Stephanie Bohn from VidMob talks about the importance of data and creatives in any form of marketing and also makes a steller prediction for 2021
“Technology is enabling marketers to get their jobs done more efficiently and with greater confidence because data is present to confirm decisions”
1. Tell us about your role in VidMob?
As the Global Chief Brand Office for VidMob, my goal is to create enduring value for the company with a visual and language system that expresses VidMob’s culture and core beliefs. It is not customary for early-mid stage tech companies to invest in brand marketing but we have always believed that a well-articulated brand identity would become a source of competitive advantage. The team I lead focuses on brand design, storytelling and producing experiences that shape how customers, partners, investors, employees and the communities in which we work, come to understand what we do and why do it.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
Prior to VidMob, I spent the entirety of my career on the brand side from financial services (American Express) to film studios (Warner Bros., Disney) and most recently Netflix. I’ve seen the marketing function transform over the past decade with the emergence of technology that empowers advertisers to measure and optimize almost every facet of a campaign, with one exception. Creative. It’s the one thing I wished for as a marketer; a way to gauge if my ad creative is working, so I could stop wasting media dollars on ads that weren’t.
When the founders of VidMob told me about the platform they were building, I was awe-struck. They were building a way to measure creative performance and give real-time insights to expert creators to fine tune ad ad design. I took a leap of faith and joined VidMob as their 14th employee and CMO. If VidMob could solve a creative problem that every marketer on earth faced and that had the potential to save a company like Netflix hundreds of millions of dollars, I wanted in. It’s been the most exciting four years of my professional life.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing Sector?
Technology is enabling marketers to get their jobs done more efficiently and with greater confidence because data is present to confirm decisions.
The rub is that marketers are encouraged to access as much data as possible but they often are not equipped to act on all of it. Data you can’t do anything with can work against you. It slows you down and creates stress. Marketing leaders need to be discriminating when designing a tech stack – choose wisely and don’t over-instrument your team. And, check in frequently with folks who have access to data. Make sure the data flowing in is being used productively.
4. How has integration of AI empowered marketing professionals?
I have vivid memories of watching time coded TV spots for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory over and over, recording every creative element I saw. A bouncing oompa loompa, a chocolate river, Violet Beauregarde popping her bubblegum. That exercise took hours, and many Advils, to get through. If I was doing it today, I would run my spots through an AI-powered platform like the Agile Creative Studio and within minutes every creative detail would be tagged, and then measured for how much they influenced consumer response – clicks, views, purchases. AI is giving marketers the ability to work faster, smarter and at scale so they can attend to “high creative / high empathy” tasks.
I would be remiss not to say that while AI can make many amazing things possible, it needs to be regulated by industry and the government. Unchecked, AI can be dangerous and difficult to reverse engineer. I agree with Elon Musk that we need to be proactive vs reactive when it comes to regulation.
5. Can you explain how your Creative Intelligence Platform helps marketers?
VidMob’s platform for intelligent creative enables brands to understand in real time how well, or not well, ad creative is working. We are able to identify the specific creative drivers of campaign results and fine tune ads to boost performance. It’s often the details in an ad like placement of a logo, facial expression or the size of a call-to-action message that influences what a consumer does. We can now measure how much every visual and audio element impacts campaign outcomes and, with our global network of expert creators, turn around improved ads in a matter of days to get better results.
6. What according to you makes VidMob a perfect asset in the present Adtech landscape?
VidMob is the only company in the world to receive a certified creative marketing partner badge from every major social and digital platform including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn. VidMob has Creative Intelligence API integrations into every one of these platforms.
Additionally, our latest milestone was the launch of Insight Stream: a new way to understand the creative effectiveness of an ad – for every ad, every channel, and every audience. A core component of the Agile Creative Studio Dashboard, Insight Stream is an always-on stream of creative insights that informs brands how the visual elements in their ads are influencing consumer response. It was built to take the guesswork out of the creative process and give you a way to improve ads while your campaign is live.
7. Can you share some tips for marketers to better leverage Video Marketing technologies?
Reframe how you think about creative. The prevailing assumption is that creative is fixed and it is a sunk cost.
You spend time and resources nailing the best story you can tell and pray it works. You do what you can to set your creative up for success by optimizing levers like target and budget allocation. If you accept that creative is largely responsible for your campaign’s success, then flip the script. Use data to inform ad design and leverage creative intelligence technology to optimize ads throughout your campaign. Creative is not fixed. It is variable. It should be informed by real time data and evolve accordingly.
8. What are your predictions about the future of Digital Advertising?
The COVID19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the transformation to digital advertising. I predict that marketers in 2021 and beyond will look for tools that provide maximum flexibility so they are in a position of strength in the face of future uncertainties.
9. What advice would you like to give to the Start Ups?
Use your size and agility to your advantage. Incumbents who are larger and set in their ways will have a bias toward inertia. Be faster, more nimble and experiment with new technology that would take your competition 10 times as long to implement.
10. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
Insight Stream is one of our recent product developments I’m most excited about. It’s like the Bloomberg terminal for ad creative. A core component of the Agile Creative Studio Dashboard, Insight Stream is an always-on stream of creative insights that tells marketers how the visual elements in their ads are influencing consumer response. It was built to take the guesswork out of the creative process and give marketers a way to improve ads while campaigns are live.
11. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
Don’t try this at home: I am most productive when my children and husband are asleep. I do my best work between the hours of 10pm-12am.
12. What movie inspires you the most?
Erin Brokovich. Despite no formal legal training, Erin went head to head with one of the largest natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States to advocate for cleaner drinking water. She is a fierce consumer advocate and environmental activist fueled by passion for justice. My younger daughter Sadie lives with a debilitating neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome and while I didn’t choose the path, I became a warrior mom, fighting for funds to research a cure and fighting the Los Angeles school system to provide Sadie with an accessible education. I have had to educate myself about neurology, genetics, biotech and special education in the span of three years to be the best possible advocate for Sadie.
13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
My top 15 apps: Gmail, Slack, Podcasts, Spotify, CorePower Yoga On Demand, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snap, Instagram, IMDB, NextDoor, Giphy, PrimeNow, and of course, Zoom.