Lucy Hinton is SVP Client Success EMEA at Flashtalking, the ad management platform that was acquired by Mediaocean in 2021. I recently chatted with Lucy to find out more about her role, how to put together a winning multichannel ad campaign, and how the adtech industry could evolve over the coming months.
Tell us about your role – what does a typical day look like for you?
My role is really focused on our clients and partnering with them to ensure that they can create campaigns that deliver real results and connect with their customers. This is especially critical right now, as brands continue to deal with a period of uncertainty, unsure of how to plan effectively for the next few months due to economic, supply chain or energy crises – each of which have a huge impact on marketing budgets and advertising strategies.
In terms of what my typical day looks like, I kick off with the team daily call, which started at the beginning of Covid to replace the tea/coffee chat in the morning and it’s still going two years later. It really keeps us connected. Then there’s a mix of agency, client, partner meetings, internal/1:1 catch ups, pitch meeting planning, QBR (quarterly business reviews) and always a daily check-in with the MD of EMEA. There is also a LOT of tea consumed and probably a few sneaky strokes with the cat! Not to forget my most important job of the week – researching a joke to share in my weekly call with Hotwire (our communications agency).
What makes for a winning multichannel ad campaign? Any stand-out channels, trends, or strategy that you think is key right now?
The fundamental part of any multichannel ad campaign is consistent strategy and creative, regardless of channel. A consumer doesn’t think of content in the same way marketers do, so it’s important for marketers to create content to match a consumer’s experience and blend the advertising content into the platform to create a consistent and engaging personalised experience. Measurement is also key to a winning strategy: you need to be able to learn and adapt and without consistent measurement, that’s not possible.
Unsurprisingly, TikTok continues to be hot property and has grown in popularity with advertisers over the past year. And it’s easy to see why. TikTok offers unparcelled access to audiences that are notoriously difficult to reach through traditional advertising and it has an instantaneous nature, invitation to participate and capacity to steer the social conversation, which epitomises the modern nature of social media. However, it’s important not just to jump on a trend if it doesn’t fit with your brand identity and brands need to consider TikTok as one platform and part of a wider multichannel campaign.
We are seeing more and more advertisers wanting to deliver personalised messaging across all channels; social and CTV are especially important given their increasing popularity among consumers. This is why it’s important to choose a tech partner that can span all platforms and walled gardens, to provide a truly multichannel advertising strategy.
What are your thoughts on the delay to the HFSS ad ban?
If you believe ads work (which I very much do), it is a moral issue to limit advertising to children. Adults can make up their own minds about HFSS products; children should not be influenced by advertising. However, advertisers need time to ensure they can comply with the latest regulations, have the information they need and be ready for the changes. Our industry already has enough challenges being thrown at it!
I also think the government needs to go further than limiting the ad industry. While this could have a positive impact, more needs to be done.
2022 has undoubtedly driven a shift in strategy due to new privacy measures. What advice would you give to brands navigating this new landscape?
The cluster of conversations around identity, data, and privacy has never been more prominent in the public eye and changing technological and regulatory frameworks, from GDPR to the end of cookies, are having and will continue to have real consequences for marketers. However, it’s time to take action and utilise the new solutions available because being caught up against the deadline of cookie-deprecation is not where a brand wants to be.
Over and above that, the key to navigating this new landscape is ensuring that campaigns and strategies are fundamentally centred on providing personalised messaging. Take social strategies for example. Marketers need to ensure they’re tailoring their content and engaging with each individual consumer, as social platforms are where human connections are being made and brands need to tap into this. Of course, data is a key part of personalisation and so brands need to ensure they’re complying with the latest privacy measures to build trust and generate the insights to draw meaningful connections with consumers.
How do you predict the adtech industry will evolve in the next 18 months?
If the last few years are anything to go by, predicting how the adtech industry will evolve in the next 18 months is hard. There are so many external factors that could potentially disrupt the market and the industry – whether that’s due to health, economics, supply chain, energy, social protest, or something else – it can feel like the only certainty now is that we just don’t know what the mood and sentiment will be in even six months’ time.
However, what I can predict is that we will start to see real change happen, rather than just being talked about within the industry! There will likely be a greater focus on measurement in a post-cookie world, and we’ll see marketers investing more resources in cookieless strategies and environments, particularly on social and CTV channels.
What’s next for Flashtalking?
Lots! We are really focused on product innovation to ensure we are providing partners with the right tools, technology and platforms to create seamless experiences for their customers. Also, we’re already talking to our customers about how they can get ahead of this year’s Golden Quarter which coincides for the first time with the World Cup – which might well be one of the first major global sporting events to be largely unaffected by pandemic restrictions since 2019.
While some things will have to be done later in the year to fully understand what is happening at the time and ensure campaigns capture the right mood of the moment, there are some things brands and advertisers can do to plan ahead – and that includes introducing systems that automate the optimisation and personalisation of creative across channels now.