Getting the 411 on Tribal Fusion and Exponential

After attending the fourth Integrated Marketing Communication Conference in Johannesburg and listening to the dynamic lineup of the industry’s most elite speakers, we were left feeling extremely enlightened.

In addition to listening to the great keynote speakers, many delegates (including us) were pleasantly overwhelmed by the list of interactive workshops available, which gave everyone the opportunity to network with well-respected and knowledgeable marketing specialists.

First workshop of choice –- Tribal Fusion (a division of Exponential Interactive) is a global online advertising provider that drives sales for the world’s top brands by helping them learn about, reach and engage their online audiences more effectively — Their passion is “understanding and describing their audiences”.

Tribal Fusion Exponential
Tribal Fusion/Exponential Interactive ranks 5th globally, following big brands such as Google and Yahoo. In January this year, Tribal Fusion was named the world’s second largest Display Advertising Provider. They reach almost 500 million unique users per month — very impressive accolades!

After experiencing exclusive Tribal Fusion case studies that have been successful in the past (during the workshop), four valuable lessons were shared and absorbed:

Lesson 1 – “Measurable is not always meaningful”
Just because something is measurable, doesn’t mean it’s relevant. If measurement and analytics are not meaningful the figures are useless and irrelevant. This is something to consider in ALL online campaigns.

Lesson 2: “Clickers are troublesome”
About 99% of users don’t click. Most of the clickers who click are serial clickers. Approximately 18% of clicks are from the same user on the same ads. It is very difficult to calculate or measure an exact number of fraud clickers because one would need security checks to do this – the average global number of click fraud is around 20%. Just because your campaign has a high click through rate, doesn’t necessarily mean the clicks came from ‘real’ people.

Lesson 3 – “All models are wrong, but some are useful”
All models are wrong, and increasingly you can succeed without them, but some of them may be useful in some way or the other. “In a world of big data we have a paradigm shift away from models.”

Lesson 4 – “Attribution is too late”

John McKoy

John McKoy

Following an interesting chat with the three heads of the organization present at the IMC Conference – John McKoy, Managing Director of Exponential for the APAC region, Bryan Melmed – Insights manager at Exponential in New York and David Barnard – Country Manager of Tribal Fusion South Africa, the following points were made:

Understand where the figures are coming from:
It is naturally rewarding for people to look at a number and see how well they are doing. Clients just want to see a number. They don’t care where it comes from – you need to move away from this approach. The issue with digital is the huge information overload — advertisers are confused. As an advertiser you need to cut through all the junk and be transparent!

In order to understand your audience you need to push the curve. Profiling involves looking at a person’s behavior, contextual relevance… What are they doing? What are their interests? Do they have matching behaviours? Look at grouping behavior and see who resonates well with each other.

Find out what your current target audience needs and target people who look like them. Understand your customers, not your campaign. Your next customer will most likely look like your existing customers – this is very valuable information for any advertiser.

Bryan Melmed

Bryan Melmed

When asked about one golden rule that should be applied at all times, Bryan said: “Truly understand your audience and consumer behavior. Do this by detaching yourself from the campaign and look at it from the consumer’s point of view.”