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Interview

Creating Wisdom From Numbers and Knowledge, with Mike Menkes, Senior Vice President at Analytic Partners

To create wisdom from accumulated numbers and knowledge. That is the mission of adaptive analytics provider Analytic Partners ROI Genome project, an ongoing series of intelligence into trends, truths, and myths in marketing published by adaptive analytics provider Analytic Partners. Their Mike Menkes, Senior Vice President, joined the podcast to walk us through the insights you should know to drive short term and long-term performance.

Show Notes:
ROI Genome Intelligence Report: The Advertising Evolution:

https://analyticpartners.com/resources/report-roi-genome-intelligence-advertising-evolution-media-trends-taking-action/

Targeting Works, Except When It Doesn’t:
https://analyticpartners.com/resources/roi-genome-intelligence-report-targeting-works-except-when-it-doesnt/


Transcript:

Peter Crosby:
Welcome to Unpacking the Digital Shelf, where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.

Peter Crosby:
Hey everyone, Peter Crosby here from the Digital Shelf Institute. To create wisdom from accumulated numbers and knowledge, that is the mission of the ROI Genome project, an ongoing series of intelligence into trends, truths, and myths in marketing, published by adaptive analytics provider, Analytic Partners. Mike Menkes, Senior Vice President of Analytic Partners joined Lauren Livak and me to walk us through the insights you should know to drive short term and long term performance.

Peter Crosby:
So, Mike, thank you so much for jumping on the podcast today. We are looking forward to diving in because analytics is on everyone's mind in a time when driving performance and knowing if what you're doing is working or not working, it can pay off. So thank you so much for joining us. We're really grateful.

Mike Menkes:
Yeah. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to talk today with you.

Peter Crosby:
So, part of your work at Analytics Partners is something called the ROI Genome, which is, as I understand, a series of reports and deep dives on what you guys know based on the vast amount of experience that you have and the data that you have at your fingertips. And as the result of that is really a series of great marketing insights that you share, certainly with people that follow you guys, and then also now, thank you, with our community. So can you share with us a bit of what's behind the ROI Genome data and measurement and where that came from and how it works?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah, absolutely. So the ROI Genome really represents Analytic Partners' collective intelligence that both fuels and is fueled by our technology and our experience. So with the ROI Genome, our mission is to create wisdom from accumulated numbers and knowledge. Really what the ROI Genome is, is a combination of proprietary data, processes, and algorithms that are self learning and drive our knowledge base and enables us to deliver dynamic and proactive insights based upon our unique business performance intelligence. What we do at Analytic Partners is, we measure business performance, and through that we're able to identify how marketing performs. And so with that information, we're able to bring unique thought leadership to the industry, which really is a foundation of a lot of what we're going to be talking about today.

Mike Menkes:
For example, our latest ROI Genome report was focused on Marketing Trends, Truths, and Taking Action for Tomorrow. We just launched another one about, Targeting Works, Except When It Doesn't. There's been a few pieces related to that on, hyper targeting, over-hyped, and things like that. So we're able to bring knowledge from our client base. And we work with clients across industries, across the globe. We've done work in over 50 countries across the globe, measuring hundreds of billions of marketing spend. So there's a lot of rich information that this information is based upon.

Mike Menkes:
And another recent topic that we've been talking a lot about is marketing through recessions. There's a lot of risk of a recession. And we've seen that marketing continues to work and it's really important that businesses do continue to invest during these periods of financial difficulties. So anyhoo, a lot of great information we get to pull together the ROI Genome and excited to share more with you today about it.

Lauren Livak:
So, Mike, thank you again for joining. And I think from that perspective of seeing all that data, you must see so many strategies. You know what marketers are doing, the approaches they're taking and all marketers talk about the funnel and talk about lower and upper funnel strategies. Can you talk a bit about the approaches you've seen, the strategies that have been working and maybe things where you're like, oh, you should think about doing this differently?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah, sure. As I mentioned, we work with a lot of different types of companies so we do have the visibility into seeing a lot of what different companies are doing, how they're making decisions. And so, I know you mentioned upper and lower funnel marketing tactics. I think those can mean different things to different types of organizations, but fundamentally upper funnel marketing tends to be those that tend to be more broad reach tactics like TV or different types of video. And lower funnels tend to be more conversion based marketing executions, things like search and potentially display, affiliates and things like that. So we've been seeing a lot of companies over the past couple years, leaning a lot more into the lower funnel.

Mike Menkes:
And certainly I think it's important to note, one is not better than the other. You need both upper and lower funnel marketing. It's really important to have both. I'd say what we're seeing is a lot of companies have been leaning more into lower funnel marketing in recent time periods. And a lot of that is because there's a lot of data metrics that exist in the ad ecosystem that are highlighting the value of lower funnel marketing that are harder to come by for upper funnel. So a lot of companies have been investing in things like search where you can see the clicks and the conversion online. And, certainly, search can be very efficient for many businesses. But there tends to be, what we've seen, is a little bit less of a focus on driving more awareness, brand building and consideration of drivers.

Mike Menkes:
And so that's one of the things that we've been talking about is there's a place for both. We need to make sure we're not losing sight of driving awareness and consideration for our business that allows our lower funnel to work better. Search works better when it surrounds sound. I'm just using search as an example, of course. The other thing we're seeing is that there's a lot of-

Peter Crosby:
Hey, Mike, can I jump in for a second? Because, you know, we recently had on our podcast, John Denny, who was the head marketer at Bai Brands and now works with a ton of brands through the firm that he works for, sort of an umbrella over a bunch of different brands. And one of the things that he's really starting to see and worry about is that reliance on performance marketing without the longer term umbrella of brand and awareness. Because you talked a bit about that, but if you could dive in a little bit more on that with me. When you see these trends, do you put a kind of judgment lens on it? Like, oh, I'm not sure I'm happy with that trend. How do you interpret that data in terms of how do we advise our clients based on what we're seeing? Do you know what I mean? Does that question make sense?

Mike Menkes:
It does. Yeah. John and I have actually talked about this in a lot of detail because he's also seen that a lot of companies are leaning a lot into performance marketing. And for many businesses, that's the right thing to do, for many it's not. And I think it's really important to understand what drives your businesses, which is why you really need analytics to be able to have a true understanding. And when I say analytics, I'm talking about comprehensive analytics. Commercial mix analytics is what Analytic Partners offers for our clients and delivers through GPS Enterprise, which is our technology platform. But holistic analytics that is online and offline, that understands direct and indirect effects is really important, more today than ever, to be able to understand what's driving business performance. And the reason is, a lot of performance metrics appear to be very effective and efficient and sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't in reality, but because they're closer to the conversion and people can see the clicks and are making conclusions that the click was what drove the purchase, they're losing sight of what drove someone to search for an activity.

Mike Menkes:
So we know, for example, from the ROI Genome that 30% of all paid search behaviors are driven by other forms of marketing. So we need to make sure that the direct and indirect effects are taken into account properly in analytics, so that if somebody saw a CTV ad or a YouTube ad, and then they went to search for a product and they purchased the ad, that we're sharing credit where credit is due. A lot of that data is not addressable to an individual, but can be measured with advanced analytics, like the type of work that we do with commercial mix analytics.

Peter Crosby:
So, just- Sorry, finish.

Mike Menkes:
No, go ahead. Go ahead.

Peter Crosby:
So, describe to me then, with all the customers that you work with, who is often your key customer? The person that you are selling to and is sort of receiving the data, and then deciding what to do with it, who would that be at a brand manufacturer?

Mike Menkes:
Generally speaking, it's the people that are trying to decide where to invest their dollars. So it tends to be, we work pretty closely with CMOs and with CFOs primarily.

Peter Crosby:
Okay.

Mike Menkes:
So chief marketing officers, the folks that work on their team. Chief financial officers, they're also very, very interested in understanding what the return is, what the impact is of the investments that they make in not only media, but marketing, innovation, promotions, all of those sorts of things. And what we're able to do is get into a lot more detail and understanding, not only just, how media performs, but each type of media across channels, within channels. We're talking about Facebook advertising, different types of buys, if it's retargeting versus prospecting and things like that. But yeah, our clients tend to be those that are in charge of making budget decisions and where to invest their dollars.

Peter Crosby:
So, if you were to imagine in your mind the qualities of a CMO who's really capable of taking that data and putting it to action, what does that look like? How do you see them successfully implement that data amongst the stakeholders who need to absorb that? Is there advice you would give about that or sort of best practices?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah, I'd say one of the probably biggest pieces of advice I would provide to those in marketing is to build strong relationships with the finance team. In the end, the finance team is the one that is controlling the investment dollars and it's important that marketers really build a relationship with the finance team so that they're able to better demonstrate and showcase that marketing is the business driver and it's something that we can rely on. It can be measured, it can be measured accurately. And being able to demonstrate and showcase that so that there is confidence and trust in the results. And there's some businesses where marketing ROIs are very strong in the short term, where you spend a dollar and you generate many, many dollars in return. And it's important that the finance team understands that this is a business driver. It's not a cost. It helps our business and being able to demonstrate that. Now there's some businesses where you spend a dollar, you don't necessarily generate a dollar in a return right away, but there are also longer term implications. So just making sure that there's a relationship there that is founded in accurate holistic data is really important.

Peter Crosby:
Yeah. That's where trust is built, right?

Mike Menkes:
Exactly. Exactly.

Lauren Livak:
And on the flip side of Peter's question, I'd love to talk a bit about the CFO side, because I feel like it's newer as a trend that finance is being brought into more eCommerce, commerce digital conversations, at the beginning stages of planning versus the output of, hey, we need you to measure this. Would you agree with that and would you say that the finance teams are starting to learn some of the complexities of eCommerce and digital and are part of those conversations more?

Mike Menkes:
Yes. Most certainly. Finance has always been, to some extent, involved in analytics and business performance measurement with regards to the role that marketing plays, but it's definitely become more and more prominent. And I think some of that is because there are a lot of myths out there in the industry and the ad tech ecosystem has kind of created some misleading information that the finance team is rightly questioning. So, finance team is sitting there seeing ROAS figures, when you add up all the ROAS numbers from siloed analytics, what Amazon is bringing to the table, what Google's bringing to the table, what Meta's bringing to the table, and then all of a sudden it doesn't make any sense when you add up all these numbers, they're saying that marketing is driving more sales than we actually have.

Mike Menkes:
That's one of the issues that exist in the industry today is that there's a lot of siloed analytics. But the reality is, within the world of Amazon, other things outside of Amazon are affecting purchase decisions within Amazon. And this is where holistic analytics is important. So I think the finance team and CFOs have become more interested in this because they really are eager to learn more about how marketing works. What is the true incremental impact that it brings to the business to be able to make better decisions and help drive growth? And so that's where that partnership between marketing and finance becomes crucial.

Peter Crosby:
So let's-

Lauren Livak:
And we talk about... Oh, I was just going to make one comment, Peter, and just say that we talk about profitability a lot and we talk about solving a lot of the challenges of online and offline attribution. And I think this is a great kind of call to action for people to engage in finance early and often. It shouldn't be the end result of, hey, I need this data. Let's build this from the beginning as one of those cross functional teams that we need to involve in this process to make sure that we are accounting for what profitability looks like across the entire P and L.

Mike Menkes:
Exactly. And this is also where, another example, where ROI Genome comes into play for us. When we work with our customers, we are measuring the impact of business performance for our customers and we're able to talk to them knowledgeably about, for every dollar we invest, what is the return, and when can we expect that return? Does it happen today? Will it happen this week? Will it happen this month? But there's a lot of dynamics to keep in mind there. But yeah, 100% agree, early and often is the right way to think about it, especially with the rise of eCom.

Mike Menkes:
One of the things in our latest report we got into, for example, was, some activities in the ad tech ecosystem have lots of metrics around it, but then there's others like video advertising that... People don't click on, in most cases, video ads, because they're watching it on different types of screens or aren't intentionally clicking. But that doesn't mean that video advertising doesn't drive sales. In fact, it's a very large business driver for many businesses and the way that it works is different in terms of the timing of how the impact happens. And those are the sorts of things we can bring with the ROI Genome, is provide that, not only the business perspective of what we're doing for their business, but what we generally see and to provide additional confidence in the results to say that, yes, we also see this with the clients or, actually, what we're seeing for your business is a little different, and this is why we're seeing that.

Peter Crosby:
So Mike, let's keep going down the trends and truths and myths thing. As you sat back and looked at the data and looked at these trends, what is it that you saw that you talk about in the report that are things our listeners should know right now to set up their second half for success?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah. So probably a couple things. One you kind of started to allude to a little earlier was just this balance of lower funnel versus upper funnel marketing. So one of the things we've seen is that a focus on heavy lower funnel marketing, so those things that are a little closer to purchase decisions, they do tend to have higher ROIs in the short term. Meaning, this month, about 20% higher. But when we look at the long term, so the impact, later this year and beyond, we see that heavy upper funnel focused marketing actually has a 65% higher return on investment. So it's 65% more efficient for us to be focusing more on the upper funnel. And the reason for that is upper funnel marketing tends to bring in new customers. So it's easier for us to convert existing customers that may be more familiar with our business and, or might buy one more thing or one more trip. It is harder to bring new customers into the franchise, but it is so important for our long term growth to be able to do that.

Peter Crosby:
And Mike, are you finding that in sort of tying this into also the thought leadership you have on recessionary behaviors, is it more difficult in a recessionary environment for people to think with that longer term lens? Is that a danger right now, that everyone's just looking at, how are we doing this month, this month, this quarter, and instead of having the patience to make those longer term investments?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah, there's definitely a struggle right now. I think as soon as the word recession starts to come up as a possibility, and this comes back to the CFO conversation, the budgets tend to tighten, budgets get cut. And marketing tends to be one of the first things that people look to. And the part of the reason for that is that there isn't really an understanding that it is a business driver, it's not a cost. It is one of the reasons why businesses are successful.

Mike Menkes:
And so, one of the things we've learned from the ROI Genome in the last recession was that the brands that continue to invest during the recession continued to perform well during the recession and were much stronger coming out of the recession versus those that didn't. The majority of brands that actually increased marketing investment during the last recession saw improved marketing ROI. I think there's the belief that marketing doesn't necessarily work during times of recession, that's not true. So we've seen that with the ROI Genome that it not only affects during periods of financial downturns, but also provides the brands to be more successful coming out of those recessions as well. That's research we've seen at the ROI Genome and Analytic Partners. Harvard Business Review did a pretty lengthy research study on this topic as well, and actually the insights were very much aligned to what we saw.

Lauren Livak:
And are there specific areas you would say that are more impactful during a financial hard time from a marketing standpoint versus another? Did any of that come out in the data?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah. I think one thing that we've seen is brands tend to lean in more to promotions during periods of economic downturns. That's not necessarily the right thing to do. Brands need to provide value to their customers, that's crucial, but value doesn't have to come in the form of discounts. Or it can come in the form of discounts, and there's nothing wrong with that, but that alone is not going to lead to success. So there is an element of media marketing, explaining what differentiates our business, what our value proposition is. That needs to be communicated consistently alongside potentially some slight increases in discounts, promotions, and various types of offers that can help incentivize and ease the financial burden.

Peter Crosby:
Okay, Mike, hit me with another truth, myth, trend.

Mike Menkes:
Sure. One of those is just around the role of video. So as I mentioned, there's a lot more investment in performance marketing, and those are the things where business leaders tend to see clicks and see conversions. But things like CTV, connected TV, online video, streaming video, and even good old fashioned linear TV, believe it or not, these things affect business performance significantly. They drive sales. They drive sales today, it's immediate. They also cause people to search and be curious about brands, consider them. And they help improve the responsiveness of things like display and search. So it's really important that we understand that video is an important business driver. Even though there isn't necessarily a click associated with most of them, the business impact can be measured and this is where you need analytics. You can't simply rely on click based data and last click metrics, which is highly misleading.

Mike Menkes:
If you actually were to look at click based metrics, you're going to see things like search and affiliates rise to the top of what works. And search and affiliates actually have very strong ROIs, but they're vastly overstated without taking into account what's actually driving the search behaviors, which are things like word of mouth and other forms of marketing. So the reason I'm bringing video up is because it tends to be, there's a lot of skepticism around it. Depending on who you talk to, there's plenty of people that firmly believe in it, of course. But it's harder to justify when you can't say, look, the clicks over here led to this sale. Which can be done with analytics, which is what we specialize in and many companies offer that capability too.

Mike Menkes:
But the reason this is important is advertising. Also the other reason that not using that user level conversion based data to make investment decisions is important is because a lot of the impact of marketing isn't necessarily immediate. So for example, we know that two thirds of the impact of advertising happens after the week of the exposure. So most of the advertising, when you see an ad, people don't drop everything and go out and buy that product, but it influences their next time they're in a situation to make a decision. So, that's really important for us to understand how advertising works. Now, that doesn't mean the ads are going to affect sales three quarters down the road, it's still affecting business performance in the short term. Meaning this week, next week, the week after that. But it's not necessarily something that we can attribute and click through on an individual basis because there's a lot of omnichannel shopping. Cookies are far from perfect, and in fact, not going to exist in the not too distant future.

Mike Menkes:
The other element here to keep in mind is that video, by definition, and we've seen this in the ROI Genome, it has a more of a lasting effect than other forms of advertising. So video essentially lasts twice as long as other forms of advertising. So if we're just looking at, who bought this week and what did they see this week and we're only looking at that view, we're missing out on the value that something like a video ad can produce next week and the week after that, because it lasts longer and the cumulative impact is actually significantly higher. Now, of course the cost element is important too. So, not to say that video is the answer, but it's important that we understand that not all marketing behaves the same and that we have an understanding of how to measure it properly.

Peter Crosby:
And so, I would imagine putting all of this puzzle piece together into an effective short term and medium and long term strategy that drives lasting value and growth for the company and going back to the conversation around data being the shared vocabulary between finance and marketing, it can't just be last click measurement, I'm guessing? There's something else going on here, the measurement program has to be a different kind of beast, I would guess.

Mike Menkes:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Last click has many flaws. It can be used for certain things. If we're looking at different types of searched words and search terms, and that's where that can bring some value. But if we're trying to make investment decisions, where should we spend our dollars? Should we spend in search? Should we spend in connected TV? Should we spend in Facebook? Should we spend in TikTok? You cannot be using last click for that. It's not the right way to be measuring business performance. And so, can certainly go on and on about that topic, but the last click can be used if we have, as I said, different types of search terms, or there may be elements. But even display ads, people don't usually intentionally click on display ads. So to think about that as a click based mechanism to drive sales is also something that's misleading.

Lauren Livak:
And when you think about digitally influenced sales, you're talking a bit about influence, that is one of the hardest things to measure, right? Like, I am walking into an aisle and I'm on my phone and I'm looking at Amazon and I'm price matching. Do I buy it in store? Do I buy it on Amazon? How do you talk to your clients about that? And how do you think about measuring a digitally influenced sale like that? Or just showing the impact of that to both finance and the marketing teams?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah. This is exactly what we do at Analytic Partners, is commercial mix analytics. You don't need person level, user level data to measure the impact of our investments. There's lots of big data that is not necessarily individual based that we can use. So DNA level data, store level data, combined with user level data to go into some details on things like different types of terms and things like that. So it's really a combination of data sources and advanced analytics to be able to understand what's driving business performance.

Mike Menkes:
So, we do exactly what you just said, which is, there are media impressions and word of mouth and non-marketing factors, lots of non-marketing dynamics that we need to take into account. And in fact, the only way to measure marketing well is to make sure we're also measuring the non-marketing factors as well. But we are often measuring, for example, the impact that an Amazon search ad has on Amazon. As well as non-Amazon, the impact that has on driving people to make decisions and purchases in store. And the way to do that is by collecting vast amounts of data and building a robust analytic program to be able to understand the impacts that these different dynamics bring to the business.

Lauren Livak:
From a non-marketing perspective, what do you consider "non-marketing," quote, unquote. I'm air quoting right now. What are those tactics?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah, There's a lot, and every business is different, but fundamentally we're talking about things like... Weather is going to have a huge impact on certain types of businesses, whether it's retail and less people shopping in stores, or ice cream and soup sort of businesses. So the weather's going to have extreme impacts. And seasonality, there's some businesses that are more geared towards gift giving and those elements where they see much bigger purchases at different times of the year, seasonal businesses. And even beer has a seasonal trend to it. Automotive, et cetera.

Mike Menkes:
Competition is another one. In order to be able to measure the impact of what's driving your business, you need to understand how the competition is playing a big part of it. So, what the competitors are doing and how they're investing and their business performance is affecting ours. And we need to make sure that's taken into account. One of the things we know from the ROI Genome for example, is if the average competitor for an average brand were to double its marketing investment, our brand would lose 15% of its business. So we need to make sure we're taking that into account. There's also economic factors, COVID disruption, human mobility, all of these things have data that can and should be incorporated into analytics and measurement.

Mike Menkes:
And the reason that's important is if you're looking at click based data, you may not be bringing in the fact that the competitor ran a promotion that week, and, or there was a hurricane and this particular part of the country that week. And not bringing that into the equation, and, or not having some of the information available at a user level is going to lead to, and this is another reason where the click based measurement is flawed, it leads to decisions that are based upon incomplete data. And so that's why those non-marketing factors... And then of course you have operations. You've got financing offers for different types of industries.

Mike Menkes:
So I can go on and on, but basically, the key is really for any business to understand what's driving the business performance and include things that are controllable and noncontrollable to be able to measure business performance. And then also use that information to help inform future decisions. So this is not a backwards looking exercise, but this is all about being able to understand how we can make better decisions for tomorrow. And by running scenarios to better understand. You know, when we were in COVID, what if human mobility were to increase, 20% next year or 40% next year? What would be the implications for our business? Being able to run those sorts of scenarios to be able to understand and make better decisions to come out of it stronger.

Peter Crosby:
And Mike, what frequency... Sort of your best customers, and I'm not talking in terms of how much they spend or something like that, but your best customers like, oh my gosh, I really love working with these people because they get it. At what frequency are they engaging with the data to make the best use of it?

Mike Menkes:
Yeah. Most of our clients these days, we have something called live modeling, which is essentially having an analytic program that's updated, in near real time. Generally speaking, monthly cadence is what we find to be the best balance. And part of that is because of that dynamic I talked about, that two thirds of the impact of advertising happens after the week on air. So if we're doing weekly analytics and we're looking at what we did this week and the impact it had this week, we're missing two thirds of what actually happened. And so we're not really giving the right credit to what we did this week. So monthly is a good balance. It also helps us not overreact to dynamics that might actually not be affecting our business. Most of our clients these days are actually updating their analytic program and having an understanding of what's driving business performance on a monthly basis.

Peter Crosby:
That's really interesting. And who's in the room when you're sort of all right, here's this month's results? What's the right collection of people to have their ears open for that stuff?

Mike Menkes:
That's a great question. That depends on the business at hand. We have some clients with CMOs eagerly waiting for the results every month. We have some where the CMO may be more trusting their team to make the decisions and more of a quarterly touch base or sometimes it's less frequent depending on a variety of factors. But I'd say the folks in the room are those that are really making the decisions for where to invest next month. But also to be able to test and learn. So the big reason why monthly tends to be... And probably the second most frequent touch base tends to be quarterly. But there's a lot of testing and learning that our clients, and we're encouraging them to, as well, to learn. Let's execute some new things, let's try a new audience we want to reach or a new type of marketing execution or there maybe a new offering that Google has out there that we want to test out. And so being able to test and learn. So those that are making those decisions on a fairly regular basis are the ones that are most tuned in.

Peter Crosby:
Mike, this is great. I think one thing I want to say, obviously for people that are listening here, a lot of what we've been talking about is in the Marketing Trends, Truths and Taking Action for Tomorrow report and we'll have that. That's available, I'm sure they can find it on your site, Google it. Or they can come to the DSI site, digitalshelfinstitute.org and go to the Resource Center and we've linked to it there.

Peter Crosby:
Your next one, you talked about Targeting Works, Except When It Doesn't. Can I put you on the spot and ask for what was the big aha moment in that report that you can share before we [inaudible 00:33:02].

Mike Menkes:
Sure. I'd say, the reason we decided to put together a report is that there are a lot of myths out there with regards to targeting, both in what is actually possible to do in the ad ecosystem, what's accurate and what we're seeing from a business performance. So, the quality of the data and the ability to target varies. If you've got first party data, if you're a retailer and you know who your customers are, by the way, your existing customers, not your prospective customers, but you know who they are. You have certain information about them. So that sort of targeting tends to be more accurate. Third party data though can be misleading. I think there was a study done that kind of suggested that it's not very accurate with regards to whether or not knowing someone was a male or female, for example, is actually... You'd be more accurate by flipping a coin when you're using party data. So just to give you a sense of the wide spectrum of quality of data.

Mike Menkes:
But one of the big takeaways we had coming out of that report is that contextual targeting works well and pretty consistently. Which is a little bit of a surprise. I think there's a belief that behavioral and demographic targeting tends to work well. And it's not to say that it can't work well, but more often than not, we see contextual targeting as consistently something that works pretty well. So making sure that you're serving up your message in the right place and location and the right environment is going to be more important than trying to seek out the exact right demographic or behaviors that we believe are going to lead to purchases. Obviously every marketer needs to make sure that they're testing and learning, and there's certainly a role for different types of targeting, but we've seen lots of cases where brands are targeting too much. They're focused too finely on an audience that may not be the right audience to focus on. But contextual targeting is 1.2 to 2.5 times more effective and efficient than other types of targeting.

Peter Crosby:
Which kind of bodes well in a cookie-less world, right?

Mike Menkes:
Exactly. Exactly.

Peter Crosby:
So no need to despair.

Mike Menkes:
The sky is not falling.

Peter Crosby:
Well, it might be, but it'll take a little longer.

Mike Menkes:
It may be a blessing in disguise to be perfectly honest with you. But, I think it's important to note that there's plenty of opportunities and reasons why other forms of targeting are going to work. But for those that are not leaning into contextual targeting, I would definitely recommend looking into it and testing and learning.

Peter Crosby:
Well, Mike, thank you. Thank you so much. The link to both these reports will be in our show notes. Both links will be on the Digital Shelf Institute website in the resources section. Of course, at the Analytic Partners website as well. And thank you for myth busting and trend spotting and all of the above and bringing that to our community. We really appreciate it.

Mike Menkes:
Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Lauren Livak:
Thank you, Mike.

Peter Crosby:
Thanks again to Mike for the wisdom sharing. Just a reminder. Our website is digitalshelfinstitute.org. Become a member while you're snagging the ROI Genome reports. You'll be glad you did. Thanks for being part of our community.