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Digital Marketing: Adapting to Shifts and Embracing Change

In Conversation with Lisa Adams

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Lisa Adams, Media Director at Stackpole, a full-service agency located in Massachusetts.
Lisa discusses the significant shift of digital marketing and the importance of adapting to changes. She emphasizes the need for client collaboration, staying updated on trends, utilizing data-driven insights, and leveraging emerging technologies like AI.

Digital really gave us the opportunity to connect with our audiences versus just pushing out messaging.

Lisa Adams
Media Director at Stackpole

Hi everyone. This is Ranmay on your show E-Coffee with Experts. Today we have Lisa Adams from Stackpole Partner. She is the media director at Stackpole. Welcome Lisa.

Thank you. Great to be here.

Great. Lisa before we move forward and talk about digital marketing at large, I’d request you to introduce yourself and partners, our audiences tonight.

Sure. As you mentioned, I’m the media director at Stackpole Partners. We’re an agency, full service agency just north of Boston. Our focus is really on finance, community bank clients. Along with FinTech, wealth management, as well as professional services.

Superb. Lisa, you have spent over two decades now in marketing, right? In your opinion, what has been the most significant shift in the industry and, from overall experience that you have and what changes have you made to your approach in order to adapt to these changes as well? If you can help us understand, go through that journey.

Sure. So I would say really internet is really the most significant shift in the industry, certainly and cell phones along with that I think, those channels have really made things more affordable from an agency standpoint, especially for small to mid-sized clients more flexible and certainly more trackable too.

Digital really gave us the opportunity to connect with our audiences versus just pushing out messaging. So that really has been the biggest shift. And in terms of adapting I started out as a TV buyer and then slowly moved to, to channel planning across all touch points and, that’s from things like out of home tv, radio broadcasts to social search and obviously the analytics behind all of that. As I moved into channel planning as a media director Back then, I was tasked with moving clients who had been traditional only to an integrated mix. And now of course I’ve got some clients that are digital only too.

Yeah. I think in terms of adapting in this industry, you really have to, to wanna keep learning and be curious and you wanna you need to also, be ready to be open to change and dive into new platforms, from the social platforms to search and now GA four for instance.

Really, you just need to be curious and willing to be open to that change and embrace it.

Yeah. Yeah. AI content for that matter. ChatGPT, taking the world by storm, so yeah. And, talking about building and managing client relationships. Lisa, what strategies do you use to ensure that, client requirements are met and they’re quite comfortable working with your agency and how do you manage all of that?

That’s a great question. I think You, you really wanna show clients results, Uhhuh, but also explain how you got there. That is really important. You need to tell that story and explain the jargon that we use all the time. Cause a lot of times clients don’t know that. True. And you wanna meet with them consistently too.

Be there to provide the answers when they have questions. And that’s really how, how you build that relationship.

Absolutely. In today’s digital age as well, physical meetings are so important, if you are able to do that, you should do that more often than not.

And as the media director at Stackpole how do you keep up with the, ever-changing media landscape and what advice would you give to the ones who are struggling to keep up with that pace?

So I think again, you have to be open to change in this industry and not just open to it but want to really embrace it. I love what I do because it’s constantly changing, from the traditional media to digital, social, now AI and, to keep up. You should leverage your partnerships really, because they’re gonna help you to to keep up on trends.

Those partners that we have, across media, have so much information and they’re definitely willing to share that. So take time to meet with them too. Sign up for webinars, industry e-newsletters, things like that are gonna help you to to keep up on the trends that are out there.

And then, there’s so much of data available.

Lisa, how do you avoid the tempation to overanalyze and instead, focus on the key metrics that will make the most significant impact on any marketing campaign’s success?

So I think you, you need to really go back to the basics and define what those client goals are. A lot of it is collaboration and starting, at the point of the planning process with that client to determine, what their goals are.

How do they differentiate themselves, why they exist, and position that. And then once you have that, you can. Figure out what your KPIs are, your main KPI and and then, be able to focus on that. One thing though, I would say is that, it is really important to to look past that last touchpoint and look at your medium mix as a whole, and look at that whole journey that the client, that user is taking.

And understand how that all works together. Dashboards really are super helpful and being able to pull all that together too.

Absolutely. And increase tools also, they are, they give you a lot of insights that ways, like you mentioned, and, talking about insights. What role do you feel, customer and insights play in your approach to data-driven media planning, and how do you gather and analyze information to, make or, play around with that strategy?

You want to really do a lot of test and learn, right? It’s test, learn, optimize, rinse and repeat right and right. Again, conversions are really important to most of our clients, but, kind looking past that to understand that journey and. Again, when you test and learn you find those nuggets to be able to optimize your audience segments, for the best results, and then you test some more.

So that’s how it works.

Okay, great. And then can you walk us through the process of developing a successful brand strategy and how do you ensure that it aligns with your client’s goal and objectives overall?

Again, you wanna start with a collaborative session with your client and your team to really understand their goals and the parameters right.

And then it’s about doing the research. Quantitative research competitive MRI experience, whatever tools that you have. And and also the qualitative, right? The focus groups or surveys that you do both internal and external to really understand the client’s business.

And then from there you can build out those personas, the journey mapping that are gonna help you to ultimately build out a channel plan. And that’s also gonna help your creative team too, because it’s collaborative. Again, you want that, that creative messaging to resonate with the channels that, that you’re utilizing too.

And then you mentioned about personas and, target audience. So how do you approach targeting and segmentation, and then your media planning, and what are some of the most effective ways that you have found that can be used to reach your target audience?

Yeah. So it is really important to, to start with a mix of targeting tactics and through the data you could see what performs based on those main goals, right? Depending on the channel, we’ll use a mix of first party targeting, certainly. And then, layering on interest targeting there’s contextual competitive conquesting, again, depending on what you know, who you’re trying to target.

Yeah. And usually you wanna start with a mix of different things so that you could see what works. We’ve seen, That a lot of times the predictive and contextual targeting that we’re getting into more now as third party targeting is going away, is actually outperforming some of that historic third party data because you know it, you’re looking at real time and tenders for that contextual and predictive targeting.

Yeah, absolutely. And I cannot let you go without asking the burning topic, about ai. What is Lisa’s take on, integrating the emerging technologies like AI, ML and the learning into your marketing campaigns ,and what benefits, if you see at all, that you can make out of using these tools?

That’s where it’s all going. We’re already using AI. The way that is, that it is now. And I do actually think it’s really going to be interesting to see what happens in the search world specifically. As Google moves out their new search tools and we’ve got ChatGPT.

I think that there’s certain ways to be able to really harness AI. You need to be sure that you’re asking the right questions. And asking those questions a number of different ways to ensure that you’re getting the responses that. That are going to fit for the modeling that you’re doing.

But again, you have to bring that back to those initial conversations and collaboration that you had with your team and your client.

Absolutely. Absolutely. AI if worked upon like you mentioned whatever input that you’re giving in is also very crucial. If you’re expecting the output to be in line, the input has to be, what goes in the, it comes out that same philosophy.

Great. Great. Lisa, it was lovely hearing it from you, but. Before we wrap it up, I would like to play a quick rapid fire with you. I hope that is okay. Sure. Superb. What did you do with your first paycheck?

Paid my rent.

That, that’s, that’s 90% of the answers that we get.

Okay. And your next vacation.

Hopefully somewhere warm. An island in the Caribbean, but I haven’t picked it out yet. As I mentioned, I’ve got two kids mentioned earlier, two kids in college right now,

yeah. Things does not look that hunky dory at the moment in terms of vacation. Okay.

And then what has been your highest point so far, and let’s say your agency or digital marketing space. The highest point highest point in your life thus far? You know work life I’m referring to.

So I love where I am right now. Stale is just a great place to be, great people.

I’m doing what I love. I think, as I continue in my career, it keeps getting better.

Super. I’m sure Stackpole is gonna get a lot of job applications after this podcast. Super. That was lovely having you on our show, and I’m sure that our audiences would’ve. benefited a lot out of it in terms of hearing to what you have to say about digital marketing, the challenges the landscape changes, which has taken place in the last decade or so. So thank you so much for that and really appreciate you taking out time for this. Thank you.

My pleasure.

Great.

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