Jeseph Meyers is a self-described digital marketing nerd and partner at Queen City Media, a digital advertising agency in Buffalo, New York. He wears many hats, presiding over sales, inbound marketing, client promotion and various other functions.
PA.O: In your opinion, how is programmatic advertising – the growing prevalence of marketing automation, data mining and the cloud – changing the world?
Jeseph Meyers: Data mining, user analytics and marketing automation allows us, as marketers, to target the appropriate person with a message specific to their needs. This access to data has taken a lot of the guesswork out of targeting online. We no longer have to “spray and pray” with a marketing message. Data and customer analytics allows us to learn about our customers and deliver messaging that they want to consume.
[Programmatic] has also changed the channels and methods we use to reach people. We are starting to see proximity marketing, real-time messaging based on our digital footprint.
PA.O: What systems and ways of thinking do you think are being completely disrupted by the emergence of programmatic buying? By digital advertising in general?
Jeseph Meyers: As I mentioned earlier, there was too much marketing that relied on “spray and pray.” We had a weaker data set on the audience we were trying to reach, and had to sit back and hope that thousands of impressions would convert on the back end. Traditional advertising, like radio, billboards and print, rely on an estimated “viewership,” but we don’t really know who sees the message and when they see it.
Even within digital advertising, we have seen a shift towards hypertargeting and user-specific messaging. When was the last time you saw a Facebook ad that wasn’t at least slightly catered to your needs? Times are changing.
PA.O: How is this affecting our culture? And, is this for better or worse?
Jeseph Meyers: Gary Vaynerchuk has coined the phrase “marketers ruin everything,” and I pretty much agree. Access to, and [the] use of all of this data, has raised all sorts of concerns with digital privacy. We are seeing class-action lawsuits around the collection, use and third party sales of our data and information.
However, I think it makes us better as marketers and producers of products and services. We know so much more about our customers than we did in the past. There was a span of time where we, the brands, thought we knew best. This trend has placed the focus back where it should be – helping the end user.
PA.O: In your opinion, what are some significant trends emblematic of today’s advertising philosophy? Does it align with your own opinion of what’s the most effective?
Jeseph Meyers: I think the most rapidly adopted trend in digital advertising is remarketing. Whether users are targeted for visiting a website and leaving before they are in the buying stage or if they reach a checkout page and change their mind, that data is now being captured. Brands are able to suggest similar products to those who have purchased in the past or incentivize purchases if it seems like they were on the fence. The numbers speak to themselves as far as the conversion rates of these techniques. I think they show the effectiveness of hypertargeting through programmatic ad methods.
PA.O: Can you tell us about any campaigns over the past year that have caught your attention (in a good or bad way)? Why did they stand out to you?
Jeseph Meyers: I have seen brands missing the boat on best practices. Let’s take remarketing for example. It’s important to pay attention to the full data set before sending campaign traffic. EBay is a great example of this. They don’t always take into account auction completion or purchase in their remarketing. If I already won the auction, advertising the product page to me isn’t very effective, is it?
PA.O: Wearable tech is really starting to take off this year – we’re seeing everything from iWatch hype to mood-changing clothing, activity monitors and beyond. Do you have any favorites?
Jeseph Meyers: I’m honestly not a huge fan of wearable tech in its current state. I think the technology is interesting but there aren’t applications to support it for the masses. I think the fitness industry is the only vertical that has been able to capitalize on it. Down the line, Google Glass and smartwatches will likely play a huge role in proximity marketing. In-store specials advertising and even remarketing based on the path you take through a retail outlet will be very interesting to see in practice.
PA.O: What excites you about the future of digital advertising? What are you looking forward to?
Jeseph Meyers: I’m excited about digital advertising giving us the ability to scale what appears to be one-to-one marketing; our ability to target users based on their individual interests and habits. I also like how savvy the general population has become in these techniques. The more the end users know, the better and more genuine we have to be as advertisers. If your product or service doesn’t provide a real benefit, no amount of fancy marketing is going to win in the long run.
I’m curious to see where interactive media is going to come into play. We have seen a rise in native advertising in digital publishing. I think we’re going to [have more] interactive video experiences integrated into our media watching experiences. That’s where things are going to get interesting.
PA.O: Let’s play devil’s advocate. What are some of your concerns about the future of digital advertising? What keeps you up at night?
Jeseph Meyers: High levels of data access will always lead to abuse. At what point does the [collection] of data really become an invasion of privacy? If wearable tech becomes a key driver in advertising, our lives are going to be monitored.
PA.O: We’re looking at the cover of Advertising Age 50 years from now. What would the headline would be? What do you think the ad industry might be like? Our consumer culture?
Jeseph Meyers: “Jeseph Meyers heralded as greatest advertising professional of our time”
Serious answer? “Three-D printing allows brands to demo products directly in your home.” That would be pretty wild. You check out a product on Amazon.com and 20 minutes later you can hold the product in your hand. I’m not sure how the product would expire, but we’ve got time to figure that out!
PA.O: How can data benefit creative in the programmatic space?
Jeseph Meyers: Traditional advertising and many digital channels became attainable by the masses and, as a result, got noisy. Programmatic advertising is likely going to face the same issues. Advertisers have to get creative and do something to stand out. The more brands and advertisers [utilizing] programmatic techniques, the more creativity is going to [be necessary to] win. It takes creativity to effectively implement programmatic ads. There are very few set-it-and-forget-it models that provide a significant return on investment.
Creative targeting, messaging, visuals and interactions will always win.