarify business objectives.
• Recruit the right talent and teams.
• Advocate for digital integration.
• Identify what capabilities can be done in-
house vs. outsourced.
START BY ASKING:
• Whom do I currently have on staff, and are
they curious and eager to learn to navigate
this changing environment?
• Does my organization have digital advocates
in top management? If not, what changes can
we make to identify those people and help
them gain support?
• What are our business objectives and how
can digital be a strategic driver for them?
Q&A WITH PETE BLACKSHAW, GLOBAL HEAD OF
DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA, NESTLÉ
HOW A 300,000-PERSON GLOBAL COMPANY IS
What is Nestlé’s Digital Acceleration Team, and what has been its impact
The Digital Acceleration Team (DAT) was created to bring speed, agility
and digitally powered brand building to Nestlé. The program is made up of
managers from around the world with high affinity and competence in digital and e-commerce brand
building. Eighteen DAT members are rotated every eight months through a state-of-the-art consumer
engagement center in Nestlé’s global headquarters in Switzerland where they participate in an intensive
training program, lead digital for key businesses and manage senior-level projects focused on digital
and e-commerce. These people then return to their respective markets where, as newly trained digital
leaders, they can train and inspire others. The DAT teams have informed new approaches to Nutrition,
Health and Wellness (NHW), event listening, digital advertising, social CRM, and digital training and
testing, and they are now opening up critical new ground in e-commerce. The program has expanded to
16 markets including China, India, Italy, the Middle East, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the U.S.
How does Nestlé stay ahead in a rapidly changing digital landscape?
Several years ago, we established the Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost. This team sits right at the heart
of innovation and looks at how we can leverage technology advancements and startups to enhance
the lives and well-being of consumers. Staying on the pulse of innovation has created marketing
efficiencies, new proximity to health trends and faster, better, cheaper methods of communicating.
How do you position the organization for change without compromising the core
fundamentals of marketing?
Digital and social media are increasingly central to Nestlé’s brand-building process, and the good
news is that the company’s long-standing convictions about delighting consumers, enhancing lives
and building brands share a symbiotic relationship with digital and e-commerce principles. One of the
things that attracted me to Nestlé was “brand building the Nestlé way” (BBNW)–where we define how
the organization approaches the fundamental requirements of “creating engaging brand experiences,”
“winning with shoppers” and “knowing consumers deeply.” If one peels back the layers of digital
vernacular, the fundamentals are already making a compelling case for digital acceleration.
When hiring and recruiting talent, what do you look for?
Brand-building excellence is cost of entry. For people that embrace any opportunity to build a brand,
digital, social and e-commerce naturally get their attention. I also look for folks who bring a startup and
MVP mindset to their work–our DAT principles of speed, agility and flexibility are critical. They must think
multi-channel and be digital and mobile by design. I also want leaders who understand how to manage
vs. resolve tension. Today’s online realities–from socialization to mobilization–put an urgent premium on
understanding “digital dualisms,” the tension points between two real or perceived opposites.
What is your advice to other brand marketers looking to organize for success in the digital age?
Don’t lose the passion. Passion powers excellence, the right questions, intolerance of bureaucracy and
legacy systems, and outdated assumptions. Passion also encourages us to look under the hood for new
opportunities. Don’t forget it’s all still about delighting consumers. Today’s consumers have even higher
expectations of marketers and brands, a point I screamed in my book “Satisfied Customers Tell Three
Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000.” Moreover, what consumers say on the web and in word-of-mouth
circles is infinitely revealing of brand value. Stay close to this and you’ll go far.
FROM RELYING ON WHAT WORKED BEFORE TO
WHAT’S RIGHT FOR RIGHT NOW
For decades, marketing success meant taking
what worked last year and doing it slightly better.
A reliance on what worked before became the
law of the land, establishing a marketing paradigm
that was relatively stable, certain and clear. As
a result, brand strategy has traditionally been
focused on how to best refine consumer insight
based on the prior year’s data and on iterating
prior work using copy and message testing to give
brands confidence in the perceived guarantee of
success. For the most part, it worked. Results were
dependable, regressions were performed and CFOs
were convinced the investment was worthwhile
compared to the year before. However, what got us
here won’t get us to where we need to go next.
Today brands operate in systems that are complex
and in a marketplace that is far more ambiguous
and fast-moving than the decades-old TV-led
model. Decisions can now be driven by real-world
data, behaviors and cues, allowing marketers the
flexibility to optimize performance in days where it
once took years, and to create campaigns that are
right for right now. By treating strategy as a constant
set of decisions and a learning system, marketers
have incredible opportunities to build brand
audiences and meaningful connections.
Here are four ways for marketers to get ahead:
1. Make Strategic Choices on Current Data
Brands should tap into tools like survey data and
social listening, and also look for trends in search,
cookie data or the myriad Application Program
Interface (API) sources that are leading to new
insights about consumer behavior today. Every
consumer action produces data, and these data
points are often leading indicators for where the
broader population is going and where brands need
to be right now.
“...what got us here won’t get us to where we
need to go next.”
For example, for 360i client HBO, social listening
uncovered that conversation among Game of
Thrones fans remained high throughout the year. To
keep fans engaged between seasons, HBO tapped
into fan dialogue, like the widespread hatred of King
Joffrey Baratheon in season four and the popular
character Drogon going missing in season five, to
launch innovative efforts that drove billions of
by Lee Maicon, Chief Strategy Officer, 360i
At one time, brand strategy was evaluated once or twice a year, leading marketers
to reliable, consistent outcomes. With today’s marketplace in a constant state of
change, brand strategy has shifted to become much more nimble, using a flexible set
of questions and approaches that lead to marketing plans that are right for right now.
By breaking away from a reliance on solely what worked in the past, brands can take
advantage of opportunities to connect with consumers in the right moments and with
the right messages, resulting in more effective and breakthrough marketing.
impressions, ignited influencer and fan
conversation, and contributed to record ratings for
Data can also be used to optimize campaigns at the
right moments. For client Red Roof, in a campaign
that has become the most awarded search
campaign ever, 360i merged data sources for
weather and air travel with Google search data to
optimize and target advertising to stranded travelers
in the exact moments they were looking for a good
2. Provide Briefs That Focus on Business
Problems Rather Than Tactical Outputs
Marketers should define current business
challenges so teams and agencies can develop
the most effective solutions. Strong briefs frame
problems clearly first, provide insight into the
consumer or category second, and then pose
a strategic direction that can open up possible
solutions. Only then might potential tactical
solutions be useful. A good brief will be driven by
strategic aims and will inspire the team working
on it by not being overly prescriptive. In contrast,
bad briefs–unfortunately far more common–are
typically too tactical, focusing primarily on proposed
solutions rather than business problems. The
difference can be small, but framing the brief
properly makes the team working on it feel like they
are coming up with solutions vs. executing within
tight parameters. Ultimately, this leads to better
“Strong briefs frame problems clearly first,
provide insight into the consumer or category
second, and then pose a strategic direction
that can open up possible solutions.”
Who would have thought that a bacon-scented
alarm clock would unlock sales for Oscar Mayer?
The brief focused on the need to make bacon
relevant and to create excitement around the
sensory experience of the brand, allowing us to land
in a surprising and unexpected place. The work has
put the brand in a new light with consumers while
increasing sales for Oscar Mayer bacon.
3. Find Hidden Differentiators by
Combining Feelings to Believe with
Reasons to Believe
Research continues to prove that even if a product
or service can be differentiated in its rational
qualities, or reasons to believe, people over time
will not be convinced of its superiority. Instead,
brands must appeal to a feeling to believe.
For example, for the launch of Coffee-mate Natural
Bliss, we could have focused solely on the core
product attribute–that the creamer has only four
ingredients. Instead, we dramatized the rational
differentiator with an emotionally compelling film
featuring an all-natural café experience with body-
painted actors staged as baristas. It sparked an
emotional reaction by turning millennials’ heads and
grabbing their attention in a way they weren’t able
to ignore. The spot created an unexpected feeling
about the truly all-natural coffee creamer by using a
little shock value to get consumers to talk about the
brand. The campaign quickly went viral, garnering
more than half a billion earned media impressions.
4. Plan for a Second Act
Most marketers plan only for negative contingencies
(if that), but it’s time to plan for positive ones. Create
a fund–like a rainy day fund, except it’s a 75-degree-
and-sunny fund–for when a campaign goes well.
Rather than just launching it and leaving it, think
about the opportunity a second act might have to
further evangelize a brand with consumers. Now
more than ever, marketing ideas and activations
need to exist as part of a bigger whole, a point
along the path to telling a great story.
The first step to a successful second act is having
a simple measurement plan in place that defines
what success or failure looks like. The key is
what marketers do with that information. Use
success as a launch pad to build ideas further
and to drive consumer engagement to the next
level. For example, the success of Red Roof’s
flight-cancellation coup led to a clever second
act targeting the nation’s roadways using a next-
generation technology that surveyed traffic patterns
to serve ads to drivers in need of a break from
unexpected travel delays. By creating room to make
ads relevant in more ways than one, the second act
can be even stronger than the first.
Eschewing reliability and planning for change
creates the opportunity for marketers to craft better
advertising. The future is bright, but marketers
need to have the right mindset, tools and teams to
capture that opportunity.
• Modernize your brand strategy by tapping into real-
world data to get a better picture of things as they
are, not as they were.
• Go beyond reasons to believe and ensure your
brand can deliver a feeling to believe.
• Always leave room for a second act. The worst
thing you can do is launch successfully and not be
prepared for a follow-up.
START BY ASKING:
• Where is my brand now? Where do I want it to
go? How can we get there?
• If I were developing a strategy for a brand for
the first time ever, where would I begin?
• What does success look like? How can I share
my vision for what success looks like?
MASTERING THE SECOND ACT:
RED ROOF AMPLIFIES ITS SEARCH SUCCESS
Challenge: Taking advantage of the worst winter in decades, 360i client Red Roof used technology and
an innovative approach to mobile search marketing to outsmart deep-pocketed rivals by automatically
turning thousands of flight cancellations into thousands of opportunities to win the battle of the click.
After achieving huge gains in conversion and online bookings and becoming the most awarded search
campaign of all time, the brand set out to find its next opportunity to reach more travelers seeking last-
minute accommodations and serve them relevant, real-time offers.
Insight: With hundreds of properties located on the nation’s busiest roadways, Red Roof is in a prime
position to aid travelers in their misfortunes and outflank competitors by giving traffic-jammed travelers
a place to stop and rest.
Strategy: For Red Roof, 360i built the next generation
of our award-winning custom marketing automation
technology to monitor interstate traffic conditions across
the country. The technology surveys thousands of miles
of road conditions for traffic congestion and, based on
time of day, updates Red Roof’s paid search campaigns
in real time, serving copy that speaks directly to the
traveler and communicates the exact distance to the
nearest Red Roof (and a good night’s rest).
Results: Since launch, the campaign is already
outperforming previous mobile benchmarks, reaching
a projected 1.6 million travelers annually and leading to
a 225% increase in bookings. Furthermore, Red Roof
continues to lead the way in marketing automation and
mobile search innovation.
OSCAR MAYER BRINGS HOME THE BACON USING DIGITAL
Background: People love bacon, but they aren’t particularly choosy about which bacon they buy. Oscar
Mayer wanted to prove that its bacon is truly a cut above the rest so that more people would seek out
Oscar Mayer bacon by name in the grocery store.
For over four years, 360i has worked with Oscar Mayer to challenge the CPG category by breaking away
from traditional strategies to take risks and create groundbreaking, made-for-digital campaigns that were
right for the moment. Oscar Mayer has become an innovative first-mover, loved and lauded by consumers
and press, all while increasing its bacon sales. Here’s how:
To get here, 360i and Oscar Mayer first focused on the business challenge and need to make the brand’s
bacon relevant, ultimately creating enthusiasm around Oscar Mayer bacon that resulted in exciting and
unexpected solutions that have moved the business forward.
The Great American
Oscar Mayer sent comedian Josh
Sankey off on an unprecedented,
social-powered adventure dubbed
“The Great American Bacon Barter,”
where he ended up bartering 2,168
bricks of bacon with over 1,000
bacon-lovers across 3,125 miles,
earning more than 335 million
earned media impressions. Carrying
no cash or credit cards–just 3,000
pounds of Butcher Thick Cut bacon–
Josh’s goal was to prove that his
bacon was as good a currency
as any by bartering his way from
coast to coast. He shared real-
time social updates, and the brand
also partnered with leading digital
lifestyle publication Thrillist to offer
a dedicated website featuring daily
“Bacon Barter” updates, social
tracking of Josh’s adventures and
the “Bacon Meater,” which let fans
know how many bricks of bacon
were left for bartering.
Say it with Bacon
People shop for bacon a lot like
they shop for fine jewelry: by
meticulously inspecting it before
making a purchase. So for Father’s
Day, Oscar Mayer created an
experience that allowed women to
gift luxurious bacon products to the
leading men in their lives, which
led to 500 million impressions and
a 3.3% year-over-year increase
in sales. The campaign parodied
the consideration process for
purchasing a diamond, educating
bacon connoisseurs about the
“Four Cs” of Oscar Mayer’s
superior bacon: Cut, Color, Cure
and Consistency. The campaign
launched with a video that parodied
classic engagement ring ads and
encouraged people to visit a digital
pop-up shop where they could
purchase luxe bacon gifts for men.
Oscar Mayer released new batches
of gifts each day at varying times,
and fans rushed to follow
@oscarmayer on Twitter to learn
exactly when the next batch would
be released for sale.
Wake Up and Smell
Few culinary experiences rival the
unmistakable scent and sounds of
bacon cooking in the morning. So
Oscar Mayer developed the world’s
only alarm clock device and app
that lets users awaken to the sound
and scent of bacon, earning more
than 520 million media impressions
and driving another 4.2% year-over-
year sales increase. Through nine
months of R&D, 360i developed a
custom Oscar Mayer bacon scent,
prototyped a device to deliver
it, and built a user-friendly alarm
clock app. To promote the product,
Oscar Mayer released a web video
inspired by the ridiculous, whimsical
tone of contemporary fragrance
ads and launched a website where
bacon fans could apply to win one
of the limited-edition devices. To
help build buzz, a handful of devices
were seeded with reporters and
influencers (“Wake Up and Smell the
Bacon” needed to be experienced
to be believed), and digital media
was used to spread the comical
video to the masses.
FROM WHY WILL THEY LISTEN TO
WHY WILL THEY CARE
Very few words in the advertising lexicon create
more passion and confusion than “content.” The
phrase “content is” returns about 17 times more
Google results than the phrase “advertising is,”
suggesting that people think “content” needs a lot
more explanation than advertising, despite being
around for a significantly shorter time.
The difference between advertising and content
comes not from its media type, the channel where
it was deployed or anything else about the work
itself–it comes from the intent behind making it in
the first place. Ads, no matter how compelling or
entertaining they are, are primarily intended to be
placed in interruptive paid media placements to try
to catch consumer attention at a moment when it
has no competition, whether that’s a commercial
break, a pre-roll or an interstitial. Content, on the
other hand, is created with the intention that it must
compete for consumer attention in an environment
with other unbranded content, like a social feed, a
content site or even regular TV programming.
“Very few words in the advertising lexicon
create more passion and confusion than
The reason the content vs. ads debate can be
so contentious is because the split between ads
that don’t need to compete for attention and
content that does is disappearing. Unless a brand’s
advertising dollars are being spent on something
that can earn consumers’ attention, those media
dollars are being wasted. To take advantage of this
trend, marketers need to shift their thinking from
“Why will they listen?,” to “Why on earth will anyone
care about this?” Here are three tips to make shifts
1. Listen to What Consumers are Saying
The first step is stronger consumer insights–not just
broad strokes of demographic and psychographic
information, but also detailed, insightful tribe
analyses. These not only reveal what consumers
think about a brand, but also what their passions
are, what their dreams are and how they feel about
prevailing cultural issues of the day.
While traditional modes of research that draw from
surveys, polls, interviews and other approaches that
directly solicit information from consumers remain
valuable, social listening and search-based research
can allow marketers to listen to consumers in more
unguarded moments. People typically use a search
bar or a Tweet-compose window as a type of
by Shankar Gupta-Harrison, VP of Strategy, 360i
Consumers are more empowered than ever to avoid traditional ads. The difference
between ads and content has nothing to do with format, length or media. It’s all
about what comes first: grabbing consumers or communicating a brand message.
With consumers increasingly able to avoid overt sales messages, content provides an
alternate way for brands to reach them.
therapy–somewhere they can share things they
wouldn’t in an ethnography interview or online
When developing content, a critical piece of the
puzzle is understanding the types of content and
channels an audience tends to consume–is there
a prevailing tone, set of topics, interest area or
platform that the audience favors? If so, how can
a brand best tap into that? Ultimately, brands that
succeed in content creation are brands that are
utterly obsessed with their consumers and the
content they prefer.
360i’s client Oreo, for example, has been doing
in-depth consumer listening for years, starting with
the 2012 “Daily Twist” work to identify moments in
pop culture where it could insert the playful Oreo
twist. When the brand noticed a high volume of
conversations about remixing the classic “Twist/Lick/
Dunk” ritual, we responded with a series of “Snack
Hack” videos and content that explored playful and
creative ways to eat an Oreo cookie, tying the brand
to an emerging food-hacking trend.
2. Define a Brand Personality
After thoroughly exploring and listening to the
consumer, it’s good to take another look at the
brand itself. Many marketers who think they have a
deep and nuanced understanding of their brands
have often only seen them manifested in traditional
advertising, which leads to a narrow and myopic
view of how a brand can be expressed. Bringing
a brand to life in digital and social requires a fully
developed brand personality that marketers can use
to react and respond to consumers in a lifelike way.
This will also help marketers develop a consistent
brand voice and visual aesthetic, which is even
more critical to success given the fragmentation
of consumer attention and the proliferation of
platforms across which brand messages need to be
spread. Consumers gravitate towards brands with
cohesive values and voices.
“Ultimately, brands that succeed in content
creation are brands that are utterly obsessed
with their consumers and the content
This important personality work begins with
understanding what role a brand plays in people’s
lives and how it makes them feel. From there,
brands can develop an archetype character that
can be shared with everyone who’s responsible for
communicating on behalf of the brand.
Over time, our client Hanes has built up a strong
tone of voice for its product line with work like
“Soften the Blow” and “#XTEMPSTRESSTEST” with
influencer Logan Paul, bringing together a mixture
of comfort, expertise and cheeky humor. The latest
content, “Hot & Hairy,” continues bringing that tone
to life and highlighting Hanes as an innovation
leader in the comfortable basics space.
3. Go Ahead, Get All Emotional
With their newfound brand personality in hand,
marketers then need to make entertaining,
provoking, educating or emotionally moving
consumers a communications priority. This is a big
shift in mindset for many marketers, who often focus
their efforts on things like key message repetition
and product romance shots. These communications,
while powerful marketing tools, often aren’t enough
to break through and resonate with a disinterested
and distracted consumer.
Traditional marketing focused on proof points that
showed the brand could deliver what it claimed to
deliver. But in today’s environment, crowded with
products and brands, all of which are able to offer
compelling reasons to believe, the emotions that
brands inspire in people come to the forefront and
are imperative. The key differentiator for a brand
is the values it espouses, and the emotions those
values inspire in consumers. Figuring out that
feeling for a brand and letting it lead communication
is core to creating content that will draw people in
rather than simply interrupting them.
360i’s client Nestlé, for example, ignited authentic
social conversation about weight and value
perception among women by asking them to weigh
more than their weight in an emotionally powerful
video that inspires women to instead weigh their
accomplishments, helping consumers to see Lean
Cuisine in a new light as the conversation took off.
NESTLÉ LEAN CUISINE CHALLENGES WOMEN TO
Challenge: As Nestlé Lean Cuisine embarked on
a rebrand that introduced all new advertising,
packaging and frozen entrée options, it needed to
evolve perception from its diet brand heritage and
become a modern health and lifestyle brand.
Strategy: Lean Cuisine’s strategy was to get
people to see its brand anew by igniting a relevant
and authentic social conversation about weight
and value perception among women, inspiring
them to weigh themselves differently by putting
emotional communications and content first.
Execution: The centerpiece of the campaign was an emotionally powerful spot featuring real
women weighing their accomplishments–such as becoming a parent, making the dean’s list as a
single mother, and traveling the world–in lieu of weighing their bodies. The video was seeded on
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and utilized paid media, PR and influencer marketing to amplify
Lean Cuisine’s message and spread the word.
Results: The campaign was an instant viral success, changing perception around Lean Cuisine’s
brand image and building affinity among consumers. Within the first week of launch, our efforts
earned the #9 spot in the Ad Age Viral Video chart and nearly 6.5 million total views. The
video was well received, and Lean Cuisine saw a 33% increase in positive brand perception.
The campaign is inspiring new best practices within Nestlé and will remain central to ongoing
marketing efforts for Lean Cuisine.
• Use “Why would anyone care about this?” as a first
filter for evaluating work.
• Tap search and social listening to get a deeper
understanding of your target audience.
• Define your brand’s personality to engage
consumers with the right content, in the right
• Put entertaining, educating or evoking emotion
front and center in content marketing efforts.
START BY ASKING:
• Are my current ads share-worthy?
• How can my brand engage people with
something other than product messages?
• Is my brand personality defined enough to say
something interesting and differentiated in the
A version of this article appeared in
FROM REAL–TIME TO RIGHT TIME
Social networks have evolved to become powerful
media platforms, offering brands the potential for
scale, reach and more sophisticated targeting to put
the right content in front of the right audiences at
the right times. Yet many marketers haven’t evolved
their approach to social media strategy, content,
media and measurement to keep pace with new
opportunities, putting them at risk of wasting money
and resources. Here’s how marketers can adopt
new social strategies to drive business results in
today’s communications environment:
1. Coordinate Content and Media Further
With creative and media more closely aligned
than ever before, the connected planning process
requires more efficiency among brands and their
agency partners. Consider planning paid, earned
and owned media together, even if executed
separately. Getting alignment in the planning
phase will provide more strategic insight, enabling
marketers’ investments in content and media to
work harder together through a deeper, more
holistic understanding of consumer expectations
and behaviors. Better input will yield better output.
2. Blow Up the Social Content Calendar
Model to Focus on Campaign-Based
As the organic reach of social platforms approaches
zero, we should look to shift the balance in how
brand creative is conceived, created, published,
amplified and monitored. Speed does not trump
quality. While there is still a time and place for
one-off culturally relevant posts and reactive
content opportunities, fewer, bigger activations
and campaigns are yielding stronger results for
clients across sectors including retail and CPG.
For instance, one of our clients that has shifted its
strategy this way is seeing a return on its social
investment that is 6.3 times higher than the total
amount spent to produce content and buy the
media to support it, significantly outperforming the
ROI of its TV advertising. This new model ensures
that a critical threshold of quality impressions is
achieved, that content is seen, and that the brand
connection with consumers is strong.
3. Reduce Waste by Amplifying Content to
the Right Target Audiences
Paid social–either directly with platforms or through
influencer partnerships–is now required to achieve
quality impressions and meaningful engagement
with the right audiences on social platforms. When
leveraged correctly, the advanced media targeting
capabilities of Facebook, YouTube and
by Matt Wurst, VP, General Manager of Social, 360i
For years brands have been in hot pursuit of the always-on social strategy. But the
ongoing rise of content on these platforms has also made “share of screen” harder
to come by organically. The bar has risen exponentially to compete for consumer
attention and participation, and to meet it, brands should consider a social strategy
that combines more concentrated campaign-driven creative ideas with specialization
in the data and media needed to ensure they’re seen and engaged with.
new advertising products rolling out from Pinterest,
Twitter and Instagram have the potential to be
some of the most efficient, effective platforms
in advertising. Interest-based, location-based,
behavioral and device-based targeting enable
marketers to reduce wasted impressions and reach
higher-value audience segments, as well as to
deliver content with different messages, tones and
visuals to different audiences concurrently. Paired
with ongoing optimization, we are now seeing lower
CPMs and higher click-through rates as paid social
media dollars progressively increase.
4. Measure the Business Impact of Social
Moving from high-frequency content to a
consolidated campaign approach might mean
“going dark” on certain platforms at certain times.
Deep breath. Not only will it not hurt a brand or
future content performance, it may actually help
it. To get to better social performance, set up the
right measurement framework that evolves from
focusing on social-only metrics, such as Likes and
impressions, to measuring business outcomes, like
sales lift or perception change. The richness of data
available allows marketers to measure the effects of
multiple media touchpoints and individual content
units against business results, as well as how they
work in combination. By taking steps to invest in
integrating the results of organic social listening
(how the campaign affects consumer conversation),
owned channel analysis (social content performance
and conversion), survey data (pre- and post-
campaign brand effect) and conversion tracking
(pixel-based and online attribution), social impact
can be measured beyond impressions and
“While there is still a time and place for
one-off culturally relevant posts and
reactive content opportunities, fewer, bigger
activations and campaigns are yielding
stronger results for clients across sectors...”
5. Consider the Strategic Role Social Can
Play in the Broader Marketing Strategy
Social marketing should be connected to the other
media and marketing efforts. With the right mix, it
has the power to be an effective and cost-efficient
media platform. In some cases, it can even drive
higher-quality reach, better engagement and more
ROI than other channels. As such, spend allocations
and budget distribution should be monitored
and optimized with greater frequency than in
the past. Ultimately, the key is recognizing social
as a platform that can scale a brand’s story and
experiences by targeting specific content to niche
audiences to drive more participation and better
Integrated, campaign-based social marketing
delivers greater value and impact when done right,
but marketers should be willing to change course.
The marketing mindset will need to evolve from
standalone content to integrated campaigns. By
shifting to connected planning, quality content, paid
social amplification and better measurement, social
will continue to yield strong results for marketers
and strategically drive brands’ marketing objectives.
If done right, the opportunity to use social to
communicate the right message, in the right place,
at the right time by integrating creative content and
strategic planning has never been better.
• Plan paid, earned and owned media together,
even if executed separately.
• Focus on quality, campaign-based social
• Amplify content using paid social.
• Set up a measurement framework to measure
• Create a balanced media mix that connects
social to other media and marketing efforts.
START BY ASKING:
• Do I have a connected planning process in
• Is my team focused on real-time content or
• Am I using paid social to amplify my message
and target consumers across platforms?
• What type of measurement plan do I have in
A version of this article appeared in
FROM WINNING WITH SCALE TO OUTSMARTING
WITH SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE
For the last 50 years, negotiation and scaled rates
have been the main consideration for how brands
select agency partners, and the number of media
options was relatively easy to navigate. With the
rise of digital, programmatic, paid social and real-
time data, the media model has grown increasingly
complex and fragmented. Brands recognize a
need for change–they want more integration and
transparency, they need more innovation, and they
struggle with tech-stack selection. However, few
recognize the core issues that underpin much of the
current upheaval in media.
While brands could once win by having the biggest
spend and deepest pockets, today competitive
advantage comes from having the most rigorous
execution and smartest approaches to winning
in the “last 10 yards”–reaching the right people,
in the right places, at the right times, with the
right messages. Our client Spotify, for example, is
combining excellence in social, search and other
digital media to generate awareness, educate
potential users and drive mobile app downloads.
To win means bridging media once divided along
the lines of brand marketing and direct marketing,
and requires marketers, agencies and technology
partners to rethink how they plan, budget and
organize along the consumer journey–where media
drives impact. Marketers can find large gains in the
last 10 yards to conversion. For instance, a landing
page change can drive 20 percent increases in
search performance, and understanding how to
marry CRM files with Facebook targeting can get
the right messages in front of a brand’s current or
“While brands could once win by having the
biggest spend and deepest pockets, today
competitive advantage comes from having
the most rigorous execution and smartest
approaches to winning in the ‘last 10 yards’...”
To solve for these challenges requires brands to
evaluate media partnerships and build alignment.
Here are three considerations for marketers:
1. Reinvent the RFP
The RFP should be a lens into real insights about a
brand, its customers and its business challenges.
This will lead to RFP responses that aren’t just
rooted in the value a partner can create with costs
or price, but that allow an agency or technology
partner to showcase solutions for addressing
Marketers can do this by changing core areas of the
• Costs–Evaluate costs for different aspects of
the engagement, instead of commission rates.
Consider retained models for specializations
like content, social, paid social and search,
by Jared Belsky, President, 360i
The media model has grown more complex and continues to fragment at an
accelerating rate. Marketers should capitalize on new opportunities by reimagining
their media strategies to create competitive advantages that win in the last 10 yards.
where productivity is driven by focus and proper
allocation vs. scaled media like TV.
• Transparency–Understand what the company
is doing to build transparency, eliminate fraud
and ensure best practices in media buying. Also,
be participatory in the decision-making process
and align economically to ensure both parties
are working towards the same goal.
• Experience–Involve the team that will work on
your brand day-to-day in the pitch process by
asking for chemistry sessions and case studies
that demonstrate how the team drives success
• Competency–Determine what resources
the partner has internally vs. what is being
outsourced. Four-wall competency can mean
greater depth of easily deployable expertise
and alignment towards a brand’s goals.
• Talent–Look for talent that will scale new media
opportunities in ways that meaningfully impact
performance. Growing areas like paid social,
for example, require a shift from generalists to
specialists across analytics, insights, media and
account, working in concert to identify the right
cultural moments to optimize. It’s important for
marketers to understand, for example, that the
hours that go into a $100,000 Facebook paid
social video campaign could amount to three
times more than a similarly budgeted broadcast
“The RFP should be a lens into real insights
about a brand, its customers and its business
2. Acknowledge That Tech Isn’t a Stand-
Technology isn’t a stand-alone solution. It’s
important to first have a strategy, and then
understand how technology will accelerate it.
Similar to how technology like Etrade helps broker
stock deals quickly and seamlessly, if the inputs
are choosing the wrong stocks, it can accelerate
the speed at which an investor is losing money.
Likewise, algorithms do a great job of optimizing
search or programmatic campaigns, but if they’re
directing customers to outdated landing pages
or irrelevant creative, it’s difficult to maximize the
opportunity. The combination of talent (intelligence)
and technology (efficiency) is needed for the best
3. Plan Content and Media Concurrently
Advertising is more personalized and relevant
than ever. Consumers engage with brands across
multiple formats and devices, so content delivery
must be frequent and unique. We now have fully
integrated platforms that balance content (niche
and mass), cross-channel device delivery, and
advanced targeting and analysis that focus on the
changing consumption habits of audiences and
demographics. Brands must prioritize both content
and media to take advantage of all of this progress.
There’s no shortage of big deals and shiny
technologies to power better, smarter media
strategies. With so much access to technology and
real-time data, it’s time to use this period of change
to advance toward the future. By reinventing the
RFP and team structures, planning media and
content together, and investing in the right areas,
we can get smarter in the last 10 yards to ensure
media creates advantages and drives business
• Reinvent the RFP process.
• Find the right balance between investing in
specialized talent and technology.
• Plan content and media together.
START BY ASKING:
• Am I asking the right questions in my RFP to
find the right partners?
• Do I have the right teams or partners in place
to consistently drive and optimize analytics,
paid social, programmatic, search, etc.?
• Are my brand and media teams set up to use
data and media as a competitive advantage?
A version of this article appeared in
HOW JAMESON USED DATA TO WIN THE FIRST...
Objective: Jameson is the original, go-to drink of the “neighborhood bar” in Ireland. To make
Jameson the shot of choice for St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. and keep its Irish whiskey pouring at
local bars, Jameson needed to authentically communicate its message at the neighborhood level,
while also achieving national scale and driving increased sales during a critical time period.
Strategy: Through social listening, 360i mapped the consumer journey to St. Patrick’s Day and
designed a tiered messaging and targeting approach to engage consumers around the holiday.
We strategically designed a cross-channel targeting strategy to engage both consumers and
bartenders, and tapped the latest developments in geo-targeting to make the brand’s national
message authentic at a neighborhood level in key markets before and on St. Patrick’s Day.
Execution: With the targeting and scale of paid social, the campaign built anticipation and spread
the Jameson message neighborhood-by-neighborhood and device-by-device. Jameson grabbed
attention using the world’s first-ever 3D social ads to serve up virtual shots directly in consumers’
newsfeeds and enlisted the support of bartenders nationwide. It also drove discovery with
paid search ads that helped consumers find new ways to drink whiskey, and used Yelp to align
Jameson with nationwide searches for Irish bars and pubs to keep Jameson top-of-mind. Jameson
called on bar patrons to share their #ShotsEyeView from their own local watering holes and used
geo-fencing mobile location data to intercept bar-goers as they were walking by neighborhood
bars, all which kept the shots pouring.
Results: The campaign shattered all benchmarks from day one, driving record social engagement
for Jameson. The brand saw e-commerce sales increase by 720%, making Jameson the best-
selling alcohol brand of the holiday and contributing to more than 20% revenue growth three
months in a row.
Even the most highly regarded brands can come under fire. The climate for brand
reputation has changed–from the six o’clock news to up-to-the-minute Tweets and
from professional journalists and eyewitness reports to instant live coverage shot and
shared by the smartphone-equipped public. Today, crises can be spawned and brand
reputations put in jeopardy in just moments, escalating to national and international
attention in hours or even minutes.
Technology has made reputation management
a 24/7 job for brands, and the explosion of
smartphones means every brand action, good
or bad, has the opportunity to be recorded and
disseminated. As quickly as positive news can build
up a brand, a threat or mistake can bring it down.
For brands, it’s imperative to build the right offense,
ensuring they’re prepared to quickly respond,
react and rebuild, no matter the level of threat or
scenario. Here’s how:
1. Build a Brand Reputation Team and Plan
When a crisis strikes and a brand’s reputation is at
stake, it takes a village to protect the brand. When
marketers have minutes, not hours, to react and
respond, they need to know who the key decision
makers are and who is accountable. Ensure the
team is lean, armed with an activation plan, and
empowered to make critical decisions quickly. They
should have open–and immediate–access to the
right inputs from senior management, legal and PR.
By making brand reputation core to a company’s
strategy and execution, the organization can act
quickly and purposefully to manage any situations
“Technology has made reputation
management a 24/7 job for brands.”
2. Understand the Varied Threat Levels
Not every threat is created equal. Consumers are
fickle, and their tolerance for mistakes and mishaps
can vary significantly, making it tough for brands
to identify when they are in crisis. It’s essential to
understand the different levels of threat, a brand’s
audience, and the larger social conversation of the
moment to know how to respond.
We’ve identified six core areas of crisis in the digital
High Threat (low consumer tolerance; high
likelihood of provoking a strong consumer reaction)
• Health and/or Safety: When consumers’ health
or safety is perceived to be at risk, a brand’s
reputation is almost always in crisis. Whether it’s
a product recall, food contamination or a data
breach, brands must work quickly to resolve
consumers’ concerns and demonstrate they are
addressing the issue.
FROM REACTIVE CRISIS MANAGEMENT TO
BUILDING THE RIGHT OFFENSE
by Rebecca McCuiston, SVP of Influencer Marketing, 360i
• Values: Whether intentional or unintentional,
when a brand sparks hot-button topics or issues,
such as race, politics, human rights or religion,
it’s likely consumers will be quick to call it out.
Medium Threat (consumer tolerance fluctuates)
• Attack on a Brand: Consumers or advocacy
groups can use social media to call out or
defame a brand, including bringing attention
to unethical practices or unhealthy ingredients.
This is often led by popular “social crusaders,”
such as the Food Babe, or social pranksters
entertaining their followers.
• Employee Mistakes: Mistakes by individuals
working at a company can often be as
damaging as mistakes from a brand. While
tolerance can vary, if an executive posts a racy
photo or a restaurant employee makes light of
contaminating food, it can quickly become a
brand reputation issue.
Low Threat (higher consumer tolerance)
• External Crisis: Sometimes damaging factors
are outside a company’s control, like severe
weather impacting service or an ex-executive
being accused of criminal wrongdoing.
• Social Media Missteps: This can happen as
a result of releasing content that isn’t well
received, like an employee accidentally
Tweeting a personal message from a
company account or a campaign launch that’s
controversial in the context of cultural events.
3. Develop Relationships with Advocates
Advocates can become authentic supporters
and benefit your brand, in good times and bad.
In times of crisis, they can provide a third-party
voice to tell the company’s story positively, correct
misinformation and rebuild consumer trust.
Advocates can be existing fans and followers on
your social channels, celebrity spokespeople,
industry experts or influential employees.
“Advocates can become authentic supporters
and benefit your brand, in good times
4. Remember Paid and Owned Channels
Crises can have implications across paid, owned
and earned. While social forums are natural
channels for crisis response, too many brands
neglect to bring in SEO, display, media, paid social,
search and programmatic buying teams, where
brand associations can quickly exacerbate a crisis
by drawing attention at inopportune times. In times
of crisis, consider shifting key words to address
what consumers search, understand where ads are
served to avoid retargeting the wrong audiences,
and re-evaluate upcoming marketing initiatives to
ensure the messaging and timing won’t draw more
5. Be Transparent
No matter the threat, having a reputation plan
in place will help brands be more authentic and
transparent when the need arises. Consumers want
and expect brands to take accountability and action,
and the first step is to admit wrongdoing or correct a
mistake or misperception. The quicker organizations
acknowledge and take action, the faster the crisis
will run its course, and perhaps even generate good
It’s essential for every brand to have an offense
strategy focused on continually building and
managing their reputation. It’s an ongoing process
requiring them to work across channels to maintain
and amplify core values that mirror consumer
• Have a plan in place before a crisis arises and
make reputation core to the way you operate.
• Codify best practices within your organization.
• Build relationships with brand advocates.
• Empower a brand management team to make
• Understand different levels of threat and the
implications on your brand.
START BY ASKING:
• What is my brand’s crisis plan? Where do
potential threats exist?
• Who is the ultimate decision-maker on
brand reputation and crisis response in my
organization and who are the stakeholders?
• Who are our brand advocates and how are
we building and maintaining relationships
Hashtag or tagline? Don’t become a brand faux pas.
Google it. Search it on Twitter. Check it out on reddit.
Be mindful of other media.
Think through SEO, paid content, content calendar, etc.
Don’t forget Urban Dictionary.
There may be other meanings that don’t align with your brand.
Analyze your current brand perception.
Understanding how consumers interpret your brand will impact
tone and content of response.
Have a response plan; think in 140 characters.
Know how you’ll react in the event of a crisis.
Identify company decision makers.
Know the executives who should be called in during a crisis.
Monitor the news leading up to, during & after launch.
What’s happening can impact how content is perceived.
FROM THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION TO
CREATING AN ANALYTICS-DRIVEN CULTURE
Technology advancements such as beacons,
DMPs, attribution platforms and geo-targeting
have spawned larger volumes of more precise
data, creating opportunities to truly understand
how various channels are working. That’s put
measurement and analytics on the rise, both in
strategic importance and dollars spent–with share
of marketing budget expected to nearly double to
12% by 2018, according to a recent Duke survey of
This has left too many marketers paralyzed–
generally for two reasons. First, they’re afraid of
what they don’t know and aren’t sure how and
where to start fixing that. Second, digital marketing
analytics is not keeping up with digital marketing,
and the pursuit of the perfect has marketers leaving
important opportunities on the table. The result is
marketing that may not be as efficient or effective
as it could be and investment in the wrong tools and
Getting familiar and comfortable with data and
analytics is imperative for a modern marketer, and
can be done with a purposeful analytics learning
agenda, as well as a framework for analyzing and
testing measurement tools. This approach will
enable a proactive data strategy that gets better
and smarter over time and drives real business
Here are four ways for marketers to set their
organizations on a path towards a true analytics
1. Draft a Measurement Blueprint
Every organization plans ahead when it comes
to tech, finance, data and R&D, but few do so for
measurement. Does your organization truly have a
measurement blueprint? The same forward-leaning
approach that’s applied to those other areas needs
to be applied to a two- to three-year roadmap for
more rigorous measurement. Getting buy-in from the
C-suite on a multiyear plan that includes a testing
budget will give marketers the time and resources
to enact a true learning agenda and deploy the right
measurement tools and platforms, instead of flying
from test to test. This not only allows marketers
to find and validate the right partners, but also to
develop their measurement technology ecosystem.
“Getting buy-in from the C-suite on a
multiyear plan that includes a testing budget
will give marketers the time and resources
to enact a true learning agenda and deploy
the right measurement tools and platforms,
instead of flying from test to test.”
by Jared Belsky, President, 360i
We are approaching a tipping point in marketing measurement as the industry gets
closer to understanding more about the returns on each dollar spent along the
consumer journey. Increasing digital spend, experimenting with new technologies,
and rapidly investing in analytics capabilities are key to helping marketers develop
a culture of learning that can derive value beyond traditional media mix models by
embracing a future of trackability.
The blueprint should provide clarity on brand
objectives and goals before jumping into tactics.
Many organizations rush to test a measurement or
attribution system without clarity on what marketing
riddle they’re trying to solve. If, for example, the
main objective is to gauge the impact of digital on a
physical store, the tactics that support that learning
objective might be more aligned with beacon
experimentation or CRM testing than attribution
2. Create a Culture of Data Curiosity
Develop a culture that allows for some bleeding-
edge investment by allocating a percentage of the
media and analytics budget to testing. This will help
marketers stay ahead of the market and identify
potential new data and analytics sources in a lower-
With that test budget secure, challenge the team to
identify and explore three new ways to measure direct
impact in the next six months, without relying solely on
old models. Consider trying something bite-sized, yet
meaningful. For example, a retail or travel brand that
already has robust customer email lists might consider
building segments into Facebook using its CRM
ingestion tools and re-marketing to those groups, or
prospecting off of look-alike models. This lets brands
stretch CRM- or DMP-type muscles without having to
make major investments and increases segmentation
knowledge to inform future opportunities.
Other tests may take the form of a Datalogix study to
understand offline impact from social ads or a multi-
path level analysis between search and display to truly
understand the most common and profitable paths to
“Develop a culture that allows for some
bleeding-edge investment by allocating a
percentage of the media and analytics budget
Having this budget also lets marketers play
in important channels where robust data and
measurement aren’t yet available. For example,
although mobile marketing is one of the most
promising areas for building brands, nearly half of
marketers are underfunded in this space because
the tracking tools aren’t as developed as the ones for
measuring the ROI of desktop.
Unsure of how much to allocate? Great marketing and
analytics organizations should consider a test budget
of roughly 5% of total media.
3. Make Sure the Creative Team is Platform-
Informed and Data-Enthused
There’s great data available to help curious-minded
creatives develop more effective work. That’s why it’s
important to ensure the creative team has a healthy
respect for and knowledge of the data tools available
For example, if a brand is creating video assets,
data can help the creative team understand and
appreciate the implications of the skippable barrier in
YouTube, the opt-in audio nature of Facebook ads, or
the sequential storytelling opportunities that abound
in paid social. A creative with this knowledge might
focus on breaking through in the all-important first five
seconds when an ad must grab a viewer’s attention
before being skipped or thumbed over. And a data-
fluent creative will know that he or she can look at
video-viewing data on a quartile level to understand
precisely where viewing drop-off occurs so the videos
can be altered and iterated to better capture user
This data-driven approach also gives creatives
the chance to receive quick feedback about how
elements of the campaign are performing so they can
optimize accordingly. The ability to launch multiple
pieces of video content and know within 24 hours that
one video’s completion rate is outperforming another
opens up a faster, more productive feedback loop
between marketers and agencies.
4. Staff for Modern Analytics
A modern analytics staff–whether in-house or at a
third-party partner–should include four core positions:
• A database expert to help manipulate the data
and set up an analytics database that marketers
can own. Financial clients in particular should
invest in this position because their ability to
organize data and, more importantly, share
it effectively with agencies and publishers to
optimize is a critical path task.
• A business intelligence expert who is fluent with
data access and visualization software packages,
like Tableau, to help advance how to visualize
and draw value from endless reams of data. This
person helps plate the data in a meaningful way
for an organization to make decisions based on it.
• A statistician who knows and loves forecasting,
SQL, R, and modeling will help crunch data to
get value out of it and inform better marketing
decisions. This person will help with forecasting,
diminishing-returns analysis, and complicated
multi-variant testing on creative or media
• Create a two- to three-year measurement
• Allow space for experimentation to go where
consumers are heading, even if data availability
• Make data part of the creative team’s business.
• Staff a modern analytics team, whether that’s
in-house or at an agency partner.
START BY ASKING:
• What are the brand objectives and goals that
will be in my measurement blueprint?
• How can I measure direct impact differently in
the next six months?
• Do the creatives working on my business know
the data available to them across the various
• Do I have the right team of measurement
experts who can embrace the new technology
• A developer with API expertise will use the
data to develop unique solutions to business
challenges. For example, this person can help
marketers figure out which weather API to
test and how to connect it to Google to inform
weather-based media bidding strategies, or find
traffic patterns to adjust mobile offers in real
By embracing an analytical culture of learning
and experimenting with new ways of doing
things, marketers will get closer to more effective
measurement for their organizations and the
Self-Health Measurement Assessment
Do you doubt the efficacy of your media spend
at least sometimes?
Do you believe that your display, native and
content efforts don’t get enough credit for
driving real sales?
Do you think you are spending too much for a
complex attribution system your CEO and/or
CFO don’t truly believe in?
Do you believe you should be spending more on
mobile search, but can’t due to limited visibility?
Is your media mix model causing your media
allocation to be out of touch with your target
consumers’ media-consumption habits?
Are you unable to easily explain your analytics
roadmap for fiscal year 2016?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it
may be time for your organization to make changes in
A version of this article appeared in