Have a Plan for Adding New Services? We’ve Got One For You

There’s been a steady drumbeat of technology IPOs this year, with staggering valuations of software stocks. Recent IPOs are up an average of 28% in the last month alone versus the entire software market that’s up 13% in the same period, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

If you’re an advertising agency, you’ve contributed to the success of these software stocks by recommending various products to your clients or investing in multiple SaaS solutions. But how many of those solutions are making money for you? Agencies shouldn’t put money toward more tools that could potentially have zero ROI. You really need to invest in technology that easily allows you to add new services so that you can be more competitive and profitable. These new services should benefit your clients so much so that they can be billed directly, helping you cover the tech investment.


It’s already an incredibly challenging market for all ad agencies. For small to mid-size agencies, you’re facing competition from large shops that have tremendous scale, service providers like Google and Facebook are trying to cut you out of media planning, vendor solutions are going brand direct, and consulting firms like Deloitte are building competitive practices. You’re also dealing with having to choose from a growing number of tech solutions for executing digital and mobile strategies.

But what we’ve noticed over the last few years is a disconnect in how agencies standardize their practices for clients. You’re limited by the technology you’ve already invested in and by the ability of that technology to create multiple avenues of excellence.

Traditionally, if you wanted a programmatic solution, you used a DSP. If you wanted a way to access third-party data, you or your client licensed a DMP. If you wanted to understand the people visiting your client’s site, you leveraged another combination of three letter acronyms, from TMS to GTM to CDP.  We need to break the cycle of disconnected technology and data if agencies are going to succeed.


You should be making the transformation to the agency of the future by weaving deep consumer insights into all aspects of what you do. Data-aware and data conversant are table stakes. There’s a recurring theme around how customer data will keep transforming marketing, according to AdAge. Brands will need a data strategy and the right technology to allow them to analyze and draw insights from data to better inform their overall marketing strategy and drive more effective engagement through activation or other channels.

Agencies have the ability to adapt.  We’ve seen smaller and independent shops successfully taking business from larger firms as clients want faster innovation and more focus on one-to-one marketing and less focus on massive scale media plans that have looked the same for the last five years. This is good news but you still need to deliver value.

Agencies need to rethink the way they’re using technology to help clients as brands demand more data-driven solutions for their advertising and messaging. You should be investing in technology that isn’t just a SaaS product that checks off a box, but actually gives you a way to offer something new to your clients like “outcomes as a service,” “persona development as a service,” “audience insights and reporting as a service.”


Based on this “as a service” model, we’ve been urging our agency clients to treat the Resonate consumer intelligence platform as a client-funded initiative. We’re leaving it up to you to build the price points for these “as a service” offerings. This allows you to sell outside your current scope of work for incremental dollars.

Did you catch that? Incremental dollars? You can add value to the work you do for your clients by offering deeper, richer analytics and insights while seeing the ROI of your tech investment much faster.

Want to learn more about how Resonate can help you grow revenue? Reach out and we’ll tell you!


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Life After Facebook Partner Categories: How to Achieve Efficient, Effective Targeting

There’s no doubt that the current privacy-sensitive environment is creating enormous challenges for marketers universally. Threatening, bad players, have caused increased scrutiny of all third-party data providers and marketers are reeling from round after round of changes from Google, YouTube and Facebook. The recently announced removal of Facebook’s Partner Categories, the social platform’s third-party data exchange, is yet another blow to marketers as we struggle to ensure we’re engaging with the right audiences in the right way.

Facebook will still allow you to target your campaign’s first-party audiences via a CRM upload, but let’s face it, using third-party data is arguably the bread and butter for advertising, especially for new customer acquisition.

But getting third-party data into Facebook has become cumbersome. Generally, a marketer can request an audience segment to be built and activated by their data provider into Facebook via an onboarding partner. This process can take up to two weeks, stalling the launch of your campaign while also diminishing the match rates of your audience. After being spoiled with the ease of creating audiences using Partner Categories in seconds, this new process is far from ideal.

Here’s how Resonate can help

Resonateʻs platform is different. Using this consumer intelligence platform with home grown data allows Resonate clients to create segments, export the segment into a list of mobile IDs and upload them to Facebook as a custom audience in just one hour or less!

Resonate helps you comply with Facebook’s new Custom Audience Permissioning Policy by combining our massive double opt-in survey with digital and physical footprints. This generates a deep understanding of the consumer with a high-quality dataset of over 9,000 consumer attributes in an anonymous, centrally sourced and consumer-friendly manner. Resonate data is developed with the highest standards of quality and in adherence to the DAA’s self-regulatory principles. Our clients can execute with confidence with Resonate’s farm-to-table approach to data.

The most unique feature of our platform that doesnt exist anywhere else is our proprietary deep consumer understanding, The Human Element, which begins with a person’s values and motivations.  Partner Categories offered limited data – demographic and behavioral data such as lifestyle traits, interests, purchase behaviors. The Resonate Platform goes beyond that to uncover the why behind consumers’ purchase behaviors.  It helps you understand the values and motivations that drive an audience to make a decision, resulting in higher conversions and stronger engagement.

With personalization and customer experience being so vital in today’s market, understanding the values and motivations of consumers in a deeper, more meaningful way will increase engagement and ultimately increase revenue.

Learn how marketers can tap into first-party and third-party data for behavioral and action-based insights and more effectively measure marketing efforts that drive conversions in Forrester’s Future of Marketing Insights.

Interested in learning more about Resonate’s data solution? Contact us today.


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Is it time for an agency uprising?

The answer is yes. Advertising and media agencies have been taking a beating. Ad Age and AdWeek are filled with stories about competition from completely new players, outdated agency models, a lack of talent and creativity and big firms losing their sway to smaller players.

Sounds like it’s time for agencies to wake up and start leading the disruption the industry so badly needs. Agencies need to stand out in a creative way and provide more insightful and long-term client solutions. Those ready to embrace the future need consumer insights to give new life to how they communicate with existing and potential clients’ consumers.

How the agency competition has changed

We all know that many brands are ditching their big agencies for smaller teams that can offer something a little more creative and targeted. One recent example was Popchips, which had been using Palisades, a $350M media agency. It moved to PK4 Media, a 10-person firm because, like many other companies, Popchips is more interested in who they are reaching rather than just reaching large masses of people. Popchips CEO Marc Seguin told Digiday that the discount rates on impressions Popchips used to get from the large agencies didn’t help the company fulfill its goals. Now the snack company is trying to make an emotional connection with its target audience of health-conscious women. So, who is reached is more important than the number of platforms used, or the total number of impressions achieved.

And we all know the threat from consulting firms like Deloitte and Accenture now offering agency services is very real. Accenture Interactive grew 35% in 2017 and reached $6.5 billion in revenue, making it the biggest digital agency in the world. Expect that to continue as the percentage of marketers who say they would hire one of these consulting firms for agency work has almost doubled from 44% in 2016 to 77% in 2017, according to Forrester.

The new way to compete

Agencies need to compete on their ability to be data aware, data conversant and data relevant. This is where consumer insights are essential. But only if those consumer insights provide the why behind a consumer’s buying decisions. We call this the Human Element, which is a deep understanding of the consumer through the lens of their core values and motivations. In other words, it’s getting to the “what” that drives the emotional “why.” With several thousand attributes in our platform, describing more than 175 million US consumers, Resonate’s intelligence distills the Human Element.

Imagine the cut-throat competition among coffee shops out there. They’re all trying to understand the lure of one coffee place over another for caffeine-craving consumers. We can help develop in-depth personas of coffee consumers across the US. For example, Resonate’s insights show that people who get their coffee at Caribou Coffee, Pete’s and Starbucks are 81% more likely than the average consumer to volunteer for a cause.

When making purchases, this same group of coffee lovers considers these top three psychological drivers: social and professional status, living an exciting life and getting recognition from their peers. Their top reasons for visiting these coffee shops: for a treat, it’s convenient and it’s just their usual spot to grab coffee. We can also pull from our insights that they spend 20-40 hours online per week and their top social media consumption is with Tumblr, Snapchat and Reddit.

We can now build the persona of an individual who after a morning spent working on a charitable cause heads to the local coffee shop with like-minded friends for a treat as a personal reward. Having deeper insight like this can help creatives produce more relevant messaging that truly resonates more quickly with a target audience. Rather than reaching a larger swath of people, these deep consumer insights provide better messaging to the people who matter most to the brand because we know what they care about and the media they consume.

Consumer insights change the game

Resonate’s insights come from two powerful types of data: consumer surveys and streams of online consumer activity. Resonate runs continuous waves of long-form surveys throughout the year that yield hundreds of thousands of responses from people who have double opted-in to participate. The goal of these surveys is to get not only basic demographic variables, purchasing and political preferences but also to understand why they made those decisions and the values that guide those decisions.

We then turn to online activity to complete the story at scale. Resonate analyzes tens of billions of web events each day linked to the survey respondents. These events and activities are anonymous and compliant with all consumer privacy principals. Our platform analyzes the anonymous web traffic processed through our natural language processing and looks for keywords to understand the page that the person visited. Then machine learning takes their survey responses and their web activity to create predictive models that help marketers understand and connect with their target audiences. Typically, by the time research like this gets to the marketer, it’s several months old. Our proprietary data is updated daily, so it’s the most up-to-date in the industry.

Consumer insights should also be accurate, and agencies will need to address this with their clients. We estimate that 20% of survey data is bad based on what happens when human beings sit down to take a survey. A lot can go wrong. Resonate uses a proprietary “fraud score” to find that bad data in our own surveys so we can ensure that the insights we’re providing are the closest measure of consumers. With more accuracy comes better targeting, which is top of mind for brands. Being able to deliver messages that resonate will be key for turning campaigns into CLV for agency clients.

Agencies, the uprising is upon you. Take this opportunity to give brands what they really want – creativity, personalization, innovation, accuracy and transparency. Consumer insights that show the “why” behind consumer behaviors are key. Resonate’s SaaS platform will help agency clients connect with their targets more accurately and quickly and make the job of agency creatives more efficient with better consumer insights.

Want to learn more? Let us show you how quickly and easily Resonate’s consumer insights platform will transform your work.


On-Demand Webinar: Marketing Leaders’ Customer Strategies are Failing

Better customer experiences equal higher revenue growth.

As this reality has set in, companies are looking to their marketing and customer insights leaders to step-up and guide their teams in driving customer-obsessed strategies. And while the majority of marketing leaders may think they already are, the reality is most still prioritize internal rubrics over solving actual customer problems.

In our latest on-demand webinar, Marketing Leaders’ Customer Strategies are Failing guest speakers Shar VanBoskirk, VP Principal Analyst at Forrester Research and Andy Hunn, Co-Founder and COO at Resonate, tackle how to transform your marketing team into creators of post-digital brand experiences and leaders of enterprise-wide customer obsession.

You will learn:

  1. Why customer strategies today are failing
  2. How to rethink the purpose of marketing in 2018 and beyond to create a more human representation of your organization
  3. How to move beyond basic demographics and put rich consumer insights at the center of ALL your business strategies
  4. Examples of companies who have successfully made the switch to become “insights driven” organizations
  5. Five steps you can take to lead the transformation throughout your organization

Fill out the form below to view the on-demand webinar:


Unwrapping the 2017 Holiday Shopper

Black Friday weekend is upon us, and with it, hordes of holiday shoppers. But who are they and what motivates their purchases? We decided to dig into our US consumer survey data and take a look.

With Thanksgiving just days away, the hustle to fulfill that gift list is officially on!

This year those holiday shoppers are expected to spend 47% more than last year. Call ‘em crazy, but don’t be fooled. These consumers aren’t your average Joe (or Jane). And the retailers’ who will come out on top this weekend, will be the ones who understood not just who they are, but why and how they shop.

So to kick of the holiday season, we decided to dig into our US consumer survey data and take a look at these dedicated Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers, to see what motivates them to skip the turkey and head straight to the store lines.


‘Tis the season for sales… and hordes of holiday shoppers.

Holiday Shoppers Demographics

Who forgoes sleep this weekend to battle for parking spaces and scour the internet for holiday deals? According to our numbers, approximately 76 million US adults. And don’t go pointing fingers at the ladies’ fellas, turns out these dedicated Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are pretty much an even 50/50 split.

While age for this segment definitely skews younger (we’re looking at you 44 and unders), probably the most surprising fact about these shoppers is that the highest concentration isn’t residing in major US metro areas… but hiding in small pockets in the Southwest.

Stores in El Paso… I hope you’re prepared!

Holiday Shoppers Economic Areas Map


It’s all a matter of (self) perception.

Happiness. Peace of mind. Sense of belonging. Living a healthy life.

Each of us has a set of values that internally motivates how we act, and in this particular case, how and why we shop.

While you may have thought these holiday shoppers would highly value things like “financial stability” (hence the appeal of this weekend’s mega deals) and “closeness to family” (finding that perfect gift for your loved ones), it appears they are motivated by something a tad more self-centric. Their own self-perception.

Holiday shoppers are 35% more likely than the average US consumer to value “being an influential person” and 26% more likely to value “self-image”. So maybe all of the presents purchased this weekend will have less to do with making the recipient happy… and more to do with maintaining ones status of “best gift-giver”.

Holiday Shoppers Personal Values


More engaged than your average shopper.

Retailers, you better be good this holiday season. They may be more self-centric, but these consumers are also much more engaged than your average shopper. The majority are doing some serious research before they hit up your sales. And if your product/company makes the cut, you can expect half of them to share their experience, good or bad, online with their peers.

Holiday Shoppers Consumer Behavior


The latest and the greatest.

This years’ holiday shoppers won’t be standing in line for just any old thing. They have their eye on something a bit less practical and lot more glamorous (sorry trusty household appliances).

Ease of use, dependability and practicality aside, this weekend the most popular, innovative and luxurious products will come out on top. So retailers, I hope your most coveted, high-ticketed items are already front and center on the shelves, these consumers are ready to be dazzled.

Holiday Shoppers Product Preferences


Let the shopping begin!

“Black November” sales may have already started (my inbox has been flooded with sales emails all month) but there’s no denying that are still these diehard holiday shoppers among us who wait for their beloved Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Retailers, we hope you’re ready. They’re a special breed of shopper and they’re expecting to score not just those one-of-a-kind gifts, but experience a self-satisfying shopping experience in the process.

But next week we’ll be able to distinguish the winners; those brands who were able to appeal not just to the right demographic, but who were able to strike a chord at the heart of the matter… the personal values that motivate us to shop.

3 Ways to Leverage Consumer Insights to Maximize Your Social Ad Spend

We look at how consumer insights can help improve your social advertising strategy and avoid wasted media spend and lost opportunities.

$36 billion. That’s how much marketers will spend globally on social advertising this year. Yet despite this hefty investment, survey after survey reveals that organizations are not seeing the fruits of their labor (and budget dollars).

So what gives?

The social media universe is in a constant state of flux. Social platforms rise and fall. User behavior and preferences change almost daily. Marketers are continuously struggling to understand and stay ahead of the numerous audiences present across their social networks.

And the result – advertising strategies that go from impactful to ineffective (and sometimes downright embarrassing) in the blink of an eye.

So how can you implement an effective social advertising strategy in this current landscape to finally start seeing the results your boss expects?

1. Craft Creative That Converts

Marketers aren’t lacking consumer data. In fact, we’re all swimming in it. But much of this data lacks true insights. Insights that go beyond demographics and online behaviors.

What makes your audience tick? What motivates them to take action? What makes them intrinsically attracted to your brand? Is there an important emotional connection that draws them in?

We live in a world where multiple consumer groups exist, each with unique values, cultural beliefs, preferences, and drivers that are subject to change in an instant. Brands need to be empowered with high-quality, real-time consumer insights to connect with their target audience authentically.

And that means being able to understand not just who your audience is, but what matters most to them… and why, at an individual level. Only then can you begin to craft the types of ad creative and messaging that truly resonates and ultimately converts.

2. Target Beyond Basic Demographics

You take these in-depth insights of your audience, craft an awesome, hyper-relevant ad campaign and then it comes time to target those ads.


You’re back to a square one, with a list of lackluster demographics or a handful of attributes to target against. #marketingfail

In order to maximize social ad spend, marketers need to ditch this half-baked solution and start applying the same rich insights and individual attributes they used to craft their messaging to actually target their ads across social platforms. Otherwise, that campaign geared specifically toward “happiness-focused, green moms” is going to “all women aged 20-34 with children in their household”, not nearly as compelling, now is it?

3. Find More of the “Right” People

Creating compelling ads and targeting them to your core audience is one thing. But attempting to scale that process and attract new customers is a whole other beast.

The current solution for new customer acquisition generally relies on lookalike targeting that helps identify audiences who have liked, browsed or visited a brands site or a specific page. Not perfect, but good enough.

Or so we thought.

It’s time to stop relying on a handful of demographic and behavioral correlations to scale social advertising efforts and start utilizing the same in-depth list of individual attributes, including values and motivations (all of the same “why” elements from step one), for lookalike targeting that finds more of the “right” customers.

Because let’s be honest, we don’t have time, or dollars, to waste targeting “good enough” audiences anymore. If marketers want to start seeing results, it’s time to put true consumer insights at heart of our social advertising strategy.

Request a demo of our Social Insights solution to see how you can start leveraging consumer insights to supercharge your social advertising strategy.

Resonate Releases New Analytics Tools To Help Agencies Win New Business and Align Strategy, Creative and Media Teams

Audience Builder and Market Positioning deliver insights about brand’s current and potential clients via access to the nation’s most complete audience understanding platform

NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Resonate, the only company that empowers marketers to understand and act on why people make decisions, today added Audience Builder and Market Positioning capabilities to Resonate Analytics for agency clients. These capabilities deliver agencies a deeper understanding of audiences based on the combination of individual motivations – including values and purchase drivers – along with demographic and behavioral data. Resonate Analytics is accessible via an intuitive, shareable, web-based dashboard and is unique in its ability to connect insights on consumer decision-making with individual targeting across display, mobile, social and video advertising.

“Marketing and media agencies are under tremendous pressure. In this hyper-competitive environment, CMOs are demanding ever-increasing ROI and the need to use data to drive performance has never been greater”

“Marketing and media agencies are under tremendous pressure. In this hyper-competitive environment, CMOs are demanding ever-increasing ROI and the need to use data to drive performance has never been greater,” said Michael Horn, Resonate VP of Research & Analytics and former SVP at Universal McCann “With Resonate Analytics, we are giving agencies consumer insights that in the past would have required the long leads times and high cost of custom research. Strategy, insights and planning teams can now get a dynamic view into any customer segment desired, including what causes them to act, effectively ‘pre-optimizing’ campaigns and pitches.”

With Resonate Analytics, agencies are not limited to pre-canned segments and can choose from the thousands of dimensions of consumer understanding that comprise the Resonate data, such as:

  • Consumer values including personal freedom, doing things for others and doing things for fun
  • Product preferences such as cost-effective, dependable and innovative
  • Shopping preferences such as importance of a frequent shopper program, location convenience and return policy

For example an agency pitching a new beauty client can go beyond generic demographics and understand quantitatively the differences amongst those 18+ women who purchase beauty products because they care specifically about Reliability (39.6%), or Pleasure (10.8%), or Style (10.5%), or Pragmatism (33.5%). Messaging and creative strategy can be developed from these insights and media plans tailored and optimized only to reach those in the chosen segment.

Agencies can deliver greater value to existing clients and become more competitive in new business pitches by:

  • Mapping messages to the motivations and values of target customers and then optimizing both creative and targeting to improve performance
  • Understanding what drives key customers — or competitors’ customers — to buy and then develop more specific positioning recommendations
  • Deepening understanding of customer segments and surfacing the products and services that create more loyal customers
  • Providing deeper reporting on the reasons why specific advertising or messaging is or isn’t drawing customers to ads or Web site content

“Winning and retaining business means helping clients truly understand their customers. The insights we have gotten, and the strategies we’ve been able to create using Resonate, have helped us deliver smarter marketing solutions to our clients,” said Jackie Stasi, Founder – Nuance Digital Marketing. “What would typically take months in fielding proprietary research has been reduced to minutes with Resonate Analytics.”

Resonate conducts the largest primary research studies in the United States, mapping terabytes of daily behavioral data to 15,000 monthly in-depth surveys that capture thousands of unique consumer attributes to creating the company’s extensive database of human motivations. Tapping into this on-demand database allows agency planners, media teams, CMOs and brand managers to understand opportunities in the market, develop unique consumer segments, and develop and optimize more personal messaging, creative and delivery for those segments.

Resonate Analytics is available now. Learn more at https://www.resonateinsights.com/agencies.

About Resonate:

Resonate is the only company to empower brand, political and cause marketers to identify and engage with audiences based on the reasons behind people’s actions. Combining the latest big data technologies with proven research and analytic techniques, Resonate powers motivation-based analytics and targeting across all digital media channels. The ability to deliver advertising based on an individual’s social and personal values and product purchase preferences goes beyond simple demographics to achieve greater engagement, campaign results and customer insight. For more information visit https://www.resonateinsights.com.


Brett Spiegel, 571-266-3204

Actionable Measurement: Surveying Now Resonates With Google Too

By Chris Cox, Director of Client Strategy & Insight

Google recently made headlines in the advertising world by announcing a partnership with comScore. This union will bring comScore’s VCE measurement suite to Google’s digital media products. According to Neal Mohan, VP of Google’s Display Advertising, the merger will deliver a “transparent currency for both marketers and publishers to buy, sell, and measure ad space across sites, formats, and screens.” Moreover, Google also announced a new brand lift product, powered by Google Consumer Surveys, signaling that digital measurement is evolving beyond the ubiquitous click.

These are important announcements by the largest players in the business. The takeaway: as more and more advertising dollars shift to digital, brands and their agencies are demanding better measurement for their advertising investment.

However, measuring ad effectiveness by conducting surveys is not new. In fact, we here at Resonate have been doing just that on our digital campaigns since the company’s launch in 2008. For agencies and brands, we measure and improve the effectiveness of online advertising by analyzing campaign performance and message relevance. And now we have taken it even further, delivering a complete picture of exactly WHO is driving campaign engagement.

But measurement must also be actionable and provide insights to improve campaign effectiveness. And this should happen in real time, not after-the-fact. When thinking about the right form of measurement and to ensure the maximum return on investment, confirm that your strategy answers the following questions before you start:

  1. Did my ad reach the right audience?
  2. How did the ad change their perception?
  3. What intended actions were taken as a result of seeing the ad?