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Attribution challenges, influential brands, mobile game changers, and more.

Posted by Christine Lako on Feb 24, 2017 3:35:31 PM

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I had the pleasure of taking part in toronto's ad week FFWD2017, here's a re-cap of some of my most important takeaways in the digital space.

Challenges in Attribution and How to Gain a Competitive Advantage (TubeMogul)

Unfortunately, much of digital attribution and optimizations are based on correlation, when it should actually be based on causation.
  • In-Market Bias – For existing consumers who would buy the product anyways, ads are not likely to influence them. However, if they convert, it may (falsely) appear that the campaign is more successful versus another campaign that was served to new customers.
  • Low Rate Bias – tactics that are less expensive (i.e. display advertising) may have lower CPAs (cost per acquisitions) versus more expensive tactics (i.e. pre-roll), but this is only based on the fact that display has a lower CPM versus video. We have to look beyond CPA to determine conversion lift.

The Most Influential Brands in Canada in 2016 (Ipsos)

There are many new technology-based companies that are very well known and have strong consumer bases (i.e. Uber, Tinder, LinkedIn), however, these are not influential brands

Influence is difficult to gain, but easy to lose (i.e. Samsung spent years climbing the chart… #47 in 2011, #10 in 2015… however it dropped to #16 in 2016 after bad PR from battery issues).

While a particular brand’s level of influence may vary dramatically among the 4 main generations (Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z), the top 10 brands were strong against all 4 generations, or at least on the radar for some of them (i.e. Visa was on average #8 across all generations except Gen Z where it was lower, but still on the radar – even if these consumers may not even have credit cards yet). 

Google was ranked #1 most influential (for the 5th year in a row) - #1 among 3 of the 4 generations (Gen Z ranked Google #2 and Youtube #1).

  • 1/3 of Canadians feel that Google introduced them to something they never knew they needed.


How Mobile is Changing Canadians’ Expectations (Google)

The shift to mobile is being led by the consumer: 26% of Canadians have decided that they will not replace their current desktop/laptop when it stops working. Mobile is no longer optional.

The problem is that mobile experiences are still underdeveloped (i.e. brands do not have a mobile website; mobile sites are slow, difficult to navigate, etc.)

Consumers have 3 expectations regarding mobile. It must be Convenient, Helpful, and Fast.

  • Convenient – i.e. expectation of seeing in-store stock levels on mobile, ability to speak rather than type
  • Helpful – consumers want simple, frictionless experiences. I.e. nearly half of smartphone owners expect brands to send notifications when a product they’re interested goes on sale.
  • Fast – most important of the three – it takes 3 seconds for a customer to choose to leave your site if it’s taking too long to load. Consumers want to be able to purchase on mobile faster than on a desktop.


Mobile Application Advertising: The Golden Rule for Successful Digital Marketing in 2017 (140 Proof)

No big surprises here - Mobile is where everyone is. By 2020, mobile will represent 31% of total media spend. 87% of the time Canadians are on their phones, they are in an app. 

  • Social proof is everything – First party data, we use it to gather data and information about others.
  • Technology is our best friend – Technology lets us find connections across various platforms that humans can’t.


Video Advertising Effectiveness and the Subconscious Mind (Bell Media & Brainsights)

There are 3 factors that affect how we pay attention, how much of a connection we have to the ads we are watching, and encoding (to memory):

  • Screen Type/Size – Story-focused ads perform best on TV; ads should be clear and simple on digital (show people where to focus their attention)
  • Viewing Environment – TV viewing environment creates a long flowing pattern of attention and reliable, consistent engagement. Laptop/mobile viewing tends to be more volatile (users spend so much time searching for content and lose focus once they start viewing)
  • Content Type/Tone – Opportunity to match the message to the content, not just the audience watching the content

Humour: light-hearted comedies (i.e. Big Bang Theory) amplifies humour and high energy (so serious or product/information-focused ads are not appropriate). However, for other types of comedies (i.e. Clip Humour), these same ads are not as effective. More absurd humour is better in these cases.

Sporting events: Superbowl creates a high energy and exciting environment and amplifies ads that capitalize on this.

MMVAs: creates an environment of bite-sized, fun entertainment which amplifies similar ads.



Christine Lako, Key Account Digital Buyer


Topics: Media & Marketing, Digital Media, Active on the road