LOS ANGELES – People are unpredictable and messy, so understanding what drives their purchase decisions is truly a work in progress despite oceans of data. Then there are machines like Alexa and Siri, who are slowly nudging humans from the decisioning process.
But these realities are what excite Stephanie Stopulos, the SVP of Advanced Analytics & Insights at Starcom USA. And she can’t wait to start influencing the “machine ladies.”
In this interview with Beet.TV at the annual Transformation conference of the 4A’s, Stopulos says the biggest challenge facing marketers today is engaging with consumers via multiple screens in ways that try to predict the unpredictable.
“Consumer journeys are interesting. Marketing models are helpful. But at the end of the day you never quite know how someone is going to make a decision,” says Stopulos. “People are unpredictable and they are messy.”
Trying to divine a peoples’ true desire line and connect what they want to what brands need is an opportunity that’s “both scary and exciting at the same time.” She feels that the biggest challenge in tying together a cohesive story is making sure that “you have a set of luggage that isn’t too matching, and appropriate for that environment.”
One example is food content, which on platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat needs to be very different to break through than it does with a mass delivered audience like television. “Thinking about that in ways that are flexible and take into account marketers’ realities within non-working budgets is a very real challenge,” says Stopulos.
She finds it most reassuring that more chief marketing officers are recognizing the value of and embracing their own data and evangelizing it as part of their organizations. “They’re mining it more effectively.”
And she’s ready to wade into the realm of machine learning to see where it leads.
“I can’t wait to get the first brief that says my audience for a campaign is Alexa and Siri. Those are the ladies that are really powering the decisions of the future,” Stopulos says. “Mom will always be important in a lot of households, but Alexa and Siri are coming right after her.”