Which device do you use to access your content ?

Which device do you use to access your content ?

The slowly shaping path of content access and our digital devices

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference in what content you are accessing from which device? As a marketer, this is a fascinating question. And it turns out, we were not the only one’s asking. Recently, a study was done in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, it covered the connection between device type usage and content and may start to answer this question.

Does the device we are using influence what we read?

According to Verto Analytics, a company specializing in analytics and data research, there are some clear indications of how and what we read on our devices. Verto tracked devices of approximately 5,000 people in March of this year.
What they came up is very interesting. Apparently smart phones are frequently used for sports, health and fitness, automotive and travel. Addtionally, they are also used for people/family/lifestyle, which would includes recipes, food or parenting. By comparison, we use desktops for browsing on technology sites, government and law, news and weather or photo and video. Lastly, the tablet devices are mainly used for property, entertainment, careers, education, sports and lastly shopping.

Things are not always as they seem

As you can see, it is not always black and white in digital. Not all brands need to advertise on cross platform devices. However, some activities such as entertainment remains as multi-device content. People are accessing information from their tablets 32%, smartphones usage is up to 39% and desktops contributed 29% in this mix.
According to a recent eMarketer article, Verto’s data is very similar to the ComScore data that was released in December 2016. Which is enough to say there is a pattern. As advertisers, it is important to learn from findings like these, when planning our next digital campaign.
Content Consumption in UK by Device



8 Programmatic Advertising Tactics that every Winnipeg Marketer Should Use in 2017

8 Programmatic Advertising Tactics that every Winnipeg Marketer Should Use in 2017

Have you been recently talking to your digital media specialist or a programmatic media buyer and got lost in terms that they have been using?

Our company has partnered with Centro a leading company among the programmatic advertising technology providers. We use their DSP (demand side platform) to run all of our client’s campaigns.  For this post, we are putting together a list of 8 targeting tactics you should be using for your next programmatically run advertising campaign:

#1 Audience Campaign

A very specific targeted campaign that focuses on finding the right set of eyeballs and not necessarily the right website. It focuses on branding and awareness.  The more specific the audience, the higher the cost. In our case, we use Centro DSP (demand side platform) to deliver the tactics for all of our clients. We have access to audience data from ComScore, DoubleVerify, Peer39 or GrapeShot. This data is allowing us to routinely target the right audience.

Remember, data cost is always additional to the campaign. So be sure to look at how and when you are applying it.  Also, you should definitely avoid this type of tactic when you are focusing on Key performance indicators like eCPC and eCPA.

However, audience targeting is not the only way how to reach your target market. Let’s explore the remaining 7 tactics highlighted in this post.

#2 Contextual Campaign

This is an efficiency driven campaign, KPIs. eCPC, eCPM, conversion tracking, CTR  are your primary areas of focus. The best practice is to execute it using small goals and other niche targeting tactics. An example would be to use a list of keywords and apply it to each ad group so that the ad appears on subject relevant pages.

#3 Website Campaign

Using a whitelist of specific websites that has performed well in the past to reach a  particular audience or demo. If you have a data that shows certain websites work for your brand, don’t reinvent the wheel, get out your hard hat and lunch pail and  USE IT! Run a website campaign.

#4 Desktop Video Campaign

When a TV campaign is part of the marketing plan use desktop video campaign as a supporting tactic. It is used for the purposes of branding and awareness.

#5 Mobile Video Campaign

Targeting apps and sites with video assets can be done via DSP (demand side platform). This tactic is also used for brand awareness. Keep in mind that short videos perform better than long.

#6 Hyper Local Mobile Campaign

Using GPS location data, you can target inventory being served to smartphones and tablets within a radius you choose. Small business owners often use this tactic to help boost their walk in traffic.  For example, imagine you own a restaurant owner in Winnipeg’s booming Corydon Village and want to let people know about your specials this week. With a hyper-local campaign, you can run an ad that is targeted at people living within half a mile radius. Or imagine you run a newly renovated hotel and want to let your neighbours know how well renovations turned out. Again, use a hyper-local mobile campaign to deliver your message.

#7 Mobile Third Party Audience Campaign

The goal of this campaign would be to drive awareness. It is a great tactic to compliment audience targeting and desktop campaigns. Third party data is always an additional expense on your CPM, so be sure to reflect it in your costing, but it is definitely a great way to ensure your campaign is targeting the right people.

 #8 Retargeting Campaign

This is the lower part of the campaign funnel. Use this tactic when you need to re-engage your users. In order to execute a retargeting campaign, you must first place a pixel on to the client’s website. This tactic is highly recommended for campaigns focusing on KPIs, CPCs, CTR and converting people. Most of your campaigns should have a retargeting tactic included, even if it is after the main campaign is finished. Be sure to keep in mind that two weeks of retargeting is always worthwhile. Remember, when you run retargeting campaign it always starts as a small group of people, therefore, it can also be inexpensive. Trust me retargeting brings great conversions!

Did we mention that when you run a campaign it does not have to be just one tactic? You can three to four tactics together. Optimize them, learn from the data and see what delivers the most results and stick with it.

As mentioned earlier, our company has recently partnered with Centro. This means we have access to  ComScore, DoubleVerify, GrapeShot or Peer39 data and to a whole lot of inventory. We look forward to working on your campaign one day.

And if we don’t work with you in the future, hopefully, you will find all of this helpful so the next time you talk about digital campaign tactics with your media planner or buyer you will know what to ask!

Spanking, one of the many Czech Easter Traditions

Spanking, one of the many Czech Easter Traditions

Happy Easter, everyone!

For many years, I have wanted to write a post about the Czech Easter traditions which are somewhat interesting and strange to Canadians. People are definitely surprised when I tell them that on Easter Monday, Czech men hit their women with willow sticks. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s start from the begging.

Czechs have two days of Easter Celebration

It is the Holy Sunday, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Easter Monday a celebration of the upcoming spring and awakening of nature.
Many of these traditions are still practised in the country, which is why I am writing about them today.

The beautifully decorated eggs, the liquor and the spanking!

Did I get your attention? Good, because we are just about to discover and learn about the traditions I am trying to bring to Canada along with other fellow Czech immigrants living nearby.
The whip that Czech men spank the women on Easter Monday is called a “pomlazka”. In translation, it means “make younger”. The tradition of spanking is carried out on Easter Monday morning, only! You won’t spot any women walking on the street that morning because if they are, they are for sure getting spanked. Women are all home, decorating Easter eggs and waiting for the men to come whip them with their willow sticks; freshly made out of the new green tree sticks. The whip consists of 8 or 12 or 24 willow rods, nicely braided together. The length is usually around half a meter, and they are decorated with ribbons on the end. The spanking is not intended to cause suffering.

The legend

A legend says that women should be spanked with a whip in order to keep their health, beauty and fertility for the whole next year.

Willow Stick “pomlazka” – Czech Easter Traditions

Once a woman has been spanked, she gives a coloured egg she has prepared, offers a drink or two, and puts a ribbon on the top of the whip as a thank you to the man.

Traditional Czech Easter Eggs

Are you shaking your head and saying, what a strange tradition? Yes, it is, but it is a unique tradition that we Czech people, talk about and laugh. The Czech men love it… The Czech women not so much, but we go with it and we all keep it as a tradition for the next generations.

The Revenge

The women can get revenge in the afternoon. They can and trust me they do, pour a bucket of cold water on any man they see!!! Isn’t that brilliant?! I don’t know what that brings to the men, and I certainly don’t know if it is also health and fertility for the next year. I have looked for this information for years, but it is nowhere to be found. However, it is what we do. In fact, where I came from, we sometimes added a bad smelling perfume to the water.

The Canadian boys and their Czech wives

Unfortunately, Eastern Monday is a work day here in Canada. However, my husband, who is a Winnipeg born Canadian, took over this Easter tradition of spanking his wife and now his daughter on Easter Monday morning.Very seriously, he has not missed an Easter morning since he learned about the tradition while we were dating. Interestingly enough, those Canadian boys who married Czech women, I know at least a few here in Winnipeg, they LOVE this tradition and have all mastered it. They even taught themselves the Czech rhyme that you say when you spank your loved one that morning.

Passing on the tradition and teaching our kids

This year, our youngest Lukas is three years old, which is just the right time for Grant to give him the lesson about the Czech heritage and to start getting to know the family even better. Our ten-year-old son David will go with the flow, and I think our daughter and I will be hiding and wearing jeans. As it turns out, denim works very well on Easter. The fabric is thicker and it does not hurt as much as when you wearing PJs. Believe me, I speak from many years of experience! Yes, that is how early the men wake up that morning, they get you right before you wake up!
I know I have been talking about just the one tradition lots, but let’s face it, it is the most bizarre, right?

Fond memories of egg decoration

Decorating Easter eggs has always been lots of fun. I have fond memories of my mom, my sister in law and I decorating Easter eggs with onion peels for colour and melted Crayola wax for painting. The smell of the wax coming from our basement laundry was awful but the art we were creating was just stunning. Here are some examples of the Czech traditional eggs:

Czech Easter Eggs Decoration Craft

The celebration of life and rejuvenation

Well folks, there you have it! Make sure this Easter that not only will you just collect the chocolate candy eggs a bunny pooped all around your house or yard (we do that for our kids, no judging here). But that you also remember why we are celebrating the Easter Holiday. It is mostly the CELEBRATION OF LIFE AND REJUVENATION.

The Talented Swiss from the Prairies

The Talented Swiss from the Prairies

The Talented Swiss from the Prairies – Anja Studer

Anja and I met a long time ago while working for a local advertising agency. Anja has always been very task oriented, perfection is her main thing, much like the Swiss watch. She has also always been into art. Whether she is focusing on photography, sketching, painting, making jewellery, or sewing she does it all and with Swiss perfection!

I no longer work with Anja, but thanks to social media channels, I do see her work occasionally. In the past year, Anja has been posting photos of her unique drawings that always catch my attention. She also recently had an exhibition featuring her illustrations, that I regretfully missed.

Little did I know one day she would announce that she published her own colouring book that includes all of her animal drawings! I got so excited for her, and am very proud of the fact that I know a local artist who is publishing.

Familiar Friends

Anja’s adult colouring book is called Familiar Friends. In her blog, she explains that all of the illustrations are portraits of people she knows. Her style was inspired by folk art from all over the world including a Swiss decorative painting style called Bauernmalerei.

A Gift of Relaxation

The popularity of adult colouring books is a great example of us acknowledging that our lives are very hectic and full of many micro-moments we need to seize. There is a need to slow down and explore different avenues of relaxation. Let’s face it, we all need it. I knit to relax as well as once in awhile colour with my daughter. It is a precious moment that I have with her one on one, but I have to admit, I don’t do it enough.

I have asked Anja for a copy of her colouring book as I think that this is a very good way for me to relax and spend quality time with my 8-year-old daughter. We can enjoy the colouring motion and the inspiration we get from choosing colours while we talk about the experience or enjoy the silence.

Where to Buy

Today is December 11, a couple weeks before Christmas. It is the time of giving and receiving. This book is a unique gift idea made by a local artist. Make sure to visit McNally Robinson to have a peak at Familiar Friends by Anja Studer.Better yet, purchase it online here.


Anja, it is an honour to know you. Grant and I wish you all the best and hope to see more of your art success in the future.

Why is Media Planning important in Marketing Communications?

Why is Media Planning important in Marketing Communications?

The two basic tasks of marketing communications are message creation and message delivery.  In other words, Media Planning is a message delivery. Let’s explore it today, shall we?
Last year I attended an event organized by a local leading newspaper company. I had a great time talking to all of my representatives that I have developed a great relationship with over the years. However, there was one conversation with a management lead professional that really made me think about the gap in knowing what is Media Planning and how important it is in the process of marketing proposals and executions.

Why do you need a Media Planner to help with your marketing plan and execution?

Here is a list of reasons you should hire a media planner for your next media plan:

  • You need them for the media research they will provide you with;
  • Strong Media Planners are confident negotiators with the ability to recognize opportunities and take advantage of them;
  • A good, experienced Media Planner knows what is the price he/she is willing to pay for media;
  • You need a professional who can determine media channel selection, partner selections and give you rationales;
  • Media planners monitor historical rate structures and current/future market conditions to ensure rate integrity is maintained;
  • You need Media Planner who will investigate all available media, special opportunities, and positions, who will be meeting with media representatives, reviewing media kits to tell you what is currently the best on the market;
  • You need somebody who will create and maintain media plan flowcharts based on client’s and campaign objectives and keep you organized within your budget.

Trust me, I could go on and on why an experienced Media Planner is worth their weight in gold and why you should invest into media planning professional. The reasons listed above are just a sample of what you should receive from an experienced one.

Why is Media Planning not done by Media Planners here in the prairies?

Since moving to Winnipeg from Prague 15 years ago, I have often found situations where Media Planning is being done by account managers or marketing directors. In my view, it is impossible for these professionals to cover all of the aspects of marketing strategies by themselves and do it well! This is as true in the advertising industry as it is in the restaurant business. The truth is, you do not go to a Chinese Restaurant to order a pizza, right? Simply put, there are too many tasks to do all of them well.
Your clients deserve to have you put your best foot forward and deliver on your own core competencies. Accordingly, Media Planning in Winnipeg is often forgotten. Maybe it’s  because the marketing dollars are stretched and expectations are higher than what the client is willing to spend?

Things are shifting to digital

Recently,  our experience over the past few years has shown that the marketing dollars are moving away from traditional media. Budgets that were allocated for print, television and outdoor are now being allocated to digital. As a result, with these cuts being made it becomes difficult to support media departments. This is true, especially in small markets.
For example, in Winnipeg, there are many advertising agencies who do not have a media department. Furthermore, many do not even have a media partner to work with on a contract basis. We have marketing strategists, designers, copywriters but no Media Planners or buyers. Essentially, a Media Planner executes a plan to ensure that your ad is delivered to your target audience as expected.Let’s make it better!

Clients deserve for us to put our best foot forward

Lastly, as marketing professionals, we owe it to our clients to deliver the best results possible. We need to change our thinking and get back to basics. It is time to start educating our clients again about the value of a well-rounded marketing plan. This means that we need balanced media distribution in a marketing plan that considers all channels.
Therefore,  If you are an ad agency a Media Planner is a must to have if you want to do it right. Let’s talk to our CEOs and VPs of Marketing, let them know how important it is to use the knowledge and experience a Media Planner can bring. After all what good is the right message, if the wrong people or not enough people are seeing it.