Emerging Technologies


Augmented Reality in Marketing has a lot of promise, but how is it implemented and what are its key benefits? At a recent Portada Live knowledge-sharing event for brand marketers, Rafael Belloso, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Ocean Spray Cranberries, shared insights on the implementation of a recent augmented reality program.

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Marketing
Rafael Belloso, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Ocean Spray Cranberries.

Rafael Belloso, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Ocean Spray Cranberries, shared with the Portada Live audience of brand decision makers, some challenges his company was facing and how the benefits of augmented reality became part of the solution Text and VIDEO below).

How did Ocean Spray innovated to tacckle a key marketing challenge?

According to Belloso, Ocean Spray Cranberries is a very well-known brand in the U.S., but there is limited brand awareness in international key markets, a good example of this is Chile.

“We launched a new product, and the challenge was, how to connect with our consumers, how to tell the story of our coop of producers, and how we harvest cranberries in Chile.”

Which technology helped Ocean Spray to solve the challenge?

“We created an augmented reality program in our package that allowed the consumers to learn more about the product, its benefits, and the story we had to tell. Augmented reality allowed the consumer to play with our package and look at our package through their phone and see things about the product.”

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Marketing

Belloso explained that “users could scan the juice bottles with their phones to discover the story of Ocean Spray, play games using gamification, and share with friends.”

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Marketing: What where the results of the initiative?

The benefits of augmented reality in marketing surpassed any other strategy in effectiveness. Rafael Belloso outlined five benefits of the use of augmented reality obtained through the activation.

  1. “We saw that augmented reality technology allows us to tell the story of Ocean Spray in a more interactive way.”
  2. “It allowed our consumers to interact with our product in a playful way and gave them a reason to share with other users and friends.”
  3. “It increased the word of mouth, people are talking about our products and our packages.”
  4. “It delivered a different PR, helping garner awareness for the product we could not have obtained otherwise.”
  5. “The AR innovation also helped improve brand health attributes, such as consumer perceptions about Ocean Spray’s innovation and technology.”
Ten percent of people who bought the product are engaged in the experience. That is a very high response rate.

“Of course, as in every technology, there is an adaptation curve. Nonetheless, 10% of people who bought the product are engaged in the experience. That is a very high response rate,” explained Belloso.

Another benefit of augmented reality in marketing  is the amount of data marketers get. “The amount of interaction and engagement you can get from the technology is huge,” added Belloso.

Compared to other budgets in marketing it is not a big investment.

Benefits of Augmented Reality: How Big Was the Investment?

In terms of investment, the amount of expenditure depends directly on how big you want the AR tool to be. “It isn’t that big of an investment, it depends on how big the experience you want the augmented reality to be, but compared to other budgets in marketing it is not big.”

Watch Rafael Belloso’s and other brand marketers present actionable insights on how they solved brand marketing challenges (VIDEO)!


Trailblazers, decision-makers, and innovative thinkers, for those who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, this event is for you.

T-Mobile for Business is holding the first-ever Unconventional Awards to put innovative work in the spotlight. It’s your chance to put your business on the map while celebrating and uplifting the bold and brave thinking that propels industries forward.

There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place awards in each category with tech innovation donations valued at $25k, $10k, and $5k, respectively, to a charity of the winner’s choice. First-place winners will also be featured in Wall Street Journal Custom Content as well as T-Mobile for Business’s PR and social media channels.

Do you have work you’d like to share with the world? Show off your work by entering in any or all of the following categories:

Unconventional Awards: Innovation in Customer Experience:
Recognizes innovators who better serve customers, enhance business performance, and deliver a truly human brand experience.

Innovation in Employee Enablement:
Recognizes trailblazers who find new and unconventional ways to bring out the best in their teams.

Innovation in Industry:
Recognizes pioneers who bring new innovations to industries by challenging the status quo.

T-Mobile for Business customers are at the forefront of today’s business innovations with the support of the largest 5G network. After a year of working hard, it’s time to be recognized and rewarded for it.

Experience an evening of celebrating and networking with the minds behind today’s industry-shaping ideas at this cocktail awards ceremony. This one-of-a-kind event is being held in Las Vegas at the fabulous Rooftop Resorts World during Day 2 of the Mobile World Congress Americas.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity. Submit your most innovative work by August 19. ENTER NOW.

5G: Capable device req’d; coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com.​

No purchase necessary. Open to T-Mobile For Business and T-Mobile for Government customers in good standing with 500+ employees. 03/07/22-08/19/22. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: T-Mobile USA, Inc. See full rules here.







Innovations in DOOH (Digital Out of Home) advertising enable advertisers to communicate large campaigns in real-time and reach the target consumer in new ways. We analyze the successful case of the DIRECTV Copa America campaign.

The Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) advertising industry continues to evolve, with 30% growth in the Latin America and other regions, thanks to increased investment from advertising categories such as Entertainment, Media and Communication. According to the Digital Out of Home Advertising attitudes & behavior report conducted by Verizon Media, in which nearly 250 advertisers and marketing specialists in the United States participated,  60% plan to buy out of home media through DOOH in the coming months, making DOOH one of the pillars of the advertising industry.

The technological innovation includes DOOH LED screens which allow the creation of interactive content and dynamic ads which create deep connections between brands and the consumer target in a new way. This variety of options is reflected in programmatic advertising campaigns which enable advertisers to display creative depending on the time of day or weather, real-time traffic in the area, pollution index – measured through air sensors on the screens – or news of major events while they are happening.

DOOH technology enables advertisers to display creative depending on the time of day or weather, real-time traffic in the area, pollution index – measured through air sensors on the screens – or news of major events while they are happening.  

During the soccer Copa America 2021 soccer tournament played in Brazil, DIRECTV carried out an innovative regional DOOH campaign with the objective of generating brand awareness, through the use of high-impact media and dynamic ads in real-time in the main cities of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay.  

60%  out of 250 advertisers and marketing specialists in the US plan to invest in DOOH in the coming months, making DOOH one of the pillars of the advertising industry.


The innovative campaign included special creative pieces for each city, dynamic ads on LED media, and a circuit of digital media outlets showing in real-time key moments of the Copa America soccer matches as they were being played. This included communication before each match: Countdown before the start of the Cup, the daily fixture with the matches to be played, the broadcast schedule and a countdown one hour before each match. During the games, the following was communicated: live goals with the player’s name; cards with the name of the player who was cautioned or expelled, partial results, winners and finally the announcement of the Copa America champion. Also in Bogota, Colombia, a bus was used with digital screens with a constant rotation of videos and live content.


The successful campaign, which was enabled by the advice and execution of home media partner  WorldComOOH used more than 150 elements implemented in 6 countries and 36 cities, with a total of 58,503,533 Opportunity To See (OTS). 

Romina González, Marketing Director at DIRECTV Latin America, said: “This campaign demonstrates DIRECTV’s leadership and innovation throughout the region. The results of this impactful campaign are in line with the high standing of our company”. 





Augmented Reality in Marketing: Remember when everyone was talking about Pokémon Go? After the hype subsided, augmented reality has been steadily growing as a force in media over the past five years. Ivan Markman, Chief Business Officer at Yahoo, sees three important trends going forward.

by Ivan Markman, Chief Business Officer, Yahoo

Augmented reality has spent the past few years on the cusp of going mainstream. Ever since the summer of Pokémon Go, experts have predicted that it’s on the verge of widespread adoption. While AR hasn’t yet reached the level of mainstream buzz it achieved during the summer of Niantic’s massive mobile gaming hit, the use of AR tools has been steadily rising for the past five years. 

According to a report released by eMarketer, more than 83 million Americans interacted with some form of AR at least once a month over the past year. Many of those interactions were driven by social media apps, which use AR in their popular photo-enhancing filters and face-distorting lenses, giving AR a stronger foothold with millennials and Generation Z. As the coronavirus upends lifestyles across every demographic, exposure is likely to widen.

The pandemic has escalated three major trends – all of which are likely to drive AR adoption further into the mainstream and therefore increase the use of Augmented Reality in Marketing.

Trend 1: Hunger for Unique Experiences 

 With the population largely at home, the use of streaming and mobile video products has risen across every demographic category, namely entertainment and gaming. As the pandemic lingers on, these new audiences will seek out new and enhanced experiences. People crave novelty and, with their ability to see it in their physical world severely curtailed, expect many users to turn to AR to add variety to their newly fixed surroundings. 

Trend 2: Demand for Differentiated Content

The rise of new audiences has led to a comparable spike in new content. It’s a boom time for content creators of all stripes, but with rising competition, using Augmented Reality in Marketing offers a way to stand out from the crowd by creating an experience that is both more immersive than traditional mobile video and stickier for new adopters facing a flood of similar content choices. 

Trend 3: Augmented Reality in Marketing – New Brand Strategies

The pandemic has cut brands off from a number of ways they traditionally interacted with consumers. Marketing channels such as events are all but off-limits and the in-store retail experience has significantly changed. As a result, many brands are adopting new strategies to better connect with consumers in a socially distanced world. In categories such as automotive and home decor that lean heavily on in-person contact and on-site product experience, investing in AR experiences provides an effective alternative. This increased investment is likely to accelerate the adoption of the technology by a wide range of media and content publishers and, by extension, bring it directly into the hands – or palms – of more people.
While the pandemic is likely to accelerate interest in the use of Augmented Reality in Marketing among marketers and the business and consumer audiences they serve, meeting this moment will take more than simple consumer interest. Most of the major milestones in the history of AR adoption have been driven by technical advances. AR’s biggest moments wouldn’t have been possible without the rise of mobile devices, the advent of high-resolution digital photography and the mass adoption of mobile GPS technology.

Fortunately, there are four key developments underway today that we expect will move the needle on adoption and topple barriers to entry.

More than 83 million Americans interacted with some form of AR at least once a month over the past year. Many of those interactions were driven by social media apps, which use AR in their popular photo-enhancing filters and face-distorting lenses

Plane Tracking and Visualization 

In order for AR to integrate cleanly with images of the real world, accurate plane detection is an unglamorous but core necessity. The launch of Apple’s latest AR development kit, ARKit 3.5, brings with it some advances in plane detection that will allow developers to improve the quality of AR experiments and more seamlessly integrate AR visuals into real-world video and photography. Google has also rolled out new capabilities for AR development on Android phones with the latest version of ARCore, which should upgrade 3D sensing and depth perception. 

Augmented Reality in Marketing: The Emergence of AR for Web

To date, the most ubiquitous examples of AR have been app-based. Tools such as Snapchat and Instagram have popularised AR experiences but also confined them to in-app environments. However, new tools will allow developers to create a wider range of AR experiences for the mobile web desktop, vastly expanding the audience as well as the technology’s applications for digital content publishers and eCommerce businesses. Autoblog, for example, recently launched an AR experience that lets readers see a life-sized version of the new Ford Mustang Mach-E without an app. Google has also added AR functionality – albeit on a limited basis – in a browser-based search.

The most ubiquitous examples of AR have been app-based. Tools such as Snapchat and Instagram have popularised AR experiences but also confined them to in-app environments.

Wearables and Connected Devices  

Freeing AR from in-app environments is likely to spur adoption, but freeing it from mobile phones entirely will be an even more significant game-changer. As connected hardware expands beyond phones and tablets to wearable devices such as glasses, the potential to integrate AR into our daily lives in more novel ways will radically expand. For example, at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple introduced iOS 14, which adds momentum to a number of initiatives in this space.

Freeing AR from in-app environments is likely to spur adoption, but freeing it from mobile phones entirely will be an even more significant game-changer. 

More Specialized Expertise 

While the pandemic is driving interest in the use of Augmented Reality in Marketing for brands, it may be difficult for some to scale because their teams and technology aren’t fully 3D-ready. The ability to create AR assets from scratch is still limited to a fairly small pool of specialists, but a rising tide of third-party AR tools and experts will soon democratize the technology and provide brands with the guidance and skills they need to scale in AR without constraints. 

Each of these technical advances, in combination with the radical changes to daily life wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, stands to accelerate the quality and adoption of AR experiences by consumers and brands. Like all great changes in our history, the pandemic will change the way we live and work, but as with all paradigm shifts, it will bring new forms of media to help us better communicate, understand and experience the world as it now exists.

The ability to create AR assets from scratch is still limited to a fairly small pool of specialists, but a rising tide of third-party AR tools and experts will soon democratise the technology and provide brands with the guidance and skills they need to scale in AR without constraints

AI in digital marketing is one of the most important technological developments in decades. However, to use digital channels for customer engagement doesn’t mean sacrificing human connection over AI, customer engagement experts at Moxtra note. Find out how AI can automate routines, while freeing up valuable people hours so employees can readily serve clients whose needs demand a human touch.

This article is part of a thought leadership article series on Marketing Innovation presented and written by Moxtra, a company that helps businesses deliver client experiences for the digital age.


The rise of artificial intelligence is one of the most important technological developments in decades, and it’s a key driver in what many are calling the fourth industrial revolution. But not all consumers are convinced. Skepticism remains widespread, especially in the case of brands which rely too much on things like chatbots and autoresponders. For businesses, this means it’s more important than ever to humanize technology by using solutions like AI and chatbots to complement human roles, rather than replace them.

Human connection has never been more important, especially given the dramatic increase in remote work and digital business. More than ever, customer engagement is being automated to the extent that connection lacks the human touch needed to drive persistent relationships. But using AI in digital marketing channels doesn’t have to mean sacrificing human connection. In fact, it can mean quite the opposite. Digital channels also present new ways for brands to deliver a high-touch customer experience, especially in the digital era of online business and remote work.

Using digital channels doesn’t have to mean sacrificing human connection. In fact, it can mean quite the opposite.

AI in Digital Marketing: Driving persistent relationships with remote connections

In high-touch customer service, there’s a constant need for human interactivity to build trust and deliver the level of support clients expect. This is especially important in areas like wealth management, real estate, and legal. Clients in these sectors expect brands to be consistently present. That means opening a digital branch is essential for combining the convenience of readily accessible private digital channels with the human experience of interactive relationships.

That’s simply not possible if a digital branch is viewed solely as a high-tech solution. High-tech services, by contrast, include things like AI-powered chatbots. These might provide solutions to common problems and answers to everyday questions, and they undeniably play an important role in any self-service portal. However, clients also need to know that a human team is available to them. That’s why effective digital branches also incorporate interactive features like messaging, document collaboration, meetings, and video conferencing.

Clients need to know that a human team is available to them. That’s why effective digital branches also incorporate interactive features like messaging, document collaboration, meetings, and video conferencing.

Despite the fact that AI is often seen as the dehumanization of client-to-business relationships, it can itself have quite the opposite effect. The economic case for chatbots, for example, is clear. Even the biggest companies simply don’t have the human resources to stay connected to their clientele around the clock. In many businesses, sales and support teams already spend their entire workdays managing client engagement. However, many routine operations are easily repeatable. AI in digital marketing can automate those routines, while freeing up valuable people hours so employees can readily serve clients whose needs demand a human touch.

Human Connections

How to Use AI in Digital Marketing: Delivering personalized and interactive customer experiences

Establishing the optimal blend of AI- and human-powered digital connections lets businesses deliver a personalized and responsive service. With a branded OneStop Portal, firms can take advantage of a complete and integrated suite of communication and collaboration tools, which employees and clients alike can access from any internet-connected device. Also, since every digital interaction adds to an auditable trail of data, AI can then help decision makers come to informed decisions thanks to data-driven insights. In that respect, far from replacing humans, AI augments their capabilities by helping them automate routine operations and make sense of client interactions at massive scale. Armed with these insights, businesses can continuously improve their offer and better manage persistent relationships across the board.

Since every digital interaction adds to an auditable trail of data, AI can then help decision makers come to informed decisions thanks to data-driven insights.

Final Words

It’s essential that brands, particularly those in high-touch industries like professional services, understand the difference between the roles of digital, AI in digital marketing and human digital experiences. Both can work together to achieve extraordinary results at virtually any scale. Marketing Technology can make customer experiences more human by giving people tools that enhance their capabilities and allow them to focus on what they do best – building real relationships, being empathetic, and making sense of complicated situations. And there’s no better way to do that than through a OneStop Digital Branch that’s readily available to its clients.

Moxtra’s just-in-time platform powers branded OneStop Apps for customer engagement and collaboration for today’s digital age. Get in touch today to get started with an app for your business.

Written by Moxtra


Check out other articles written by Moxtra for this thought leadership article series on Marketing Innovation:

Digital Customer Experience, Marketers Play a Key Role in Unifying Goals

Adapting Your Brand to a Digital World

How Customer Convenience Builds Brand Loyalty in Today’s Digital Age


Hispanic CTV Advertising provides brands the positive audience features of linear TV (co-viewing, large screen engagement) and the targeting and interactive capabilities of digital marketing. Hispanics are one of the highest growing cohorts in CTV adoption. What do advertisers need to take into account when it comes to target U.S. Hispanic consumers through CTV?

Hispanic CTV Advertising
Darcy Bowe, SVP, Media Director at Starcom USA.

“CTV can be used as broad video impressions to replace or complement television or it can be a part of a digital campaign and have the same KPIs as that campaign. It can offer a deeper level of audience targeting vs. television and you can overlay interactive elements on an ad to create viewer interaction as well,” says Darcy Bowe, SVP, Media Director at Starcom USA, where she is involved with video media planning and buying for cients.

CTV can offer a deeper level of audience targeting vs. television and you can overlay interactive elements on an ad to create viewer interaction as well.

Nielsen’s recent Total Audience Report revealed that 17% of connected TV (CTV) device users in the U.S. are Hispanics.  52% of Hispanics watched CTV in Q3 2020, the second-highest cohort. Asian Americans, 54%, lead in CTV consumption followed by White Americans (49%) and Black Americans (46%). Reach of traditional TV among Hispanics is the second-lowest at 76%, after Asian Americans (65%). Hispanic CTV viewing increased 25% to 54 minutes a day in Q3 of 2020.

Hispanics over-index versus most other cohorts in CTV consumption and under-index in traditional TV consumption.

Opportunities for Brands

Where do opportunities for brand marketers lie when it comes to engage the U.S. Hispanic consumer through CTV?

Isabelle Rafferty, CEO & Founder Canela Media, notes that “the advertisers best positioned to engage Hispanics via CTV are the ones who recognize Hispanics as a social, cultural and economic force. Brands who understand this fact possess detailed knowledge of the diverse backgrounds, passion points and types of messaging that resonate best with Hispanic audiences. For example, McDonald’s has consistently used its Hispanic-focused advertising to showcase experiences and situations that resonate deeply with Hispanic viewers, which not only creates an emotional connection but also demonstrates how well the company understands the audience.”

“Interestingly, while cord-cutting has become increasingly prevalent amongst Hispanic audiences, there is still an incredible lack of Spanish-language news shows and current affairs programming available on streaming services. We set out to bridge that gap by launching Canela News, which gives Spanish-speaking cord-cutters access to the latest in current events, sports and weather,” Rafferty adds.

Hispanic CTV Advertising: QSR, Auto, Energy, Alcohol and Tech

For any brand looking to make a meaningful connection with Latinos, CTV/OTT is a must . Rafferty notes that on Canela.TV, “”we’ve seen the greatest growth in ad spend from QSR, Auto, Energy, Alcohol and Tech and look forward to helping other brands and verticals define their footprint with US Hispanics.”

Precisely for reaching a market as heterogenous as the Hispanic market, with its many language, country of origin and cultural nuances, Hispanic CTV Advertising provides targeting capabilities via a myriad of data triggers that can provide customized ads – by making a reference to cultural customs (e.g. food, music, sports etc.) – in order to make the ad experience much less standard than it usually is on linear TV.

We’ve seen the highest growth in ad spend from QSR, Auto, Energy, Alcohol and Tech.

Plus, brand recognition tends to be lower by multicultural consumers therefore increasing the potential for advertising campaigns. Nielsen’s latest Annual Auto Marketing report found that driving connections with the multicultural consumer is key to the automotive industry. According to the study, consumers from multicultural groups – Hispanic, Black and Asian Americans – are aware of 10-20% fewer car brands than the general U.S. population. The reports adds that “automotive brands are less top-of-mind for multicultural consumers, and there is an imperative for marketers to close that gap because most purchase decisions can be traced back to brands that consumers already have in mind before starting out on the path-to-purchase. Another category that over-indexes in terms of Hispanic consumer demand are telecommunications, consumer electronics, money transfer as well as certain parts of the grocery and retail sector.”

Canela.TV differs from most OTT offerings because it was truly one of the 1st AVOD streaming entertainment platforms built exclusively for Latinos by Latinos. With Canela.TV, Latinos are no longer an afterthought or “subsection” of a larger offering. “Our entire platform was build with diverse Hispanic audiences in mind, offering culturally relevant content from around the world in Spanish and English. We cater to the complex origins groups, tastes and language preferences of the modern Hispanic landscape in America,” Rafferty emphasizes.

Isabel Rafferty
Isabelle Rafferty, CEO & Founder Canela Media
About 50% of Canela TV’s viewership occurs on connected TVs. 

Canela.TV has attracted a total of 3.2MM unique users in less than a year of being in-market, and is pacing to achieve over 8MM unique users by the end of 2021. Canela.TV is 100% over-the-top, and about 50% of its viewership occurs on connected TVs.Canela.TV uses audience data to enable brands to determine where they should be advertising, as well as the best way of establishing meaningful and in-depth relationships with U.S. Hispanics. “We also use audience data to figure out what types of content resonate most with our audiences, which in turn influences the programming that we decide to add to our library as well as the recommendations we offer to our advertisers,” CEO Rafferty adds.

Neccessary Ad-Tech Stack for Hispanic CTV Advertising

For its star product, Canela.TV, and its related Hispanic CTV Advertising,  Canela Media uses SpringServe as video ad server and use Google Ad Manager for Display & Video solutions across their O&O properties. Canela Media’s ever-growing OLV (Pre-Roll & Outstream) Network we relies on SpotX and FreeWheelCanela Media is also integrated withf DSPs and SSPs, like  Beachfront, Conversant, district m, e-Planning, EMX Digital, Freewheel, Google, Gum Gum, Index Exchange, InMobi, Magnite DV+ (Rubicon/Teleria), Mobfox, MoPub, OpenX, Pubmatic, Pulsepoint, Roku, Sabio, Simpli.fi, Smaato, Smart AdServer, SpotX, SuperAwesome, TappX, The Trade Desk, TripleLift, Unruly (RhythmOne), Verizon Media, Zypmedia. Additionally, Canela Media is connected for header bidding  via VAST and Ad Tags.








Digital Customer Experience: With digital channels here to stay, marketers must provide personalization and convenience across channels.

This article is part of a thought leadership article series on Marketing Innovation presented and written by Moxtra, a company that helps businesses deliver client experiences for the digital age.

Marketers work to build the best customer experiences possible by utilizing the most effective channels for their unique brand and audience. In today’s digital world, customer expectations for interactions have gone digital, using web and mobile, and marketing teams translate the traditional in-person experiences to digital in order to stay competitive.

Simply implementing digital tools is not enough, marketers must mirror the levels of personalization provided in physical locations across digital devices — seamlessly and efficiently— in one consolidated space. Marketers must embrace a holistic digital mindset, both externally and internally, by deploying virtual branches of business for a fully integrated digital transformation.

In industries from banking to retail, today’s customers expect both a convenient and highly engaging service experience.

Expectations have shifted so much that marketers must now re-examine and update the entire customer journey.

Expectations have shifted so much that marketers must now re-examine and update the entire customer journey and explore every touchpoint in the customer experience, adapting each one to mimic the high-touch engagement of in-person interactions.

With a branded app, customers are able to engage with your brand identity conveniently and are more likely to associate positive experiences with your brand. With a private digital channel that is available wherever, and whenever, the wider your reach and the greater your brand consciousness.

Increasing brand consciousness encourages consumers to be more active participants in the shopping experience, but also requires you to deliver a compelling digital channel that keeps their attention and responds to their needs.

While the consumer-facing component of your business’s digital arm is critical, it must be part of a broader ecosystem of tools that enable cross-team collaboration, management and productivity. By equipping your whole team with powerful, all-in-one platforms, you improve the employee experience and help them perform better, translating to more sales.

Effective digital transformation requires holistic, integrated change across your entire organization.

Digital Transformation

In industries from banking to retail, today’s customers expect both a convenient and highly engaging service experience.

  1. Digital Customer Experience: Engage with customers with comprehensive digital channels. When customers need to toggle between multiple apps to engage with your business, they’re often engaging in a frustrating and disjointed experience. By housing all capabilities in one secure location, you distinguish the customer experience as a branded one, building recognition for your logos, voice and offerings. Users should be able to access the full organization from anywhere, across all digital channels.
  2. Leverage personalization in the digital experience. Whether online or in-person, customers expect to be treated as individuals with names, preferences and a purchase history. Use the digital landscape to translate in-store brand experiences to a virtual platform. For example, give product recommendations via email based on customers’ unique buying behavior and the changing seasons. Rely on data and insights to display dynamic calls-to-action with language tailored to each customer’s preferences and motivations. In short, look for opportunities to spark an emotional connection with buyers that makes them more likely to click — and convert.
  3. Establish clear communications with your team. Owned and branded digital messaging channels allow teams to communicate on-demand effectively and securely, both internally and with customers. Centralized platforms allow swift communication company-wide. In addition, they enable businesses to tailor permissions for internal discussions.
  4. Enable effective management. Your digital capabilities should include a management portal for insight into internal activity and visibility on external communications. With all digital customer experience and employee interactions organized within a single secure platform, businesses can gather and store data, creating important audit and e-paper trails. This data can also be used to track and analyze performance related to key business goals, then optimize areas that are lacking.

As digital expectations continue to soar and consumers look to seamless brand experiences for their services, marketers play a critical role in merging digital resiliency with the brand experience.

Moxtra’s just-in-time platform powers branded OneStop Apps for customer engagement and collaboration for today’s digital age. Get in touch today to get started with an app for your business.

Written by Moxtra

Creating a convenient experience for customers cultivates brand loyalty. In today’s digital age, convenience is more accessible than ever before.

This article is part of a thought leadership article series on Marketing Innovation presented and written by Moxtra, a company that helps businesses deliver client experiences for the digital age.

For clients to remain loyal, businesses must adopt a client experience that achieves convenience. In order to live up to instantaneous expectations, consistent dedication to the client, their experience, and a heavy emphasis on customer convenience are required when establishing and nurturing loyalty.

For any small business owner, CEO, or customer experience leader, knowing the right strategies and staying away from the common missteps can make all the difference.

Being Responsive is Key 

Customer convenience and loyalty, in most instances, are dependent on each other. Generating customer loyalty is all about offering a convenient experience that provides clients with the needs and services they are looking for from your business. Consumers today are highly connected, and they forge an emotional connection with the brands they choose to do business with. This means that optimizing your customer experience and customer journey is key to ensure your client base does not leave for your competitors.

It begins with meeting your clients where they are. Be responsive. Take a look at the market, get to know the pain points, and provide a direct solution to your target audience’s needs.

Digital Technology Drives The Consumer Experience

Business owners today simply cannot expect to generate engagement, build a following, and create loyalty without undergoing digital transformation. Consumers remain ever-connected and ever-dedicated to mobile technology, and that idea shows itself in a number of different ways.

Look at a company like Uber – they were able to help propel the rideshare movement into a multi-billion dollar industry simply by improving the ordinary taxi experience through the use of digital technology in one actionable application. Users can download the app, scan their location, and instantly hire a driver to come pick them up in minutes. They can even pay directly through the app, add a tip, and enjoy the rest of their day all in a single, easy to use mobile application. Similarly, drivers have their compensation deposited right into an account from the app, without having to ask for payment or hang onto cash.

This convenient experience is what makes customers keep coming back – this convenient experience fosters loyalty. At the end of the day, it’s no different than an average taxi ride, but added customer convenience is what helps to generate loyalty to that brand – and Uber has an immensely loyal user base. Customer Convenience

Adopt a Strategic Digital Solution

The most optimal strategy for fostering reliable customer loyalty is to offer clients a complete and comprehensive OneStop digital experience. Consumers demand convenience because their entire digital and mobile experience is based around instant access. When a brand doesn’t offer that, or deviates from that path – even slightly – they’ll pass on it and move to the next brand that does offer them the service of customer convenience.

The best way for businesses to meet consumers where they are is to pivot their attention to the digital realm. Embrace the OneStop strategy and determine a solution to offer the level of convenience that consumers demand in all aspects of their mobile-based, digitally-driven lives.

Think about it – how much easier would it be for you if you could control every aspect of your customer journey in one single platform? Having an app, accessible from both mobile and web, is a digital solution for completing high-touch business processes. A OneStop digital experience is what consumers expect in today’s environment.

By deploying a web or mobile app on a platform that is built to scale, businesses can future-proof their service offerings by meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Moxtra powers OneStop Customer Collaboration Portals for businesses, delivering

just-in-time service with an all-in-one suite of interactive features for securely completing business wherever, whenever, in today’s digital age.

Each Moxtra-powered private digital channel acts as a fluid extension of your business, either as a standalone website or mobile app under your brand. Deliver continuous communication to your clients, while maintaining persistent human relationships to your customers with a digitally resilient strategy.

Moxtra’s just-in-time platform powers branded OneStop Apps for customer engagement and collaboration for today’s digital age. Get in touch today to get started with an app for your business.

Written by Moxtra

A brand is an emotional concept. A name or symbol can evoke images, ideas, feelings, lifestyles, and aspirations. Businesses work hard to cultivate and develop their brand identity – they use their brand to say this is who we are, this is what we do, and this is what we can accomplish together.

This article is part of a thought leadership article series on Marketing Innovation presented and written by Moxtra, a company that helps businesses deliver client experiences for the digital age.

No matter how many moving parts there are within an organization, a brand influences how a company is perceived, making it crucial to constantly look for ways to improve that perception.

For client-focused businesses, brand loyalty represents a relationship between a client and an organization. This relationship is built on a client’s trust in a brand to be reliable, communicative, and effective. If a business can maintain a brand identity that aligns with a client’s ideas, the relationship is positive and generates revenue.

High-touch service brands are associated with exceeding expectations, individualized attention to detail, and adjusting to their clients’ needs. Clients who choose first-class service providers are paying more for an experience that promises to do more – they are paying for a brand that caters to them personally.

High-touch service brands are associated with exceeding expectations, individualized attention to detail, and adjusting to their clients’ needs.

Digital means allow people to connect with those they love most, keep a record of their conversations, store their photo albums and have the ability to capture memories. Their e-mails, banks, and even wallets have all been transforming digitally. People can digitally map where they are going, order transportation, board a plane, or call for help. Digital devices are so personally tied to each person, that to even unlock them can take a fingerprint or facial identification. For a client, mobile phones and digital portals can get them almost anything they need. With these consumer expectations, businesses need to adopt a digital strategy to provide the most convenient service delivery to their clients.

Brand Identity

While many businesses have seen the value in employing a digital presence, developing a business app is complicated. As Moxtra’s Head of Marketing, Leena Iyar explains that without a set template for a functional mobile and web app, the process of developing a digitally resilient brand is daunting.

Developing a branded app allows clients to associate the convenience of digital engagement with the brand’s identity.

The Moxtra platform enables organizations to power OneStop digital business destinations to engage and collaborate with their clients anywhere, anytime.

By analyzing the business-client relationship, as well as digital expectations, Moxtra has classified a successful mobile strategy as one that…

…is under the organization’s unique brand

Developing a branded app allows clients to associate the convenience of digital engagement with the brand’s identity.

…is a OneStop virtual business destination

In order to establish trust within a digital platform, a OneStop virtual workspace should be secure and controlled for managing internal teams along with external relationships in order to process high-value transactions, with a paper trail and the ability to review and sign timely documents and other collaborative interactions.

…offers just-in-time service delivery to clients

While maintaining the convenience of digital accessibility with clients, businesses should deploy an app that provides just-in-time service delivery, allowing for timely customer experiences without exhausting resources.

Exceptional service means meeting every client where they are when they want. A business-client relationship starts with a brand’s perceived promises to a client. A client remains loyal to a brand that delivers on its promises. In order to stay competitive in today’s digital age, high-touch service providers need to evolve with their client expectations to provide the most convenient customer experience over digital.

A OneStop digital strategy evokes a brand that is personal, relevant, and resilient. Get in touch today to get started with an app for your business.

Written by Moxtra

NUMATEC, a holding company focused on media and Martech ventures across the globe, announced the launch of EKN, a data-driven omni-channel buy-side media company that provides access to digital advertising inventory for display, video, social, mobile, native, and more.

NUMATEC established EKN by acquiring selected assets from Eikon Digital that are focused on providing trading and technology services to agencies and clients as well as premium media representation for both the U.S. and Pan-regional markets.

EKN is an answer to challenges market participants have. We are technology agnostic, more of a consultant than a technology provider.

EKN uses a number of leading platforms (such as DSPs, SSPs, and DMPs) to help clients achieve their goals through the EKN trading desk. EKN delivers effective results through its omni-channel buying capabilities, partnerships with the largest data providers, and best-in-class reporting, with solutions including:

  • Data—Data enrichment, Mapping, and Privacy
  • Media—Programmatic display, Connected TV and OTT, Mobile and desktop video, Search and Social
  • Reporting—Data integration, Custom dashboards, and Insights Analysis

Regarding the place EKN will be taking in the MarTech  and Ad-Tech ecosystem, Alejandro Leon, CEO Caribe – Centro America – Peru at EKN. tells Portada that EKN “is not a DSP, rather we are an answer to challenges  market participants have. We are technology agnostic, more of a consultant than a technology provider. We work with different DSPs, DMPs, SSPs and ad-serving technologies to optimize our clients  media buys and campaigns.”

“Our new and existing clients are able to run campaigns in every online media channel, while executing
on multiple strategies to influence consumer behavior. We use the marketing cloud through display, e-mail, SMS in a real omnichannel way. Best of all, our insightful reporting means continuous optimization and unmatched insights,” Leon notes.

Adding Value to the Media Buy

According to Leon, EKN has invested in a strategic team that adds value to the media buy and recommends strategies  and provides insights for campaign optimization. “We are partners for agencies, we do not sell any products, we sell a strategy and results for brands.  In the U.S. we work with brands and in Latin America more with agencies,” Leon adds.

EKN’s Approach to Trading Desks

Leon notes that EKN uses a traditional trading desk but adds data insights and graphs to provide a very professional reporting . “For reporting we use Datorama, which was acquired by Salesforce a few years ago. Datorama also includes historical data and other references and provides richer data.”

Alejandro Leon, CEO Caribe – Centro America – Peru at EKN Solutions

Regarding the up-coming cookieless world, Leon notes that
“cookies are not disappearing but being transformed into something that is not 100% clear. Brands are more and more able to get their own data . At EKN we help brands create and enrich data and use that primary data to make more intelligent and efficient buys.”

At EKN we help brands create and enrich data and use that primary data to make more intelligent and efficient buys.

EKN Clients

Leon notes that EKN works with  U.S. Hispanic clients but also has a specialized practice for Travel and Tourism in the U.S. which includes train lines, car rentals and airlines. “In Latin America we work with the top 500 global brands including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Pizza Hut and many others.”

Recently created NUMATEC, of which EKN is a holding company,  comprehends more than 300 employees in 22 countries, in Europe and U.S. and Latin America,  and is led by a team of entrepreneurs who have successfully founded and exited multiple ventures, and now pool their resources and companies under one umbrella. Check out our recent interview with NUMATEC’s CEO Giuliano Stiglitz!


MarTech  investments are a key driver of the communications industry, both for entrepreneurs and investors.  Recently created NUMATEC comprehends more than 300 employees in 22 countries, and is led by a team of entrepreneurs who have successfully founded and exited multiple ventures, and now pool their resources and companies under one umbrella. We interviewed Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO of NUMATEC, to better understand his innovative company and learn about the MarTech (Marketing Technologies) sectors he sees the most potential for growth in. Numatec particularly seeks to grow in.

Corporate MarTech budgets will continue to grow globally. This is one of the main reasons why industry veteran Giuliano Stiglitz recently founded NUMATEC. According to Stiglitz the following four MarTech subsectors are particularly primed for growth:”First, AI-If you go beyond the fact that it is perhaps the most misused word in the industry, in its truest meaning, AI is the driving force behind automation and evolution of many of the platforms used today.” Second Stiglitz sees eCommerce as eCommerce is playing an important role “and its growth was accelerated by the pandemic and there is a growing demand for services that help eCommerce businesses succeed.” The third major growth sector for MarTech Investments is Customer Data: “Everything that has to do with capturing, understanding and harnessing the power of user specific data is key. Lots of growth here as we are just at the beginning of this trend.”. Finally, Stiglitz expects substantial growth in CTV and “generally speaking TV converting to Digital, still a lot more to go (hence lots of growth) to bring TV 100% to the ‘other side’”.

AI is the driving force behind automation and evolution of many of the platforms used today.

NUMATEC’s MarTech Investments

NUMATEC’s current portfolio of companies is focused on the growth trends described above as its subsidiary companies including Si Señor agency, Cookie Lab and The Tech Partners offer many of these services.
NUMATEC has allotted a war chest to continue its rapid expansion investing in MarTech, seeking other like-minded founders who wish to join the group and fuel growth. The main criteria for M&A will be whether companies complement the current stack, integration and over-arching strategy.
Geographically, Stiglitz sees a huge potential in Latin America: “Despite the fact that our origins are in LatAm and some of our businesses have been operating for quite some time in the region, there are still a few markets where we haven’t entered yet, notably Brazil, and we intend to cover the entire region. We are also very excited about expansion in the U.S. and Europe, where we see a huge potential for our services.”

We still see a huge potential in Latin America, where some of our business have been operating for some time.

NumatecStiglitz tells Portada that NUMATEC typically takes a majority stake of between 51% and 100% in the companies it invests in. “Sometimes we buy a stake in an existing company, sometimes we fund an entrepreneur who wants to start his or her own business and sometimes we incubate the business in-house. We provide guidance from Miami, but we incubate globally including Europe and LatAm.” Stiglitz says NUMATEC “typically is able to achieve profitability very quickly, and expects returns within a one to two-year timeframe.” NUMATEC generates revenue through its investments and the services it provides to its portfolio companies.

We typically are able to achieve profitability very quickly, and we expect returns within the first two years.

Stiglitz prefers not to limit or discourage potential partners by sharing a specific number to describe the maximum or minimum NUMATEC will invest in: “I will tell you though that we have invested as little as US $100,000  to launch a business and as much as US $1,000,000. The range is really quite broad.”

MarTech Investments: Holding Company and Investor

Giuliano Stiglitz
Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO, NUMATEC

Asked about the ultimate goal of NUMATEC (e.g. selling its portfolio companies, increase in size etc.), Stiglitz answers that he likes to say that NUMATEC has two or perhaps three souls. “On one hand, we are a holding company and an investor so our ultimate goal here is to maximize shareholders returns. We do that through acquisitions, through funding exceptional entrepreneurs and by incubating new companies in-house. We have a well-oiled and proven methodology, and we won’t stop doing that. This relentless activity has resulted in quite a diversification: by having different lines of businesses (within the digital marketing space) and by operating in such a diverse group of countries. We can clearly see some buyers interested in what we have built, but that said, we are not currently looking for buyers. We do see a lot of growth ahead for several years and we will keep our options open to other avenues, including an IPO. “We are also the perfect partner for Martech companies eager to attain more market share and accelerate their growth in the markets where we operate. We want to be seen as the market leader in channel partnerships and distribution for top-tier AdTech and Martech companies; this is one of our ultimate goals that goes hand in hand with the first one. Last but not least, we want to be seen as the ideal investor for the most talented entrepreneurs in our industry. By helping a new generation of founders achieve success, we’ll be able to achieve our goal and we’ ll have accomplished something meaningful in the process.”

We want to be seen as the market leader in channel partnerships and distribution for top-tier AdTech and MarTech companies.

Providing Brands with a Wide Array of Marketing Services

By undertaking MarTech investments, NUMATEC intends to build the world’s premier network of service providers for today’s global brands. Stiglitz emphasizes that NUMATEC’S objective is to provide brands (corporations) a wide array of marketing services through different NUMATEC portfolio companies. “Our objective is two-fold: the first, strategically investing in technology enabled service companies in the Martech ecosystem, and the second, partnering with the best available technologies to accelerate growth and distribution. By doing this we will be able to provide, as a group, the most complete set of services that compete with industry leaders,” he concludes.

Vevo, Magna and IPG recently released the study “An Anatomy of a Video Experience”. The report’s main finding is that co-viewing culturally relevant content on over-the-top (OTT) devices is key to ad receptivity. Going forward for brands, the role of Connected TV Advertising will be crucial. To gain more insights into 2021 and CTV viewing trends Portada talked to Laura Vanison, Director of Consumer & Artist Insights, at Vevo as well as with Bryon Schafer, SVP Research at Vevo.

The  recently published study covers the period of September and October 2019 and highlights that all of the U.S. audiences observed (Black/African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino and White) shared a love of co-viewing on Over-The-Top (OTT) devices compared to desktop, mobile, laptop and linear TV. The study also found that longer viewing periods result from content that people find culturally relevant, specifically sports and music. We asked Vanison and Schafer whether COVID-19 has accelerated or curbed the trends described in the report?

Laura Vanison
Laura Vanison, Director Consumer Insights, Vevo

According to Vanison, “COVID-19 induced stay-at-home has accelerated and compounded trends that were already clearly visible in 2019. There has been a big shift towards streaming particularly in the living room. Vevo CTV viewership has increased by 40% in the US since the start of the year (Jan-Aug 2019 vs Jan- Aug 2020) as the overall broadcast and TV industries have been pivoting to streaming.”

COVID-19 and stay at home have accelerated and compounded trends that were already clearly visible in 2019. There has been a big shift towards streaming particularly in the living room.  

Co-Viewing Propels Connected TV Advertising

“The already six months long Covid-19 pandemic has made a habit of the co-viewing experience. Due to COVID-19 and the growth of CTV, co-viewing has become an almost forced habit”, Vanison asserts. “It usually takes a month for a particular experience to become a habit, but it’s been longer now. This is going to change things in the long term”, Schafer adds.

Co-viewing’s definition per Nielsen refers to members of the same household watching television at the same time — but not necessarily in the same room.  Linear TV has always involved co-viewing, but now with the rapid growth of CTV this is also the case for digital media. “Until recently digital media created mostly a one-on-one relationship between content and the user. But CTV has created a new multidimensional and community driven dynamic for digital media. A capacity it traditionally lacked,” Schafer asserts.

Until recently digital media created mostly a one-on-one relationship between content and the user. But CTV has created a new multidimensional and community driven dynamic for digital media. A capacity it traditionally lacked.

Connected TV Advertising: Advice for Brand Marketers

Bryon Shafer
Bryon Shafer, SVP Research, Vevo

According to Vanison “The shared experience of co-viewing provides advertisers a myriad of opportunities for conversation as viewers are in the midst of engaging with each other. Co-viewing provides an increased receptivity to advertising because the moment is intended by the viewer.”

Asked about what they would recommend a  brand when it comes to reach multicultural audiences via video, Vanison and Schafer stress that depending on the brand’s objective recommendations will vary. However, most recommendations will be device based. For instance, co-viewing will tend to be higher on CTV than on mobile. “The way a brand marketer wants the user to connect with her/his content dictates the device he will choose for the advertising message”, Schafer notes.

Co-viewing provides an increased receptivity to advertising because the moment is intended by viewers.  

An understanding by the advertiser of the different devices is crucial. For instance, mobile messaging will have a shorter length  than CTV advertising. “Schafer, stresses the importance of communicating with the right message, nuance and time.

According to the Video Advertising Bureau, there are 820 million OTT devices in the United States and 30% of those devices are smartphones, followed by smart television (15%). All OTT devices are connected advertising enabled.  OTT devices also include Chromecast, Roku, 

Content programmers are already taking the lead adapting their programming to the new Connected TV Advertising environment. An analysis of programming reveals that major networks are shaping their programming with a substantial focus on their Video on demand subscription services. For instance, Warner Media tends to dedicate more resources to content programming for HBO MAX  than to its open broadcast networks,  in a similar way NBC  has a major focus on Peacock and Disney on Disney Plus.

E-Sports Environments Are Increasingly Used for Music

Vanison and Schafer note that, overall, music content has been a great beneficiary of the absence of live sports as well as of the fact that the amount of new scripted originals and reality TV has substantially diminished during the current pandemic. In addition, music is a genre with broad cultural relevance.

E-sports and online video game platforms have a very strong community element and the stay at home phase of COVID-19 has increased their popularity. Musicians have been using platforms that are typically being used for e-sports to connect with fans during the pandemic: Rapper, singer and songwriter Travis Scott performed on a virtual concert in April  using the video game Fortnite. The concert was broadcast on Twitch and other platforms. Epic, the developer of Fortnite, said that 12.3 million people had tuned in for the premiere. After five shows, the number reached up to 27.7 million unique viewers, with 45.8 million views, suggesting plenty of people saw multiple shows.

Ecommerce marketing automation platform Omnisend, recently published its Email & SMS Marketing Stats & Trends Report (Q2 2020) . The results of the study provide interesting insights on e-commerce consumer behavior towards email, SMS and push marketing messages during the pandemic. One insight is that consumers gravitated toward trusted channels such as email marketing when doing their online shopping.

Omnisend analyzed email send data for over 2.4 billion emails sent from the Omnisend marketing platform during Q2 2020. They also looked at more than 1.8 million SMS and push messages sent through the Omnisend platform. The data below includes sends, opens, clicks, and conversions from April 1st through June 30th for both 2019 and 2020.

Email Marketing Performance

Email Open Rates:

Email open rates increased year-over-year for both promotional campaigns and automated messages during the second quarter. Promotional campaigns (traditional scheduled messages) registered an overall open rate of 10.85%*, a 29.37% lift compared to the same period in 2019.

This increased performance is not entirely surprising. As we saw in the COVID-19 email marketing metric report, when consumers increased their online shopping they turned to trusted marketing channels like email as a source of product discovery and awareness.

When consumers increased their online shopping they turned to trusted marketing channels like email as a source of product discovery and awareness.

Email Rates

Online DTC brands who don’t send these types of messages because their ecommerce platform isn’t integrated with their email provider are missing a huge growth opportunity.

Type of Automation

Open Rate

Lift Over Campaigns

Product Abandonment



Cart Abandonment



Browse Abandonment















* List management, send cadence, and the use of Booster sends (remails) on a per-client basis impacts promotional campaign open rates—often resulting in lower overall numbers. For instance, it is common for remailed messages, because they specifically target non-openers, to receive roughly half of the open rate as the initial send—therefore reducing the overall open rate.

Email Click Rates:

While promotional campaigns saw a decrease in click rates, the same cannot be said for automated messages. Automated messages generated a 21.24% click rate, marking a 15.37% YoY lift over automations in 2019.

Email Rates

When comparing click rates in Q2 of this year, automated messages see an improvement of 49.36% over scheduled promotional campaigns, with birthday, cart abandonment, and welcome emails leading the way.

Type of Automation

Click Rate

Lift Over Campaigns




Cart Abandonment






Product Abandonment






Browse Abandonment






Email Marketing Conversion Rates:

Overall, the conversion rate for promotional email marketing campaigns was 5.37%—an 88% year-over-year lift. Maybe more promising for brands is that the conversion rate increased each month of the quarter, hinting at an increased reliance on not only ecommerce but email marketing as a primary purchase channel.

This behavior is indicative of intent-based shopping. Instead of consumers clicking on an email and casually browsing the website, emails had to ‘earn’ their clicks—but once the subscriber clicked on the email their intent to purchase was higher.

Email Rates

Most importantly, automated messages drove 26% of the email marketing conversions while accounting for less than 2% of the email sends. Online brands should look to automation as a major component for increasing their sales.

Type of Automation

Conversion Rate

Lift Over Campaigns




Cart Abandonment









Browse Abandonment



Product Abandonment







Overall Campaigns and Automation Performance:

Scheduled promotional campaigns made up 98% of the email volume sent during Q2 2020. These campaigns saw YoY increases in open and conversion rates, while click rates slightly decreased.

Campaign Email Performance Q2 2020

The worst-performing automated message, in terms of conversion rate, still saw a rate nearly double that of promotional campaigns.

The numbers don’t lie — automated lifecycle messages are powerful sales enablers for ecommerce businesses. Even though these messages accounted for less than 2% of the email marketing volume sent during Q2, they generated 26% of the conversions. In fact, the worst-performing automated message, in terms of conversion rate, still saw a rate nearly double that of promotional campaigns. Online businesses who fail to utilize automated lifecycle messages are limiting their growth potential.

Automation Message performance Q2 2020

For more insights including Transactional Performance, SMS and Push Message performance as well as E-commerce takeaways, please click here. 

E-commerce marketing – the practice of converting website traffic into sales – is simple in definition. But shoppers, digital platforms, and algorithms evolve constantly, and so must your strategy. Studies claim that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040, and online shopping already accounts for 13% of retail sales in the U.S. alone in 2021 with lower ratios and even higher growth potential in other parts of the world. The numbers leave it crystal clear: brands can no longer afford to avoid the digital marketplace. 
For the most part, brands are embracing the opportunity – there are 12-24 million e-commerce sites online, and according to eMarketer, e-commerce sales are expected to hit $27 trillion in 2020. In addition there are a relatively new breed-of e-commerce companies that use apps and multi-vertical approaches to online sales.
COVID-19 impact on consumer behavior has substantially accelerated this trend with brands in the U.S. and other parts of the world rushing towards D2C marketing and e-commerce related technologies. But to succeed, brands must be strategic and consistent about e-commerce marketing, and how they use the tools that the digital era affords them.

E-commerce marketing involves balance of paid, unpaid efforts

In contrast to shopping in person, e-commerce offers customers a far more personalized, convenient experience. It gives shoppers access to almost any type of product from anywhere in the world and, similarly, gives brands access to platforms with a global reach and a myriad of tools to empower their brand. A recent study found that the #1 reason people shop online is that they’re able to shop at all hours of the day.

Putting your products in front of the right audience requires a balance of marketing efforts that can generally be broken down into paid and unpaid efforts. Unpaid strategies involve drawing the right audiences to your brand “organically” through campaigns that generate audiences and sales through offering relevant, captivating content. SEO falls under the unpaid category as well, enabling better search rankings for those willing to navigate search engines’ ever-changing algorithms.

Paid media typically involves buying a space for advertising across different digital platforms. Common formats include display ads, banner ads, and sponsored ads, and they typically live on platforms like search engines (Google, Bing), social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook), and typical websites.

Brands must be thoughtful about how they employ a mix of paid and unpaid marketing strategies, responding to their target audiences’ online preferences and behavior.

E-commerce shoppers are global, young, and skew female  

While each brand is responsible for understanding the particularities of its target audience, statistics on global e-commerce shoppers reveals a number of notable trends. E-commerce is increasingly global:cross-border e-commerce now accounts for 20% of total global e-commerce.

E-commerce is also increasingly generational: A recent study found that Millennials and Gen-Xers spend 50% more time shopping online than their older counterparts: 6 hours versus 4 hours, respectfully. And 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen-Xers prefer to shop online versus in a brick-and-mortar store. Breaking e-commerce down by gender reveals another interesting trend: Men spend 28% more than women shopping online.

Social media continues to drive effective e-commerce marketing

It’s no surprise that today’s social media platforms offer brands a myriad of ways to connect with today’s shoppers. While they can be selective about which platforms they use based on their audience and goals, those that forego a social media presence altogether are missing out. A recent study found that brands with a social media presence experience sales that are 32% higher than those that do not. This when considering the results of a study that revealed that 74% of consumers rely on their social media networks to make purchasing decisions.

Luckily, brands can turn to data to inform their decisions surrounding which platforms to invest in. For example, Shopify reported that the average order value for customers referred from Instagram is $65.00, followed by Facebook ($55), Twitter ($46), and YouTube ($38). Brands are already spending big money to promote their products on social media: eMarketer reported that Worldwide ad spending on Facebook and Instagram combined will reach nearly $95 billion annually in 2021. But other platforms are growing, too: The number of marketers sharing video content on LinkedIn is set to rise to 65% in 2021, for example.

Email marketing allows brands to be proactive in reaching audiences

While consumers actively seek compelling content from brands on social media, Report: Automated Email Open Rates and Conversion Skyrocket during Pandemic allows brands to initiate a kind of proactive engagement that keeps them top of mind with their audiences.

E-Commerce Marketing Study
Wolfgang Digital, “Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks 2016”

A recent study found that email marketing contributes to 20% of traffic that drives eCommerce sales, and OptinMonster reported that email marketing yields $44 for each $1 spent for a 4400% ROI.

Smart brands use a number of tactics to take full advantage of email marketing. Segmentation – diving groups of consumers into groups based on common characteristics, traits, or behaviors – is key to ensuring that the content a brand delivers its audiences is relevant. Depending on who they are and what they are looking for, consumers will seek different kinds of information and products during their buying journeys. Campaign Monitor reported that segmented campaigns to email subscribers drive a 760% increase in revenue.

 Shoppers increasingly turn to mobile for online shopping

An essential element of any e-commerce marketing strategy involves recognizing the different devices that shoppers use. 85% of customers start a purchase on one device and finish it on another.

Today, a significant portion of e-commerce activity occurs on mobile devices. This is true for all stages of the journey: 93% of Millennials have compared online deals using a mobile device. Shoppers even turn to their phones while in physical stores: 65% of consumers look up price comparisons on mobile while in a physical store, and 32% of shoppers changed their minds about purchasing items after checking out product information on their mobile devices within a physical store.

E-Commerce Marketing Study
Source: Outerbox

They feel as comfortable making important purchases on mobile as they do on desktop devices: In fact, conversion rates from mobile apps are 3x higher than mobile websites, and 40% of all online purchases made during the holiday season are done on smartphones.

What does this mean for e-commerce marketing strategies? Most importantly, brands must design mobile-friendly websites. 73% of consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier, and people who have a negative experience in your mobile store are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future. Brands that want to take it a step further can engage shoppers on brand or company-specific apps. According to a study from Invesp, 53% of smartphone and tablet owners will shop on company-specific apps.

AI set to transform shopping experience

While AI is still a nascent technology, it is quickly becoming a useful tool in e-commerce marketing strategies. It is primarily useful for deriving insight from large volumes of data. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce marketers that want to find patterns in shopping behavior and form a 360-view of customers as they give us clues about their preferences through interactions and engagements with your brand.

AI is also immensely useful in delivering better customer experiences. Chatbots represent one of the most popular applications for AI today. While nothing can fully replace the human touch, shoppers are starting to recognize the value that AI-powered customer service tools offer. A recent study found that almost half of consumers are open to the idea of purchasing an item from a chatbot. 57% are interested in getting information sent to them by a bot when visiting a business’s website.

What not to do: additional fees, complicated checkouts 

Shoppers go online for convenience, and if they can’t find what they want easily, or if it won’t be delivered efficiently, they are likely to abandon their journey with a brand. According to a study by Metapack found that 45% of online shoppers abandon their carts when they are unhappy with delivery options, and 69% feel the same about shipping fees.

Similarly, complicated checkout processes, websites that load slowly, and sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will leave the site without making a purchase. The consequences for this can be drastic: 73% of consumers will leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly.

But there are ways to bring users who abandon back in. Email recovery strategies allow brands to send emails reminding users to return and complete a purchase. They are surprisingly effective, with a study claiming that almost half of recovery emails are opened, and that almost a third incentivize a sale.

Smart e-commerce marketing means automation, personalization, and convenience

Online shopping habits will continue to evolve as technology enables more and more ways to make e-commerce easier, faster, and more personalized. Smart brands can win in this space by staying attune to the devices and platforms that people are using, using technology to complement (and sometimes replace) the human touch, and building the tools to keep transactions as smooth and seamless as possible.


Marketing technology (MarTech) has revolutionized the way that most areas of marketing are planned, executed, and evaluated. Due to the pandemic induced e-commerce boom, in 2021 and beyond, brand marketers MarTech needs worldwide have evolved towards all e-commerce related martech areas, including  e-commerce marketing, advertising and multi-channel data collection, attribution, curation, enrichment and decisioning. Navigating the now 7k+ platforms that claim to help marketers understand, reach, engage, and measure their target audiences is no small task. Here is a primer on marketing technology – what you need to know about today’s MarTech platforms, how you can evaluate and select them for your specific needs, and how the industry will evolve in 2021.

The Basics

Marketing technology has traditionally come in the form of a software whose principle aim is to assist you in planning and carrying out marketing campaigns, gathering and analyzing the results, and applying insight to future campaigns.

At the most basic level, marketing technology can be broken down into six groups that marketing technology “godfather” Scott Brinker defined as:

• Advertising & Promotion
• Content & Experience
• Social & Relationships
• Commerce & Sales
• Data Management

Portada annually surveys hundreds of brand marketers in the Americas which of the above 5 categories of MarTech they will be mostly investing in the next 12 months. They are also asked what their priorities are within the top category. Here is our recently published survey on brand MarTech investments in 2021 and beyond.
and here our 2020 Portada Insight Report: What Brand Marketers Need from MarTech in 2020.


The advent of marketing technology can be brought back to 1999, when Salesforce launched the Software-as-a-Service model with the goal of making it unnecessary for organizations to spend a fortune to create their own bespoke CRM systems that were often slow and tedious to use. Under SaaS models, brands pay a monthly or yearly fee to use the tools offered. These tools can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000 a year.

Fast forward and today, 29% of marketing budgets are dedicated to marketing technology, Ogilvy has a 900-person MarTech team, and MarTech software are being acquired for billions of dollars.

What MarTech Does for Marketers

The best MarTech tools will offer a combination of the following benefits:

  • Automation of workflows: Most marketing technology solutions automate tasks that are too time-consuming and/or complex to complete manually, like pulling, organizing, and analyzing data.
  • Support streamlined communication: Most MartTech services will enable better communication within and between work teams through tools that help teams track the status of projects and increase collaboration.
  • Generate insights: MarTech solutions should do more than pull data – they should be able to draw actionable conclusions that support better decision-making, optimize campaigns, and reveal opportunities and gaps.

Breaking Down the Software Types

Perhaps the most basic way to break down marketing technology is to think about them as either point solutions, which provide tools that address one specific aspect of marketing, or suite solutions, that address more than one category of tools. When a vendor combines these tools under one platform, it is often called a MarTech stack. Whether a brand selects a point or a suite solution depends on a variety of factors determined by a campaign’s objectives and budget, and there are very good reasons for picking both.

Marketing Technology
Marketing Technology Vendors

To choose your suite of tools, it is important to consider your business model, marketing goals, and how your targets move down the marketing funnel. Often, products are more effective at assisting with a particular stage of the funnel than others, Smart marketers will make sure to combine tools whose tools will help you address the entire sales funnel. Getting to know the tools yourself will be important for both selecting and using them effectively: many of them offer free trials, which you can take advantage of when comparing your options.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the types of tools a marketing technology solution might offer:

Content Marketing tools address the content production process, providing assistance with content management. This means tools for search engine optimization, landing page and A/B testing, content discovery, content distribution, digital asset management and lead generation.

Rich media tools assist with design, video, and audio creation and promotion, and include video making tools, video marketing platforms, podcasting tools, graphic design tools, and interactive content tools.

Social media management tools assist in planning, scheduling, posting, and measuring social media activity. Monitoring tools help you track your engagement as well as that of competitors, and identify trends. Influencer marketing platforms help brands find and connect with relevant influencers in your industry.

Marketing automation platforms assist in automating and simplifying the basic tasks associated with marketing: digital customer experience, marketing automation software automates analysis and social media tasks, and email marketing tools streamline email marketing. Mobile marketing platforms assist in the design and management of push notifications, promotions and offers for mobile apps.

Advertising platforms and tools (see also Ad-Tech below) assist in paid advertising tasks. Search engine marketing helps you identify keywords, conduct competitive analysis, and optimize search engine campaigns. Social media advertising focuses more specifically on ads across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Native advertising tools help you create more effective ads for websites you do not own. Programmatic advertising tools automate the complex process of buying and selling ad spaces so that you can better reach your target audiences. Performance marketing exclusively focuses on the best advertiser return on an intended action by the consumer.

Sales enablement tools manage the sales and customer management processes. Sales automation platforms manage contacts, leads, sales planning, email marketing, and tools like click-to-call. Customer support tools streamline communication with customers, and customer relationship management tools assist in contact management, task management, and sales reporting.

Data and analytics platforms offer web analytics, tagging, and predictive analytics tools. Data management tools gather third-party data to inform ad targeting (including retargeting) and media buying. Customer data platforms collect first-party data for improved targeting. Web analytics tools assist in forming a better picture of those visiting your website in terms of demographics and behavior. They also include tag management tools simplify the process of tagging different types of data on your sight. Predictive analytics tools use machine learning and data mining to create predictive models for your websites.

The Rapid Growth of Marketing Technology

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, the value of effective MarTech solutions and the money brands are willing to invest in them increase rapidly. The accelerated pace of corporate digital transformation (including e-commerce/retail marketing) induced by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide (e.g. in Latin America) has been a major driver for MarTech investments in 2020 and 2021.

In 2015 alone, over 300 MarTech companies received $17 billion in funding. Between 2017 and 2019 the value of the market increased from $34.3 billion to $65 billion in the US and UK alone. A 2018 survey found that UK and US firms will be spending 26% of their budgets on MarTech in 2019 compared to 23% in 2018 .. For 2021 experts see MarTech Investments having a particularly strong return potential in E-Commerce, Customer Data and CTV. In some ways, as some industry players tell Portada, we can’t even imagine where Marketing Technology is taking us.


All-in-One Solutions, Big Acquisitions Shaping Marketing Technology Today

In terms of how the MarTech landscape is evolving, there are several trends worth noting.

Brands are forming a better understanding of how they can use digital marketing technologies to support their digital marketing efforts. In recent years, brands felt like they needed to invest in dozens of independent vendors to meet their needs. Now, while brands recognize that independent specialists are necessary for some functions, they are increasingly turning to one primary vendor. A study by Walker Sands found that more than a third (34%) rely on a best-of-breed stack (the same rate as in 2018) while 27% rely on a single-vendor suite. 45% of those surveyed asserted that the consolidation of MarTech has made it more accessible. 

Large legacy brands’ acquisitions of smaller specialist providers have driven this consolidation and strengthened the core of their offerings.

In the recent years,  IPG media acquired Axciom for $2.3bn, Publicis acquired Epsilon for $4bn, Dentsu Aegis Network acquired Merkle for $1.5 billion, Adobe acquired Marketo for $4.75 billion, and Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion. In addition, the best MarTech platforms are investing in integrating emerging technology into their solutions.

Marketing Technology Trends: The Rise of AI and the Ad-Tech Boom

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest trends in MarTech. Today, it allows marketers to automate the

Walter Sands’ “State of Marketing Technology” report

process of gathering, analyzing, and drawing insight from data. It automates the process of sifting through the massive amounts of information brands gather through their campaigns to help brands understand their customers’ journeys.

Nonetheless, marketers are still figuring out how to use AI in their technology solutions. 40% of respondents to a Walker Sands study believe AI will continue to be a buzzword in 2019, though only 32% currently use AI or have plans to invest in it this year.

Finally, there is Advertising Technology (AdTech), this includes the world of programmatic (including ad buying, direct, and real-time bidding), supply-publisher oriented tools like SSPs and demand (brand, media agency) oriented ones like DSP’s, Platforms that manage the Data that makes the advertising efficient as well as new Ad-Channels Advertisers are increasingly tapping into including new forms of video advertising like CTV, voice search and others.
The  growth of ad-tech capabilities is driving the use of MarTech, with 54% of respondents to the Walker Sands study currently incorporating adtech into their strategies, making it one of the most-used categories of MarTech.
This can partially be 
explained by improvements in attribution measurement capabilities, as Big Data is making it easier and easier for marketers to drive ROI. In terms of where marketers want ad tech to help them,  52% prioritize ad spending in social media, while 17% prioritize it for Google Ads. This suggests that driving engagement and conversation, not just clicks and brand awareness, are the most important goals for today’s marketers.

The Bottom Line: Marketers Are Happy with Marketing Technology Investment Levels, Becoming Savvier

While the marketing technologies  landscape is certainly evolving, marketers appear to be satisfied with their use of the technology. 75% of respondents to the Walker Sands study believe their company is investing in the right amount of MarTech. This is compared to 63% in 2018, a record high for the State of Martech report. This indicates that marketers are learning how to do more with smaller budgets, and run and measure integrated programs. In 2020, smart marketers will continue to take all of these trends and market shifts into account.


Yum Brands moves, Facebook expanding AR/VR team and more changing places. People change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it. Check out last week’s Changing Places here.


ViacomCBS has announced that George Cheeks will replace Joe Ianniello as CEO of CBS Entertainment Group, effective March 23. Cheeks joins ViacomCBS from NBCUniversal, where he most recently served as Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios.




Taco Bell Corp. has named Nikki Lawson as its new Global Chief Brand Officer. Lawson, who has spent the past 20 years in KFC, will report to CEO Mark King. Both KFC and Taco Bell are part of Kentucky-based Yum Brands.




Pizza Hut U.S., another Yum Brands company, has named Kevin Hochman, who is also president of KFC U.S., as President of Pizza Hut U.S., according to Ad Age. Hochman has hired George Felix, former Director of Marketing for KFC Global, as CMO for Pizza Hut U.S.




Dunkin’ Brands has promoted Jill McVicar Nelson to Vice-President of Marketing Strategy at the restaurant holding group, parent of both Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins.





Facebook has hired former Eventbrite CMO Brian Irving to serve as head of AR/VR Product Marketing. Irving will help promote a range of new initiatives in the sector and will report to AR/VR CMO Rebecca van Dyck.





Loyalty marketing includes tools that help marketers engage with consumers. Here are some pros and cons of digital mobile wallets, in-app rewards, blockchain-based loyalty programs, AI-based loyalty marketing and mobile devices with beacon technologies.


1. Digital Wallets, Great Organizers of Financial Lives

According to recent data, the average American carries 17 cards. This clearly shows how important it is for consumers to have an overview of their financial life (including their different loyalty programs).  Digital wallets are ideal to help customers organize their financial and loyalty products.

2. In-App Rewards: a Loyalty Marketing Tool

The digitalization of reward programs can be an important driver for customer engagement.  However, most In-App Rewards are based on a gamification context.


  • Rewards for better prices, discounts, special offers. In other words, this type of technology can leverage the value proposition to customers.
  • Makes feel your regular customer as a high-value customer, that fact can generate effective recency/frequency and at least more interaction with the brand.
  • Churn strategies; getting back old customers / capture new generations and/or new markets.
  • Leverage Ancillary Revenue / Check-in ratio / Leverage negative performance markets or flights.
  • Incentives for B2C markets.
  • Differentiation from competitors.


  • In-App can be very strong to generate engagement but also challenging to generate revenue.
  • Potentially low ROIs due to high operation costs (IT, back-end, front-end).

3. Blockchain-Based Loyalty Programs

Blockchain is a powerful strategy for loyalty marketing because of its inherent safety.  The most valuable asset of a loyalty or Frequent Flyer Program is the data. Blockchain is designed to store transactional data in a secure and decentralized way. Customers appreciate this model because it is a “Loyalty Hub”. This technology can simplify the process of applying and keep customers from having full wallets/apps or accounts/passwords with the brands they want to interact with.

Blockchain is designed to store transactional data in a secure and decentralized way.


  • High redemption rates.
  • Analytical and statistical information / more accurate information / give the customer what they need, when they need it and at the right price.
  • Customer incentive oriented: “Buy what you need and I’ll reward you”.
  • Traditional loyalty programs reward you for the extra purchase when customers realize that is a problem. Here the information is secure.
  • Loyalty Hub: customers always appreciate simple and centralized platforms.
  • Points can be changed for cryptocurrency.


  • Complex method.
  • High UX costs.
  • High consulting costs.
  • Blockchain technology may not yet be popular enough.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays is not enough to get customers and generate leads from e-commerce strategies. It is a must for companies to start being AI and Machine Learning oriented in some way. This is not a trend, but a real need. Brand marketers and loyalty marketing experts are looking for deep learning experiences that allow recording and auto-analyzing customer information. AI can enable an extremely high degree of personalization. To get the most out of AI it is important for managers to understand market behaviors, customer preferences, demographics, etc.

Brand marketers and loyalty marketing experts are looking for deep learning experiences that allow recording and auto-analyzing customer information.

5. Mobile Devices with Beacon Technologies

Frequent flyer travel programs or loyalty coalition programs are common currency in the travel and lifestyle sectors. These programs provide customers the opportunities to use/redeem the points (virtual coins) they win in the regular day-to-day shopping to acquire plane tickets, accommodation, car rental, ancillary airline products, etc. Beacons allow these programs to be farther reaching and help opening new markets, generally abroad.

Roberto Muñoz, Head of Loyalty Travel at Puntos Colombia, a member of the Portada Council System helped compile this information.

Social media plays an ever-changing role for marketers. The strategy’s strength is in the ability to humanize your brand by engaging with the consumer. And engagement leads to conversions. How to stay current as social media changes is a key discussion point at Portada Council System meetings. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers offer solutions to keep ahead of social media’s evolving role.

Kick-off Facts 

  • SMS or messaging apps are on the rise with 41% of travel marketers planning on implementing this in the near future. (Sojern)
  • Three out of five travel companies are using chat for customer service with 28% actively using or experimenting with AI technology. (Phocuswright)
  • The majority of marketers (77%) are using one or more social media platforms but only 48% have a positive ROI from these strategies. (Impact

Three Social Media Challenges for Portada Council System Members

1. Managing Brand Reputation and Trust

Related comment: “Your customers don’t necessarily trust Influencers (since most know they are being paid). It is better to win them over organically.”

Social media make it easier to discredit a brand. Companies should try to turn these experiences into something positive.

2. Training Staff to Provide Consistent Customer Service

Related comment: “Right now, the front line staff is composed by people who are not prepared enough for the job.” 

We have to make all messages coincide across roles in spite of the emphasis of each area.

3. Increased Complexity and Cost of Social Media Strategies

Related comment: “It is vital to understand the way each platform works.”

Even though the reach is there, it’s getting gradually more expensive.
Portada, Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Four Social Media Opportunities Identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing Channels

Globally, travel marketers see Facebook (30%) and Instagram (28%) as the most effective tools for targeting new audiences contrasted with only a 4% rate in connecting with loyalty members. (Sojern)

Related comment: “We are losing sight of traditional communication channels that are still alive and reaching a more traditional target.”

A recent eMarketer study shows a 122% median email marketing ROI, a number 4x higher than other digital marketing channels. (LYFE Marketing)

2. Humanize the Brand Voice and Keep it Consistent

Related comment:Every role matters, and each one can influence the whole in a different way.” 

Practical example: The CEO could humanize the message and community managers should have a “tone of voice” that coincides with the company’s values.

When the head of the company is an activist, this helps the brand’s reputation.

3. Give Staff the Skills to Handle All Types of Social Media Feedback 

Related comment: “Strive for accuracy and timely answers when addressing customers’ comments on social media.” 

Practical example: Provide appropriate training to the social media team so they know how to handle messages with different objectives: communicating, positioning, selling, etc. 

Make sure the whole organization has the same culture and train staff to deal with social media’s evolving role.

4. Use AI to Boost Your Customer Service 

Research from Salesforce shows an anticipated 143% increase in the use of AI for customer service teams over the next 18 months. (Salesforce)

Practical example: Using an algorithm that answers immediately on social media without the customer noticing it’s a chatbot. Instead of having hundreds of people answering, a company could hire less high-profile employees to do it right.

When the algorithm can’t solve an issue, there’s a seamless transition to a human specialist.

Portada, Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.


We talked to Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam about the story behind the recently-announced strategic partnership with Precision, the programmatic division of Publicis Media.  We also discussed the key buzzwords and trends of the near future, and why Teads is ready to tackle them head-on with a revolutionary new tool. 

Last year, Teads closed a deal with Oracle Moat that allows buyers to select any custom billing point of viewability and transact on any viewability requirement. Portada also announced the new partnership with Precision, the programmatic area of Publicis Media, in Latam. Teads is the fast-growing platform that invented outsream video marketing. Now, they are changing the game again on their way lower into the funnel. To find out more, we caught up with Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam. Here’s all you need to know about the special nature of this partnership. Plus, learn how the company gets the ball rolling when it comes to data and AI.


The Importance of Having Allies: The Teads + Precision Partnership

Teads works with all the agencies. However, the partnership with Publicis’ programmatic area is unusual because it has a more significant qualitative component. “We’re going deeper, sharing more information. We have enormous amounts of first-party data and a very strong insights team,” said Eric Tourtel to introduce Portada to the story. As he explained, Teads started at the top of the funnel with good branding results after the launch of the innovative InRead video ad format. then moved to engagement and consideration, but the company has just recently started to focus more on performance.

Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading.

Now, Teads is able to fully audit the consumer journey. In Latam, the company has grown so much that it now reaches 90% of Mexican internet users, for example (source). “We find them within our network from 15 to 20 times per month. Imagine the gargantuan proportions of information we get,” shared Tourtel. “Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading. More than noting which URLs they’re visiting, we’re paying attention to the content they look for in those websites.” Consequently, sharing such information with Publicis will make for a very strategic partnership. According to Tourtel, most of the other partnerships are about price, volume, and discount.


Sharing the Teads Potential

“What makes this partnership special,” remarked Tourtel, “is the openness with which Teads will share its platform which most agencies aren’t aware of.” Thus, he had to organize intensive training in Miami with the directors of Precision offices all over Latin America. “We had to make sure they understood our platform’s potential,” told Eric. “We’ll have at least one training session per quarter in order to hear their feedback and adapt to their needs. This doesn’t happen at any other Demand-Side Platform.”

As Tourtel mentioned during our conversation, Teads might not be a very complex company but it is a very complete provider. It used to focus solely on video, but it has now evolved lower into the funnel to offer performance solutions. “Teads’ platform is different from DSPs in that it’s exclusively designed exclusively for Teads’ transactions,” informed Tourtel. “It’s all connected at a data level, as well as at a reach level. We are full-stack: an ad-server, SSP, exchange, buying interface…” In short, partnering up with Teads sounds like a very good idea.

We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players.

The other special aspect of the partnership was the story behind it. There’s a bond with Publicis that goes way back. “We have a lot of history together,” shared Eric. “I started Teads Latam six years ago and the first agency that took a leap of faith and talked big numbers with their clients for us was Starcom Miami. We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players,” added Tourtel.


Guaranteeing Viewability is no Longer Impossible

The main problem video marketers face is that nobody wants to watch video ads. They’re invasive, annoying, and get in the way between consumers and content. This is a real problem for Facebook and YouTube, but Teads got rid of the invasion factor. And so innovation played an important part in Teads’ process of coming up with a new format that was entirely different from a pre-roll.

The result was outstream video advertising, and it revolutionized video marketing. More consumers are now voluntarily watching ads. “We invented the InRead format,” said Tourtel. “It started with a video between two paragraphs. It’s not covering any content, so it’s not an intrusion, you can skip it if you don’t want to watch.”

Marc Pritchard, CEO of P&G has recently declared that his company’s ads have an average exposure time of 1.6 seconds on Facebook, compared to 13 seconds on Teads,” pointed out Tourtel. ”That’s because we display ads exclusively in profesional articles. We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.”


How Teads Does It

We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.

If you have the right format and you display it in the right place, it has to work. However, if you add to that an artificial intelligence that gathers precise data and continually learns how to classify it, that’s a winning combo. “Five years ago we built a team that created our AI,” told Tourtel. “We gave it one single question. ‘Knowing what we know about this user, what are the chances that this impression will turn into a full view?’.

In fact, technology at this point is a must. “When we started we did all of this manually, but as we grew into the third biggest digital company in Latin America this became impossible, so we created our AI.” Every time there’s a full view, Teads’ AI team looked at their whole file and then looked for similar profiles. Then, the AI gets better after each completion and is able to predict conversions more accurately. 


Brand Safety Can Also Be Guaranteed

Teads is proud to say that, apart from offering very high viewability rates, the company has never faced any brand safety-related issues. Teads uses Grapeshot, a well-known software that scans pages to avoid placing ads next to unwanted content that could harm the brand. “But we know Grapeshot isn’t perfect, so we added our own technology on top of that,” told Tourtel. “Our AI helps us read and classify articles. We also avoid breaking news pages because that’s where they show the horrible stuff.” Furthermore, Teads’ ads only appear on reputable publishing media, where journalists submit articles to an editorial manager for approval before they’re released. “It’s not like we’re a social network with 400 hundred people posting every minute,” he added.

Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.

Nonetheless, explained Tourtel, the tricky part is knowing where to stop, as the definition of brand safety is a very subjective matter. “Brand safety means something different to each brand,” he mentioned. “Sometimes a brand will choose not to appear near the word death, let’s say. So you block any instances where the Word death appears, even if it’s something positive that doesn’t harm the brand at all. Imagine a story about an airplane accident with zero deaths, that’s very good news, but you have blocked the word death and thus you have reduced your reach and increased the cost.”


What’s Next for Teads?

Where is the company going and how will it use this potential? “Last year, we decided to regroup a bit,” answered Tourtel. “We were diversifying too much, so we went back to our core: media and newspapers. “Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.”

While Teads has relied on acquisitions in the past, it’s now focusing more on building a strong platform that places them closer to the bottom line. “We own all our inventory and all our data,” explained Tourtel. “This gives us enormous freedom and a great ability to adapt because we’re not depending on any other companies with other priorities that could slow us down.”

AI and Reach on Target

The buzzwords going around are AI and data. Analysts and researchers are preparing for how the future of the industry is resting on those two vast words. Therefore, Teads has a new deal in the works with Nielsen that will allow them to take their innovative offering a step further. “Right now, when you sell the segment of 18-42 year-old women, you’re charging for 30-50% of reach on target,” he explained. “Everybody strives for 100%, but that’s like the holy grail. But soon we’ll be able to charge only for those 18 to 42 year-old women Nielsen confirms we’ve impacted on.”

This product will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.

Just like the InRead format solved viewability issues, Teads’ will boost performance via look-alike modeling, machine learning and massive amounts of first-party data. “We noticed that CTRs of O.01% are normal in the market while our CTRs range from 1% to 3%. We said, ‘We should sell clicks!’ and we came up with this product that will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.”


See a Trend? Own It

The trends are clear: according to Eric Tourtel, clients want transparency, brand safety, and social responsibility. “Brands are pressuring social media to take responsibility for the content they show, to avoid fake news and hate speech,” he pointed out. “We already have these priorities under control. Now, data will help us offer a more precise product. You’ll no longer buy what you don’t need and you won’t lose anything.” This way, the company will offer a full-funnel view of users’ purchase journeys.


AI in marketing is on the way to transforming the marketing world as we speak. It is one of the drivers of the growth of Marketing Technology 101: Everything You Need To Know (MarTech) and  offers marketers a wealth of tools for leveraging data about customers to understand their preferences and journey with your products.

More importantly, it allows brands to keep up with customers’ increasingly high standards and expectations. Customers want their interactions with brands to feel personal and relevant, and AI enables a level of targeting and tracking that any marketer should get excited about.

But distinguishing between what can be implemented now and what will be possible in the near future is important, as the field of AI is in constant evolution. Here, we break down the different ways marketers can use AI to streamline operations, deliver better customer experiences and channel data into insight.

Defining AI

 AI can be defined as a subset of computer science through which machines display “intelligence” by making predictions and decisions. AI acquires intelligence based on the analysis of data sets, a process enabled by algorithms that tell the machine how to complete tasks and interpret information.

The most basic form of this is machine learning, which uses historical data to predict future outcomes. As the machine acquires more data, it becomes better at making predictions.

AI already driving marketing budgets, data-driven insights

Recent studies reveal the important role that AI plays in driving marketing budgets and business growth strategies. Marketers clearly believe that AI is a valuable tool: 72% of marketers surveyed in a PWC study view AI as a “business advantage.” By 2021, organizations are projected to spend $57 billion on AI platforms for marketing.

AI marketing
AI in Marketing

And organizations are already seeing the results of implementing AI: 3 of 4 companies using AI have reported a boost in sales of at least 10%. 75% of organizations in another study say AI has driven customer satisfaction by at least 10%.

In terms of how CMOs are currently implementing AI, another recent survey found that many are using it for content personalization (56.5%), predictive analytics (56.5%), and targeting decisions (49.6%).  But those are just a few of the ways AI can support marketing efforts today.

AI has 8 broad applications in marketing today

Marketers are accumulating data at an astonishing pace with the intention of harnessing it into better targeting. But sometimes the mere volume of data that organizations acquire makes it difficult for them to know how to make use of it. AI is incredibly helpful in this respect, as it enables real-time analysis of large volumes of data, automate tasks, and generate insight.

1. Market intelligence and insight: With the help of algorithms, machine learning enables in-depth analysis of complex data sets from data management platforms (DPMs), data warehouses, or other repositories, connecting the dots to support marketing intelligence and forecasting in a way that humans cannot.

2. Customer profiles and personas: Through the analysis of on-site interactions, purchasing history, referral sources and geo-specific behavior, AI can help brands form a 360-view of their customers and match them with personalized content and promotions.

3.Lead generation and sales:Machine learning and predictive analytics can help marketers automate the process of generating and scoring leads. They also help brands keep customers engaged through predicting turn: through analyzing users’ engagements with brands, they can tell when someone is about to drop off. Brands can then attempt to re-engage these users with notifications and emails.

AI Marketing
AI in Marketing

4. Media buying: AI automates the laborious process of media buying and ensuring that ads are seen by relevant audiences through programmatic advertising and optimization and measurement platforms. With almost no human input, AI helps marketers analyze, manage, and measure the performance of ad campaigns.

5. Customer experience: According to Gartner, 85% of customer service inquiries will be handled via AI by the end of 2020. AI is increasingly being implemented in the customer experience space to support improved call centers and automated customer service via chat bots and digital assistants.

6. User experience: AI helps marketers optimize user experience on websites through analyzing data about single users’ behavior to personalize content, promotions, and notifications. A study from Evergage found that 33% of marketers are using AI for more personalized website experiences, and that 63% of them noted increased conversion rates, while 61% assert that customer experiences have improved.

AI Marketing
AI Marketing

7. Natural language generation and content creation: There are a variety of applications for AI in the realm of content. Using simple rules and formats, AI-enabled tools and platforms can author content such as business reports, product descriptions, stock market reports, and sports recaps without human input. Through setting the rules and formats, marketers can dictate the tone and style that the content takes.

AI-enabled content platforms can also make suggestions about what kinds of content formats and topics a brand’s target audience is likely to engage with through tracking users’ online activity.

8. Chatbots: While chatbots technically fall under customer experience, they have changed the marketing world in such a way that they deserve their own dedicated text. AI-enabled bots are successfully delivering customer service for thousands of global brands through natural language processing and machine learning.

Natural language processing allows machines to interpret the meaning of written and spoken speech and respond accordingly, all without human intervention. The machine can track the effectiveness of its responses and adapt accordingly, improving as it has more conversations.

Marketers must self-educate before selecting vendors

Marketers considering ways to implement AI in their organization have to be careful when evaluating different products and platforms. Many use the term “AI” loosely, mislabeling tools that implement data processing and analytics as “AI.”  Smart organizations can bring in experts to educate and advise them as they consider the alternatives.

Ask questions about the data sets they use and pay attention to whether they have data scientists on staff. Request a demo and confirm what deliverables and KPIs will be included in their activities.

Make sure your data is clean and high-quality

 While AI might seem like magic, it still depends on effective human inputs: namely high-quality data that it can learn from. If marketers don’t format data in a way it can be processed, or you do not have the infrastructure to process it correctly, it will not produce an “intelligent” machine.

To this end, marketers must innovate and collect more annotated data that can be tagged to train AI systems. Measuring only clicks is not going to create a rich enough data set to use for impactful AI.

Remember the human touch

AI will be able to replace humans in many, but not all, of the brand interactions customers expect. Consumers are excited about AI – an Acquia study found that 53% of consumers say they are “looking forward to artificial intelligence making interacting with brands a better experience.” At the same time, the study found that 85% percent claim that “a human touch is needed, in addition to technology, for a positive customer experience.”

Marketers should only use AI where it will enhance customer experiences, and it turns out there are plenty of situations in which people prefer to speak to a human than a machine. 75% of the respondents to the Acquia survey agreed that “the problem with automated experiences – interacting with technology instead of a real human – with brands is they are too impersonal.”

The future of AI in marketing depends on smart investments  

Implemented correctly, AI will offer us tools that make our work better, easier, and more enjoyable. Marketers will be able to focus on the strategic, creative elements of their work and leave the tedious and time-consuming tasks to a well-trained machine.

All of this, though, depends on marketers educating themselves so that they can help their organizations invest in smart solutions. As AI evolves at a rapid pace, marketers will face increasing pressure to keep up.a

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