Published on Nov 15th, 2019
Has everyone heard of the CTFD Index? Or were we the last to know?
The Calm the F@*! Down Index is apparently a tool which marketers working in social media quote to help clients understand that chaos is inherent to the ecosystem. Unpredictable, uncomfortable and intense moments will and do happen when running a campaign on social, especially if you're a media brand where fast moving news stories and the public's reactions to them are completely out of your control.
This is the beauty of social, it can surprise you. More on the CTFD Index later in this wrap. But thanks to trusted data, you can also rely on measurement to watch trends and plan around audience, affinity and category behaviour. The industry leaders who straddle both worlds were in the room with us for our annual Client Summit last week and it was a truly special afternoon in Soho, New York.
We opened the Summit with our CEO & Founder Tania Yuki turning a little poetic when describing every piece of social content, good or bad, as "stitching together little bits of momentary attention". It was a phrase that was referenced by one of our industry leaders again later in the Summit and a quote that's already up on the wall in Shareablee's marketing unit in New York.
We launched straight into a previously unreleased Shareablee study on TV trends in 2019 presented by our Senior Customer Success Manager Jason Clough which showed just how diverse viewing trends have become and set up the numbers to watch for the year to come across age demographics and even streaming choices. To those who registered for the event, you can still get a copy of the deck - just get in touch with your CS touchpoint or check your emails as we've sent them all out to you.
One of the highlights of the day was hearing from Frank Kavilanz, SVP of Social Strategy at WarnerMedia Ad Sales but whose breadth of industry experience means his insights are uniquely multi-layered and without peer. His team runs all the social handles for WarnerMedia, distributes ad campaigns and manages the smart distribution of content.
In a Fireside Chat with our EVP of Sales Jack Flanagan, Frank explained that all marketers face a common problem, that is, the customer journey is more complex than ever before. The model which began on social has now expanded to other modalities like online video, OTT (over the top) and addressable TV.
"There's more content today being consumed across more platforms, it is a fight for consumer attention and a more complicated job for a marketer to manage the relationship with that consumer," Frank said.
He outlined WarnerMedia's delivery vehicle for creating and distributing targeted content for its clients called LaunchPad which identifies tribes of like minded people, outlines the styles that appeal to the audience, creates the branded content that resonates with them, then distributes that content with precision and scale and most importantly - optimizes along the way.
As Frank explained, "Launchpad allows us to focus more on a strategic basis with marketers, something that allows us to create a solution where it's data driven, marketing services and solutions for the modern CMO."
In part because of technology and consumption patterns, Frank outlined that many marketers today are not only assuming marketing responsibilities, but they're also the Head of Sales within their brands which is changing the dynamic of their jobs. In some companies, we see the emergence of the Chief Growth Officer which is a hybrid Sales executive and their needs are different.
These executives are under increasing pressure to demonstrate not just ROI but which of their marketing efforts provide the greatest ROI.
"We're now focusing on building end to end solutions to reduce the number of moving parts, not just the delivery side of things and it addresses all those experiences and it allows us to create a controlled experiment of data. It illuminates and allows you to trace where the ROI is coming from, putting more money to work and really just drive the bottom line," Frank told us.
The bottom line was also the focus of the session led by our Executive Director of Strategic Media Practice Brad Tribucher, called Monetization and Measurement. We've had multiple requests for his presentation since Friday, which looked at branded content versus advertiser content. It showed that on average, Facebook Branded Content posts garnered 6 x times more actions and Instagram Branded Content posts garnered 37 x more actions than OTC brand posts on their own. Applying Shareablee's Campaign Performance Index which assesses the effectiveness of content in activating its target audience, we measured a 5.5 x increase in performance in an OTC brand X campaign than the average OTC Branded Content campaign with a media publisher.
News media featured strongly in our industry panel after the coffee break, as Fox News' Jason Ehrich, NBC News' Mike Rucker and Lippe Taylor's Paul Dyer joined our CEO Tania Yuki for a discussion on the Future of Advertising and Brand Strategy.
The value of social was a key question: is it really a revenue and conversion tool or more a brand proposition?
Paul Dyer said it really depends on the brand and its life cycle: "for some it's about building brand equity and being top of mind when someone goes into a store. But for brands being born today a lot of the time it is about driving sales, and you have to think about it wholistically beyond the organic channel, the influencer ecosystem and at that point social media can be the primary driver of brand growth."
The advice was about going where your audience is, and that advice applied to new platforms like Twitch and TikTok, where the consideration is the KPI. Mike Rucker said there "is no shame in trying something, things fail all the time. Everybody wants new, out of the box so there's no shame in strategizing, putting together a program on TikTok and if it fails, it's another day."
This bold attitude sparked a question from the room about risk management, whether that's addressing organizational barriers or identifying which clients have trust in the collaboration and can go further in a strategy.
Answering that question Mike Rucker said if you play in the social environment you have to expect negative talk from some people: "it's like saying how can we derisk the world and saying pull your pants up and understand not everyone is going to like you". It was one of the quotes of the day as well as the CTFD Index we referenced at the start of this wrap which Paul Dyer used to make the point that it's not about re-risking but adding context to what the performance of one piece of social content like a blog might mean for the broader brand narrative. Paul said he first heard the CTFD Index referenced by Justin De Graaf, now at Google: "I'm working with a big brand right now and the client wants us to report on comments, but most of the time people inspired to comment have a problem with what you're saying or you," he continued.
One of our not-so-secret weapon here at Shareablee is our Data Scientist, Sarthak Dasadia Ph.D. He always generates such a warm and engaged response from our audience when he unpacks the role of AI and machine learning in social data, not just at Shareablee but the challenges of ever-changing interactions in the entire ecosystem. His presentation generated some interesting questions and as usual we could have heard so much more from him. For those of you waiting for the next installment of his AI versus The Meme series, keep an eye out for our upcoming INTERACT Summit where Sarthak's planning the ultimate master class in AI and measurement.
Finally, there will be some big surprises from us in 2020. They will be coming from our Product Team in collaboration with all the feedback we gather weekly from our clients via our Customer Success team. Shareablee's CTO Jon Lieberman and VP of Customer Success Phil Schwartz previewed some of the exciting products in a live video demo. While we can't go into too much detail here, our focus is joining our unmatched data to an unmatched platform experience. We've also got some new tools in development which ensure Shareablee maintains its unrivalled position in measurement.
If you're not a member for the Shareablee community, get in touch for either a free sample of your company's data or schedule a coffee with our VP of Sales, Ed Hannigan via firstname.lastname@example.org. He made a great MC at our Summit, we're just sorry we couldn't get him to do his go-to karaoke song, Travis Scott's Butterfly Effect to close the event. Maybe next year.
If you didn't make it this time around, we hope you'll mark the first Friday in November, the 6th, in your calendar for 2020.