MarTech Interview with Maria Mryasova, Director of Product, DCMN

Maria Mryasova, Director of Product, DCMN shares a few media strategy and marketing tips in this quick chat with MarTech Series:


Welcome to this MarTech Series – please tell us about yourself and what inspires you about product development in today’s environment.

Thanks for having me! I work as Director of Product at DCMN, a growth marketing partner to digital brands. In my role, I’m responsible for DCMN’s product strategy and development, establishing tools that meet both the company’s vision and our clients’ goals.

My interest in product and marketing stems from studying software product management while at university in Moscow. Ever since, I’ve been passionate about combining my interests in innovation and quality advertising. As a consumer myself, I’m very inspired by the power of great advertising. My current favourite ad is for German sweet brand Haribo, which highlights the power of nostalgia in action – I bought four packets!

What I find most interesting in product development is building solutions that keep consumers’ interests top of mind. In my career over the last decade or so, I’ve been focused on building products that bring conscious and mindful marketing campaigns to users across TV, CTV and video. This is no different at DCMN: from our multi-channel measurement product to building tools that increase operational efficiency, we always strive to keep the end-consumer front and centre when making product decisions.

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When it comes to building out a cohesive product strategy, what are some top best practices you would tell B2B brand marketers to follow?

Regardless of whether you are marketing to consumers or to businesses, my biggest piece of advice is to really focus on building cohesive customer profiles for your products and services, which will be key to informing your entire marketing strategy.

When it comes to B2C versus B2B, what changes is not the way you think about the customer, but the customer profile size and the long-term value your products and services are bringing to the client. In B2B, the sales cycle is far longer and involves more parties than in consumer sales – so clients need to be convinced that you are the right partner for them. That’s why building strong brand positioning and clearly communicating your value proposition is so crucial in the B2B marketing world.

Talking about the challenges of connecting brand performance and overall marketing ROI, what are some of the factors that you often see marketers miss out on? A few tips that should be ‘’must dos’’?

One of the most common mistakes we see marketers making is using the wrong channels to reach their target audiences – for example, focusing on linear TV to target younger demographics, when social and digital channels are often far better suited. Investing in audience research, or partnering with someone who can advise on the best media strategy, will help you reach your growth goals while avoiding costly mistakes. They can also advise on how best to adapt your creatives to specific channels – after all, what works for online won’t always work in the same way for TV.

With today’s media mix becoming more complex and diversified and comprising offline/online initiatives, how can marketing teams work better at prioritizing channels and ROI/efforts?

We at DCMN always start any media strategy creation by researching a client’s business goals and target audiences, and conducting thorough market analysis. This forms the basis of our channel recommendations.

However, we also encourage our clients to look at their marketing activities more holistically, rather than focusing their efforts on one particular channel and its performance. This will help them understand how channels are performing and influencing each other – for example, the impact that a TV advertisement might have on search, retargeting or app store optimisation. With the lines between branding and performance channels blurring, users’ consumption behaviours are becoming much more diverse and impactful. Looking at the effect of a campaign on a single channel not only gives a limited sense of performance, but also disregards channel characteristics. That’s why we’ve designed our measurement products to help give our clients a broader, more holistic understanding of their marketing activities. We want to help them see the bigger picture.

With the growing number of channels and platforms available to marketers/advertisers today, there comes the need for better measurement and attribution models: what are some of the best measurement and attribution models you feel can work effectively in today’s environment?

As the online and offline marketing landscape becomes more and more fragmented, it’s important to consider the evolution of measurement and attribution models. There are several approaches to digital marketing attribution, from first- or last-touch attribution to more advanced multi-touch modelling and marketing mix modelling (MMM). Multi-touch attribution solves some of the challenges clients are seeing with last-touch attribution, where only the last channel contributed to the conversion would be acknowledged as part of the user journey. With linear, time shaped or other attribution models of the multi-touch approach, clients can see a fuller picture of the user journey and make better informed decisions for how to spend their budget. We’ve also seen MMM gaining a lot of traction in recent years thanks to the democratisation of open source libraries for machine learning.

Attribution modelling for offline advertising is trickier, given there are fewer data points available – yet it still can be quite effective. Many measurement providers for linear TV now support both direct response and longer term impact attribution, as well as adding an extra layer of brand awareness data to give a more long-term view of campaign impact.

DCMN’s stand on measurement and attribution is simple: we highly encourage our clients to invest in collecting and activating performance, CRM and first party data. This will help better analyze the customer journey and give crucial insights into how users can be brought further down the buying funnel.

We’d love to hear a few thoughts on your views on the global martech and marketing segment and how you feel this will evolve through the year and in the near-future?

I’m really curious to see how the martech industry will evolve in the next three to five years. The ongoing changes in privacy policies combined with the growing number of digital businesses will likely create a “Wild West” type of landscape, where only the companies with the strongest value propositions and most forward-thinking technology will survive. To make it and thrive, companies need to work out how to get the most out of their first-party data – this will be key to better understanding and retaining customers.

We’re also seeing big developments in the tracking and retargeting landscape, such as The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 and LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution. I’m expecting many more changes in the space over the next couple of years. Hopefully, this will also mean less middlemen in between the demand and supply side.

Any last thoughts or takeaways before we wrap up?

Don’t be afraid to dive into your data! While all this talk of data can sound intimidating, there’s a wealth of resources out there that can help you adopt a data-driven approach. Working with partners who can instruct you how to adopt such a framework within your brand is also key to building a sustainable business. And the earlier your start, the better.

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DCMN is the growth marketing partner for digital businesses and startups. The company’s holistic, data-driven approach combines technology with expert knowledge to grow the market leaders of tomorrow.

From its headquarters in Berlin and five international offices worldwide, DCMN equips its clients to scale efficiently in their own markets or internationally, whether they need creatives, media plans, or growth strategies. All of this is supported by technologies DCMN designs and builds – based on over a decade of experience helping digital brands grow. Independent and owner-operated, DCMN was launched in 2010 by Andreas Dengler and Matthias Riedl. To date, the company has helped nearly 400 digital brands worldwide to scale their businesses, including Fairphone, Idealo, Ring, VanMoof, Vinted and Wooga.

As Director of Product, Maria is responsible for DCMN’s product strategy and development, establishing tools that meet both the company’s vision and its clients’ goals. She also heads up DCMN’s tech team, a group of agile, creative and strategic thinkers working to power clients’ growth and bring better and more transparent measurement solutions to the advertising world.

Prior to DCMN, Maria spent 7 years working at IPONWEB, most recently as Director of Product for their TV division.

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