DM Magazine March 2024

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Track News & Insights Online VOL. 37 • NO. 2 • MARCH 2024 THE AUTHORITY FOR THE DATA-DRIVEN BUSINESS PM40050803 ❱ 12 GraphBased Data Models ❱ 18 Take Control of Your Data KOEN PAUWELS: “IT’S NOT THE SIZE OF THE DATA, IT’S HOW YOU USE IT” INTERVIEW 800.MELISSA (635-4772)

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// 3 MARCH 2024 DMN.CA ❰ Vol. 37 | No. 2 | March 2024 PRESIDENT Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Steve Lloyd - DESIGN / PRODUCTION Jennifer O’Neill - ADVERTISING SALES Steve Lloyd - CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rab Govil Jan Kestle William Pitcher Stephen Shaw LLOYDMEDIA INC. HEAD OFFICE / SUBSCRIPTIONS / PRODUCTION: 302-137 Main Street North Markham ON L3P 1Y2 Phone: 905.201.6600 Fax: 905.201.6601 • Toll-free: 800.668.1838 • EDITORIAL CONTACT: DM Magazine is published monthly by Lloydmedia Inc. DM Magazine may be obtained through paid subscription. Rates: Canada 1 year (12 issues $48) 2 years (24 issues $70) U.S. 1 year (12 issues $60) 2 years (24 issues $100) DM Magazine is an independently-produced publication not affiliated in any way with any association or organized group nor with any publication produced either in Canada or the United States. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. However unused manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by sufficient postage. Occasionally DM Magazine provides its subscriber mailing list to other companies whose product or service may be of value to readers. If you do not want to receive information this way simply
this notice to: Lloydmedia Inc. 302-137 Main Street North Markham ON L3P 1Y2 Canada. POSTMASTER: Please send all address changes and return all undeliverable copies to: Lloydmedia Inc. 302-137 Main Street North Markham ON L3P 1Y2 Canada Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40050803 @DMNewsCanada NEXT ISSUE: Inside Data-Driven eCommerce ❯ 4 Talking Points talkingpoints FINANCE DATA PHILANTHROPIC MARKETING INTERVIEW STRATEGY ❯ 12 Graph-Based Data Models: Unleashing The Power of Data-Driven Insights ❯ 13 Designing Virtual Events for Success How to Raise Funds and Build an Audience 18 What Data Privacy Day’s Theme of “Take Control of Your Data” Means to Us ❯ 8 Marketing Science: An Interview with Koen Pauwels, Vice Dean of Research, Northeastern University Koen Pauwels is one of the foremost marketing scientists in the world and the author of “It’s Not the Size of the Data, It’s How you Use it”. ISTOCK/ OLEKSANDRA KLESTOVA ISTOCK/ KHANCHIT KHIRISUTCHALUAL ISTOCK/ ANDREYPOPOV ISTOCK/ TANAWAT THIPMONTHA
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This news makes us very happy. Canadian Geographic is now the country’s number one paid magazine, with a monthly readership of 4.3M people online and in print according to Vividata, a not for profit organization that provides marketing research on print and online readership in Canada.

Now ranking #1 in the 18-35 age category, Canadian Geographic is drawing younger Canadians and newcomers to the country in unprecedented numbers.

Published continuously since 1930, Canadian Geographic is now in its 94th year of operation, and is the media arm of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the country’s oldest and most important educational charity.

With a network of nearly 28,000 teachers in every province and territory, reaching 750,000 students, Canadian Geographic Education has inspired generations through its mission to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world.

“We are thrilled and humbled to be recognized as the number one paid magazine in Canada,” said John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. “This achievement is a testament to the dedication of our talented team of writers, photographers, editors, and contributors who work tirelessly to bring the beauty and diversity of Canada to life within the pages of our magazine and in rich digital storytelling on our website and social media channels.”

While many publications are struggling, Canadian Geographic’s audience continues to expand, growing by more than 100,000 online and print readers over the past year.

“Canadian owned media are struggling, and Canadian Geographic is not immune to the challenges the magazine industry faces today because of declining advertising revenue. As a charitable media and educational organization, we are doing everything we can to sustain the magazine both in print and online, because we believe in high quality Canadian journalism, something we have delivered to a mass audience for nearly 100 years,” said Geiger.

Renowned for its captivating narratives, stunning photography, and unwavering dedication to showcasing the diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultures of Canada, the magazine has garnered immense acclaim and loyalty from readers across the nation.

Canadian Geographic magazine has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs and interests of its readership, embracing digital platforms, interactive features, and multimedia storytelling while staying true to its core mission of “making Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.”

“Our mission is as relevant today as it was when we were established in 1929. Canadians are fascinated by our beautiful country and desire to explore and learn more about its rich tapestry of landscapes, wildlife, and people,” said Alexandra Pope, Editor in Chief of Canadian Geographic.“As we look to the future, we remain committed to inspiring curiosity, fostering understanding, and promoting conservation through the power of storytelling.”

With this milestone achievement, Canadian Geographic magazine reaffirms its position as a leading voice in Canadian media and a trusted source of inspiration, education, and exploration for readers of all ages

a little unorthodox — crazy even? From bold public stunts to quirky social media campaigns, let’s delve into some unusual lead-generation tactics.

1. Publicity Stunts

Nothing captures public attention like a spectacular publicity stunt. While it might seem extreme, staging a memorable event can generate a host of publicity and lead to an influx of potential customers. A compelling example of such a method is Felix Baumgartner’s Leap from the Edge of Space, sponsored by Red Bull. According to Marta Olszewska, Senior Content Strategist at Content With Marta, “Publicity stunts make a strong impression, driving people to explore the brand, products or services involved. They don’t just generate leads; they can also help create a lasting brand image.”

2. Retargeting Ads

Another counter-intuitive approach is serving ads to people who left your website without making a purchase. Retargeting ads are a special type of online ad that shows up for people who have already been to your website or are on your contact list, like someone who’s shown interest in what you offer or a current customer. Instead of the usual ads that anyone can see, these ads specifically target folks who already know about you, aiming to remind them about your products or services and encourage them to return. It might feel like a desperate move, but studies have found that people who see ads for something they’ve already looked at online are 70% more likely to buy it than those who don’t see those ads again. “Retargeting is essential in reminding consumers of their initial interest and nudging them towards conversion,” says Olszewska. “After all, these are individuals who’ve already shown a level of interest in your product or service.”

3. Influencer Collaborations

The traditional marketing model isn’t doing enough to attract potential customers for most businesses. So, how about something

Over half of marketers now team up with at least ten influencers for every marketing campaign because people tend to trust recommendations from influencers—real individuals they follow and admire—more than traditional ads from companies. Influencers have a powerful influence on their audience, making them more likely to turn followers into dedicated customers. This trust is a key reason influencer marketing has become popular among brands in various sectors. In a unique collaboration, the Van Gogh Museum partnered with Pokémon to create a special collection featuring Pokémon in Van Gogh’s famous post-impressionist art style. This partnership became a huge hit, especially for the merchandise, which was so sought after that it crashed the museum’s website. The items were so popular that

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Four Crazy Lead Generation Strategies That Are Pure Genius.

they’re now being resold for as much as $700. This blend of classic art and modern pop culture created an unexpected buzz, something Van Gogh could never have imagined.

Olszewska refers to this as “relatability marketing.” She says, “Collaborations with influencers can inject authenticity into your brand story. Their followers often trust their judgment and will be inclined to check out your product if recommended.”

4. Outrageous Giveaways

Imagine giving away a valuable product or service for free to attract potential customers. While such a move seems outlandish, the word ‘free’ has a powerful psychological effect in marketing. MrBeast, a famous YouTube personality, made waves on social media with an Instagram $100,000 giveaway campaign. This campaign significantly boosted his followers and generated a lot of excitement. His strategy, focusing on fair chances for all his subscribers to win big, is not new but always garners massive attention. This approach not only skyrockets his popularity but also offers insights into how giveaways can be a powerful tool for growth and engagement in the digital world, especially for entrepreneurs looking to make an impact online.

“Nothing leaves a greater impression than a generous gift,” suggests Olszewska. “The initial cost might be substantial, but the leads obtained and the potential return on investment make it a worthwhile tactic in many instances.”

While traditional marketing will always have its place, adopting unconventional tactics for multiple getaway ideas can be surprisingly effective. The innovative nature of these strategies could make for a refreshing change that helps you stand out, elevating you above the competition.

Can You Bet on These?

Look at these tactics not as a leap into the unknown but as an exciting way of doing things differently. Sometimes, it’s the ideas that seem a little wild at first that end up making a significant difference. Who knows? They just might work! You can’t know for sure without trying, can you? So, will you dare to be radical in your marketing approach?

Marta Olszewska says, “The world of marketing and lead generation is constantly evolving. Staying stagnant is never an option. Sometimes crazy is just what you need to shake things up!”

So prepare to leave your comfort zone and embrace the madness – of fresh and innovative lead-generation tactics.

These ideas were suggested, and provided by,

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Givex Corp. announces that a Fortune 500 international energy company chose Givex’s industry-leading gift card program to power its entire North American network of gas stations.

“Our focus on delivering a truly integrated, secure and scalable platform continues to reinforce Givex as a leader in stored value solutions and transaction services,” said Don Gray, CEO of Givex. “The confidence shown by this new client to replace their incumbent provider speaks volumes to our ability to deliver custom programs and seamless integration to the world’s largest brands. We look forward to deepening this relationship in the future.”

In addition to its stored-value engagement services which include gift cards and loyalty, Givex offers GivexPOS, a leading point-ofsale system, GivexPay, a global payment processing solution and more.

The world is changing. Givex is ready. Since 1999, Givex has provided technology solutions that unleash the full potential of engagement, creating and cultivating powerful connections that unite brands and customers. With a global footprint of 132,000+ active locations across more than 100 countries, Givex unleashes strategic insights, empowering brands through reliable technology and exceptional support. Givex’s integrated end-to-end management solution provides Gift Cards, GivexPOS, Loyalty Programs and more, creating growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Vancouver-based East Side Games Group and Game Masons announced the global launch of their free-to-play mobile game, developed in collaboration with All Elite Wrestling (AEW). This is the same company which has a computer game version of The Office.

Debuting earlier this year, the mobile game is tailored for AEW fans and is unique blend of immersive storytelling, idle gameplay, and intense RPG-style battles. It features story-driven gameplay through episodic and limited-time storytelling content; PvP Battles where players can test their skills against other competitors in PvP battles, utilizing their favorite AEW wrestlers. They compete for top prizes and become the ultimate AEW champion. It also has play-in events where players compete in special events to win and upgrade Fan-Favorite AEW Wrestlers. Players can immerse themselves in All Elite Wrestling through a game crafted by genuine AEW enthusiasts.

Easy-to-Pick-Up Idle Gameplay and RPGStyle Battles mean users experience the best of both worlds with a game that seamlessly combines accessible idle gameplay and RPGstyle battles.

“We are thrilled to offer an additional experience to AEW fans, and we have truly been treated as an extension of the AEW family,” said Elin Jonsson, Chief Business Officer at East Side Games. “This game is a celebration of the AEW spirit, providing fans with the opportunity to engage with their favorite wrestlers.”

“As part of AEW’s ongoing commitment to delivering innovative professional wrestling to fans around the world, we are thrilled to partner with East Side Games for this mobile game experience,” said Mark Caplan, VP Licensing and Games at All Elite Wrestling. “Working alongside AEW’s Senior Project Manager Aubrey Edwards, East Side Games clearly understood the significance of capturing the incredible entertainment our fans have come to enjoy.” Launching globally on January 17th, it promises to be a must-play for wrestling fans and mobile gamers alike.

East Side Games Group is a leading free-toplay mobile game group, creating engaging games that produce enduring player loyalty. Our studio groups entrepreneurial culture is anchored in creativity, execution, and growth through licensing of our proprietary Game Kit software platform that enables professional game developers to greatly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of game creation in addition to organic growth through a diverse portfolio of original and licensed IP mobile games that include: The Office: Somehow We Manage, Star Trek: Lower Decks –The Badgey Directive, Doctor Who: Lost in Time, RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstar and Trailer Park Boys: Grea$y Money. Founded by CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan in 2019, AEW is a red-hot professional wrestling promotion featuring a world-class roster that is injecting new spirit, freshness and energy into the industry.

There must be brand tie-in opportunities there somewhere. We hope.

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Merkle, dentsu’s leading technologyenabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, announced the launch of Intelligent Messaging, its end-to-end messaging solution, to create unified brand experiences across touchpoints and channels by blending AI assistance and human interaction.

With Intelligent Messaging, Merkle can create turnkey chat experiences, including across social and messaging platforms, delivering always-on conversational interactions throughout the entire customer journey.

“Brands are seeking ways to make experiences more personal, make shopping more seamless, and shorten the path to purchase,” said James Riess, SVP, General Manager, loyalty and messaging experience at Merkle. “Our new global solution, Intelligent Messaging, can be seamlessly integrated into existing plans, enabling brands to forge deeper connections with customers, enhance customer satisfaction, and generate lifetime value.”

The Intelligent Messaging solution, part of Merkle’s world-leading CRM & Messaging offering and incubated by the dentsu

Integrated Solutions group, modularly connects across six key service areas:

Intelligent Messaging Blueprint: Craft a tailored messaging strategy that shapes the customer experience for future-state marketing.

Conversational Design & Experiences: Create messaging that matters with intuitive, human-like persona development, conversation flows, branching narrative and behavior-based experiences.

AI + Human-Powered Assistance: Amplify assistance, improve performance and support with AI-powered chatbots, synthetic humans, and our human-powered team 24/7.

Click to Message Ads and Marketing Messages: Enable customers to click directly from an ad to a 1:1 message via Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp for an always-on 1:1 connection and lead generation.

Technology Integration: Seamlessly integrate with industry-leading ecommerce and CRM platforms including Salesforce, Adobe, Braze, and more.

First-To-Market Advantage: Through partnership with Meta, gain early access to alpha and beta products along with technology updates and tailored solutions to drive innovation and growth.

“Intelligent Messaging seamlessly integrates media and CRM, providing a holistic approach to customer interaction. By leveraging advanced technology, businesses can meet consumers in their preferred communication channels and deliver connected and personalized experiences, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty,” said Val Vacante, VP Solutions Innovation, dentsu. “We were excited to see the solution deliver increased engagement, conversion, and zero-party data collection with our clients William Grant & Sons and WWF in collaboration with dentsu X, Carat, and iProspect.”

Dentsu and Meta recently joined forces to form a global Meta Messaging Alliance to provide dentsu, Merkle, and Meta clients with access to alpha and beta products across Meta Business Messaging platforms. Dentsu is also the first global agency network solution provider for WhatsApp Business. The partnership with WhatsApp allows dentsu and Merkle clients to take advantage of the huge engagement and conversion potential of this channel by delivering seamless customer journeys across media, customer engagement, and service. Merkle, a dentsu company, powers the experience economy in categories such as digital transformation and commerce, experience design, engineering and technology integration, digital marketing, data science, CRM and loyalty, and customer data management.

RBC and Pattison Food Group announced the launch of a new loyalty partnership between Avion Rewards, Canada’s largest proprietary loyalty program, and More Rewards, one of Western Canada’s leading loyalty programs from Canada’s largest Western-based provider of food and health products.

Upon launch of this powerful partnership, Canadians shopping at participating Pattison Food Group locations, including Save-OnFoods, will receive unique and compelling savings on grocery and everyday purchases, value and wide-ranging benefits from both loyalty programs, Avion Rewards and More Rewards.

“We’re proud of our long history with The Jim Pattison Group and look forward to deepening our relationship with Canadians through this partnership with More Rewards,” said Neil McLaughlin, group head, Personal & Commercial Banking at RBC. “This collaboration with Pattison Food Group and their market-leading brands broadens our Avion Rewards grocery offering, ensuring that our members can access value in this important category from coast to coast.”

Avion Rewards is available to all Canadians for free, regardless of where they bank or shop. Members can enjoy the program’s many benefits, including its exclusive Avion Rewards ShopPlus shopping companion, growing list of payment capabilities, strategic partnerships, unmatched experiences and many other innovative features.

More Rewards is one of Western Canada’s favourite loyalty programs, with more than three and a half million household members and countless ways to earn points on everyday purchases including grocery, retail, restaurant, automotive and more. Customers can redeem More Rewards points for free groceries, gift cards and travel. This partnership will bring customers even more opportunities to earn points in the future.

“Our More Rewards team is always looking for new and exciting ways to give a little extra to our members and we are thrilled to partner with RBC to deliver even more value,” said Darrell Jones, president, Pattison Food Group.

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“We’re excited to unveil how we’ll be working together in the coming months to benefit all of our members.”

More Rewards also gives its members access to exclusive savings and opportunities to earn more points in-store and online with personalized digital coupons through their My Offers digital coupons.

“This is another significant step in our journey to bring more value to millions of Canadians in their everyday lives,” said Niranjan Vivekanandan, senior vice president & head, Loyalty and Merchant Solutions, RBC. “We’re excited to grow our extensive Avion Rewards partner network by linking our loyalty program with a market-leader like Pattison Food Group and providing compelling benefits for both More Rewards and Avion Rewards members.”

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Fat Bastard Burrito hopes you’re hungry, Canada, because they’re offering rewards with the introduction of its new mobile app and loyalty program.

The Ontario-born burrito, quesadilla and taco chain is launching its first-ever app with loyalty points and rewards for both iPhone and Android in March 2024. When customers download the app — available on both the Apple and Google Play stores — they will be able to enjoy a simpler, faster, and more affordable way to order.

In addition to earning points and exciting rewards through the app, customers will receive a free small burrito (max. value $8.99) just for signing-up and a reward of 100 free points on their birthday. Affordable eating has never been more delicious.

“We can’t wait to provide our customers with more bang for their buck and more convenience than ever with the launch of our new mobile app and loyalty program,” said [Jeff Barlow, CMO]. “Now, Canadians will be able to order ahead for in-store pickup or delivery and save money by earning points to redeem on future orders while taking advantage of app-only deals and promotions.”

Remember National Burrito Day lands on April 4, 2024.

Fat Bastard Burrito was founded in Toronto, Ontario in 2010. Currently, they operate or have under development over 80 locations across Ontario and Newfoundland and due to strong consumer demand, they continue to grow at an accelerated pace.

William Thomas Digital Inc. (WTD), a leading agency in personalized customer experiences, has made a series of strategic leadership changes designed to fuel its

ambitious growth plans and reinforce its industry-leading position in CX marketing.

Leveraging the power of data and technology, WTD is committed to enabling unforgettable customer experiences, setting new standards in the sector.

Kevin Flynn is appointed as Chief Strategy Officer, bringing three decades of expertise in CX, CRM and Brand strategy development and executive leadership for prestigious clients like IKEA, Volkswagen, GSK, Rogers, PC Financial, and Microsoft. His prior role as CSO at Wunderman Thompson Canada underscores his experience and ability to drive strategic innovation at the highest levels. Kevin’s vision and leadership will be instrumental in further advancing WTD’s mission to lead the industry in delivering data-driven, personalized customer experiences.

personalized customer experiences continues to set industry benchmarks.

Val Thomas is promoted to Director, Strategy, acknowledging her significant impact on WTD’s strategic offerings. Val’s dedication and innovative approach to strategy have been pivotal in enhancing WTD’s role as a strategic partner for major clients and furthering the agency’s commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences.

Greg Elliott, Managing Director of William Thomas Digital, shared his excitement for the leadership updates: “This is a pivotal time for WTD as we accelerate our growth and continue to lead the charge in redefining the industry standard for personalized customer experiences. Kevin and Julia bring invaluable expertise that complements our ambitious goals, while Anne and Val’s new roles will undoubtedly propel us forward. We’re poised

Julia Rajic joins as Vice President, Project Management and Delivery, marking a significant boost to WTD’s project delivery capabilities. With a 15-year tenure overseeing delivery at some of Canada’s fastest growing agencies, including most recently as SVP Delivery at No Fixed Address, Julia’s expertise is expected to streamline operations and enhance efficiency, supporting WTD’s commitment to excellence and client satisfaction.

Anne Chudy transitions to Vice President, Marketing and Purpose, a newly created role reflecting WTD’s focus on accelerating its growth and solidifying its market presence. Anne’s extensive experience and strategic acumen will play a key role in supporting WTD’s expansive ambition and growth plans, ensuring the agency’s pioneering work in

to achieve unprecedented success, driving innovation and growth in the personalized customer experience space.”

These strategic leadership changes underscore WTD’s dedication to excellence, innovation, and its vision for the future, affirming the agency’s position at the forefront of the personalized customer experience industry.

William Thomas Digital is at the forefront of creating personalized customer experiences, combining data-driven insights and technological innovation to craft engagements that resonate deeply with consumers. As a leader in CX marketing, WTD is committed to driving growth for brands, establishing new benchmarks in customer loyalty, and delivering unforgettable experiences.

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Marketing Science:

An Interview with Koen Pauwels, Vice Dean of Research, Northeastern University

Koen Pauwels is one of the foremost marketing scientists in the world and the author of “It’s Not the Size of the Data, It’s How you Use


If you can make one broad generalization about marketers it is that they probably hated math and science in high school.

Even today, with the business world awash in performance data of all kinds, marketers tend to fall back on long-held marketing truisms in the decisions they make. Anything to avoid number-crunching. The correct split between brand building and activation?

Of course, it has to be 60:40! Isn’t that what Binet and Field recommend? The optimal media budget? Let the media agency decide! The ROI of that last product launch campaign? Uh, not sure exactly, but we did see a shortterm sales spike. The synergistic effect of offline and online advertising? No clue, actually, just know that our brand awareness scores are higher than ever.

No wonder the finance people scoff at the budget proposals that come out of marketing. Whenever they demand to see a clear link to business value — for some (any!) proof of effectiveness — all they ever get are performance forecasts built on a pile of dubious assumptions. In part, that is due to the abstract nature of marketing. There are many interdependent variables that come into play in any assessment of spending effectiveness. There is so such thing as “spend this much, get this much in return”. The approximate answers lie somewhere between what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future. And so a certain amount of educated guesswork is to be expected. But

STEPHEN SHAW is the Chief Strategy Officer of Kenna, a marketing solutions provider specializing in delivering a more unified customer experience. He is also the host of the Customer First Thinking podcast. Stephen can be reached via e-mail at


that crucial job of estimating marketing effectiveness based on known historical data needs to be far more rigorous, far more fact-based, and backed as much as possible by scenario modeling.

For brands with large media budgets, the usual approach has been to lean on marketmix modeling and multitouch attribution tools to come up with the right budget allocations. And while those automation solutions do help to calibrate the media mix, there are many other thorny questions that require a working familiarity with statistics to answer. Marketing has become a fiendishly complex business, with a myriad of media channels to consider, and a slew of direct and indirect drivers of market behaviour that have to be taken into account. Too many in fact for marketers to figure out on their own, no matter how good they may be at pivot tables.

So the time has finally arrived for marketing science to emerge from the halls of academia and come to the rescue of practitioners. Unlike data scientists, who apply statistical methods to customer data analysis, a marketing scientist is a social and behavioural expert trained in answering the toughest marketing questions. Need to know the optimal pricing strategy? Which market segments offer the greatest profit potential? The right balance between ad reach and frequency? Whether it is worth the trouble to pursue light category users? The best promotional timing? The most important drivers of market share? A marketing scientist can build simulation models that get marketers a lot closer to the truth. Or at the very least, to a defensible answer.

Perhaps the best known marketing scientist in the world is the slightly subversive Byron Sharp of the Australia-based EhrenbergBass Institute whose best-selling book “How Brands Grow” won him a lot of fame for busting many cherished marketing beliefs such as “differentiate or die” and “perception drives behaviour”. A lesser known but equally esteemed marketing scientist is the Belgiumborn Koen Pauwels who is Vice Dean of Research at Northeastern University and heads up the DATA Initiative there. In fact, Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson calls him “the

best marketing academic on the planet”. He has written a number of books of his own, one of which, “It’s Not the Size of the Data, It’s How You Use It”, remains an indispensable guide to marketing dashboard design. He has also duelled occasionally with Professor Sharp over some of EhrenbergBass’ more contentious findings.

Stephen Shaw: Marketing science may be the least understood of all the marketing disciplines. How would you define it? And how does it differ exactly from data science?

Koen Pauwels: Marketing science is the investigation of human behaviour as it relates to the marketplace. Why do people buy what they do? How do competitors relate to each other? How do manufacturers deal with powerful retailers? How do consumers trade off privacy and convenience when they go online? All of these questions touch on human behavior.

SHAW: Is optimization the ultimate goal?

PAUWELS: Not really. I’m an econometrician by training, so I either analyze historical data or run field experiments to come up with my models — what I think you should do. And this could be to increase your price, reduce your advertising spend, or stop trying to make the product perfect because consumers are not willing to pay for it. I can tell you what your optimal marketing budget should be. But if you have no control over the allocation of that budget, you’re just going to tell me I can’t convince my boss to do that.

SHAW: Well, I would think you would be a wonderful ally to convince the CFO that they need to spend more money on marketing.

PAUWELS: About half the time I’m hired by marketing, half the time by finance. I find the different mindsets absolutely fascinating. Marketing folks tend to have a growth mindset. They see life as filled with opportunity. Finance folks are much more risk averse. They have a prevention focus. They think about life as disasters to be avoided. They want to know, what is the risk involved? And so very

often, my job has nothing to do with data, but is making sure that people speak the same language and understand each other’s perspective.

SHAW: So you’re an intermediary in many respects.

PAUWELS: Yeah, very much so. You asked about the difference between marketing science and data science. So, in marketing science, we start with a theory or hypothesis that we want to prove or disprove — that’s the difference. I did my PhD at UCLA, and I gave up on economics relatively early because I couldn’t live with the assumption that everybody’s rational, and that managers are optimizers. I’m like, have you ever talked to managers? But econometrics I really liked because it just used data to come up with good insights.

I like to start from what is known about human behaviour. I formulate hypotheses, and sometimes I have multiple hypotheses that are in conflict with each other, which is why it’s so cool to analyze it then. Whereas data scientists say, let’s have the data tell us what’s going on — which is sometimes cool because you uncover things that you could never have imagined — but it very often leads to completely unexplainable observations. “Why do people who buy x also buy y?”. And how is that actionable in a campaign? And so I find that marketing scientists are typically just a bit better in relating our work to marketing.

SHAW: Well, answering the why, for sure. How would you characterize the state of marketing science today? Has it entered the mainstream of marketing yet? Or is it still viewed as the exclusive domain of marketing academics?

PAUWELS: That’s a great question. I always joke that a lot of people went into marketing because they hated math in high school and university. But I do feel that the mathematical sophistication has really increased amongst senior marketing decision makers. You see people now at the top of marketing organizations who can ask really great questions about my model. But anybody can call themselves

a marketer at any time. And so we have this constant influx of people into the industry who fancy themselves as growth marketers or growth hackers or digital marketing experts and very often there seems to be a fundamental disrespect of what came before. Yet human behaviour evolves very slowly. Knowing what has and has not worked in the past is important. And unfortunately a lot of today’s marketers don’t really take the time to educate themselves.

SHAW: In your book you quote one of your clients as saying, “lots of data and lots of action, but no link between the two”. I might amend that a little bit to say, ‘lots of data and lots of insight, but no action’ — meaning marketers still struggle to convert data-driven insight into meaningful strategy. Is it simply that they’re not trained to ask the right questions?

PAUWELS: That’s a fantastic question. So, first of all, I completely agree with you. I would say, number one, marketers continue to have issues convincing risk averse decision makers who don’t like marketing mumbo jumbo — who say, show me the money, show me a projected return on investment. There is also this fear whether a multitouch attribution or marketing mix model will work for my company, in my country, in my industry. And never forget, insight is built on the near past, right? Models run on historical data. What is the guarantee that it will work when you try to apply it now? And this is why obviously marketing is the toughest function in any company because the success of what you’re going to do now depends on how potential customers react, competitors react, maybe whether interest rates go up and down. So there is just a lot of uncertainty. A good marketing manager takes the model input and says, okay, this is fantastic, but I do have my own experience and intuition about what has changed. In most of my work I model how the competition is likely to react when you give a price promotion, or you do more advertising. So when I build my model, I factor that into the predicted net effect. But let’s say the CEO of the main competitor

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was just fired, and the new CEO comes in and this is a guy who really wants to grow market share. So he’s going to react way more strongly than the previous CEO. Or maybe they’re in bankruptcy proceedings and they don’t want to rock the boat, so they’re not going to react. And so I always build in those scenarios that you as a manager can turn on and off. I always like to say it’s 50% model, 50% manager, which means that you can get much better results if you combine human intuition.

SHAW: In your book you say the “engine under the hood” of every good marketing dashboard is a VAR model. Just explain, if you can, in as simple a language as you possibly can, why you’re such a strong believer and user of VAR modeling.

PAUWELS: It’s basically a very flexible way to take into account the direct and indirect effects of marketing but also the long term effects. And it’s more than one equation. So my sales depend on a whole bunch of marketing actions. One big problem is with brand equity. Brand equity builds and builds over time and influences your sales, but over a much longer term than changing your search marketing. So I have a second equation explaining brand equity with marketing actions. Why is this important? A lot of times bottom funnel marketing dominates everything else. So things that build awareness, that build consideration, something that we as marketers care about, get completely washed away. But now if you have a second equation explaining awareness and consideration, you can distinguish these things. So you can say something like, hey, I have this brand new TV ad, and yes, a few people got convinced right away to buy it and that’s my immediate sales effect. But my TV ads also make people much more likely to click on my online ads and over time they increase my pricing power because I will be able to increase prices without losing too many consumers. So that’s why it’s really useful to get to these direct and indirect effects.

SHAW: I want to talk about the budgeting process which marketers perpetually struggle

“I don’t think a lot of marketing managers are incentivized based on what is really effective.”

with, partly because they aren’t doing the sort of scenario modeling you’re describing. They struggle with credible forecasting, with making line item trade-offs. Why does budgeting remain such a trial for marketers, such a slugfest every year with finance?

PAUWELS: So I think the most important thing is to give finance folks the comfort that you will be a good steward of the company’s resources. Here’s a typical scenario. Every year, the marketing department comes with a new funding request for a shiny new thing. And then, of course, they can’t prove it’s going to be effective because it’s new. So you can’t look at past ROI. But then what can be cut? And they say, nothing. Everything is absolutely 100% necessary. And so that is the kind of ask every year that puts finance people on the defensive and they say, no.

What really builds trust is that you as a marketer are more proactive. Let’s say search marketing has hit diminishing returns. So now every dollar we spend on search marketing is not worth it. Maybe we can even cut down a bit, because our brand is now so well known that we can get most consumers for free. And so, for instance, very famously, eBay figured this out, right? So that if they just cut all of their Google spend, they would lose hardly any customers. Doing these small experiments and saying to finance, I really want you to fund this but then at the same time, here are two or three things that you can cut, that is just going to be very much appreciated.

SHAW: Plus the ability to draw a line between those

expenditures and its impact on the KPIs that the C-suite really cares about. I think that’s one of the challenges, isn’t it?

PAUWELS: Alignment of marketing with business goals is 50% of the whole battle! One year it may be that the business really wants to get a lot of new customers. So customer acquisition is the big thing. Another year, it may be to get more out of existing customers so cross-selling is much more important. Knowing what the business really wants you to do and then, of course, translating that into marketing KPIs.

SHAW: Mark Ritson has said, referring specifically to US. marketers, that there is “an ignorance of effectiveness”. You’re on record as agreeing with that statement. What do you think accounts for this blind spot, relative to other regions, such as Europe and certainly Australia?

PAUWELS: One of the reasons is that I don’t think a lot of marketing managers are incentivized based on what is really effective. I think the other thing in the States is that jobs evolve very quickly, so you’re not typically in a position to see the benefits yourself. In Europe, people tend to hold positions longer, and they actually get rewarded by their companies for doing things that are, in the long term, in the best interest of the company.

Let me share a story. When I was in Istanbul in Turkey I worked with Ülker, which is a huge manufacturer of chocolate goods. They had just bought the Belgian company Godiva. They spent about $100 million advertising just in Turkey. I went to their Chief

Marketing Officer, a very clever individual, and told him half of his advertising was ineffective — that I could literally save him $50 million. And he never questioned that I could do that. He just said to me, “Look Koen, if I do what you say, my company gets $50 million. I don’t get one cent of that. But if I lose half a percentage market share, I get fired.”

SHAW: Byron Sharp is one of the few marketing scientists — maybe the only one, you being the other — to have broken through the walls of academia and earned a certain notoriety amongst marketers. His book “How Brands Grow” really resonated with a lot of marketers at the time. Why do you think he was able to do that?

PAUWELS: He was very understandably debunking some of the more obscure or esoteric things that marketing had come to believe. And I completely agree with him on that. He popularized ideas that were already well researched in several data sets across several countries. For example, what’s known as the “double jeopardy law”.

So basically double jeopardy is saying big brands are different from small brands. Big brands have a lot more penetration. A lot more consumers have bought them at least once, and they buy them more often than the buyers of small brands. If you are, for instance, a niche coffee brand, you may have your very loyal followers, right? And typically, marketers say you should go for a niche and try to get lots of heavy buyers, and then they will spread the word. But the problem is that even if they love your niche brand, they also have to buy for their family and for visitors. And so small brands stay small for several reasons. Not enough people have tried them once, but also the people who tried them and even liked them didn’t necessarily spread the word. And then, of course, I would add that retailers really favour big brands. At the time he wrote the book these were very novel insights for general marketers. That kind of science hadn’t really made it into the mainstream yet.

SHAW: One of his more

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provocative claims is the relative importance of differentiation versus distinctiveness. His argument is that distinctiveness should be at the center of brand strategy. I think your answer is, “Well, it depends”.

PAUWELS: So I think what the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute has shown over the years is that creating and maintaining differentiation is hard. The point we disagree on is that just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do it. And because it is hard, I believe that there’s huge benefits. You have so much more pricing power if you differentiate. But they have a great point that it’s just very hard to create it. So many things have to go right. Whereas distinctiveness is really interesting. Distinctiveness is like McDonald’s Golden Arches, right? It’s not specific to the product. You’re not going to like their nuggets or their fries more. But it really reminds you of the brand, out of home and everywhere. They don’t have to state their product and their price positioning every time. They can just show you the Golden Arches. Distinctiveness tells you there’s a huge benefit in having people remember you with an icon or a certain logo. Unless you are really, really, really, tanking, keep it, because otherwise you’re throwing everything overboard.

In practice, distinctiveness is very hard to maintain. And distinctiveness is absolutely key in the kind of big, fast moving consumer goods categories that they analyze. So typically their data comes from fast moving consumer goods in developed markets and relatively big brands. And for those brands, yes, your competitors have by this time negated your points of differentiation. So what you’re left with is very often distinctiveness. Whereas I think for smaller brands that really want to grow a lot, also in emerging markets, getting and maintaining a point of differentiation is just both very possible and very rewarding if you can do it.

SHAW: The other contentious finding is that reach trumps frequency and that marketers should try to attract as many

light buyers as possible. He even seems to dismiss the relative importance of heavy buyers. Is he right?

PAUWELS: So one of the key assumptions in his work is that you can’t really change people’s habits. Consumers are who they are. So if you’re a medium buyer of my brand, and I want you to develop into a heavy buyer, he is assuming that’s almost impossible. It’s virtually impossible to get you to buy more, right? So given that, retention is not something to worry about unless you’re losing way too many consumers. So if you want to grow, and this is why his book is called “How Brands Grow”, you should really focus on getting new people to try your brand. And these will be the light buyers because heavy buyers already know the brands. And so your marketing will get to them anyway because they pay attention to it. So it’s the people who only very occasionally buy in the category that you want to go after.

Where I think he gets a bit too extreme is, for instance, reach versus frequency, right? His point of view is you should always maximize reach because for the first exposure, you get the most benefit. Now maybe if I’m introducing a new type of chewing gum, he’s correct. But if I want to convince you to join my new bank and take out a mortgage, then I will have to reach you a lot more times. For certain products, you have to have a higher frequency both offline and online. So I think it really depends on the category. Like, on Amazon, most people are actively exploring or buying new products. Should we have more or less frequency? You could say we should have more frequency because people are actually in the mode for buying. But you’re paying attention and maybe you don’t have to see the ad four times. Maybe once or twice is enough.

And then you can check the reviews. So these are fascinating research questions that I would love to explore.

I believe that if you have limited resources for smaller brands, you should first try to get market share. You should try to identify people who have a very strong need and are willing to pay for your product – like selling nuts to squirrels. And then if you have money left or if you want to really grow beyond that group, then you can go for higher reach.

SHAW: Sharp also says — and this is so counterintuitive to me — that attitudes follow behaviour, not the other way around. Customers are naturally polygamous. He doesn’t really believe in the idea of a loyal customer. What do you think about the importance of loyalty?

PAUWELS: I always make the distinction between behavioural and attitudinal loyalty. So behavioural loyalty is where people buy more and more from you over time. For example, at one of the banks that I worked for, they thought they were specifically targeting people in their advertising who never banked with them before. Yet most of the new account opens were with people who already banked with them and just didn’t know that they also offered this particular financial product. Marketers sometimes make the assumption that their customers know as much about the brand as they do.

So I completely agree that you can increase behavioural loyalty and there are huge benefits to doing so. Where I agree with Byron Sharp is attitudinal loyalty is extremely rare. So yes, I like your bank, I’ve been a customer for a while, but if another bank offers me a much better deal, then maybe I will switch. So I do agree that very few consumers have

“Distinctiveness is absolutely key in the kind of big, fast moving consumer goods categories.”

this absolute love for the brand People do feel that way about some brands: Apple, Harley Davidson. But I agree with Byron, it’s very hard to achieve, it’s very rare.

As I said, Byron Sharp is a behavioralist. He believes that asking people about their attitudes is completely useless. And he has a point. People don’t always think what they say and don’t say what they do. So he says first you change behaviour and then the attitudes will follow. In other cases though Byron is just completely wrong, and attitudes do change before behaviour. One of the reasons that Jeff Bezos finally allowed Amazon to advertise is because they got into devices, Echo and Alexa. He figured out people’s attitude had to change before they’re going to buy it. And that’s going back to the low involvement versus high involvement decision making that we know very well as marketers.

SHAW: And if you provide a superior experience, you can even overcome a shaky value proposition just by virtue of the fact that you’re treating people right.

PAUWELS: Exactly. Yeah. And that is something really important that is completely not in “How Brands Grow”. There’s a big difference between saying you shouldn’t spend 80% of your company resources to retain customers and saying you should completely ignore it. Because if you mess up being nice to people you can really go south.

SHAW: Where do you see marketing science going in the next five years? I get the sense that it is going to finally become the mainstream discipline I referred to at the top of this conversation.

PAUWELS: I agree with that. I foresee see a lot more people on both sides of the divide working very well together and also understanding each other’s language. So I’m extremely optimistic about the future of marketing science and marketing as a profession. I think that new technology adds a quiver in our arsenal, right? But that doesn’t mean that everything is completely different and that we have to throw out what we knew before.

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Graph-Based Data Models: Unleashing The Power of Data-Driven Insights

The world is currently in an era of digital transformation, where information flows abundantly. And banks are realizing that data-driven insights — which help deliver a best in class customer experience — aren’t just a competitive advantage but a necessity for sustainable growth. In fact, in 2022, WBR Insights found that 62 percent of US and Canadian financial leaders surveyed said improving access to siloed and distributed data was one of their top data initiatives.

Currently, delivering a great customer experience is near impossible because banking data is spread across various information silos, meaning retrieving data-driven insights requires a huge amount of manual effort. However, graph-based data models are helping banks change that.

These models naturally represent real-world networks that allow for efficient querying and exploration of interconnected information, crucial for enhancing the customer experience, personalized recommendations, and risk assessment.

So, how exactly do graph-based data models unlock data and drive insights?

Leveraging a graph-based data model

The financial world is a tangled web of relationships, from customers and accounts to transactions and financial institutions.

Traditional relational databases have long held sway in banking and are built on tables with rows and columns. They’re efficient for handling high volumes of standardized data and excel in tasks like basic queries, reporting, and aggregation. However, they struggle with complex, interconnected data

and lack flexibility for evolving relationships, meaning querying intricate connections can be cumbersome and inefficient, hindering data-driven decisionmaking.

This is where graph-based data models step in, offering a powerful tool for navigating the complex world of banking data, regardless of the underlying models and formats. These models utilize nodes for entities and edges for relationships, offering flexibility and dynamism in handling interconnected data, which facilitates easy transversal and querying of linked data. Graphbased data models map complex networks of individuals, accounts, and transactions at scale, providing a holistic view of financial activity and customer engagement, all while effectively mitigating risks.

With many banks and financial institutions working with siloed systems, data models, and fragmented processes, this can have a knock-on effect causing a lack of connectivity and communication. Take disclosures, for example; siloed systems and disjointed data can lead to missed details, inconsistencies, and errors, creating more work later on and potential issues regarding compliance and audits. Therefore, embracing a graph-based data model enables banks to see the bigger picture, powering datadriven decisions.

To this day, many of the world’s top banks still use legacy core systems and siloed digital operations and support systems, and disconnected data doesn’t foster data-driven decisions. In fact, a 2022 study that surveyed senior Canadian banking leaders found that 38 percent said old technology and legacy systems were one of the three barriers to digital transformation.

So, let’s examine two specific ways graph-based data models can aid the banking industry.

Personalizing the customer experience

Today, customer experience is all about personalization: In fact, 70 percent of banking clients want customized financial advice. The one-size-fits-all approach to banking is now relegated to the past.

Banks can leverage graph models to create highly personalized experiences for customers. By understanding customer relationships and preferences through their connections, such as account transaction data and investment portfolios, banks can recommend relevant and appropriate financial products, offer targeted promotions, and tailor investment strategies aligned with their needs and behavior — improving customer satisfaction and loyalty while reducing risk.

This connectedness and data visibility within banks means that offers, disclosures, and products are all “talking to each other.”

So, finance systems can generate disclosure documents related to a mortgage offer, for example, pulling critical information about terms, interest rates, and associated fees automatically from connected systems.

Moreover, this level of automation can empower a bank’s customer support representatives with real-time insights and prepopulated information, allowing them to provide personalized explanations, answer inquiries faster, and even proactively suggest complementary products based on the customer’s unique financial portfolio and risk profile.

Alternatively, let’s say you’re running a campaign to support personal loan offers. With integrated income, spending

patterns, savings, and investment portfolios, you can identify customers’ risk tolerance and identify the best-suited loans available for specific customers.

Offering highly personalized experiences consistently across all banking channels allows banks to create consistency at scale, leading to a deeper level of trust and engagement with their customers.

Simplifying compliance and auditability in disclosure management

As financial executives, navigating the ever-evolving landscape of regulatory compliance and auditability — particularly for disclosure management — can be a complex and time-consuming challenge.

Within the world of banking, disclosures are essential for understanding products, offers, and services. And traditional disclosure management often involves complex manual processes and siloed data since product, pricing, and disclosure information reside in various systems across banks. Manually pulling data from these diverse sources is time-consuming and error-prone. But this is where graph-based data models emerge as powerful allies, offering data-driven decisions and unique advantages for compliance and auditability.

Due to the data transparency provided by graph-based data models, extracting data directly for regulatory documents becomes much more efficient and accurate. Moreover, this makes searching for specific disclosures or tracking when each particular version was delivered, easy. This is particularly useful when regulators request documentation and finding relevant disclosures and their

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Designing Virtual Events for Success

How to Raise Funds and Build an Audience

These are indeed interesting times with so many of us working or learning from home and almost all in-person events cancelled. To help people manage their cabin fever and to continue raising money that in-person functions provided, many nonprofit organizations are turning to virtual fundraising events.

Virtual events, of course, have their challenges. Many of us are all zoomed out. Online events have to compete with all our other screen options. Furthermore, not all events make sense virtually. All that said, virtual events also provide an opportunity. Find the right concept and create the right audience engagement and you could have a successful event that even outlasts our shutdown. With hard work and more than a little luck, you could even develop a viral (pardon the expression) concept that out raises your in-person events.

What follows is a guide to virtual events to help you get started. You will still want to do lots of research and brainstorming after reading this article, but you should at least have a much better idea of the task ahead of you.

This material expands on a two-part webinar on Virtual Events presented to members of ArtsReach. Here are the Designing Virtual Events slides that were presented in part one of the webinar and here are the Promoting Virtual Events Slides presented in part two.

Types of Revenue


Pay to Participate

The most basic form of virtual event revenue is to have people pay to view or participate in your program. This could require purchasing tickets in advance or paying when the event is going live. To use this revenue model, you place your event

behind a paywall. Virtual attendees obtain login credentials or passcode to view your event.

2. Premium Add-Ons

Add-Ons are program elements that you add to your main event. They can be premium additions to a paid event or a paid additions to a free event. Some of the program extras at in-person events can be converted into virtual equivalents.

Two common gala extras, raffles and auctions, can be easily adapted with readily available online tools (see below).

A great virtual add-on for your online event is bonus content. Common bonus content includes extra commentaries or behind-thescenes looks.

An in-person event might have a private reception for your biggest supporters or premium ticket buyers. Sometimes, premium gala tables (or other small groups) are hosted by celebrities. These tactics

can be adapted into small-group question and answer sessions or even one-on-ones with VIPs.

If you have a favourite activity at your in-person events that at first blush seems it cannot be adapted to a virtual event — give it another look. For example, a dunk tank would not seem an obvious remote opportunity. However, you could recruit celebrities for live video dunk tank victims and a celebrity pitcher to throw balls purchased by your online viewers. Use a virtual event to take your idea even bigger. You might be able to create a viral hit.

Here are some examples of tools for creating premium add-ons for virtual events: RallyUp; OneCause; GiveSmart; Auctria; Handbid

3. Direct Fundraising

Direct fundraising is a great way to generate revenue for both in-person and virtual events. In some cases, you can generate more asking for donations than you

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could selling tickets. This paywhat-you-can approach can also make it possible for you to have a larger audience — useful if you are trying to get your message out to as widely as possible.

There are several types of fundraising tactics you can use:

Simple One-Time Contributions are the most basic way to have people donate to your virtual event. You can collect contributions with donate buttons on your website, using a thirdparty giving platform, leveraging donation tools on social media networks like YouTube and Facebook or even asking people to text-to-donate.

Follow-Up and Advance

Solicitations are also for one-time donations, but occur in the days before or after a event rather than during. These separate requests are typically used when seeking larger contributions. Pre-event solicitations are typically used when you wish to make a live announcement about select pacesetting donations. This can be done to encourage other contributions and to recognize donors. Post-event requests are often made when an event was used as a cultivation effort.

Monthly Giving (Subscriptions)

is a popular means that content creators use to fund their programming. Donors voluntarily contribute ongoing funds so programs can be produced. In return, they often receive exclusive extras such as bonus content or early access. Not all programs are events. However, there has been a rise in event programming during the COVID shutdown. Directors and casts of popular content have gathered for watch parties, commentaries and reunions. A series of such events lends itself well to the monthly patron model.

Here are some example tools you might use for direct fundraising for your virtual event content: Indiegogo; Patreon; Youtube Channel Membership

4. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising involves other people participating in your event and raising money as part of their participation. In the past this was done by gathering pledges

face-to-face and recording them on pledge sheets. Today, a wide range of online tools are available with each participant often being given their own webpage to tell his or her story and ask for donations. Some participants raise thousands of dollars for the event they are part of.

Here are some popular peer-topeer tools and services: Blackbaud; IgnitionDeck; JustGiving; Salsa

5. Sponsorship

Sponsorship of virtual events is possible but the properties and benefits you offer will typically require adjusting. Sponsors will typically support your organization for the positive association of partnering with you. However, another benefit of sponsorship is the ability to build a relationship with your audience in a way that advertising cannot do. So, to attract sponsors you may need more than passive viewing opportunities for your audience. For example, this could include live question and answer sessions or home-delivered swag.

6. Advertising

Online advertising will normally require large viewing numbers to generate significant revenue. However, if you can organize an event with a popular culture element, advertising could be a valuable source of income. For example, a reunion of the cast of ‘ The Office ’ organized during the pandemic shutdown has, to date, generated approximately 14 million views (without a television network/show promoting the video). If we also consider content that might replace (or supplement) in-person events we see that even community organizations can generate a large number of views. For example, collaboration music videos with the Salt Lake Pops Orchestra have generated as many as 10 million views resulting in tens of thousands of dollars.

Keys to Success

1. Design for Virtual

To maximize the opportunities virtual events present, they should be designed from the ground up as an online program. You shouldn’t take an in-person event and try to change it as little as possible. Some event elements like an auction

can pivot to virtual fairly easily. Other elements such as providing a keepsake photo require significant modification. Some will be less appealing online such as live background music. Clearly, still other program components are not at all possible. The opportunity is that you could create innovative program elements you would have not considered for in-person functions. Delivered gourmet food baskets, or one-on-ones with celebrities are examples of program components you could add to a virtual event. Likewise, you don’t have to limit yourself to simply finding ways to take in-person events online. Instead you could develop brand new virtual events.

2. Be High Touch

Talking about making virtual events high touch might seem like a contradiction. In this context, high touch means providing a significant level of personal attention and service to your audience. If your organization has a reputation of pampering your clientele, you should find ways to do so virtually as well. This might include luxuries you send your event participants. High touch could also mean providing opportunities to interact with others via multi-way Zoom calls, Q&A sessions, one-on-one video chats or personalized video messages. For example, if you have someone with a great voice, you might send your supporters messages they can use as ring tones or voice mail greetings. Because of their novelty, virtual high-touch strategies can make a big impression. When the Old Spice Man recorded at least 185 personalized messages on YouTube, it set the internet on fire and is considered part of one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time.

3. Tie to Mission

If your organization provides services to children, your virtual event should involve children even if your event is something fancy for your top supporters. Indeed, you should always look for ways to tie your event back to your mission and operations. This is especially important in an increasingly online world when it can be hard to standout from all the excellent

streaming content competing for attention. When you remind your audience why they value you, they are much more likely to turn-up virtually to support you. Some will show up because of your past work even if your current event would not normally interest them.

4. Leverage Champions and Partners

Anyone who has ever had to organize a large event can tell you how labour intensive they tend to be. Volunteers, whether than be staff pitching in or members of community, can make a huge difference to event success. While virtual events have different logistics requirements than in-person functions, volunteers are still a valuable addition to the process. They can help plan and present ‘the show’. In particular, volunteers can act as champions or ambassadors for your efforts. They can help sell tickets or encourage viewers. They can get the word out. Partners can also be incredibly helpful. They can be collaborators who lend their talents to the presentation of your program and reach out to their own audience. Partners can be other organizations, traditional celebrities or internet creators and influencers. You can partner with collaborators in your community or beyond. Engaging champions and partners should be one of the first things you do. It can multiply your efforts many times over.

5. Extend Time and Place

One of the challenges of a virtual event is that you have to compete with all the other online activities people can select. However, one of the opportunities is that you can reach far beyond your traditional audience if you have the right content. For example, collaborating with someone in another community could help extend your reach. So, consider creating your own strategy for reaching further. To increase your impact, you can also extend your event from a time perspective with activities before or after your main event. Preliminary activities can be used to promote your event. Meanwhile, follow-on activities can be used to provide premium content or services to your best supporters.

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6. Mix Mediums

When putting together your virtual events, consider using a variety of mediums and tools to present to your audience. For example, you should consider using a combination of recorded and live content. Live content creates immediacy and gives your audience a reason to tune-in live. Recorded content can be polished in a way that is more difficult with live content. It also gives you a break while it is playing. You should also look to interactive tools. These can allow people to ask questions, donate, make comments or vote. Interactivity helps turn your program from just another video to a true event. Finally, you can also use multiple channels to maximize your exposure. For example, there is nothing stopping you from broadcasting a live video stream to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube at the same time. The three key goals when mixing mediums is to increase engagement, broaden your audience and provide special perquisites for your best supporters.

7. Tech the Tech and Rehearse

When using video to present a virtual event, you must make sure everything is working in terms of video and audio. You need to check that your main presenters and anyone else that will be on camera has proper setups. Ideally, you should run through everything you are going to present. In terms of audio and video presentation, you should review the following:

Cameras should be at eye level. They should check their backgrounds and try to avoid distractions such as things that look like they are coming out of their heads. Presenters should not be too close or too far from the camera — unless standing, a presenter’s head and shoulders should somewhat fill the screen.

People should be front lit with either natural light or prepared lighting — standard overhead lighting does not do. If you are presenting in the evening check the lighting in advance at night. You want to avoid someone being lit primarily by their computer monitor.

To avoid audio feedback, all presenters should have earphones or headsets. Typically, laptop microphones are not appropriate.

Headsets or quality microphones are preferable and should at least be used by your main presenters. Guest presenters can use cell phone earphone/mic combos if they have nothing better. Presenters should try to have a quiet location to use. If a room sounds boomy (ie. it echos), a duvet/blanket can be placed on the floor, on an off camera wall or elsewhere to cut down on the reverberations.

Make sure to test your own setup with someone in another location to make sure both your audio and video are good.

Have a plan on what you are going to do if someone’s audio or video fails. Know in advance on you will fill-in their content.

8. Don’t Forget Immediacy and Interactivity

Finally, remember that what turns your program from a streaming video into an actual event are the steps you take to create immediacy and interactivity. We attend events to interact and see live presentations. So, you need to ensure such elements are prominently featured in your virtual events if you want them to be of interest and memorable to your audience.

Types of Events and Examples

1. Virtual Galas

It’s probably wondering what to do about gala dinners that has most driven the conversation about virtual events for organizations that fundraise. For many organizations, they are the main fundraising event of the year, and they are likely to be one of the last types of donor activities to return in a postshutdown world. At least the various run and bike events put on by health organizations and others have the advantage of being outdoors.

To plan a virtual gala, we should start by examining the elements of the in-person version, determine which of those can be adapted for an online function and what if anything makes sense to add. The standard elements of an in-person gala include the following: Food – If you are going to make your gala an event and not just a video presentation, delivering items to your participants is a great way to elevate your function and

food is one of the best things you can send. While you probably won’t want to send a hot meal, there are plenty of options you can share — including gourmet foods and treats. Your objective should be to surprise and delight your audience.

Drinks – Whether you can send alcohol will depend on your jurisdiction (note that rules may have been relaxed during the pandemic). Even if you can’t send the hard stuff, you can send along cocktail mixers and perhaps even cocktail-making tools such as shakers. Consider cocktail recipes that could work with more than one type of alcohol or require a more neutral alcohol such as vodka.

Entertainment – You should keep entertainment short and ideally attention grabbing. Don’t add performers unless they are really adding to your event. Consider a comedy emcee who can entertain your audience while keeping the show moving along. Remember that entertainment is hard even for big shows like The Academy Awards — so go easy.

Speeches/Program – Your updates and pitch are a key part of bringing people together — in person or virtual. However, you will want to keep them shorter online as it’s too easy to lose people. (It’s much easier to ignore a computer screen than to walk out of an event.) Consider a mix of live and pre-recorded content. Use more than just people talking to camera. A virtual event gives you an opportunity to showcase your organization — use it. When designing content consider how it could be used elsewhere to optimize the time and money it takes to put video together.

Decorations / Interesting

Venue – Even when gathering remotely, you should consider your hosting venue. For the core of your broadcast, if you can, pick a location that is visually interesting or has significance to your organization. Most of us are tired of seeing people’s kitchens.

Other elements can include: Auction /Raffle / Games – There are plenty of online tools to help. See the section on Premium Add-

Ons above.

Swag / Photo Keepsake –Mementos are a great way to make people feel a part of your virtual event. Consider sending people something in advance they can use in a selfie. Have them send it to you and create a photo montage of everyone. Make a point of celebrating these strange times.

Fundraising Pitch / Paddle

Raise – Don’t shy away from a direct fundraising request. The right online tools can allow you to quickly secure commitments and share results. Ideally, you want people to register with your event prior to it starting so they can pledge quickly. Test your user flow to make sure your fundraising progresses smoothly. You don’t want to be standing around waiting for results.

Theme – A bold theme can help get your event participants into the spirit of things. Consider asking people to participate even if nobody will see them — or have them take and send a picture. For example, if you were having a Black and White Ball, you could ask people to still dress up. Of course, some won’t bother, but others will enjoy it and be more engaged in your program.

Sponsors – You can still have sponsors for a virtual event. For example, you might ask them to fund a swag kit to be sent to participants. If you want title or presenting sponsors, you will likely want to involve them in your program.

2. Summits, Tradeshows and Workshops

Even before so many of us started working from home, conferences and conventions were going online. Online a conference is often called a summit. If you arrange a strong variety of speakers, you can still get people to attend and even pay to participate either through tickets or premium extras. Digital tools can permit you to have keynotes, breakouts, networking, entertainment and more. Don’t ignore the extras. As with galas, they turn your video presentation into an event.

Here are some resources and tools for virtual summits and

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related events: Virtual Summit Beginners Guide; HeySummit; Airmeet; Remo; Tame – tools for conferences, streaming, webinars, live polling, one-on-ones et cetera; MeetFromHome – A virtual summit tool with networking, q&a, breakouts and more; Zeetings – A tool for soliciting live feedback from your audience.

3. Video Fundraisers and Telethons

Your options for conducting a direct ask fundraiser are truly diverse. Today, you could easily broadcast the hours long Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon on YouTube or Facebook. Together at Home was a six-hour entertainment and appeal program that raised $128-million for the W.H.O. and Global Citizen. Alternatively, you could flood Instagram or TikTok with a series of short videos. #TeamTrees raised more than $21-million with a series of videos from a collaboration of YouTube creators.

4. Challenges and Thons

If you do decide you would like to leverage virtual peer-to-peer fundraising for your organization. You have a choice of two types of events — challenges and thons. Both typically involve a task that is demanding in some way — either from a physical, embarrassment, discomfort or epic commitment perspective. So, we see runs, head shaving, silly costume wearing et cetera. Alternatively, you can have a do-good task such as a big garbage pickup. These virtual events can involve all participants at once, give people individual tasks to complete or have collective goals to achieve such as people collectively walking a distance equivalent to travelling across the country. Challenges typically involve a call-out component where one participant completes the task and challenges several others to do the same. That challenge can include donating or permit someone to donate in lieu of completing the task.

To increase engagement when running an event virtually, any challenge or thon should encourage or require participants to document their task completion in some way from writing about it to capturing it on video. You should also consider ways to tie the event

to your mission. For example, an arts organization might have a script reading challenge for teens, use it’s costume department to have a costume wearing challenge for a group of local celebrities or have a dance-a-thon like Penn State University is doing virtually next year. Remember that the right event is not only a fundraiser, it can also be a greater publicity tool. If you develop the right idea, challenges or thons can be hugely successful. The biggest example of this is probably the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which raised $220-million.

5. One-on-Ones & Small Group Video Chats

If you have people in your organization whom members of your audience would love to have some interaction, one-on-one and small group video sessions can be an easy way to raise funds. Participants simply donate for the one-on-one benefit. You can make this a benefits of a specific membership level or a pay-persession opportunity. If you have a high-demand celebrity in your midst you can even arrange prerecorded video shout-outs as a donor benefit.

Here are some examples of oneto-one video services which permit you to control connections or earn revenue for your organization: Cameo; Reach.Live; Run the World; Gather.

6. Viewing Parties

Viewing parties are a fun and easy way to engage your audience. You can simply watch a movie or other videos togethers. You can watch something and provide a commentary track.

You can even engage your supporters with an audience participation element. Imagine developing rituals for a movie like those used in Rocky Horror Picture Show. You could send out a kit to each participant with instructions on how to use the items included. For example, the Rocky Horror Picture Show has a newspaper and squirt gun for the rain and toasted bread for when one of the characters proposes a toast. Check out all the audience participation props.

Here are some resources and example tools for planning a

virtual watch party: 18+ Ways to Watch Videos Together With Friends Online; Watch2Gether; Netflix Party;; Facebook Watch Party.

7. Curated Subscriptions

You can make your event a monthly or weekly occurrence with an ongoing subscription club. You can plan live watch-togethers or leave people to participate in their own time. You can pair beer, wine, liquors, cocktails or food with presentations from your organization or curated movies. If you don’t want to be in the blockbuster business, you can select movies about artists such as Bob Fosse, Jackson Pollock, Isadora Duncan or Frida Kahlo. You could also present musicals or movies that were famous plays such as Jesus Christ Superstar or A Few Good Men. Alternatively, you could present filmed stage productions by other companies such as the New York Metropolitan Opera. If you are prepared to move further away from the event format, you could even curate literature or works of art. Real examples include the following: Turner Classic Movies Wine Club; Dinner and Movie of the Month Club; GeekCoaches Content Creation and Online Event Strategy Services

GeekCoaches helps organizations with all aspects of creating online content (for events or otherwise) and monetizing it to achieve your business or non-profit objectives. We can assist you in developing an online presence for your event, promoting your event to a broad audience and implementing the tools required to deliver the fundraiser. Through our sister company, Pitcher Group Sponsorship + Philanthropy, we can also help you with fundraising and event logistics. Contact GeekCoaches today to learn more and get us raising money for you.

WILLIAM PITCHER is the Founder of the Pitcher Group. He has provided fundraising services as a consultant and a non-profit organization executive since 1986. Pitcher is a self-professed geek who after helping countless friends and family with their technology challenges decided it was time to help others. When he is not coaching people about technology, he provides fundraising consulting services to charities. You learn more about his fundraising at his Pitcher Group.

Graph-Based Data Models: Unleashing The Power of Data-Driven Insights


history quickly becomes critical. Graph models can even automate different aspects of disclosure management, from report generation to formatting data and using specific nodes and edges to trigger automated workflows. This is a significant advantage as automating report generation and workflows reduce manual errors, streamlines approvals, and ensures adherence to evolving compliance regulations and real-time compliance monitoring.

Put simply, graph models significantly simplify the audit process by providing a clear and interconnected view of data. Auditors can easily navigate relationships and trace activity, reducing the time and resources required for compliance checks. Banking executives looking to implement a graph-based data model should look for ones that offer built-in auditing capabilities that automatically track any data changes, user actions, and delivery history. This transparency allows auditors to easily trace data origins, modifications, and movements, simplifying compliance checks and ensuring data integrity.

Wrapping up

By connecting people and departments through transparent data-sharing, where there is one version of the truth, financial executives can make more accurate data-driven decisions. This helps financial institutions deliver compliant materials to market, achieve market growth, discover and resolve problems more quickly, and identify market gaps.

Through the lens of graph-based data models, banking emerges not just as a service but as a finely tuned orchestration of insights, ensuring that every decision is made with clarity, compliance, and with the customer at its core. As the industry continues to evolve, one truth remains constant: those who harness the power of data will shape the future of banking.

// 16 ❱ DMN.CA MARCH 2024
Resource Directory // 17 Your Source For Premium Email & Phone Appending Grow & Enhance your Direct Mail Lists with: Data Appending Mailing Lists Email Appends: Grow your list by 40% Phone Appends: Boost telemarketing lists Free Match Test: See how many we can add Consumer & Business Records: U.S. & Canada NCOA Sales Leads 1-800-MELISSA LIST SERVICES BETTER DATA FRom CANADA’S LEADER iN CoNTACT DATA SoLu TioNS Ask for a FREE EvALuATioN and pricing! 1-800-454-0223 ) an interact direct company Date: July 4, 2013 Client: Docket: 3540 Application: Print, 4x4.325", 4C AD: Carter AM: Sinclair Version: F6 Media: Direct Marketing Magazine PLEASE NOTE This file has been optimized for its intended application only. For uses other than intended please contact Seed for alternate formats. Data Cleaning • Address Correction • Mover Update • Deceased Identification Data Enhancement • Phone Append • Demographics Prospect Databases • ResponseCanada • Consumers, Movers and Businesses Custom Solutions DATA ANALYTICS C M Y CM MY CY CMY K 10-1634-DCM-Resource Directory-OL.pdf 2 2023-05-03 9:06 AM DIRECT MARKETING To advertise in DM Magazine Resource Directory Contact: Steve Lloyd,

What Data Privacy Day’s Theme of “Take Control of Your Data” Means to Us

In Canada, this theme aligns with recent legislation that enables individuals to determine how much and what type of personal information is made available for organizations and businesses to use. For us, it means making sure we all collect, manage and utilize data in a way that protects privacy and maximizes the benefits to society.

The private sector holds an obligation and responsibility to protect personal privacy based on evolving privacy laws. This means providing customers and consumers with better, flexible ways to customize their privacy settings — from consenting to cookie tracking during website visits to selecting what kinds of emails they would like to receive, and how their contact information gets shared.

As a data analytics provider, Environics Analytics (EA) understands that businesses, governments and policy makers need to use data to achieve goals and solve complex issues, while also protecting consumer privacy and keeping it top of mind every step of the way. Data usage and privacy protection can and should work harmoniously. Data plays a pivotal role in gaining business insights, fostering innovation and facilitating transformation. With this in mind, as an organization, we acknowledge emerging requirements that necessitate a substantial transformation of privacy programs in the coming years to protect the privacy of our clients and their customers and constituents while at the same time ensuring healthy research programs that lead to data driven decision-making.

In 2023, EA successfully completed an extensive ISO31700-1 Privacy by Design (PbD)

certification program through MSECB, becoming one of the first organizations in the world to do so. The ISO certification is an important evolution of the Privacy by Design framework by which an added, and very stringent, third-party validation of the Privacy by Design approach is undertaken that builds on and expands the seven principles of the PbD framework. This achievement underscores our unwavering commitment, as data leaders and privacy champions, to protect personal data and establishes the framework for our privacy program’s future. The journey demanded a company-wide focus on embedding privacy measures into product development, modeling and analytical methods, guided by seven fundamental principles:

❯ Proactivity

❯ Default privacy settings

❯ Design integration

❯ Full functionality

❯ End-to-end security

❯ Visibility

❯ Transparency and respect for data owners’ privacy

The outcome assures our clients and partners that EA’s products comply with regulations, adhere to industry best practices, and are well-prepared for an era of heightened regulatory safeguards and heightened public concerns regarding data usage.

Data privacy and security have, and will always be, central in our product development and service delivery. This includes ongoing monitoring of proposed legislative changes to ensure our readiness to adapt to evolving requirements.

Fostering a culture that elevates our privacy standards

EA has taken significant steps to establish a culture and values

framework throughout the organization. Guided by a clientcentric, problem-solving mentality, bolstered by robust governance and privacy guardrails, we are poised to deliver higher-quality data products than ever before. This signifies a crucial evolutionary shift where our privacy culture evolves from a rules-bound and reactive stance to one aligned with the highest-level principles of a data and insights company. This transformation has resulted in a substantial increase in “privacy knowledge” among our staff. Beyond our company’s adherence to established personal information protection guidelines and legislation, we recognize that it is ultimately each of our employees who upholds our commitment to transparent, compliant and ethical data usage without diminishing the power of the resulting statistics to guide business and government decision-making.

Building a corporate strategy

Enabling our customers to take control of their data starts with a corporate data strategy that guides them to make the necessary decisions about how data is collected, where it is stored, who has access to it and its overall use in an ethical manner. Controls are not only a legal requirement but also a strategic imperative. Businesses that prioritize data controls can mitigate risks, gain a competitive advantage and build trust with clients and partners. By following best practices in privacy, data governance, security and ethics, corporations can navigate the complex data landscape while harnessing the full potential of their data assets. Companies need a strategy, controls and rules to effectively use data and insights — thus, providing clients and consumers with the products and

services they expect. When data is responsibly handled and managed, it is proven that data and analysis can fuel the economy, support municipalities in attracting more investment, labour and tourism, plan the best places to locate stores, social services, childcare, newcomer support and, ultimately, allow for more opportunities for social and economic growth.

Looking ahead

EA maintains a watchful eye on the changing privacy legislative environment whenever it advances through the parliamentary process nationally, provincially and in the US and Europe. Although the exact legislation to be enacted is uncertain, Canadian privacy laws — akin to those in the United States — are in a state of flux. Rest assured; we are well-prepared to meet more stringent requirements.

As an organization, we commit to investing in privacy and data security programs to ensure strict compliance with the law, empowering our clients to make data-driven decisions confidently.

If you have any questions about our policies and procedures, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Let’s continue the conversation beyond Data Privacy Day.

JAN KESTLE is the President and Founder of Environics Analytics, Canada’s leading data analytics and marketing services company. She is a member of the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council (CSAC), the Board of Directors of the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), the Advisory Board of Western University’s Morrissette School of Entrepreneurship and the Dean’s Advisory Council for Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. Environics Analytics is an active member of the CMA’s Privacy and Data Advisory panel, the Canadian Anonymization Network (“CANON”) and the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

// 18 ❱ DMN.CA MARCH 2024

Being data-driven is complicated. We can help.

Harnessing data across your organization to be truly data-driven is not easy. Contact us to learn more about how our PRIZM™ segmentation system helps you connect our data to activation for campaigns that drive real results.

Changing Demographics

With an aging population, increased immigration, relocation and changing commuter habits, our suite of demographic products help you stay on top of the changes – nationally, by neighbourhood, and everywhere in between.

Environmental concern, privacy, trust and social connectedness. Psychographic indicators have shifted and Canadians’ social circumstances have changed. It’s never been more important to look at these indicators and map them to different populations.

Online &

EA’s ground-breaking mobile movement and web behaviour databases not only help you keep track of the “clicks versus bricks”, but know which Canadians are driving these trends nationally and locally as those behaviours change.


Comprehensive, updated financial metrics on Canadians. Understand who is most stretched to make ends meet, who is affected by property market conditions and who has money to donate to their favourite charities.

Media Activation

EA’s ever-growing network of over 50 activation partners includes adtech platforms, media agencies, publishers, broadcasters, list providers and distribution companies to ensure you can use our data for analysis and then reach your target audience.

Looking to achieve the results that data promises? Ask EA. For your free PRIZM consultation, contact us at:

Print Radio Direct Linear & Connected TV SMS Email Social Media Out of Home Digital OOH Mobile Desktop
Deposits by Region: Penetration vs. Wallet Share Product Penetration (HHs that Hold Product) Wallet Share Deepen Relationships Deepen and Maintain Strategy: Acquisition Develop New Strategies
Attitudes, Mindsets, Social Vulnerability Index | Social Vulnerability 124 SOCIAL VULNERABILITY INDEX* 49.1% Index:188 Household Size -1 Person 11.7% Index:117 Unemployment Rate 91 Index Community Involvement 14.9% Index:197 Perceived mental health is fair or poor 51.5% Index:118 "You cannot be too careful in dealing with people" 24.6% Index:235 People know well enough to ask favour (none) 34.7% Index:156 Close relatives (0-2) 47.1% Index:110 Close relatives in same city (0-2) 33.4% Index:124 Close friends (0-2) 29.9% Index:107 Close friends in same city (0-2)
March 22 March 21 August 20 Ratio of Website Visitors to In-Store Visits January February March April May June July August September October November December January February March April May June July August September October November December January February March April May June July August September October November December January February March 2019 2020 2021 2022 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 1.9 1.0 2.0 4.7 Retailer B Retailer A
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Dominant Country of Origin China, People’s Republic of India Nigeria Toronto CSD by Dissemination Area
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