Marketing attribution to humans: rebranding Fospha
We recently worked with independent attribution provider Fospha to create a new visual identity for their rebranding. In this wide-ranging interview with Fay Miller, Chief Marketing Officer at Fospha, she talks about how Fospha approached their rebranding, why even data-savvy marketers need to be marketed to as humans, why GDPR is actually good for business and the distinct advantage that heritage brands still have over digital natives in the digital age.
How did you decide to approach the rebranding project?
Data science is exciting but for customers it can also be a really hard thing to get your head around how it relates to your business. So when we approached our rebrand, we first looked at our customers: what they needed, what problems we’re trying to solve for them, and where we were getting the most engagement them.
What we found is that people were engaged with Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA), which is used to determine what in your marketing is working and what’s not across all channels. But then we also do bespoke data science projects, and looked at how these customers could use AI, and we got more confident that the starting point for them was MTA.
With two distinct types of customers, we decided to create two brands: Fospha Marketing and Fospha Data Services. Data Services handles the consultancy business and bespoke projects when people come in and know what they want and we can help them. Fospha Marketing looks at specific problems solved through attribution, largely through MTA and MMM (Media Mix Modeling).
Did the rebranding focus only externally – on your messaging?
Creating these two brands gave us some clarity about how to market ourselves, but that was just the first piece. Because then we realized that we also needed to look at our products. We needed to make it easier for our clients to relate to them more, which is when we decided to repackage and reposition our products as CDP (our Customer Data Platform) and MTA and MMM.
Is this what our art director Thiago Taniguchi referred to as a product-first approach in the Fospha blog?
By product-first, I think what’s meant is that we’re trying to advertise AI and data science in a way that means something to the marketing teams that we deal with. Something that they can relate to and can clearly see how that will add value to their business.
One way we do that is with our 90-day trial period. We can go from integration to insights in 30 days and within three months deliver an MTA product. Clients can create a business case to present to their company with the cost savings, the time savings, and how it can help their business. At that point if they don’t feel that value has been created, that’s up to the client and we’re happy to say goodbye. But we don’t often have that – we have a very high client retention rate.
Modern marketers at the level you’re working at are really savvy – we’re all sort of data scientists now in a way. Is it still really necessary to try to communicate the human side of business, as you’ve said you’re trying to do?
I think it’s massively important to show the human side. The projects we work on at Fospha are all driven by AI data science, which sounds very automated, but actually a large component of what we do is powered by people. People are our most valuable resource and are working on the tech side of it.
In terms of our clients, marketers have to deal with a really wide range of activities, from data collection to content distribution and others, and in the companies we’ve worked with these aren’t siloed operations. Marketers need the tools to support them and create efficiencies in the business, and to do that they need partners who can help them reduce the labor-intensive tasks. But I think the big thing with Multi-Touch Attribution and Marketing Mix Modeling is they’re both SaaS software products and they’re never going to be UI-only, which means there will always be partners – people – involved.
We work with a wide range of companies with different levels of data maturity, needs and product adoption. It’s a journey, and there’s a destination, but not every business is going to get there at the same time.
Understanding that means you have to have somebody at the other end of the phone who can talk to the client and explain the insights or do a deep dive with them. People supporting technology – I think that’s what makes us different.
And that’s one thing we liked about working with you at Moskito Design. We work in partnership with our clients until the job’s done and I think at Moskito you have the same approach. That’s invaluable. Agencies that offer that level of service and are really in the trenches with you are few and far between.
Could you tell me how you found out about us – and how the project went?
I worked with you before when I was at Facebook and you always deliver such beautiful work and understand the brief and for me it was a bit of a no-brainer in terms of working with you guys. It’s a really different, fresh approach – there’s a lot of big thinking that goes on there behind the actual design. It’s nice to have a partner that can take the time to think about it properly and also be that step removed, as an agency, from the tech sector.
You also translate quite complex things into simple visuals and I think that’s one of the big selling points that attracted us to working with you. And you also have that genuine passion for design and bringing that to life against the brief and rolling with the changes as well – because that happened, frequently.
So sometimes what sets a service provider apart may just be good old fashioned customer service?
It’s so funny, with marketing, everyone’s like “This new thing!” and “This new thing!” and it’s often just the same old thing with a new label slapped on it. Everyone goes on about data, but there’s always been data, it was always a part of direct marketing. It’s just digital now.
But one thing that has changed – and this is the big thing – is that you used to have all the data in one place and it was fairly straightforward. The complexity now means it’s all over the place. You’ve got different teams and different agencies who are not necessarily talking to each other. And it’s about how to simplify it all, bring people together to collaborate more, reduce silos, and literally enable visibility over everything. That’s the holy grail. I’m not saying we can do that, by the way, but we can help companies take steps toward that level.
I read somewhere recently that we should just drop “digital” from marketing. Today digital isn’t some optional subset of marketing, it’s marketing.
I totally agree. Because if you start with the consumer, they don’t see it as online or offline, they just see it as one interaction with your brand. And how you present yourself across all channels and the content you present needs to be intelligent and needs to engage them and increasingly needs to be personalized. So I do agree with that.
What kind of impact is GDPR (the EU general data protection regulation) having on what you do?
I think GDPR has been really good.
Yes, because it’s made people stop obsessing about that data they don’t have and starting thinking about the data they do have, and what they can do with that. GDPR is good for consumers, which means I think it’ll be good for everyone. Because I think that in the Wild West there was before there were a lot of very negative brand experiences going on related to frequency capping and other things. Now, making brands use the data they have more effectively to create engagement – that’s a really good thing.
At the consumer level, do you think data protection helps people sort out the brands they trust from those they don’t?
Absolutely. People only want to interact with brands that they trust and can build relationships with. Some of the unknown ones, particularly some of the tech companies, haven’t always thought about the brand they were building and their brand perception in the market.
But I think that more and more millennials and post-millennials want to see what a brand stands for and understand if their values align – and brands that can’t do that will struggle.
You can see that while some of the older brands may have struggled with tech early on, what they do have is a very rich brand equity. You know what they stand for. They’ve had a 100-odd years of doing business. I think we’re going to see a lot of heritage brands leveraging their brand values and their reputations and really giving a lot of digital native brands a run for their money. Once they’ve got those pieces into place along with their data structures, measured side by side they might have the brand equity that some of the tech companies still don’t.