The Trendwatcher

BY: Lydia Borovina
October 23, 2019

Meet Lydia Borovina, Senior Innovation Strategist, Media

It seems hard to believe, but “digital marketing” turns 30 next year. The term was coined in 1990 with the launch of the first search engine, Archie. The first clickable banner ad followed in 1993, a full three years later. Fast forward to today: Innovative new platforms and new techniques within platforms are rolling out almost daily. Consumers’ attention spans are shrinking. Media is fragmenting into a multiplicity of channels and mediums. 

As marketers, we are driven to learn more, grow faster and focus on innovation. We must keep up with the ever-evolving ways in which consumers receive information and respond to media. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to become the Senior Innovation Strategist for Media on the brand-new Level Innovation Team. I get to be a “trendwatcher” of sorts. Not just spotting the “next big thing” but kicking its tires. I ensure that clients maintain a current, relevant ad-buying strategy, and spend their money wisely.  Throughout my career, I’ve been challenged in many disciplines, from developing campaign strategy and marketing-mix modeling to defining and monitoring ROI analytics. These disciplines focus on spending marketing dollars efficiently. To be clear, this is where I thrive. I am passionate about leading Level’s efforts to explore emerging and current platforms, determining where we perform best for our clients, and where we could strive to do better. 

That’s why I’m so excited that this process has already begun. An initial brainstorm with the Level Agency media team identified 16 new platforms that Level has either never tested or have evolved over the years. These range from IP-targeted display ads to programmatic digital out-of-home channels to niche social media apps. Some of these could become increasingly targeted in their approach, while others serve a specific portion of a generation (such as millennials). The truth of this innovation explosion is that I definitely have my work cut out for me. 

In the coming weeks and months, I’ll dissect these platforms, identifying the five that have the biggest potential for our existing client base and designing tests to prove out the efficacy of each. I’ll meet with representatives from each platform to identify client challenges that are best suited to their system. Then Level Agency will get to work. We’ll design, build and launch campaigns, gathering results of each platform against specific performance goals.

Level Agency is no slouch when it comes to our current media strategies either. We run media on over a dozen platforms with deep expertise and success in each one. Together, with the Level team, we’ll test everything we know. Working together with our experts, we’ll recognize the assumptions and best practices that we rely on every day as we build and launch campaigns. We'll design new experiments to ensure that our best practices are, well, the best. I expect to learn some amazing and strategy-altering truths from our testing efforts.

Fundamentally, my role on the Level Innovation team as Senior Innovation Strategist is to develop an actionable, insights-driven toolkit for our media buyers. Within the next year, I’ll have a systematic testing regimen deployed and implemented which will exceed our day-to-day creative tests. I will lead the team in identifying, testing, and documenting new platforms, guaranteeing that we can and will respond with new solutions to challenges that simply don’t exist today. 

Just a few months ago, I helped introduce a client to some of LinkedIn’s advanced role-based targeting features as part of an SEM and Social campaign—tools we’ve been proficient in for some time. Today, we’re watching the leads roll in at the lowest cost-per-lead they’ve seen on any platform. Meanwhile, I’ve begun conversations with some relatively new live-streaming platforms. I can’t wait to get under the hood and explore their functionalities. With each, I'll ask, ”Who can we reach with these new platforms?”, “How effective is its targeting?” and  “Could any of our clients benefit?” I’m so excited that I get to wrestle with questions like these every day. That’s the reason I work at Level Agency. We will remain the authority in customer generation—a position I help maintain with every innovation.

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