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The Future of Digital Marketing | Data, attribution, AI & the exciting unknown

By Evan Bryce 11 June, 2024, 3 mins read

Digital marketing is always changing.

That’s half the fun of it.

But it’s also the challenge.

Because if you want to get ahead of the hordes of competitor brands competing for your audience and customers, you need to be ahead of the change.

There were iOS 14.5 changes.

There was TikTok.

There was (still is) AI.

And what’s next?

In a laid-back interview, Stefano, the digital head honcho (read: Head of Digital) at Megaphone, shares his thoughts on the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. Hosted by Content Lead, Evan Bryce, the discussion covers Stefano’s role, the shift in privacy policies, and the future of marketing tech. Let’s dive into their chat.

Screenshot 2024 06 06 at 4.06.31 PM

Want to join the conversation? Connect with Stef and Evan on LinkedIn.

Embracing the Digital Landscape

Stefano kicks things off by talking about his jam-packed role. He manages several teams, including Google, SEO, and programmatic campaigns. But his main gig is all about digital innovation and product development. “My job is to make sure we’re always ahead of the curve, one step ahead of everyone else,” he says.

This means jumping on new platforms, integrating AI, analyzing data, and encouraging his team to think outside the box.

Challenging the Status Quo

A big part of Stefano’s approach is about shaking things up. “Whatever you did yesterday might not be good tomorrow,” he notes, highlighting the need for constant evolution. This mindset is crucial in an industry that can become pretty routine if you’re not always pushing for better.

With that in mind, Stefano’s goal is to create a culture where solutions are always up for re-evaluation and improvement.

Navigating the Future of Digital Marketing

Evan steers the conversation towards the future of digital marketing, especially with all the changes in privacy policies and tech.

Stefano points out the transition period we’re in, with big shifts like iOS 14 and Google’s plan to scrap third-party cookies. Despite these changes, a lot of businesses are still playing catch-up.

The Impact of Privacy Policies

The rollout of iOS 14 showed businesses they need to rethink their advertising game since it highlighted the limits of third-party cookies.

Stefano explains the importance of server-side tracking, a method that sidesteps traditional cookies to gather user info in a privacy-friendly way. This shift calls for investing in new tools and tech to keep data collection and attribution on point.

Zero Party and First Party Data

Stefano dives into the buzz around zero party and first party data.

Around what?

Zero-party data is info that customers willingly share with businesses, while first-party data comes straight from user interactions. Both are super important now that third-party cookies are on their way out.

Investing in the Right Technologies (and what the hell is right?)

To stay ahead, Stefano advises businesses to invest in solid data tools, whether it’s a fancy CDP (Customer Data Platform) or simpler solutions that ensure good integration and data quality. “It’s not just about having the best technology but understanding why you need it,” he says. This forward-thinking approach is key, especially since many businesses are still sorting out their data basics.

Adapting to the New Era of Advertising

Stefano stresses the need to adapt to new realities instead of holding onto old methods. The focus should shift from trying to recreate old tracking ways to embracing new ideas about advertising and data measurement. This means looking at the big picture and understanding the broader impact of marketing campaigns beyond just quick conversions.

The “Holistic” Approach to Marketing

In today’s complex landscape, Stefano champions a holistic approach to marketing. This involves considering all aspects of customer interactions and targeting strategies to use resources effectively. While data is crucial, it shouldn’t be seen as the only answer. Businesses need to combine various data sources and platforms for a full view of their marketing efforts.

So, where to next?

Stefano’s insights offer a handy guide for navigating the ever-changing digital marketing world. His focus on continuous innovation, investing in the right tech, and a holistic approach to data and advertising provides a strategic framework for businesses looking to stay competitive.

As the industry evolves, Stefano’s philosophy of questioning the status quo and adapting to new realities will be key to success.

Scroll to the top of this page to watch the whole interview.

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