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Kantar chief interview: ‘Influencers will become even more ubiquitous’

Jane Ostler is EVP Global Thought Leadership at data analysts Kantar, and she joined us for a quick chat as part of our Marketing Maestro interview series in partnership with Press Gazette.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

I’ve had so many great moments, I can’t choose only one! Driving rapid revenue growth in the marketing effectiveness space, being involved at the inception of new solutions and market-leading research, hosting a podcast and – at last – speaking on stage again. Nevertheless, the thing I’m most proud of is my role as a mentor. The most gratifying part of my job is seeing my mentees succeed, gain recognition, and develop their own courage and conviction.

Which media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

As we know, all channels work together in media effectiveness. So ‘best value’ is not as simple as it sounds, and it depends on the objective of the activity in question. I consider audio an under-used channel, as it relies on high frequency and is less costly to produce. Also, events – virtual and in-person – are on the increase at the moment.

What can we look forward to in 2023 – and what is there to look out for?

I’m excited for increased experimentation with the metaverse, the use of AI in marketing, and the growth of retail media – all of these will provide marketers with interesting and challenging new opportunities. There is of course always a risk that comes with shiny new toys – we tend to embrace them, play with them, and then discard them. Marketers need to ensure that they properly understand the effectiveness of these new channels, and how they compare with more tried and trusted solutions, instead of jumping on the bandwagon willy-nilly.

Read more: Be scared! Gen Alpha is set to take over influencer marketing

Give us your advice for brands and companies attempting to master social media.

It’s very simple, really. Understand your customers – what they think about the platforms, and what they like and dislike about the ad formats. Closely consider whether developing a huge personality in your social media comms might be good for short term PR but could potentially undermine good customer experience principles. Dare I say it’s about empathy?

In your opinion, what is the main difference between B2C and B2B marketing?

In my view, people are people. I like to think we don’t all turn into different people in the context of work. The main differences are the media budget, and what kind of broad reach or targeted channels are appropriate.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Technology underpins everything. It is the foundation for consumer understanding, insights, delivery of real time information, how you learn, target, and assess effectiveness and ROI, and how you compare and evaluate what you do.

And what future marketing trends will become mainstream before too long?

It depends on what you mean by mainstream! We know what marketers want to increase spending on in 2023, and it’s mostly on digital channels. As for mainstream, I think AI will play an increased role in some forms of content creation, as well as measurement. Influencers, as well, will become even more ubiquitous as a marketing tool. I hope to see an increased propensity to use data in meaningful ways to understand, predict, and help create brand value.