Test different creative solutions, messages, forms, and find the combinations that work for your brand.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into advertising and why did you choose NEXD?
ERIK TAMMENURM: Great question. Before I founded NEXD, I was mainly involved in developing mobile games and applications. Advertising seemed to be this mystical industry that seemed so outdated and focused on the wrong angle on how to make the solutions perform as expected. In 2014 I partnered up in Estonia with a few industry leaders in advertising, and we decided to start solving the issues that are plaguing advertising.
M7: How does NEXD work to help companies in driving results? How does it ensure a better ROI to them?
ET: I believe advertising has lost its way. It should focus on the message, the form of the message, and the audience – in that specific order. Advertising isn’t all about the audience. That idea comes from faulty logic, but unfortunately, right now it’s the most common focus for advertisers. Adidas recently researched their ad spending and learned that 65% of their revenue comes from new consumers, but they’re putting 80% of ad spend to existing consumers. There’s a huge gap between expectation and reality. Therefore, we try to help advertisers to come up with a great brand experience, and make it as simple as possible, so their audiences can engage with the brand in a more meaningful way – driving up the ROAS. I believe that consumers want to engage with the brands they use; advertising should be a conversation.
Nexd helps advertisers create an interactive brand experience so their audience can engage in a more meaningful way. Ads that are interactive and engaging are more memorable and help bring new customers to the brand. Our ads are designed to facilitate that conversation and to do it in a very intuitive way. We’ve tried to remove the roadblocks that stop many advertisers from producing good digital ads – namely, the time and expense of complex coding that leaves you with massive overhead – and make great ads accessible to everyone. Our goal is to help our customers drive up their RoAS, and I have to say we have been doing quite well in this.
The future of advertising depends on finding new ways of engaging with customers, and finding good and creative solutions are time-consuming and costly with standard solutions.
M7: What marketing channels do you use for advertising, and which ones do you see as the most promising, given your target customers?
ET: Our main channel is our newsletters and blog. I have always valued approaching clients via content – providing value for their time. We are mainly distributing our content via social and email. We do have quite an extensive display reach, but it’s mainly for awareness and exposure for us. I do not see a very strong return in B2B over display solutions.
M7: What role does content play in advertising? Which content format performs best for your platform and why?
ET: Content is essential for B2B solutions. Good content is a great way for consumers to spend time with your brand, and gives you the chance to give something back to them. I have always appreciated more visual content – infographics, reports and videos and also direct like webinars. Often, I try to put myself in the position of our customers and see what would actually entice me or help me at any point of time. Through this we are able to solve our client’s problems or questions.
Be more creative. Talk to the end consumer, and 90% of the times it will result in a higher ROAS than correctly targeted but boring experience.
M7: What do you believe are the top three marketing challenges taking place in the post COVID-19 era?
ET: Creativity – It’s quite difficult nowadays to be creative with the tools available and within all the restrictions in place by the market – your ad has to be below 4MB (otherwise browsers block it), it cannot animate too much (otherwise browsers block it), it should load within 1 second. We at Nexd built our solutions on totally new technology that comes from gaming. It creates files that are small enough, fast enough, and load within 1 second. Our job is to give advertisers the tools to keep their creativity unlimited, and to remove the barriers and worries about meeting those restrictions.
Data & Audiences – the accuracy of data is questionable at best. How we use and verify this information is long overdue for a complete overhaul across the industry. How sure can someone be that they’re actually reaching the correct audience? With GDPR / CCPA and browsers removing third-party cookies it’s almost impossible now to find the correct audience, so why bet on it? I believe being in context with the right message is a lot more valuable.
Fraud – Did you know that roughly 5 cents for every dollar you spend on advertising goes to fraud? Using old technologies will make you lose more money year-to-year. We at Nexd have spent countless hours to overcome possible ways fraudulent actors operate, and do our best to prevent them earning money from our customers. There are also a lot of other companies whose sole focus is to ensure security for advertisements.
M7: In the world of Big Data, creativity is getting bogged down. Is there a way to balance both and create better advertising campaigns?
ET: As mentioned before, I believe data can be used in a very good way, but the opaqueness is still an issue. Advertisers are making the best decisions they can with the information they have available. But are they using accurate data, or is their advertising based on inaccurate data? What I have seen a lot lately is that most of the assumptions are made on the wrong premise, and it ruins the whole message and seriously hurts the effectiveness of their campaigns. The future of advertising depends on finding new ways of engaging with customers, and finding good and creative solutions are time-consuming and costly with standard solutions. It’s the main reason behind my decision to start Nexd.
M7: Words of wisdom for advertising professionals?
ET: Be more creative. Talk to the end consumer, and 90% of the time it will result in a higher ROAS than correctly targeted but boring experience. Rethink your assumptions about who you are advertising to. Focus your efforts on making sure you’ve nailed the right message and the right form. Test, test, test. Test different creative solutions, messages, forms, and find the combinations that work for your brand. Advertising is constantly evolving and can be challenging at times, which I think is the most interesting part.