Agency influencer Q&A with Ian Schafer: Twitter captures the moment like no other platform

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Deep Focus agency CEO Ian Schafer (@ischafer) understands how quickly the worlds of mobile, advertising, content and social are evolving and – in many ways – converging.  

That’s why in part two of our Q&A with @ischafer, we asked him to share his thoughts on one of the biggest challenges for marketers today: ROI. He also revealed what he thinks the biggest opportunity is on mobile (we like his answer!) and the next big trend he’s watching.  

@TwitterAds: How do you measure ROI on mobile and social?

@ischafer: When we’re evaluating success of our mobile efforts, we’re not following the click stream. We’re measuring our ability to generate more engagement, more shares, more impressions. The more impressions we create, the more successful we feel we’ve been. And the more of those impressions that are created by other people, the better.  

We all know that people trust recommendations from other people. Brands spend all this money on celebrities to be relevant. But I think it’s just as important that people hear what our brands have to say through someone they know. 

Twitter offers an opportunity to reverberate a message through people…and ideally track its progress. Twitter is also an opportunity to take an event in a specific place and make it global – that’s something that I really love about it and drives results.  

@TwitterAds: What do you see as the biggest opportunity for mobile advertisers right now? 

@ischafer: Twitter is one of the purest forms of what everyone is buzzing about: native advertising. A brand can wrap itself within the conversation on Twitter instead of just around the conversation. That really doesn’t exist on any other platform. 

No other platform captures the moment quite like Twitter does. Other platforms may capture a zeitgeist but Twitter is literally about what people are interested in right now.

Things change and time is just as much a part of contextual relevance as everything else we’ve classically considered like demographics and psychographics. Time is a variable. It’s a very important one. It’s just one that we were not equipped to deal with because we couldn’t publish that way. But now we can so the sky’s the limit.

As a communications medium and an ad platform, Twitter has a disproportionately large relative impact.  You don’t have to start big. You can start small and it can get big on Twitter. It can get big quickly or it can be a slow burn. But getting big quickly is a very appealing thing for an advertiser.

@TwitterAds: What do you think the next big trend will be in mobile? 

@ischafer: The biggest trend is going to be the uncoupling of data or harnessing the data generated from mobile devices to make better business decisions. Obviously there is so much relevant information captured by our phones. I think there’s a potential for taking that data and applying it to other things whether that’s desktop display or addressable TV commercials.

Being able to say certain things in ads because we know they are going to be more warmly received by a particular person – not a particular audience but a particular person – is going to be something we are all going to look at next. A person is a person. And that’s the same person that watched something on TV that saw something in a Tweet and also read it in a magazine.

The next step is getting better at not bombarding audiences with the same message across 12 pieces of content. Instead, we’ll thread a story that is most relevant to them. At the end of the day, it will actually minimize the advertising that someone sees because it’s more effective.

That’s a very optimistic way of looking at it and my hope is that we’ll be able to figure out how to take mobile data and have the advertising experience augment the media experience instead of interrupt it.

Want more @ischafer? Join him and our own Head of Brand and Agency Advocacy Melissa Barnes (@melissabarnes) at Creative Week NYC for “Beyond Real Time, The New Creative” tomorrow at noon.