Phil has over 20 years of experience in building and implementing analytics & data solutions for marketers across a broad range of verticals. Having held senior leadership positions at Neustar/MarketShare, Horizon Next, and Conversion Logic, he has a deep understanding of the needs of marketers ranging from reporting to bespoke modeling for measurement and optimization. He has built and managed teams of engineers and data scientists and has expertise in Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and digital Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA).

How is the recent COVID-19 outbreak impacting your day to day work life and what steps are you taking to cope with this?

Covid-19 is impacting advertisers across all industries. Today, we see that advertisers are facing big changes in their business, some positive but mostly negative, and everyone is concerned as businesses are taking new trajectories. Overall, there is a significant slowdown in media investment. I’m seeing a decrease in business driving a decrease in the ability to measure. I also have clients with cash flow problems.

In terms of media measurement, I think that there is a big change in how people behave and interact with media as well has how people shop. What remains to be seen is how permanent these changes are. We are likely heading into a recession as indicated by the high rates of unemployment, but it is not a typical recession given the fundamental changes in consumer behavior.

According to you, how will the COVID-19 outbreak impact Marketing, Marketing Measurement, and Marketing Mix Modeling in particular?

I believe that the current Covid-19 outbreak has impacted the baseline of businesses. For most industries, there is simply much-reduced demand for their goods.

Media elasticity – a media channel’s percentage change in sales per percentage change in aggregate spend — tends to be fairly consistent for a company across different spend levels. Now, this has changed, and historical data needs to be considered more prudently. For the immediate future, it is important to focus more on shorter-term metrics.

We also need to keep in mind that consumers want to engage with socially responsible companies. Brand, which oftentimes can be difficult to measure, can have a heightened impact on performance.

How do you think Marketing Measurement can contribute to overcome the economic consequences of this crisis?

Companies need to understand how marketing is impacting their sales, they need to understand how media has changed, how businesses have changed, then probably compare the before and after in terms of baseline, media, and expense.

Given this, the question at hand now is: how should companies market in order to best reach the consumers in a way that is meaningful?

Another element besides measurement which is very important to consumers as well as the message itself: we are seeing the different messages that companies are communicating given the situation. Maintaining a positive approach will stick with the customer’s mind, thus, the importance of showing that they care about consumers and the community, showing they are available to help.

What can we do as a community to prepare to help the industry thrive again after this crisis?

Ideally, we would like to help our clients get through this crisis, but our business has been negatively impacted. Going forward, as a community, we should help companies view measurement and optimization as an integral piece of media investment rather than as an external assessment.

Any advice you would like to share with the community to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak?

My advice would be to shed light on the importance of staying positive. I see a lot of agencies and advertisers struggle as they are losing customers driving them to cut on advertising spend. But I also see businesses with sales revenue growing four times and more.

However, people need to think outside of the box about how they can provide service and how they can be helpful to their clients, community, and family during this period.

There are certainly many negative sides to this situation, but there are also some positive aspects as well. For instance, a positive way to look at the current situation is that now you can spend more time with your family.

Finally, it’s probably helpful not to expect that things will go back to the old normal. Maybe they will and we all hope that, but if they don’t, we need to plan for long-lasting effects and figure out what is happening and what is the best thing to do.