Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Andreas Schwabe is a partner and CEO of Blackwood Seven, one of the most advanced media agencies in Europe. The company is acting as a disruptor in media, bringing machine learning and artificial intelligence into planning. He has some interesting advice for the SEMPL conference attendees where he is going to address the need of letting go old, traditional media KPIs.
You have more than 20 years of experience in the media industry. Which period would you describe as the most challenging for media – and why?
Andreas Schwabe: 20 years ago, an average media plan took around 50 decisions to make. Today, it is more like 5.000. Without artificial intelligence you can no longer keep up. That’s why the most challenging time for media is now. And that’s why the future media agency will not be an agency as we know it but has to be a lot more data-driven and tech-oriented.
Your last company Booming was one of the innovators in bringing classic media into performance marketing. Why is performance marketing important for traditional media?
Andreas Schwabe: Performance marketing means result driven marketing, not based on media KPIs but real results like sales or new clients. Data-based methods are already well known in the performance world; however, in the overall media industry that is still highly offline-driven, people still work with media KPIs like reach, GRPs etc. We strongly recommend that traditional media has to measure on effects as well even though with different methods, as also mid- and long-term brand effects have to be taken into account. Something left out in performance marketing. At the end, it’s a combination of both: the understanding and focus on sales drivers in combination with awareness and branding. Something modern solutions can provide.
How does Blackwood Seven, the company that you sold Booming to, differ from other media agencies? In one of the interviews you said that you wanted to replace classic media agencies – with a help from technology…
Andreas Schwabe: Exactly. Blackwood Seven follows a completely different business model than other established media agencies. We are a tech company with the approach to offer efficient consulting and effective planning with 100% transparency in purchase. Our superpower is our SaaS platform solution specifically developed by Blackwood Seven. This software enables us to create a complementary product for the holistic attribution of all media channels. Based on a high number of data points, our algorithms simulate the optimal media mix, which delivers the base for KPI-optimized media planning to our clients.
You said that you have found a Holy Grail in media with the Blackwood Seven’s platform that brings artificial intelligence in media planning. Can you explain in a very simple way how does the platform work and what it brings to media agencies?
Andreas Schwabe: Blackwood Seven revolutionizes media planning through artificial intelligence and machine learning. Data-driven, transparent and automated. With our platform, each client gets his own “Media Formula” generated, which is an attribution of all channels – online such as search, YouTube and Facebook, but also offline such as TV, radio, print and OOH. The optimal media mix for clients can be determined and an exact forecast of the expected results is included. And all this in real time. This offers a complete new way of planning and optimizing media budgets and brings real transparency about all effects – even hierarchical effects on how much one media channel effects the others – to the clients. The deepness of insights is what we call the “Holy Grail”.
How do you see the current role of a media agency in advertising industry? I’m asking because it seems that many media agencies take care of creative advertising solutions for their clients as well and not only for the most efficient use of their media budgets…
Andreas Schwabe: The international media market has been suffering for years from the self-serving and interest-driven business models of agencies. The time is ripe for a true disruption. Innovative technology companies like Blackwood Seven have already entered the media market with technology platforms based on algorithms. New products such as our AI platform are compared to traditional planning tools significantly more dynamic, more flexible and focused solely on the true needs of advertisers. The current role of media agencies is already changing.
As you already mentioned, the artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming an important part of marketing and media industry. Some are afraid that development of the new technologies will take their jobs, while others see it as a new opportunity for targeting and reaching consumers. What is your view on AI in marketing and media? Is this the future of the industry?
Andreas Schwabe: The times, when media planning was based on obscure Excel sheets are definitely over. Media planning 2.0 is done through machine learning and automation, so that advertisers have a real chance to get full transparency about the effects of their budgets. Digitalized processes give us the chance to learn independently and to deliver results with a completely new depth of detail. You can say, with the use of AI, marketing no longer has the benefit of the doubt. But there will always be smart strategists and creative people involved to produce something new. AI can’t really help with this, but in optimizing channel mix, timing and targeting it definitely can.
In November, you are coming to the SEMPL media trends conference in Slovenia. What would you like for attendees to remember from your presentation and use at their work?
Andreas Schwabe: “Face the truth” and “stop the cash burn” is the best advice we have to give – to clients and to each other. It sounds simple, but “facing the truth” is easier said than done. Especially letting loose from old, traditional media KPIs and embracing new technology is often a challenge for organizations. I hope you will find inspiration and we will have an exciting discussion at SEMPL.