Editor's Note: Nothing brings marketers closer to consumers than mobile, says Amanda Richman, president of Digital at MediaVest, where mobile devices are defined as "experience-making machines." The Ad Blog asked Amanda about her favorite mobile campaigns, how Big Data is driving big change for marketers, and her strategy for recognizing which new trends will really matter to consumers.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: Congratulations on being named an Ad Age 2012 Media Maven. What have been your most successful career efforts, and why? Do you have any advice for young media professionals?
Amanda Richman: There's so little time for reflection in this business---we're obsessed with the future, looking ahead toward what's next versus what we've accomplished. I've been fortunate to build a career at the most exciting time in the business, in the most creatively driven city, with some of the smartest people in the industry, and that raises the bar for success each day.
My advice for those starting out is simple---reputation matters, more than ever in this transparent, inter-connected age. Understand that everything you say and do communicates, and make sure that message reflects who you are and what you stand for. Like brands, careers are built on the actions of the everyday.
YAB: MediaVest defines mobile devices as "experience-making machines." What are some ways your brands are designing mobility experiences that engage consumers and make an impact?
AR: Nothing brings a marketer closer to consumers than mobile. Designing for mobility requires marketers to place the end-user at the start of the design process, not the technology — and to understand the where as well as the who.
So for example, last year's Black Friday Xbox experience started before the stores opened, serving up mobile-only offers while people were standing in line. Coca Cola made the Super Bowl an even bigger social event, with real-time integration of their Polar Bears with the action on the field, across every screen. Wendy's delivered the most retweets last year, earning Twitter's Golden Tweet award, by making it easy to activate your social network for good. P&G earned fans by making it simple and meaningful to thank mom through their Olympics platform, paying off an emotional TV spot with the immediacy of mobile.
The heart of all these experiences is simply making it easier, more social, more of the moment, by understanding the context of their mobile consumer.
YAB: What are you seeing as far as clients' digital needs over the next three years?
AR: With each year, digital is more deeply embedded into our clients' businesses. Their digital needs are no longer a separate venture---digital supports their core business goals, from reaching and connecting with new customers to creating advocacy and brand love.
Over the next three years, seamless integration of digital into their organizational structures and processes around the globe will be a major operations focus. Clients will need to master mobility, which can fundamentally change how and where their product is delivered, and create a new level of service and utility for brands. Big data is driving big change, as we move from channel-specific measurement to a holistic view of the consumer and their experience with brands. And both of these areas will draw attention to the need for relevant content, as "brand as publisher" becomes a viable proposition, and "consumer as creator and distributor" becomes a predictable force.
YAB: With the constant stream of ideas and products, what strategies do you use to identify trends that have an opportunity for scale and innovation? Is there an example you can call out?
AR: Unless your job is a full-time trendspotter, you have to rely on the wisdom of crowds and the connectivity of your team. At MediaVest we continuously invest in understanding audiences, from Moms to Millenials, to uncover trends and human truths. An example—Millenials' habit of extending their night out into the morning after---if it wasn't posted, it didn't happen.
Beyond data and research, you need to develop an ear for ideas, listening to what's surfacing in the marketplace not only through social cues but in everyday conversations. Your network is critical to keeping on-trend, and you need to continue to nurture it as a net contributor and connector, and create an environment that rewards sharing. But ultimately, the audience is shaping the future, we just need to make sure we're listening and learning, and agile enough to make a hypothesis happen.
YAB: What are your filters for making sure you are putting the right idea in front of the right client?
AR: Filtering, editing, and curating really describes the role we play today in deciding what's important and what's a distraction. The fundamental filters of audience fit, scale, and ability to address our objectives and KPIs still apply, but with digital they are enhanced with more data and creativity.
We have to understand our own audience as well — what's our client's appetite for innovation, how are they evaluated, how can we bring them along in the creative process. While ideas inspire us, often it's not about a singular idea, but about the opportunity to make something that already exists better---to iterate as well as innovate.