Part 5: Intelligence-Driven Marketing for Break-Through Results — VIEWPOINT

Racepoint Global

Written by: Peter Prodromou – President and CEO

I began this Five-Year Imperative series describing the downward pressure our industry is experiencing and what Racepoint has been doing to respond. As an industry, if we don’t reinvent the way we do business in the next five years, it is very likely ‘game over.’ As consumer’s lust for everything visual, advertising firms are leveraging their creative powers and are simply taking away our business. Our clients are increasingly sophisticated and demanding, and if they aren’t are taking things in-house, they are slashing budgets. Procurement officers increasingly reign supreme, preventing the important, strategic conversations we should be having with senior marketing and communications executives.

In response, I wrote about how Racepoint has reacted by blurring the lines of advertising and public relations. I described the importance of intelligence-driven marketing. I wrote about the need for thought leadership conversations and client engagements in this new accountability economy. Most recently, I wrote about the talent, the teams and the collaboration so necessary to make it all work. While each of these factors are important, it is the fully integrated offer that captures and deploys the essence of all these elements and provides clients with break-through results.

Getting there is by no means easy, and yes, some eggs absolutely need to be broken along the way to tear down silos and enable the collaboration so necessary. A relentless focus on “consumption and expression” in client campaigns is needed as well. Our companies need to better understand how effective precision targeting of influencers and their networks with highly personalized content can really be. The content needs to be customized down to the “audience of 1” and delivered personally in a format that the “audience of 1” wants.

Racepoint made the leap to integrate our capabilities several years ago. Since then, we have never looked back. What helped us along the way was our focus on intelligence-driven marketing. Our integrated services offer starts with a keen understanding of the information our clients and their audiences need to have and continues with how they can best receive it. Our campaigns leverage off of FieldFacts, our media mining, and audience analysis tool. FieldFacts helps us to efficiently and effectively identify and drill down on issues, audiences and high influence influencers and their networks. Our marketing intelligence efforts derived from FieldFacts and other research accelerate the discovery and evaluation of content and the conversations taking place among prospective influencers. Armed with this data we are better able to better plan campaigns, optimize campaign investment and maximize ROI.

Having identified what information our clients’ audiences want, our Racepoint teams turn to how these audiences want to receive it. We find that often they don’t distinguish between paid and earned media. Rather, they tend to favor the voices of those they trust. Our campaigns integrating advertising, video, and social media are based on the defining issues of the day and powered by creative, compelling fact-based narratives.

Storytelling and the storytelling life-cycle garner attention in earned media. The narratives we build are brought to life with creative, visual content, and extended through social, paid media and key influencers. For Racepoint, social and digital provide the connective tissue that unifies public relations, advertising, marketing and public affairs.

At the end of the day, be it a company or brand reputation, market share, sales, or all of the above, it is about results. We identify the right metrics with our clients and track progress and results throughout the life of our campaigns.

These are the steps that Racepoint has taken, but our industry, as a whole, can do this today as well. It means making important investments in technology, market intelligence, and people. It means reshaping our companies — mashing up the talent regardless of area of expertise, and bringing in a new brand of thinking by industry “outsider” hires, etc. — to build specialized “swat” teams that can develop custom-tailored campaigns to that “audience of 1”.  It means micro-targeting and applying ruthless efficiency working to understand and get to the most connected and important influencers as well. That is the recipe that enables more efficient, cost-effective and strategic campaigns.

So let me end where I began. While the downward pressure seems relentless, there are things we can do about it. I have made a few suggestions using Racepoint as an example. We haven’t found all the answers, but the good news is that we are a learning and adapting company.

Those of you who are doggedly determined to stay the course and choose to not make the kinds of investments in people and technology that I suggest, dare I say, do so at your own peril. The true pioneers among us who do want to make that course change, and who may very well define the next generation of leaders, will most likely break some eggs but may just possibly make a new, delicious omelet along the way.