Q&A with Diane Perlman, CMO at Blis

Media 7 | February 5, 2021

Diane Perlman, CMO at Blis, is an established marketing leader with various brand experiences at Microsoft, as well as startup, scaleup, and agency-side experience. She is adept at creative problem solving with an agility to learn. She holds a track record in delivering results in structured and unstructured environments. You can follow her on Twitter here.

B2B marketers need to get ever-more creative about how to reach customers and get in front of them with exciting new developments. 



MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing? Please take us through your journey.
DIANE PERLMAN:
I always knew that I had a talent for words and creativity, and marketing was an area of interest for me. At university, I studied mass communications, and this solidified my path in the direction of marketing. Later, I got a Master's in business as well, which I thought would help me to more deeply understand all aspects of business and management. I wanted to be a stronger leader and a better partner in finance and sales, which are crucial to marketing success.

Right out of university, I started as a writer for a small independent agency and moved through most of the marketing disciplines, from PR to advertising to digital, both agency and client-side as well as large corporates like Microsoft, startups, and AdTech scaleups like Unruly and Blis more recently in my career. I got introduced to the entrepreneurial world of tech and, what was then called, ‘new media’ and I think it’s safe to say, I was hooked! I made the jump from a strategic PR agency to a startup tech company, and my life changed forever. It was that role that took me from the US across to the UK, where I’ve been living now for over 20 years. I’ve never looked back since then.

M7: How do you focus on demand generation as well as long-term brand building at Blis?
DP:
At a smaller company, it’s always a fine balance, because the focus is usually on driving leads vs long-term brand building. But both are important. I recently read some research conducted by LinkedIn in 2019, which found B2B brands that invest at least 50% of their budget in long-term brand building deliver the best financial returns in terms of market share growth, profitability, and revenue. Not only that, brand building does drive short-term sales – if you think about it, you’re much more likely to buy today from a brand that you know and like. So, for me and my team, it’s about finding that balance and having the right strategies and tactics, from awareness through to lead gen and sales.


Brand building drives short-term sales – if you think about it, you’re much more likely to buy today from a brand you know and like.



M7: How do you target content to your audience, and what are the challenges that you face while producing effective content?
DP:
Over the past year, we’ve had a content-heavy marketing strategy. When COVID-19 hit, we didn’t want to be just part of the noise. We knew we had to be as useful as possible to our clients, and that became our mantra. Blis operates in the AdTech industry and specifically, we are the leading privacy-first, location-powered programmatic partner. Our insights team produces an abundance of interesting insights using movement data across a variety of verticals. This gave the marketing team plenty to work with, as clients and our sellers alike were crying out for clues as to movement patterns and changing consumer behaviors. 
We produced several interactive ‘white papers’ and a regular ‘changing behaviors’ blog series and, given the budget constraints, we relied on our blog and social channels as well as direct email marketing to clients to distribute this exciting insights content. We also leveraged partner co-marketing with allied companies to expand our circle and drive reach.

One of the recurring challenges in a global business is that the local markets want local content, which makes driving a global content more challenging. But during the height of COVID-19 in 2020, all our markets were interested in learning from each other, especially from regions that were further along in the COVID-19 journey towards recovery. As a result, we were able to produce meaningful global content pieces. We also created a consumer confidence pulse for several key markets so that we could have an ongoing insights feed, to inspire our clients. 

M7: What do you believe are the top three product marketing challenges in the post COVID-19 era?
DP:
For Blis, our offering has traditionally been about working with the world’s largest brands and media agencies to drive foot traffic in stores. As the COVID-19 era has accelerated the move toward online and e-commerce, so one of the first challenges was to pivot to develop new tracking and measurement solutions and partnerships that enable us to drive consumers to a landing page or a shopping cart and measure that activity vs primarily in-store footfall.

The second challenge for any company operating in the AdTech industry, or indeed any brand that is doing advertising, is to develop and market products that reach consumers in a privacy-first way due to changing regulations, the death of the cookie, and the reduction of personal identifiers across Apple devices. While Blis has a heritage of privacy-first technologies, we have been working hard to future proof our offerings and innovate at this historic inflection point for the industry.

Thirdly, and what is hopefully a more transient challenge, is the limitations on face-to-face interactions with clients that are typically part and parcel of B2B marketing, from product roadshows to events. This means that B2B marketers need to get ever-more creative about how to reach customers and get in front of them with exciting new developments.


You don’t need to be a ‘techy’ or an engineer to work in tech. Be brave and avoid self-limiting beliefs when entering tech or any other career. 



M7: How are promotional tactics changing for products and services launching during these periods?
DP:
As marketers, we need to keep innovating, testing, and learning to try to breakthrough. As an example, I’ve been receiving and seeing more and more personalized video messages in emails that are really compelling and make you want to click. Even ‘old fashioned’ personalized gifting is taking on even more importance in this COVID-19 era as well, to create memorable moments and experiences for clients. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is real, so we also need to innovate from the standard webinar, moving to more on-demand content, where customers can view in their own time, or other more interactive formats, designed to engage and entertain.

M7: Your advice for young women considering a career in high tech?
DP:
The most important thing for young women to consider is that you don’t need to be a ‘techy’ or an engineer to work in tech. I’ve worked in and around tech almost my whole career, and as a marketer, what attracts me is the pace of the industry and also the challenge of simplifying complex messages and making them understandable and compelling. I also encourage young women to be brave and avoid self-limiting beliefs when entering tech or any other career. Self-belief and not being afraid to fail will go a long way to inspire the bravery needed to try new things, build credibility and make your mark. Just go for it!

ABOUT BLIS

Blis is the leading privacy-first, location-powered programmatic advertising partner. We deliver accurate targeting at scale without reliance on personal data, helping the world’s largest brands and media agencies drive key business outcomes through personalised and high-performing digital advertising. Established in the UK in 2004, Blis now operates in more than 40 offices across five continents and works with the world’s largest and most customer-driven companies across all verticals.

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Circle K, Alimentation Couche-Tard | December 06, 2022

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Yahoo Selects AWS as Its Preferred Public Cloud Provider for Its Ad Tech Business

AWS | December 02, 2022

At AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced that Yahoo has selected AWS as its preferred public cloud provider for its advertising technology business Yahoo Ad Tech. Building on its longtime relationship with AWS, Yahoo Ad Tech is migrating all of its advertising technology workloads—including its media-buying and supply-side platforms, analytics, and identity solutions and products—from its on-premises data centers to AWS. The migration is part of the business’s ongoing digital transformation strategy to reduce IT infrastructure costs, transform its advertising business operations, and develop more tailored and immersive solutions to help brands connect with their audiences. Improving Scale, Inventory, and Effectiveness for Advertisers and Agencies Yahoo Ad Tech reaches more than 540 million people worldwide through its advertising software platform that gives advertising publishers, brands, and agencies the ability to upload creative and automate media-buying across an inventory of mobile, web, and TV channels. The Yahoo Ad Tech platform uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute-optimized instances, powered by AWS-designed processors, to provide publishers, advertising agencies, and brand customers with insights on real-time advertising performance. This reduces the time it takes to deliver the insights advertisers need to reach the right audiences at the right times and in the right formats. Increasing Advertising Performance and Revenues for Publishers In addition to giving brands a platform to reach audiences, the Yahoo Ad Tech platform offers media owners and publishers an ad-decisioning engine to help attract advertisers and manage their ad business. AWS’s proven global infrastructure and extensive portfolio of cloud capabilities—including analytics, compute, machine learning (ML), serverless, and storage—will enable Yahoo to rapidly innovate new features for its ad tech platform. Yahoo will help its publisher partners add measurement capabilities, optimize real-time ad-bidding, and hone ad inventory and effectiveness to determine the best mix of advertising while also attracting new brands. As part of its migration to the cloud, Yahoo Ad Tech is moving its central data platform to AWS to improve advertising effectiveness, personalization, and engagement for its advertiser and publishing customers. Using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Yahoo Ad Tech will construct a centralized data lake to store hundreds of petabytes of data. The data lake will enable Yahoo Ad Tech to break down data silos and tap into AWS analytics services, including Amazon EMR (AWS’s industry-leading cloud big data service for processing vast amounts of data using open-source tools) and Amazon Athena (an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data). This will support rapid analysis of data from a variety of sources to understand advertising trends, target audiences, and deliver ad performance insights across its operations. Yahoo Ad Tech plans to use Amazon SageMaker (AWS’s service for building, training, and deploying ML models in the cloud and at the edge) to streamline its ML pipeline, which today contains thousands of models, and deepen the company’s ability to predict advertising spends, ad inventory, and the effectiveness of ad formats. Toexpedite cloud adoption for Yahoo Ad Tech and develop new advertising solutions, Yahoo is providing employees with cloud skills training using the AWS Designated Virtual Trainer (DVT) program. Yahoo is on track to conduct more than 50 instructor-led classes in 2022 with a goal of providing 2,000 IT employees with foundational cloud training over the next two years. These classes will help employees develop skills in application development, data management, and security to support Yahoo’s migration goals and drive innovation at scale. “By harnessing the power of AWS, we’ll be able to move faster and give our customers what they value most—advertising solutions that provide the right combination of performance, audiences, and revenue growth,” said Aaron Lake, senior vice president of Platforms Engineering and chief information officer at Yahoo. “By harnessing the power of AWS, we’ll be able to move faster and give our customers what they value most—advertising solutions that provide the right combination of performance, audiences, and revenue growth,” said Aaron Lake, senior vice president of Platforms Engineering and chief information officer at Yahoo. “Running all of Yahoo Ad Tech on AWS provides us with a broad portfolio of world-class services that will allow us to help advertisers achieve the returns they want by providing them with precise audience targeting, while our ad publisher customers are able to scale and monetize their ad space.” “Yahoo is a digital pioneer and a trusted partner for the world’s biggest brands,” said Matt Garman, senior vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Global Services at AWS. “The world’s leading media and digital advertising companies rely on AWS as their cloud provider because we help them deliver performance and drive real growth. We’re excited to help Yahoo accelerate its migration to the cloud and bring innovative solutions that help advertisers serve customers all over the world.” About Amazon Web Services For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 96 Availability Zones within 30 geographic regions, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Thailand. 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About Yahoo Yahoo reaches nearly 900 million people around the world, bringing them closer to finance, sports, shopping, gaming and news—with the trusted products, content and tech that fuel their day. For partners, Yahoo provides a full-stack platform for businesses to amplify growth and drive more meaningful connections across advertising, search and media. To learn more, please visit yahooinc.com.

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Audiencerate and Equativ partner to deliver market-leading addressable advertising

Audiencerate, Equativ | December 02, 2022

Audiencerate, the identity hub enabling data-driven advertising, today announced a partnership with Equativ, a leading independent ad monetisation and curation platform. The partnership enables buy-side clients and data owners to harness the combined power of data targeting and premium cross-publisher inventory to deliver tailored addressable advertising. By activating Audiencerate’s proprietary data via Equativ’s Buyer Connect digital ad curation platform, advertisers will be able to layer audience segments across premium publisher inventory. This allows them to utilise additional campaign targeting and optimisation capabilities, to maximise media investment and campaign performance, by reaching tailored audiences with more relevant ads, based on user behaviour, at scale. In addition, data owners with access to the Audiencerate data onboarding platform can leverage the integration to seamlessly onboard, market and monetise their data via the Equativ curation platform, among a variety of other demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs). The integration between Audiencerate and Equativ establishes a direct data bridge between the two platforms to ensure fast and simple data onboarding, driving efficient programmatic campaign activation. Alvaro Megias, Head of Operations & Marketing, Audiencerate: “This exciting new partnership opens our proprietary audiences, and those from other data owners, to the Equativ curation platform, an environment that is becoming increasingly popular to advertisers." Alvaro Megias, Head of Operations & Marketing, Audiencerate: “This exciting new partnership opens our proprietary audiences, and those from other data owners, to the Equativ curation platform, an environment that is becoming increasingly popular to advertisers. The platform provides transparency for advertisers and helps maximise media investment which perfectly align with our goals as a business. It’s a true meeting of our technology, people and values.” Sara Weber, Director, Platform Partnerships, Equativ: “The creation of valuable private marketplaces is not just a trend – Equativ’s alliance with Audiencerate’s robust user data is a consolidation of what this key offering represents to buyers and publishers: addressability, reliability and scalability, all while benefiting industry professionals and respecting consumer privacy. We are excited to work with the Audiencerate team and are looking forward to expanding the scope of our partnership to benefit marketers, media owners, and data providers across the market.” Privacy compliance is core to the Audiencerate platform which adheres to all local data protection and privacy regulations, including GDPR, CCPA & TCF 2.0. Data is encrypted across all stages of the journey.

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Circle K Debuts First National Fuel Advertising Campaign in U.S.

Circle K, Alimentation Couche-Tard | December 06, 2022

Circle K, a global leader in convenience and mobility, today announces its first-ever U.S. nationwide advertising campaign, “Fueled by Circle K.” Taking place over the next year, the campaign focuses on Circle K fuel, which is now available in over half of its 7,000 U.S. locations. The campaign underscores Circle K’s mission to make customers’ lives a little easier every day, highlighting fuel they can trust as yet another way the brand serves the communities where it operates. The campaign will run primarily on digital streaming and social media channels, taking a customer-centric creative approach in the four-part ad series that showcases different customers, their fueling experiences and how Circle K has everything they need for their journey. Launched on Dec. 2, the first ad of the year-long campaign is holiday-themed, featuring actual Circle K employees alongside a variety of Circle K customer personalities, from delivery drivers to Santa’s helpers. The ad also features user-generated content from actual Circle K customers, and an original festive jingle to get customers in the holiday spirit. “With the continued growth of Circle K in the U.S. and the expansion of Circle K Fuel reaching close to 4,000 stores by mid next year, now is the right time to introduce our first national fuel campaign,” explains Melissa Lessard, Head of North American Marketing. “With the continued growth of Circle K in the U.S. and the expansion of Circle K Fuel reaching close to 4,000 stores by mid next year, now is the right time to introduce our first national fuel campaign,” explains Melissa Lessard, Head of North American Marketing. “As a major milestone for our brand, we want the ‘Fueled by Circle K’ campaign to celebrate our valued customers and show how they can trust the quality of Circle K fuel to support them on their journeys as well as enjoy so many customer favorites in store.” To continue showcasing real customers throughout the campaign, Circle K fans are invited to share how Circle K is part of their life for a chance to be featured in future ads or social media posts, plus the opportunity to win fun prizes. To enter, customers can post to social media using #MyCircleK or upload their photos and videos directly to the My Circle K website. View the first ad, “Holiday,” on YouTube. For more information on Circle K, Circle K Fuel, and to find a nearby location, visit circlek.com. About Circle K and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, operating in 24 countries and territories, with close to 14,300 stores, of which approximately 10,900 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and it is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong SAR. Approximately 122,000 people are employed throughout its network.

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