Prediction Series 2019: Interview with Kerry Bianchi, President and CEO, Visto

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How can businesses up their customer engagement game in 2019?

Make 2019 the year you focus on omnichannel. Unlike message-based multichannel campaigns, true omnichannel campaigns are customer-centric. Instead of repeating the same message in every marketing channel, tell a multi-faceted story — one that unfolds as customers continue on their journey with your brand at different touchpoints and different stages of discovery. It’s more personal and relevant and will deepen the relationship in the end.

What were the AdTech industry’s challenges in 2018?

This past year, the buzz continued about brands’ struggles with inventory quality and fears about the lack of financial transparency. Even so, programmatic media buying is still outsourced more than any other marketing function. But that’s changing, and in 2019, expect mounting concerns about trust and control in digital advertising to drive more brands to take back the reins and either look to bring this function into their own organizations or garner more control and transparency over the process.

LTV versus ROI — which is a bigger revenue driver?

ROI metrics tend to be focused on a point in time and assigned to specific marketing expenditures and actions taken close after the marketing has been seen. Lifetime value requires deeper understanding about customer behavior over the long term and better analytics of how loyal, engaged and valuable they will ultimately be to the enterprise.

While it’s certainly simpler to divide a monthly or annual spend by the associated number of registrations or downloads in that period — the deeper nuance about how those customers then renewed or purchased additional products and services over a longer period of time versus canceled or let their engagement expire after the initial term provides important and necessary information about which marketing is working the best and deserves additional investment.

What would be the core value driving AdTech in 2019?

With continued marketer and governmental scrutiny on advertising practices this past year, the digital advertising conversation was once again focused on transparency, which, in turn, drove the creation of tools, standards, and industry groups all working to ensure marketers got a better view into where their ad spend was going. But sheer transparency and reporting are not enough.

In 2019, we expect to see a new emphasis on accountability, and all of the partners in the supply chain will be under increasing pressure to be more proactive in how they protect advertiser investments and also take responsibility if things go wrong.

Are marketers likely to change their media strategy in 2019?

Marketers have often approached their media plans through a purchase funnel lens and selecting different media channels for each stage of the funnel — TV and out of home for brand awareness, print and digital during the consideration stage, search at the point of purchase, and the like. However, marketers are getting more customer focused, thinking not only about media and marketing by channel, but focusing on the end-to-end customer journey — learning how, when and why customers engage with their messages so they can be customized and placed for best impact. We see this manifested in the Adtech world through the growing interest in CDPs versus just DMPs and more granular attribution and creative testing software and analytics.

Will consultancies continue to dominate advertising firms in 2019?

Last year’s headlines were riddled with speculation about how consultancies like Accenture and Deloitte would continue to encroach on ad agency turf. Agencies were forced to play defense against the onslaught of this new competition, exacerbated by public statements of client dissatisfaction and concerns over transparency and trading practices. What we’re seeing now are agencies ready to go on the offense, many with fresh C-suite changes, sweeping reorganizations, rebranding and repositioning, which we expect will be watched closely to see which reimagined agencies will truly reinvigorate the agency landscape.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Visto, Kerry is responsible for driving strategic direction and business execution across the entire organization. Kerry joined Collective (now Visto) in 2015 and held the roles of both Chief Operating Officer and President before assuming the CEO role in 2017. Kerry is a 2017 Silver Stevie Award winner for “Female Executive of the Year, Business Services – Computer Services and Computer Software” as well as a past winner of Brand Innovators “Top 50 Women in Brand Marketing.” She brings to Visto over 25 years of experience in media, advertising and consulting. Prior to Visto, Kerry was at E*TRADE Financial overseeing the company’s paid media, agencies, martech and analytics partners. Prior to that, she was Managing Director for the global media management consulting division at Accenture, leading business development and services for its enterprise media and analytics practice. Earlier in her career, Kerry held senior leadership roles at Reader’s Digest, Time Inc., Hill Holliday and TBWA Chiat Day. Kerry received her BA from Claremont McKenna College.

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Visto is a technology company dedicated to bringing transparency, interoperability and accountability to programmatic advertising. At the core of Visto is our flagship product, the Visto Enterprise Advertising Hub, a vendor-agnostic SaaS technology that unites all of your programmatic partners into a single user-friendly interface providing clarity and visibility into the best path to performance. By centralizing data, execution and reporting in Visto, you can plan and optimize advertising across fragmented technologies, screens and formats. Visto is trusted by the world’s leading programmatic providers including Doubleclick Bid Manager by Google, Moat, Yahoo! Gemini, AppNexus, IAS, Beeswax, Dstillery, and more. Visto is headquartered in New York with employees in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Bangalore, India, and listed as a “Vendor To Watch”​ on Gartner’s 2017 Digital Marketing Hub Magic Quadrant. Visto’s investors include Accel Partners®, Greycroft Partners, Columbia Partners and iNovia Capital.

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