Hot Takes

Brand Loyalty Is Out; Quality Reach Is In with Andrea Staderini

Revenue Sales

Brand loyalty is under greater threat than ever before–so retail marketers must prioritize filling their funnel to ensure long-term growth.

In this session with Andrea Staderini, Head of Sales at Blis, you will learn the strategies you must use to get quality reach within your marketing channels.

[Transcript] Brand Loyalty Is Out; Quality Reach Is In

Joe Aicher

Our next presenter today is Andrea Staderini, Head of Sales at Bliss. Looking forward to your presentation “Brand Loyalty Is Out, Quality Reach Is In.” Let’s get started!

Andrea Staderini

Hey everyone, my name is Andrea Staderini, and I am the Head of Sales for Italy for Blis. Blis is a British company, our HQ is in London, and we basically developed an integrated planning and buying platform that doesn’t rely on personal data.

As Head of Sales for the center and south of Italy, I manage a small team and all the sales activities for the client space in Rome and in the south of Italy. As an interesting fact, I always quote that I’m a very big Star Wars fan and the proud owner of a Jedi dog named Obi-Wan. 

So what is the starting point of this presentation?

The starting point is the idea that 20% of customers are responsible for 80% of the sales. This was one of the basic principles that guided retailer strategy until now.

Brand Loyalty Is Out; Quality Reach Is In With Andrea Staderini

This idea is directly derived from the so-called Pareto principle. Pareto was an Italian economist that developed this very interesting theory about the distribution of value inside systems. Basically, his idea was that 80% of defects were directly linked to 20% of the causes.

Therefore, applying his theory to sales has brought to the belief that retaining and upselling an existing customer base is easier and more cost-efficient rather than acquiring a new one.

However, we believe this approach may no longer ring quite as true. And the reason for that is that three main phenomena are changing the landscape very dramatically in the digital ecosystem and in general. 

The first one that I would quote is the disappearing of data. So as we are all aware, this year, Google will probably dismiss third-party cookies.

Third-party cookies are one of the most important factors that we utilize to plan, deliver and measure the outcomes of digital campaigns.

Therefore, once we are no longer able to utilize cookies, the ecosystem will have to readjust in a very substantial way. On the other side of the fence, we have Apple, and starting from iOS 14, basically, they’re giving their users the opportunity to do two things. 

The first one is to disable localization completely so that you can no longer utilize location data to target their users. And at the same time, you can also decide to shield your device IDs, which is the identifier of a cell phone. 

This new change in the operating system has led to many different effects, one of which is that big chunks of the audience have literally disappeared.

Perhaps, some of you may have read that Meta, Facebook, has had a lot of problems in their quarter revenue streams mainly because of the fact that most of the users that were utilizing their apps from an Apple mobile phone all of a sudden were not reachable at. 

So disappearing data is one of the phenomena that are going to change the ecosystem in a very dramatic way. The second one is fragmented consumer behavior. 

As we all know, the channels that we can utilize to buy products are getting more and more, and the tools, the devices that we can utilize from mobile to tablets, to desktop PCs to other systems, have multiplied in the last years, and therefore the path to purchase has become much more fragmented and much more difficult to control.

And last but not least, we are facing, let’s say it, really challenging economic times. Inflation is a problem all over the world. I live in Rome, and here in the EU, the effects of the war in Ukraine are becoming really, really, really important.

If you put these three things together, what you come up with is basically the perfect storm.

So what is, in short, our stance? We believe that it’s not just about driving loyalty amongst the top or frequent spenders anymore, but on the contrary is about increasing the quality of your reach. So there was this old saying, “Grow your pie or grow your slice of the pie.”

And we think that you cannot choose between one of the two anymore, but you need them both. And so, in practice, we believe you have to rethink the formula.

The old advertising mantra, “Right people + right place + right message + right time = growth,” isn’t so straightforward anymore.

It’s not going to work very easily any longer because, basically, the advertisers are going to face huge problems in reaching the right people in the right place with the right message at the right time.

So the basic challenge for the future from our point of view will be that of thinking scalable targeting opportunities. Therefore, we suggest that brands and advertisers have a sort of growth partner that works in tandem with them to maintain scale on one side while keeping loyalty levels. 

And this is where Blis comes in. As I mentioned before, we have developed a platform named Audience Explorer, which is basically an audience platform that puts together different data signals. We start with location data, and on top of that, we can put several other layers. 

For example, with MasterCard data that helps us with spending habits, we have a worldwide partnership with them. We also have IRI or RSI data in the US, which are basically GDO spending data. And we also have several agreements with different Telcos in different regions of the world that help us reach people based on, for example, different segmentation criteria like their app.

The interesting thing is that we can put all of this data together, and what we come up with is a set of postcodes where you are more likely to find the target you’re looking for. And therefore, this enables us to utilize basically rich sets of data while being at the same time totally compliant with privacy requirements and without relying on personal data.

So the key takeaway of this very short presentation, I would say that, like it or not, all myths die hard. Brands need a new formula, that’s for sure. And therefore, rather than solely relying on brand loyalists, my question for you, for the audience, is where will you find your next top-spending customers?

And that’s it.

Bc Htl Logo Sq@2X

Hot Takes Live


Catch the replay of Hot Takes Live, where 30 of the top SaaS leaders across Marketing, Sales, and RevOps revealed some of their most unpopular opinions about their niche.

These leaders shared what lessons they learned and how they disrupted their industry by going against the grain (and achieved better results in the process).

Joe Aicher

Awesome, thank you, Andrea. This is super interesting, and now we’re starting to get into some of the data conversations. The landscape has definitely changed over the last few years, as you pointed out, with all the different changes with Google, Google ads, Apple iOS all those different things.

I’m curious, you know, I come from a bit of a Revenue Operations and sales background myself, in how this trickles down to your teams. How are you actually strategizing your approach with sales to attack both of those sides of the equation? As you said, with this new formula of growing the pie and also growing the slice, are you changing the approach with the teams and how they approach things?

Andrea Staderini

Now, it’s a very good question because you’re giving me the opportunity to see it from my point of view when it comes to down to sales. We are very lucky that in Italy, we have a close number of clients that are very valuable to us and from which we can extract a lot of value. 

However, we are at the same time focusing on broadening as much as possible the roster of clients because, as you know, if you have like five clients that give you one million dollars and you lose one of them, you are in very, very big trouble than if you had 20 clients giving you 500 or if you had 100 clients giving you 100.

Therefore, we definitely believe that we must work on both sides of the fence if we want to grow. 

The thing is that when it comes down to media campaigns and not reaching out solely to clients, it’s the technical changes that I mentioned to you will make it more and more difficult to reach and retarget your audience, and that is why we are focusing on developing new approaches even from a technical standpoint to contact new potential clients. 

Joe Aicher

Yeah, for sure. And then, as you guys are looking toward the future, I’m just curious, what do you think this new reality looks like?

You know, three, four, five years down the road, with the amount of regulation going into these different platforms or producers, manufacturers of these devices that are really hampering a lot of what we’ve grown up used to in terms of advertising, what do you think that landscape looks like in a few years?

Andrea Staderini

Oh, it’s very difficult to predict what will happen. What we know for sure is that many companies are trying to give their own solutions, as we’re doing, to the problem.

Contextual advertising might be one of the ways to try to get as many qualitative audiences as possible. In that case, you could have problems with scale because if you want to advertise an automotive brand only inside articles that talk about cars, you’re gonna have lots of problems with scaling.

Then the other problem is that the regulations differ slightly from country to country. For example, in Europe, GDPR is stricter than it is in the US, as far as I understand it. However, when it comes down to Google, if they want to enter the EU market, they somehow have to adjust to our regulations. 

For example, I just read that they are starting the first tests with a privacy sandbox which should be another way to reach websites and apps inside their ecosystem. However, in the EU, they have already been blocked twice with two solutions that they provided. The first one was the Federated Learning of Cohorts which didn’t pass our tests, and then they presented another solution that did not work. 

So the challenge is double because, on one side, these big companies need to find a solution that is viable for all of the regions of the world.

On the other hand, since we have different regulations, it will be a little complicated, so unfortunately, I cannot foresee the future. I hope that our solution will be one of the ones that advertisers will look for.

Joe Aicher

Well, thank you again, Andrea. We had a really nice comment from Clementine, so I appreciate the participation.

It was a pleasure talking to you. Good luck out there, everyone, and Andrea yourself, and I hope to connect soon.

Andrea Staderini

Thanks a lot, bye.