DMA download: Audible's Matthew Gain on not losing focus on creativity amidst the data

Data might be the new oil in today's marketing scene but marketers should not forget the importance of creatives in drawing consumers' eyeballs. In the third episode of our Digital Marketing Asia podcast series produced in the lead up to our first-ever Digital Marketing Asia virtual conference this November, Matthew Gain, SVP, head of Audible, APAC, Japan and India shares why creatives still matter in today's day and age. He also gives us the low down on ensuring marketing and finance speak the same language and his pet peeves when it comes to brand executions on mobile. 

Gain has experience on both the client and agency side, having worked at Microsoft, Edelman and Weber Shandwick prior to joining Audible. In his current role, Gain is responsible for developing Audible’s business across APAC and in particular Japan, India and Australia/New Zealand. In addition, he is also responsible for setting and implementing the growth plans, influencing and driving change across key stakeholders, improving processes to scale with high business growth and developing and leading functional leaders.

Listen to the full episode here.

Marketing: Mobile is an integral part of our marketing mix today. What are some of the challenges clients still face in building a strategy in the mobile space in Southeast Asia? 

Gain: When I think about mobile marketing, I think a lot of the challenges are around data. I kind of put that into a few different categories. You got to have access to the data and then a granularity with that data so that you can inform and better optimise your campaigns. At Audible, we spend a lot of time thinking about attribution, deduplication and also avoiding fraud. We work with a range of mobile measurement partners to help improve our targeting and our effectiveness on mobile and use that with partners. We do a lot of work via our media agency, with Facebook and Google primarily in the mobile space and spend a lot of time making sure we are optimising their algorithms, lining that up with user data that we are seeing to adjust that.

Of course there is going to be some changes coming up with iOS 14. That is going to necessitate marketers everywhere to adjust and approach their data attribution and management. We are preparing for that but I guess that moves me to the next challenge around data and that is interpretation of the data.

We have an abundance of data nowadays that there is a temptation to get lost in the data and really go crazy on adjusting each and every little small thing about a mobile campaign.

I think it is really important as marketers that we do not forget our core objectives and use the data to come back to our core objectives, but not just get lost in the data and use data for data's sake. Data is incredibly important. I think it is [also] really important not to forget some of the fundamentals of marketing as well and how important creative is.

At the end of the day, we are talking to people and whilst we reach those people through very complex algorithms, people respond to great creative.

I think that you have got to make sure that the creative that you are putting into market is relevant, eye-catching and creating cut through. So those are the three challenges I would say. Data - you have really got to understand it, make sure that you are optimising that and working with your media partners to be working with their algorithms to ensure that it is improving over time. Secondly, do not forget what your core objectives are, do not get lost in the data and optimise for optimisation's sake. And finally, do not forget creative. Creative is so important and I think that you would never overlook creative in a traditional media platform, and we need to make sure that we are thinking about it through mobile as well.

Marketing: One challenge marketers still face is that they might have too much data and are unable to make sense of it. How can marketers get started on that?

Gain: it is really important that people do not look at individual marketing channels in silos. What I mean by that is that you do not want to have person A looking at the mobile channel optimising it and working out that they have got something really good on mobile, and then somebody else that might be looking at search optimising in a completely different silo. And then you find out that the acquisition cost for search is half the price that someone might be doing in a mobile app install campaign for instance. But because those two people are operating in silos, you are not adjusting to that.

So that is what I mean by core objectives. At Audible our core objectives is growing our member base. We have marketing directors that sit across the channels and are constantly looking at how can we optimise and how we can shift budget out of this channel into that because this is working really well at the moment.

Marketing: What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to brand habits or executions on mobile?

My pet peeves around mobile are similar to my pet peeves around all digital advertising and I think that first and foremost, it is a lack of segmentation and maybe frequency capping. We all dread that time when you look at something or even buy a pair of shoes and then that shoe company is chasing you around the web for the next 30 or 60 days. Frequency capping is a challenge so that is a bit of a pet peeve but also segmentation.

I moved to Japan in January and have been learning Japanese. There was a language app that I was subscribed to and it would just send me basically the same push notification everyday until I turn the thing off and unsubscribe. You know I am not engaged, why are you not saying: "Hey Matthew, your Japanese ain't gonna get better if you're not practicing." but there was none of that.

I think another pet peeve is messaging inconsistency across channels. I mentioned before the scenario where someone is in charge of search and maybe someone else is in charge of mobile app and you end up with a really inconsistent approach to the customer.

We need to remember that customers do not live in marketing channels.

Customers watch TV, they see outdoor, they are looking at Facebook and they are using Google Search and looking at news websites so we need to make sure that messaging is consistent across the channels.

My final pet peeve particularly on mobile is poor customer journeys, taking me from an ad and being really interested in something and then ending up on a website that is not optimised for mobile. I have been really surprised at how often that is really happening here in Japan. i switched banks because its website was not optimised for mobile which just seems crazy in 2020. It is not 2010 anymore, I do not want to be zooming and pinching. 

Join us on a three-week journey at Digital Marketing Asia 2020 as we delve into the realm of digital transformation, data and analytics, and mobile and eCommerce from 10 to 26 November. Sign up here!

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