Haris Beber, CMO @ Vimeo; Jennifer Ogden-Reese, CMO @ SeatGeek; Jordan French, Executive Editor & Co-Founder @ GritDaily
Ascent Conference 2019
Jordan French [00:00:07] Tell us more about SeatGeek, because when it comes to Brand, uh, perhaps not every news about what you’re up to.
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:00:15] So at SeatGeek, we are the leading mobile first live event ticketing platform. We have a mission to help the world experience more live. And our overall value proposition is really that we are the easiest way to get a great deal on live event tickets. So whatever you want to see from Justin Bieber to, uh, to the New York Yankees, we’ve got tickets and we you can get those tickets in two taps on your mobile phone.
Jordan French [00:00:44] Yeah, super simple. And it seems like something people would just see ads for agnostic to the brand or site they’re buying from. But there’s more a lot more to that. And then for Harris, Vimeo is a name that a lot of people have heard. And let me just share what’s in. You know, most of the audience is mine. It’s it’s it’s just another video streaming platform. But nowadays it is a lot more than that.
Haris Beber [00:01:07] It is. And I think most of the world does know us as a viewing destination, but we are so much more than that. We are the world’s largest ad free, ad free video platform. But our mission has evolved over time. We’re a community of over 150 million of the most talented creators in the world, and our mission is to help people have a successful video strategy. And that starts from the creation of video all the way to collaborating on it, to reaching your audience. And when I say reaching your audience, that is a very distinct approach to most people, how they view us, meaning we enable you to reach your audience on YouTube, on Facebook, on LinkedIn. We launched a really powerful tool called Social Distribution last year that with one click lets you reach your audience where they are. Because in a world where so many platforms are monetizing views and walled gardens, we know to be successful with video, you have to reach your audience where they are, not where you want them to be.
Jordan French [00:02:02] Certainly. And there are a few sort of inroads into brand marketing, which is what I want to unpack anyway. But one of the things that we just did and in the foundation is, is distinguishing the two psychic’s in a lot of ways, has a lot of white space and people didn’t know the name. And you got to capitalize on that Vimeo, because it had some reputation. For example, how many of you had heard of Vimeo? Let’s just do a quick raise your hands to to our point Arace, which makes your job quite a bit more difficult than Jenn’s because you might have to change the minds. And so we’ll get into that. But this goes to Jen. We have it. So to Lisson Perimeter around this, because not everyone in here, not all of us know, I should say, as pedestrian’s, the CMO that you are. No. And understand performance, marketing and brand marketing. It sounds like it should be the same thing. But can you set a perimeter around first what performance marketing is? So we all are on the same page as you in terms of definition Jen?
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:03:00] Sure. I mean, I’m going to frame it in terms of the SeatGeek business. So, you know, we are all about becoming your go to for any live event ticket that you might want to purchase. But to start, you know, a lot of consumers start their shopping with Google. So for us, performance marketing has started with Search, CRM and SEO. And so we have out of the gate and, you know, in a very measurable channel focused on search engine marketing so that we could instantly be right in front of the consumer when they’re in that intent driven mode where they are shopping for tickets. And that’s, you know, so that’s where we started. That’s what I would consider performance marketing. It’s really all about winning that auction at the right economics. And it’s certainly a place that we, you know, we’re going to continue to be and it’s one of our top paid channels. But what we have recognized early on is that consumers have built in habits. We have competitors, of course, many of you probably use them. So, you know, we recognized that we needed to differentiate and get our brand out there. Very difficult to differentiate and create trust in, you know, two lines of Google AdWords copy. So that led us to more brand oriented marketing where we invested in things like out of home audio, influencer marketing and TV, where we could tell much more of a story around what’s different about cheak and why you should use us. And that has been what we would call more brand marketing, where we can tell that story on our own outside of that competitive environment.
Jordan French [00:04:45] Certainly for Haris, because Vimeo and a few stages had to run through this sort of process to to really clean perimeter. Just to repeat this back from what Jen’s just said, it almost sounds like it could be simplified down by length of what you can say. But it’s perhaps, you know, more than that, Haris.
Haris Beber [00:05:05] Yeah, I think it really depends on the business and industry you’re in. Um, so if you’re selling a ticket, how do you differentiate between one Billy Joel ticket to another? You have. Brand awareness tells you differentiate for that for Vimeo, it’s about intent. So when I think of performance marketing, it’s really about capturing the intent that exists and converting that. So we’re known for our ad free player or our collaboration tools. But if only one hundred thousand people are searching for an ad free player, the most people I could reach is one hundred thousand people. And when I think about layering on awareness or brand marketing, it’s how do I create more awareness for our product and value that then creates more content that my performance marketing could help convert. So I find performance is highly efficient but limited in scale. And if you’re a business that wants to grow beyond the scale of the intent that exists in the world, you have to you have a responsibility to create more intent. And that you do through awareness and brand marketing.
Jordan French [00:06:04] Certainly. And for Jen for your purposes, you were just to describe the mechanics. You’re literally running ads on Google, right? That’s what a lot of us are doing or have done at some point. At what point then it begs the question, at what point do you decide, OK, let’s let’s take that leap and let’s leave that there or expand it, but do something. What that something that at first blush looks not really easily measurable, potentially risky, could go either way. And also could you could easily trip up on because you could get your messaging wrong and and mislead your audience. So how should we be thinking that about the whole framework before we even start? I think about building a brand name.
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:06:48] Yeah, I mean, I think for us, we we pretty quickly saw that as our brand awareness was rising, our click through rate on non branded search was also rising. So there’s a correlation. So in other words, the more aware people are of your brand, the more trust they have in it, the more likely they are to click on your your ad for Knicks tickets or God forbid, Jets tickets, whatever it may be. Um, so that gave us that gave his heart that there’s data points indicating that if we created more awareness, more trust, it was going to help our overall funnel. And so we set out to expand our channels. We and, you know, we predates my time, but we did some like really basic things out of the gate to measure impact. We put into place a post purchase survey, for example, so that, you know, in the early days when we went out and did in New York City subway campaign, we could actually pick up signals in our post purchase survey to indicate where where did you where did you hear about? Well, I heard about it in the subway. So we took a very sort of data driven, disciplined approach to layering on what would be considered maybe more brand oriented campaigns. And we basically built it over time, went into we went into out of home that we went into audio and we went into influencer and all those channels. We were looking at the data. We were looking at it in kind of a performance based way. We were looking at survey data. We were looking at discount code redemptions. And that basically allowed us to sort of make the case to continue to invest. We also found that folks that we acquired through channels like audio and influencer had higher lifetime values. So we basically built the case over time to move into those more mid and upper funnel channels.
Jordan French [00:08:46] So in a lot of ways, it just reads back to you. You’re following the money for Harris for hours on this note and on that perimeter. So just expand and distinguish between performance and brand marketing at Vimeo. You called the intent and that your intent with performance marketing was to convert. So we’re all wondering, what is your intent with brand marketing and Vimeo?
Haris Beber [00:09:14] So I think the intent is to create more awareness so we have more customers where we see a unique whitespace in our market. Is that the moment of people that recognize the need to use video to be successful and their ability to create video? So there’s a gap between the need and their ability to meet that needs. Right now, everyone knows when they’re searching and scrolling through Instagram. The most engaging format is video. Small businesses don’t think they’re capable of actually making those type of videos in the volume and quality they need to be successful. That’s DeMaio’s role is to help people be successful. So we needed to do with brand or brand awareness campaign to educate the market that, hey, not only is video really important to your strategy to grow your business, but we have the tools and services to help you do that in a successful way and it could be easy. So it’s also attainable. So when I think of our brand, it’s really driving awareness and education so that you feel that feel that intense funnel where more people searching. How do I make video for social media creating more of those intent driven searches by driving the awareness of the products and services that we offer.
Jordan French [00:10:19] Certain and and using these definitions conversions, it sounds like you could measure in dollars, but what is the unit of awareness? How do you measure awareness?
Haris Beber [00:10:30] So it depends. You could do it. I believe everything is measurable these days, depending on how you approach your test and doing awareness marketing so you could spend those incremental media dollars in one go in one media type. It’s not the same as it used to be where you did a print ad and yet you didn’t know if five people in a doctor’s office were reading that ad and saw it. Now, with ad sequencing and doing digital formatting, you could go abroad on a YouTube ad, look at the people that are engaging in that ad and the ones that engage past a certain time limit. We target them with a secondary message and bring them all the way down the funnel. So you’re only targeting the people that have shown and demonstrated interest in your product with follow on message, so lets you be much more efficient with how and what ways you’re spending.
Jordan French [00:11:15] Certainly. And for SeatGeek Jen 10 pack brand marketing, a bit more in how that works. What’s in a lot of our minds when it comes to branding, a lot of us are thinking, well, you know, maybe PR, maybe a TV spot. But there’s there’s there’s a whole menu of channels that you could pursue could. So from the point of view, can you explain some of the forces that you’ve taken and perhaps what worked? What would best?
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:11:40] Yeah, so first of all, I mean, we had I had a much easier job than Harris because really we needed to at a high. Level create an awareness that psychic is exists and is a great place to buy tickets, so we really had the opportunity to take a very high level in terms of our tag lines at our campaigns across all types of different channels. And what we found really successful and you mentioned this was we had we identified top opportunity markets and we went in and we purchased media from out of home, TV, audio influencer, all of these different channels, along with our performance channels like paid social and CRM. And we evaluated the overall effect of that, what we call marketing saturation on our on all kinds of metrics, both top level awareness and consideration, but also down to the did we generate more ticket sales in that market over the period of time that we were in in the campaign and after? And so I think it’s really, you know, and we’ve taken that strategy and we’ve honed it and we’ve evolved it and we’ve developed that marketing mix. But I think every individual brand probably has, you know, that unique set of, you know, marketing channels that are going to work best for them. In our case, you know, 100 million adults a year purchase live event ticket. So we had an opportunity to go pretty broad. We know that people are buying in primarily in major metros. And then we also had some really easy hooks around reaching sports fans since they buy a lot of tickets. So we you know, I think every marketer needs to, you know, select who is that? Who is that target audience? How do I reach them most effectively and with what types of media?
Jordan French [00:13:31] Certainly. And then and then on the back end of that, we’re talking about measuring something. And it all still seems a bit vague to us. There’s a lot of variables as perhaps a lot of noise in the signal. So how do you know that what you’re doing from a brand awareness standpoint is what’s matching directly with that sale?
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:13:52] Yeah, so, I mean, we are probably, you know, I would say obsessed with measuring things that I’m looking over across my colleague. We are pretty obsessed with trying to do everything we can to measure. So right now, for example, we have a saturation campaign happening in Dallas, which you mentioned before where we are. We are running a whole a whole set of different advertising, all tied together as a campaign. And we are looking at it compared to our historical performance in Dallas. We’re looking at it against match markets. We are looking at an ad against National. And so you have so much data that you you can have multiple checkpoints in understanding and getting rid of the noise. Like, OK, let’s let’s understand. Let’s recognize that, OK, maybe that match market this year, they don’t have a good football team, so our ticket sales are not going to be as good there. So I do think that to your point earlier, there is so much opportunity to measure things. It’s definitely a lot less squishy than it used to be in terms of being able to build that business case and measure your results. And so, you know, we have an amazing data science team who helps us parse all this data and establish the benchmarks and model and predict the what our performance would have been had we not been doing the campaign. And that’s and that’s basically how we evaluate our results.
Jordan French [00:15:16] Certainly enhance as we sort of laid that foundation earlier, you didn’t necessarily it didn’t really fill white space on a brand that didn’t have a reputation for me. We certainly did, but instead to to change that perception. So how do you know to what extent you’ve succeeded to date?
Haris Beber [00:15:36] So we did a lot of measurement as well. We’re data driven company and more than was it effective or not, was the impact of that because you could move the needle, but it wasn’t efficient. So it cost too much to move the needle, the needle depending on the medium. So we had a goal of doing what, both increasing awareness and shifting awareness. And we did that with free mid and post studies in market for just the things that we cared about. Do people know us? What do they know us for? What do they associate and identify our brand with? And that was at the highest level of just what are we associated with? And then more quantifiable things. A number of people searching for our brand name on Google in the areas where we’re concentrating or spend. So that’s the number of registrations, free registrations we’re seeing in those markets and all the way down to the KPI of conversions, a number of people actually paying us over time in those markets. So you have to think at which stage of the funnel you’re trying to measure, at which points and how that flows from your investment. Do you return on investment. So we did test things like out of home, which is subway ads and billboards, which when you think of we are targeting a very unique demographic of creative professionals, people that have a need for video that’s. Narrow segment, but the medium we were using was a mass segment, so billboards where the segment that Gene is targeting is anyone who could be in market for a concert or ticket. And what we found is while it was effective to do some of that billboards and out of home, it wasn’t as efficient as we would like for meeting our our investment threshold, and which we started to focus on more digital avenues of awareness marketing, where we could track the cohorts much tighter and all the way through the funnel. And we found a better return on our investment on some of those mediums because we were targeting a very distinct, unique segment.
Jordan French [00:17:20] Certainly. And I want to pick up right there and just just a second talk about video and your first campaign and how you sort of. I do want to his motion. OK, three minutes, because I want to leave just some time for Q&A. I have a walking. Michael, I’ll come down to you. I think we’ll have time for one question. But your first campaign on this, because you did want to sort of change perception and ultimately was in pursuit of more sales. But to show that audience somewhat in a meta fashion, you’re able to use your own tools. But it was because you wanted to make sure video was out there. Why video? Why lead with video?
Haris Beber [00:17:57] Video is the most engaging format. If you’re not using video in your mix, you need to be because every platform that’s out there from Facebook to look at it and they follow engagement. So the algorithms optimized for engagement and video has a high and highest engagement on every single platform. So we knew that video had to be part of it because we wanted people to hear and engage with our message. And then the second part is you have to make an impact in a very short amount of time. So you have three seconds to capture someone’s attention. So we use very disruptive, creative that was people and unique and precarious situations in peril, clearly need of help to capture their intention and then delivered a very clean message that Vimeo could help with your videos. It was a very simple high level awareness message, but using the disruptive nature and engagement of video to make sure that everyone in the audience, an hour that we were trying to target, receive that message.
Jordan French [00:18:50] Certainly so if any, take away from her. It’s it’s it’s use video in your brand marketing. I know there’s time for at least one question. We just raise your hand. I’ll walk to you with this mic and ask Jen or Harris a question directly. Any questions from the audience? All right. Way I’m going to go way back here. Saw them first. In fact, come to me because we can cut out a few questions and give them more time. Yeah, like literally walk towards me. Yeah. There you go. Just and just say your name. Perfect. Look at that.
Audience [00:19:22] Hi. My name isn’t it. This is a question to the CMO in the panel I’d like you to describe. How do you see the function of chief marketing officer and marketing five years from now?
Haris Beber [00:19:35] So I think it’s always evolving, we have wear many hats and at many times we have the most measurable function. So it comes with great rewards when you’re successful, but also a lot of accountability. And I think you have to know and understand customer behaviors, demonstrate product value and customer value constantly. And if you have a customer centric approach, that’s how you’ll deliver on your revenue and your KPIs. But ultimately, we’re accountable for making sure that our consumers are satisfied and understand the value that our company has to offer them.
Jordan French [00:20:07] Jen, Anything you want to add?
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:20:09] No, I would just say that it is become increasingly important for us to be extremely both left and right brained and be able to deliver creative messaging and connect with consumers while being super analytical and making decisions based on all the data sources we now have.
Jordan French [00:20:30] Awesome and said two questions. Here’s the other one. Just say your name. Oh yeah. Adam. Thanks, guys. What’s your take on the effectiveness on, like, more experiential marketing in terms of like events and as it relates to getting your name out there, your story, versus converting customers like.
Jennifer Ogden-Reese [00:20:50] So I think that experiential marketing can be extremely expensive. It’s not something that we have done a ton of at Sikhi, where I see the mainly because it can be quite expensive and hit a limited audience where we’ve seen success with experiential has been where we’ve been able to capture video or other assets that we can then broadcast out from the experience and get much more reach. So, you know, we’ve we’ve we’ve definitely worked with some of our influencers to have experiences and then we put the biggest value we’ve gotten out of that is not the people who are actually there at the experience, but the fact that we’re able to create some assets and push it out organically and through paid media to really amplify it.
Haris Beber [00:21:45] Yeah, I would agree it’s one of the least measurable I think it depends on the business you’re in. It is great for building community. And the way you amplify the value of building that community is how you tell that story to build brand loyalty with people that are maybe not able to experience it in person, but build that affinity with your brand. And that’s through using digital media to amplify the story. I think if you’re doing an event for 10 or 20 or 50 people, it’s very hard to get a return unless you’re able to tell that story or live stream the story with you.
Jordan French [00:22:13] So all roads lead to Vimeo? Well, that’s all the time that we have.