Ocean Media’s Jay Langan on how data fueled this independent agency’s long-term strategy

Like many new unbiased businesses, Ocean Media began out with only a few accounts. However over the past 20 years, it developed right into a data-driven agency that’s helped to remodel fashionable manufacturers like Mint Cell and Rakuten into family names.

Jay Langan, CEO of Ocean Media, comes from an intensive background in promoting and know-how. He began his profession in promoting at Bloomberg, at a time when the corporate’s media enterprise was restricted. Magazines and radio have been a spotlight, however the tv community didn’t but exist within the ’90s.

Finally, Langan oversaw the Midwest enterprise after which the West Coast, which is how he received launched to Ocean Media, based mostly in Huntington Seaside, California. The company had 10 workers when he joined in 2002, however right now it’s a workforce of greater than 180. During the last decade, Langan has overseen its progress in creating proprietary information platforms, automated measurement techniques and AI planning instruments for media investments.

“It’s been fairly a run over these 19 years,” Langan stated. “It was a useful perspective to come back to the company aspect to take a look at a few of the issues that I actually preferred about completely different businesses and a few of the issues that I felt like may very well be performed in a different way and higher.”

Ocean Media’s first large account in its early days was Priceline, and it’s nonetheless dealing with media for the consumer 25 years later. Throughout that point, the company has added main manufacturers from Etsy to, leveraging its use of information analytics to allocate some $700 million in shoppers’ media spend.

Langan spoke with Digiday about how unbiased businesses are distinctive from holding firms, in addition to how Ocean Media makes use of information and efficiency metrics to offer shoppers an edge.

This interview has been edited for house and readability. 

What do you do in a different way as an unbiased company in comparison with holding firms?

One of many issues with Ocean Media was there was all the time type of a give attention to being very concerned within the negotiation, making an attempt to get the absolute best pricing and doing plenty of issues. I simply didn’t see as a lot of it with a few of the greater businesses, which was somewhat bit shocking. Typically when a holding firm or company is so massive, they have a look at it as as a result of they’re so massive… they have to be getting the most effective pricing. We really typically discover that’s not the case. The best way we’ll are available and attempt to negotiate is de facto getting the absolute best media charges and actually pushing — perhaps going a number of rounds with our media companions in a really productive means.

How does information issue into your technique?

What we’re actually making an attempt to do is take an terrible lot of first-party information straight from our shoppers, after which pair that with the completely different media exercise — whether or not that be linear tv [or] digital. We construct out actually refined dashboards that shoppers can entry on how digital is performing, how their expertise is performing… in fairly close to real-time. Typically we’ll see perhaps one artistic outperform one other dramatically, after which [we will] make that information actionable and make optimizations.

How is that completely different from earlier than, when information weren’t in real-time?

Earlier than we might all the time be ready for the submit logs if it was the TV aspect of it. We often have a one-week lag. Now we will get a sign the subsequent day. There’s often instances the place even 2% or 3% of the spots don’t line up with what really occurred, nevertheless it’s fairly correct and it permits us to get a faster have a look at efficiency. Finally these optimizations and actually understanding what’s performing and the way that is working collectively permits us to construct stronger, better-performing media methods and plans.

What’s been the key to sustaining relationships together with your shoppers?

One factor that units us aside is we do have a few of these actually long-term partnerships with our shoppers, and that’s form of uncommon for this trade. I believe a part of it goes to the information and analytics. While you’re constructing out these dashboards, we’re plugging in quite a lot of their info, it could be a problem to go and re-create. That definitely helps with longevity.

We’re measuring throughout many various manufacturers. Let’s say Etsy or Rakuten, they’re each typically going after some related targets. Whereas their enterprise fashions are completely different, a few of the techniques we could also be doing for Etsy ended up being invaluable for others that perhaps are additionally going after a feminine goal. You form of have a head begin when launching a marketing campaign as a result of we’re actually data-driven as an company and are continually utilizing that to attempt to assist from a planning, shopping for and in the end, efficiency standpoint.

What do you see as the largest change within the media enterprise within the coming years?

The streaming wars and seeing how a few of that’s going to shake out. Many customers are wrestling with what number of completely different subscriptions you need to these completely different streaming providers, and also you additionally understand how a lot content material is driving a few of these selections. It type of looks like rebuilding nearly what cable was at one level. I believe there might be extra consolidation there. I’m additionally curious to observe how these subsequent couple years with Amazon and the Thursday night time soccer funding they made — which was a large one — and what sort of adoption price you’re going to see.

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