Editor’s Note: Selected pieces by AdExchanger’s author Alison Weissbrot from an interview with Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman, GroupM Global.
Although GroupM has invested aggressively in programmatic and data-driven marketing technology, Irwin Gotlieb (Chairman, GroupM Global) still adheres to the importance of top funnel marketing. “I believe strongly in a marketing funnel, and that broad targeting will continue to remain an essential part of marketing,” he told AdExchanger. “If I focus my effort on picking the lowest hanging fruit and stop watering the tree, the tree would die. That’s what happens when brands over-target.”
And short-term focus on cost and ROI are troublesome trends Gotlieb has seen before. “As an industry, we’re not good at keeping institutional knowledge,” he said. “If you’re going to build a brand, you have to take into account long-term effect, short term-effect and everything in-between.”
What are your thoughts on the evolution of programmatic?
Programmatic kicks in when the transaction is so small, humans can’t manage the volume. As we move from purchasing pages in magazines, billboards and 30-second spots on television to impressions, that level of decisioning can’t be done by humans. That all falls broadly under programmatic.
Marketing is about simultaneously working on every level of the marketing funnel. In the last 15 years, the granularity of data available allows us to activate against each level of the funnel. That doesn’t mean I stop doing top funnel work. If you miss any of those steps, you do so at your own peril.
AdExchanger: Can you stop clients from applying short-term thinking to their marketing budgets, or do you just have to wait until the cycle wears out?
Companies under pressure do what they have to do to see another day or quarterly report. Most often, they do that by narrowing the target, or by trading highly effective media for cheaper, less effective media. That doesn’t yield good outcomes for the long-term health of the company.
We do our best to convince clients they shouldn’t do certain things. If they have a figurative gun to their head and there is no choice, we will execute what we are told. But it is our responsibility to push back.
It’s also risky when millennials and young people don’t value brands the way previous generations have, and you have consolidation in distribution. Some of those distribution points aren’t particularly anxious to protect legacy brands.