Q Thoughts

New Digital Media Trends for Driving Outcomes at Retail

This article originally appeared in the International Housewares Association (IHA) blog, following an interview with Connie Johnson, EVP, Business Development, Manufacturer Vertical at ownerIQ, for a preview of her upcoming presentation about digital media marketing trends at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show in the Innovation Theater.

Connie Johnson, a founding team member of Boston-based ownerIQ, oversees the manufacturer business development team, which is responsible for introducing leading manufacturers to the brand marketing platform. She has been working in the industry for 15 years and currently serves as an advisory board member of The Women’s Network of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Connie, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work?  What fuels your inspiration?
I am lucky to collaborate with some of the most creative, intelligent, and innovative coworkers I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing….230 of them to be exact! And our tech and expertise in the market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down is exciting as well.  ownerIQ’s technology and unique second-party data platform (and the people behind it) enables us to deploy best-in-class programs. It’s motivating to go to market with unique solutions that provide effective marketing programs and results for our clients.

Can you name a pivotal event or project that impacted your career or company?
There were a few pivotal events and projects that impacted my career – and I can tie them back to precisely where I am today at ownerIQ. Initially, I was one of the first salespeople hired in a small but flourishing Boston-based technology media start-up called Bitpipe back in 2000. Five years later, the company was acquired and I experienced what it’s it like to be part of a successful acquisition and transition to the new company. The most pivotal event occurred a few years later when our former senior management team and I embarked on a new journey. We ‘put the band back together’ and co-founded ownerIQ. This journey is never dull and continues to be one of personal and professional growth on a daily basis.

In the past few years, what has changed most in your business? How has your company met these challenges in the way you do your work?
The digital landscape, especially the advertising and marketing tech sector, has changed dramatically. The industry has evolved at an incredibly rapid pace, driving companies like ours to work hard to stay innovative and adaptive to ever-changing market trends to remain ahead of the curve. The progression of online display advertising and programmatic methods have played a significant role in ownerIQ’s evolution, empowering us to grow in a space we’ve always believed in, while devoting extra resources to solving a key piece of the programmatic puzzle: second-party data sharing. What’s more – since I started working in the space, the rise of the millennial generation has really transformed the workplace culture, with everything from communication styles to expectations altering our way of life.

Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
I’ve attended the Show multiple times and have always found it to be a great learning environment. I have had the opportunity to speak with several brands and retailers to learn how they approach their marketing strategy and initiatives.

Digital has changed the consumer’s path to purchase and that has forced marketers to adapt and change how they connect and engage with shoppers. ownerIQ’s solutions, highlighted by our second-party data sharing platform, CoEx, empowers durable goods manufacturers and their retailers to leverage one of their most valuable assets – their in-market shopper audience visiting their websites – to  identify a new view into the shoppers’ profile, drive outcomes at retail and on the manufacturers’ own websites. The International Home + Housewares Show provides a collaborative environment for all of us — retailers, brands, and vendors – to share these types of innovative solutions and ideas to grow business.

New Digital Media Trends for Driving Outcomes at Retail
March 18, Saturday 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, Room E350

Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
We have entered a new era of something the ad tech industry calls “second- party data” or “data sharing.” Second-party data is built specifically for combining the first-party data of one partner with the first-party data of another relevant partner, achieving complete transparency on desktop and mobile.

In October 2016 Forrester Research released a thought leadership piece entitled, “The Era of Second Party Data is Here” which showed that 88% of retailers and durable goods manufacturers will be deploying some type of data sharing in their marketing strategies within 12 months. Data and data sharing are big terms that conjure up all kind of images for the digital marketer, some good, and maybe some not so good.

But data sharing is evolving into a new form of cooperation between retailers and their vendor brands. So we’ll be discussing what this means for digital marketers in this industry and how you can take advantage of technologies and platforms that are empowering brands and retailers to drive sales outcomes.

What are you looking forward to most from speaking at the Innovation Theater?
While I’ve attended the Show several times, we are first time presenters and delighted to share the trend we see happening in the digital landscape and learning from other attendees and sponsors about how they are making an impact in the space. Of course I look forward to opening new dialogues with potential  partners and continuing conversations with current partners on how we can work together to grow all of our businesses.

What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?
I can only imagine that getting new products to market, promoted, and sold through retail is a hugely daunting task. Digital, while wonderful and expansive, presents a number of challenges. The continuing growth of digital and ecommerce present a whole new channel to be mastered by brands and retailers. Obviously some have done it very well. From where I sit, the concerns I often hear from brands revolve around the balancing of their own online direct-to-consumer selling efforts with the need to support their retail channels. It’s “How do we support our nationals/big boxes AND the independents or specialty channel without alienating one or the other?” There’s a lot of competition on those shelves and competition for that buying customer. For retailers, especially the independents, competing online against the big boxes can seem impossible. Yet, they all know they “have to do more digital.” But the question is, “What should I be doing in digital?” We hear that all the time. Good news is that digital also provides many solutions for brand and retailers to cover their bases and I look forward to discussing some very good ones in Chicago.

The Innovation Theater is the Show’s destination for learning. Click here to read more about the show, taking place March 18-21 in Chicago.

Categories:Posts from 2017


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