Insights

“You’ve got to look beyond the last-click”, Daniel Michelson, Head of Marketing for LG Electronics

Category: Digital Marketing
by Daniel Michelson Published on
GOA 10 in 10

Welcome to the first in our "10 in 10" series of content, where we do a quick-fire interview of a senior marketing leader to understand their perspectives on the latest trends and developments in the marketing arena. We aim to share an invaluable insight into how the very best in their field are finding success from digital and paid marketing, all in a quick sub-10 minute snackable read!

First in the interview hot seat is Daniel Michelson, who is Head of Marketing for LG Electronics. In his day-to-day role, Daniel provides leadership and strategic direction in the implementation of the UK marketing and communications strategy for LG. He's responsible for LG.com, which he has doubled the revenue of every year he's been at the business. He is also responsible for key commercial partnerships and sponsorships, retailer marketing, brand and digital marketing, plus take-to-market teams.

Daniel has extensive marketing experience both in-house at brands like O2 and Sage, and agencies like Ogilvy, Zenith, Optimedia and Carat, so has an excellent perspective on the approaches taken by brands and agencies to digital marketing.

We sat down with him, and asked him a few questions…

1. Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us a bit about what you do in the digital world?

Sure - my name is Daniel Michelson and I'm the Head of Marketing for LG electronics in the UK.

I’ve been in the industry for almost 20 years now, starting off on the agency side overseeing data and media planning - working across a number of clients and agencies throughout the entirety of my career. Through my work, I’ve been lucky to work with some big brands like O2, Sage, and Mazda to name a few. My passion really lies in digital marketing.

2. What would you say is the biggest challenge currently faced by digital marketers?

From a leader's perspective it’s people. And what I mean by that is the challenge faced by many marketers coming from arts-based or creative backgrounds, rather than data focussed backgrounds. Given how much data as a brand we sit on, marketers have a challenge when dealing with large data sources. Traditional marketers hate this task - they aren't number crunchers. But in my opinion, that's where marketing truly starts. You have to start with the data, in order to make your digital marketing strategy work and understand the value media owners are bringing to the table with the size and quality of their data and technology.

From a junior perspective, the ability to upskill and the amount of training courses out there which allow people in the industry to understand what is going on. Some, like the Data and Marketing Association, are already trying to help remedy the situation here - but the market is moving so fast a further challenge is presented with keeping up with such a changing industry.

3. What makes a good digital ad? How do you craft compelling ad content that drives engagement and conversions?

This is a difficult question to answer, simply given how diverse markets are – plus GDPR makes consumer profiling increasingly more difficult. Nevertheless, you need to understand your audience and then be able to overlay your product on engaging and creative copy, to understand what is resonating. Also, making sure the copy is also right for the platform is key: If you're doing something on mobile it's completely different to doing something on a digital billboard. So making sure your ad fits correctly into the environment your placing it in is imperative.

Being true to your brand is another prong in good creative copy - and not deviating away from your core brand. Consumers can see through that. The modern consumer is also time poor, so you need to be exciting and captivating in the little time you have to interact with them. If it’s your first interaction with a brand, as a consumer, content needs to be quick and punchy, drawing them in, in order to tell your story in more detail.

4. In your time working in the digital marketing space, what top tips have you picked up along the way, to help you do your job more efficiently?

Being open to speak with people in the industry, across different disciplines is vital for professional development. Making sure you’re reaching out and having conversations with people outside your own company or industry on a semi-regular basis. Having their take on what works well can stimulate your strategy and help you break away from the indoctrination of being ‘a brand’ – which I’ve found can stimulate the flow of dynamic thinking towards how to carry out your role. Also, for that ‘blue sky’ thinking, having these conversations outside your own business helps you understand what is the art of the possible, and learn best practice from other sectors.

5. What are some common mistakes you've observed in Pay Per Click and digital paid advertising, and how do you avoid them?

The biggest issue I’m seeing within the industry is the attribution to last-click. It’s always a challenge for a marketer to look beyond that - given the lack of resources or tools to do this.

The margin of error here is that it always ends up going into the bottom of the funnel and over time you end up reducing and diminishing your pool of media owners and performance. People forget about the overall impact - consumers see thousands of messages and engage with so much brand content, before they make a decision to go through a search engine.

People become reliant on these performance channels, which proves hard to break free from further down the line. So, it’s more than just the last click – you need to look at total in and total out, so when you are testing other media channels that don't necessarily have a direct impact on sales or traffic, to assess these on the basis of their impact overall on the numbers.

6. What is your approach to ad spend wastage? What do you look for in terms of campaigns

Verification tools have always been very important. One of the first things we looked at when I was at O2 was viewability - trying to understand if an ad was in view and when it came down to credit, the only viewable activity was given credit for an action.

Also understanding the value of data businesses are targeting, through looking at engagement with our ads. How long are these engagements and what are the resulting actions consumers are carrying out, how many pages did they visit, etc. You need to look deeper into your analytics, especially your site analytics, rather than black and white clicks data. Are things coming up on a regular basis impacting clickthrough.

We aren't just focused on a model of trying to go for a cheap click, because we’ve personally found although the click is cheap, the audience isn't actually that great - with regard to building our brand amongst consumers in an impactful way.

7. AI - What are the risks, challenges and opportunities for marketers, particularly in the digital space?

AI has been a tool used by marketers for ages in DSP’s or Google. But these are black boxes and we don't know what sits in them - such as the rules being set to manage optimisation. You have no oversight as to the decisions or rules being set to optimise your activity. On optimisation, it's not just about last click, but about looking at log files and trying to understand on a more basic level are things coming up on a regular basis that are having an impact on revenue generating clicks and impressions.

With technology however, it can be a double edged sword. A lot of people aren't checking how their agencies are building their reactive, their content, and what AI tools they are using. You can see this reflected with the recent legal action Open AI is facing in the US around plagiarism and the platform's use of the New York Times’ data. The potential consequences of not understanding what AI tools you are using or knowing the exact provenance of your data could be hugely detrimental to businesses - who may face legal action against them for plagiarism.

8. How do you address challenges such as ad fatigue and audience saturation in long-running PPC campaigns?

It’s all about storytelling. Let's go back to the 80’s - the brand Nescafe used to put out a great TV advertisement that was great at this. People aren't looking to tell stories about the evolution of their brand over time, but think in siloed views of campaigns or communicating day-to-day. Storytelling requires investing in creative and production to ensure there are multiple iterations of your brand's long term storytelling, beyond contextual marketing.

The best way I’ve seen this carried out is when brands use dynamic creative properly, spend money upfront, and build a proper engine based on context and audience, which takes a lot of effort to carry out – especially in terms of data, behind the scenes – but yields great results.

9. How do you integrate Pay Per Click and paid digital campaigns with other digital marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and SEO, to create a cohesive marketing strategy?

Setting up your customer journeys correctly and understanding where each of your channels play a role in the customer journey and how they are helping to get your message across. In a basic level, what channels are going to drive awareness and what are going to harvest your revenue – this means you need clear KPI’s behind each of your channels, and further guarantee these channels are able to utilise what you are delivering in the awareness and consideration areas.

For example, our approach to social is all about emotional engagement with consumers, so it's about how we deliver our messaging in an emotional way, which allows us to engage, and then through that, utilise engagement to create a relationship and follow up with consumers to try and convert them into new customers through incentives like discounts codes.

10. What metrics do you prioritise when measuring the success of your paid digital marketing campaigns, and how do you analyse the data to optimise performance?

You can't escape clicks and revenue when it comes down to the short term metrics you should be looking at. So, awareness metrics are all about how we can build reach and frequency. Consideration is all about how we drive engagement at a basic level, and conversion is all about revenue efficiencies. Generally, that is what we look at on a day-to-day basis.

On a longer term basis, we look at total in and total out - so what is the overall effect of the campaign against the investment we have put in, delivering on macro-KPIs we have in place, to avoid optimising ourselves out of channels because it doesn't deliver on a last-click basis.

That’s it for our first “10 in 10” interview. Check back here in future for more interviews with marketing experts. And learn more about how you too can move beyond last-click attribution, understand your campaign performance and tackle ad wastage by looking at our platform here.